Guide to Eastside LA

Guide to Eastside LA

A few times a year, I travel to LA, which has quickly become a second home to me. I love the city for its sense of energy, excitement and my favourite part, sunshine. For me, the city has become synonymous with visiting some of my nearest and dearest friends.

Anyone who has visited LA knows it’s a huge city with numerous pockets within it. The first time I visited many years ago, a friend memorably told me that you mostly keep friends with those who live in the same neighborhood, due to the sheer size of the city and around the clock traffic. I couldn’t help but laugh! Many of my friends live on the East side, specifically Silverlake. Over the years, I’ve come to know the area very well and always manage to discover new hidden gems.

With that, I thought I’d share some of my favourite places to stay, eat and relax in Eastside LA.

Where to Stay

NOON ON SUNSET HILL

Photo by Anne Sage

In my years of traveling back and forth to LA, I have long been looking for a comfortable pied-à-terre. Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about hospitality and researching hotels. On past trips, I’ve either stayed with one of my friends in Silverlake, or at various boutique hotels in West Hollywood/Beverly Hills. A few months ago, I read about Noon On Sunset Hill on my friend Anne Sage’s blog.

Perched on a hill in the heart of Echo Park, it’s a beautifully curated inn-meets-AirBnb that recently opened. Sunset Hill is part of a hospitality project headed by Noon Collection; their vision was to create a series of rental properties across the US with a curated living environment for a “home away from home” feel. I was over the moon when I came across Noon On Sunset Hill and booked a 10-day stay.

The hotel looked every bit like the photos; the rooms were designed with curated modern pieces and luxury touches, as well as 3 balconies overlooking LA’s palm tree-dotted skyline. I spent many days on their terrace working on my laptop. The owner, Lex, was a pleasure to deal with and managed to create the perfect balance of beautiful design and affordability with all the amenities from home. Over the years, I’ve probably researched every hotel and AirBnb in the entire LA area to find a second home, and I can definitely say I finally did.

 

Rates from $169US/night.

Photo via Noon Collection’s Create Dinners 

WHERE TO Eat

Intelligentsia

This charming coffee shop at Sunset Junction in Silverlake is without a doubt my favourite hangout in LA. The design features a mix of white-and-turquoise tile and natural wood with a spacious terrace. I’ve spent many long days working there while sipping on lattes. One of the best parts of the cafe: it’s a hub for creatives. You never know who you’re going to meet.

Café Stella

Café Stella is a charming French bistro hidden right next to Intelligentsia. It took a few trips to LA (and many days passing right by it!) for me to finally stop by and see if it lived up to the hype. It surpassed my expectations; they serve up the most amazing brunches (oh, the ricotta pancakes!).

Botanica

Botanica is a new eatery in Silverlake that opened earlier this year. The restaurant serves California fare with a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern influence, focusing on market-fresh produce, organic wines and cocktails. The former liquor store has evolved into a space with beautiful energy and decor, including a statement wall with a blend of my favourite colours (rose, blues and grays) along with high ceilings, concrete and wood.

Photo: Alan Gastelum

Ostrich Farm

I had driven by this quaint restaurant on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park several times and had seen countless shots on Instagram before venturing out for a solo brunch. Run by a husband and wife team, Ostrich Farm offers locally-sourced dishes cooked over a wood-fire grill. I was equally taken by the food, as I was by the decor, which includes brass lights, white brick, earthy elements and signature green bench. The perfect spot for a girls brunch or dinner.

Photos: Jesse Chamberlin for designlovefest

Winsome

On a trip to LA last January, three people suggested I try this place for lunch. I immediately fell in love with the design. In fact, the name “Winsome” is an adjective that means “attractive” or “appealing” in appearance or character. I learned the design team, LA-based firm Wendy Haworth Design, is also behind the popular Gracias Madre and Cafe Gratitude restaurants. Simple and healthy dishes are Winsome’s signature style, and it has since become my go-to for meetings on the Eastside.

Photo: Nicole LaMotte

Ohane Poke

I literally dream of the poke at this restaurant when I’m not in LA. Every single time I get off the plane, I drive right straight to Ohane to pick up one of their signature bowls. This was actually the first place I ever tried poke, and since then, many others have popped up in the area, but nothing compares.

Where to Relax

The Now

The Now Silverlake on Sunset Blvd is the third location of this popular LA massage boutique. I’m not one to get many massages, but I always head over to this spot when I’m in town. It’s a relaxing and luxurious haven in the heart of the city with a layered and boho interior incorporating natural elements. It feels like being in Tulum. The massages are not only amazing, but affordable. It’s the perfect break in a busy day of meetings. Prices start at $35US for a 25-minute massage.


Photos by Tessa Neustadt

(Main photo by Caroline Lee at Light Lab located in Atwater Village)