BELONGING

A Local Guide to Hollywood

By

Lexie Koss

– VOL. 12

Hollywood is probably best known for movie studios and popular Los Angeles tourist spots like the Walk of Fame. But this thriving neighborhood is also full of some of the city’s best rooftop hangouts, bespoke coffee shops, and culture pockets. From Thai Town to the Yucca Corridor, this rapidly revitalizing neighborhood has so much to explore.

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Don’t miss the carne asada taco at Sonoratown on East 8th Street.

Where to Eat

Sapp Coffee Shop | 5183 Hollywood Blvd.

Don’t let the name fool you. This neighborhood favorite serves much more than coffee. Like so many of the best restaurants in Hollywood, Sapp Coffee Shop is nestled into a Thai Town strip mall. It’s a small, no-frills spot that was once a favorite of legendary LA food writer Jonathan Gold and has been feeding its community since the 80s. The menu is made up of Thai staples, flawlessly executed and reasonably priced. Try the legendary boat noodle soup, a complex broth full of tender meat. It draws fans from around the neighborhood and across the city.

 

ixlb DimSum Eats | 5900 Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Shi spent her childhood helping out at her father Tony Ying’s New York City restaurants. Now, they run this popular neighborhood dumpling counter together. Launched in 2016,  ixlb, takes a non-traditional approach to traditional dim sum, with a tech-savvy setup (you place your order on a tablet) and minimalist aesthetic that gives the restaurant an ultra-modern feel. Dishes like siu mai, a pork and shrimp dumpling, and cha siu bao, fluffy barbecue pork buns, are handmade in-house and cooked to order. Grab a spot at the counter to enjoy them piping hot.

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What could be more quintessentially LA than colorful cocktails, breezy rooftop vibes, and views of the Hollywood hills? Mama Shelter on Selma Ave. nails it.

Where to Sip

The Rooftop at Mama Shelter | 6500 Selma Ave. 

The cocktails alone would be enough to draw a steady stream of guests to the rooftop bar at boutique hotel Mama Shelter. But this relaxed gathering spot is so much more than a bar. During the day, Mama Shelter’s bright space is packed with friends enjoying brunch and signature beverages on multicolored sofas. At night, the space turns into a dance floor, with DJs spinning an eclectic mix of tunes under the stars. There’s also an outdoor movie screen, foosball table—and of course sweeping, wraparound views of Hollywood.

Rubies+Diamonds | 6115 Sunset Blvd. #150

Despite its name, Rubies+Diamonds isn’t a jewelry store. It’s a bespoke coffee shop committed to bringing creativity and innovation to its beverages. Jean Shim opened her fashionable spot in Hollywood’s Columbia Square in 2015, and R+D has been pushing the envelope ever since. The shop uses a BKON craft brewer, which harnesses vacuum technology to give baristas an exceptional amount of control over flavor. The result? Sublime coffees and teas. Popular beverages include cold-smoked chile mocha lattes, hot rose vanilla lattes, and their ridiculously tasty salted coconut cold brews.

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Free record days at Parlour Records are a local fave, offering five free records for every dollar customers spend. 

 

Where to Shop

The Record Parlour | 6408 Selma Ave.

This vintage record store and event space is a music lover’s dream. With 20,000 albums to explore, you could browse for hours and not see all The Record Parlour has to offer. In addition to a huge collection of vinyl, the store sells vintage audio gear, restored jukeboxes, and music posters. It’s also a hub for neighborhood music fans—especially during free record days when customers get five free records for every dollar they spend. At night, the shop turns into a venue for emerging musicians. 

 

Lost & Found | 6320 Yucca St.

Jamie Rosenthal started her eclectic lifestyle shop in the Yucca Corridor of Hollywood eighteen years ago. During that time, the area has transformed into a cultural hotspot, drawing artists, musicians, and performers from around the city. Lost & Found grew through word of mouth, building a community of loyal fans that appreciated the small boutique’s unique clothing, accessories, and home goods. Stop in to explore the shop’s carefully curated selection. You’ll definitely want to check out the eclectic kids section for the little ones in your life.

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Runyon Cayon offers world-class  hikes and views all within the city limits. Image credit: Chris Gold via Flickr Creative Commons.

Where to Explore

Hollywood Forever Cemetery | 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. 

While Hollywood has changed over the years, from an old-school entertainment capital to a bustling neighborhood, there are still pockets of classic showbiz glamor. The landmark Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting spot for many silver screen legends, including Cecil B. DeMille and Jayne Mansfield. Beyond the glitz, the beautiful grounds provide a meditative space in the middle of a bustling city. At night, the cemetery hosts the popular Cinespia outdoor movie series, as well as concerts from top artists.

 

Runyon Canyon| 2000 N. Fuller Ave.

This 160-acre park provides Hollywood residents with a healthy dose of nature in the middle of the city. The park has one main loop plus a slew of additional hiking options—perfect if you’re up for a steep challenge. A popular dog park and pooch-friendly trails make this a great destination if you have a furry friend. Hike to the top for some of the best views of the city.