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Seven Things to Do in Los Feliz

Los Feliz 3

Photo via Yelp user Mark P.

Los Feliz is by far the prettiest neighborhood on the East side of LA, hip enough to provide a culture fix but moneyed enough to avoid the grit of its highly touted neighbors, Silverlake and Hollywood. Its two main tree-lined avenues, Hillhurst and Vermont, run parallel to each other, and are easily navigable on foot.

The Los Feliz 3 is an adorable cinema built in 1934 that shows first-run and indie films. The smaller-than-normal screens are more than worth the gilded ticket booth, deco handiwork, and cozy theaters.

Yeah, Little Dom’s is something of an institution, the kind where actors are spotted having lunch, the kind that shows up as the romantic first-date spot in epic sagas such as We Bought a Zoo. But it’s also an old-school Italian eatery where you can order a meatball sandwich, a wood-fired pizza, or rigatoni with homemade sausage.

Undoubtedly the best bookstore on the east side (along with Vroman’s in Pasadena), Skylight Books tempts you to spend an entire afternoon browsing its impeccable collection of literary fiction, graphic novels, art books and magazines. It hosts several book clubs and regular readings A-list authors such as T.C. Boyle and David Mitchell.

If the perfectly battered whitefish tacos at Best Fish Taco in Ensenada don’t make you think you’re actually south of the border, the price ($1.50, I kid you not) certainly will. You dress them up yourself with cabbage, radish relish, crema, and a lineup of fiery salsas. And you might want to time your visit to one of their free comedy nights, when neighbors like, say, Patton Oswalt stop by to deliver a little side of standup.

Panty Raid is that rarest of treasures, a mom-and-pop lingerie shop that’s classy and ladylike. Pick up gorgeous sets from Cosabella and Huit, French stockings and garters from Maison Close, and some good old-fashioned Spanx.

The sidewalk-facing patio at The Alcove is always teeming with everyone from unemployed yoginis to Hollywood housewives to dealmakers. The huge brunch menu runs the gamut: crepes, benedicts, huevos, pancakes. Then, starting in the late afternoon, the cocktails and bar food come out, including The Most Interesting Cocktail in the World: Mescal, lime, cinnamon and chocolate-chili bitters. Most interesting, perhaps. Feistiest, for sure.

It’s a ways from the heart of Los Feliz, over the hill on Hyperion, but Barbarella is worth a mention for its hearty selection of microbrews on draft, ten-ounce martinis, and wine flights (rare in a beer-centric bar). There’s lots of seating at the long bar or at one of many sleek leather couches, and the bartenders are fast and friendly.