Sure, you already knew about the hipster enclaves of Echo Park and Silver Lake before they were cool. But romance never goes out of style, so we've gathered five places that are sure to set the mood for love.
Named for Arturo Bandini, the main character in John Fante's classic novel, Ask the Dust, Bar Bandini is a neighborhood wine bar located on Sunset Boulevard across from Mohawk Bend. The low lighting and sleek design are perfect for date night - not to mention the rotating selection of natural wines and craft beers.
2150 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90026
Chef Charles Namba and sommelier Courtney Kaplan opened Tsubaki, an intimate, modern izakaya on the edge of Echo Park, in February 2017. Six bar seats are available to view the kitchen action, while another six seats have a view out to Sunset Boulevard via a street-side window counter. Small tables fill the rest of the space against peacock blue and brick walls with a cozy, romantic ambiance. Everything is meant to be shared on the menu, which is split into sections with cold, steamed, fried, grilled/pan-fired, simmered, rice and noodles, and sweets. Pair your dishes with beer, shochu, French wine, or sake, which is presented in ceramic vessels along with a selection of cups.
1356 Allison Ave, Los Angeles 90026
Originally built as a drinking water reservoir in the 1860s, the 13-acre Echo Park Lake is surrounded by 16 acres of open recreational space. With the Downtown L.A. skyline as the backdrop, the parklands, charming footbridge, boathouse, beautiful lotus beds, and the famous Lady of the Lake statue have attracted lovers and visitors for generations. Activities include pedal boats, picnic tables, and strolls around the perimeter pathway. Film noir fans will recognize Echo Park Lake from a scene in Chinatown when J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) takes photographs of Hollis Mulwray (Darrell Zwerling) from a rowboat.
751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles 90026
You can't miss this photogenic staircase in Silver Lake, located across Sunset Boulevard from Micheltorena Elementary School. The bottom of the Micheltorena Stairs are decorated with hearts and rainbow colors - perfect for a romantic selfie. A plant-lined walkway with palm trees and flowers climbs 40 steps to Larissa Drive. Cross the street and find a second leg that spans 59 steps. Cross the street to reach the last of three legs, a shady fence-framed 78 steps. You'll see the occasional cartoon on the pavement or fence, including Space Ghost, before arriving at Winslow Drive.
Sometimes all it takes is one person to create something that positively affects an entire neighborhood and beyond. The Chandelier Tree is the work of Adam Tenenbaum, who attached more than 30 chandeliers to a century-old sycamore tree on his property as "a gift to the Silver Lake community." Located at the corner of W. Silver Lake Drive and Shadowlawn Avenue, The Chandelier Tree casts its warm glow every night - the romantic aura has worked its magic on at least one marriage proposal. A colorful meter in front of the tree accepts donations - after all, those chandeliers don't light up for free!