Brentwood is one of L.A.'s most affluent neighborhoods, located on the Westside between Westwood and Santa Monica. Brentwood began as a Mexican land grant ranch sold off by the Sepulveda family. Its modern development started in the 1880s and today it boasts one of the lowest population densities in the city, with lush green pastures and coral trees along its main thoroughfare, San Vicente Boulevard. Read on for a guide to the area's essential stops, and get up close and personal with one of the Westside's most beautiful neighborhoods.
Caffe Luxxe - Brentwood Country Mart
Start your morning at Caffe Luxxe in the historic Brentwood Country Mart, a community hub that evokes early American and English country marketplaces with shops and stalls arranged around a central courtyard. Caffe Luxxe serves some of the best coffee and pastries on the Westside. Evoking a European sensibility to their Third Wave Coffee, Caffe Luxxe picks and roasts their own coffee for the ultimate in timeliness and taste. The pastries from Red Rooster Bakery are made fresh every morning so you're guaranteed top-tier coffee and a croissant to kick off your day.
Founded in 2010 by chef-owner Jeff Cerciello, Farmshop is a staple of the Brentwood Country Mart. Farmshop serves dishes with imaginative recipes and quality ingredients from California alongside an artisanal market of quality foodstuffs. Pack a picnic with a to-go order or a selection of goods from the market.
With lunch packed away, you can start exploring Brentwood’s architecturally significant masterpieces. Located on Avondale Avenue, the Nesbitt House was designed by Richard Neutra and originally built in 1942 for radio personality John Nesbitt. The 3,400-square-foot house won a Distinguished Honor Award from the Southern California American Institute of Architects in 1947. The Mid-Century home was renovated and restored before its recent sale for just over $7 million.
Continue strolling the residential areas of Brentwood by admiring this expansive ranch-style house from 1940, designed for Nellie Payton Hunt by famed architect Paul R. Williams, who became the first certified African American architect west of the Mississippi in 1921. The Hunt Residence has elements of the Regency Revival style, which was named for King George IV and inspired by the architecture and design of 19th-century Britain. Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley have also owned the Hunt Residence. The house was almost razed before being designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in April 2014.
George Sturges House
Located in Brentwood Heights, the George Sturges House is a 1,200 square-foot, single family house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1939, with construction overseen by John Lautner. The house features a 21-foot deck and is made of concrete, steel, brick and redwood. The Sturges House is an example of Wright’s Usonian-style homes, which typically featured native materials, flat roofs and cantilevered overhangs. The George Sturges House was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1993.
Next, head north to the Getty Center, a cultural, architectural and botanical wonder designed by famed architect Richard Meier. Open to the public in 1997, the 24-acre hilltop campus boasts panoramic city views and is accessed via a three-car, cable-pulled hovertrain. The renowned collections include European paintings and sculpture, as well as American, Asian and European photographs. The lush Central Garden was designed by artist Robert Irwin.
Enjoy your picnic on the lawn adjacent to the Central Garden or at any of the Getty Center's public seating areas. Picnic tables and lawns for lounging are located at the Lower Tram Station. The picnic area is open every day until 30 minutes before the museum closes.
Skirball Cultural Center
Located just north of the Getty, the Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring Jewish heritage, culture and American democratic ideals through educational programs in various media, including permanent collections and rotating exhibitions. Board Noah’s Ark (advance tickets recommended) then catch a film, reading or live music performance for a fascinating, multi-faceted Skirball experience. Public tours are also available for all visitors.
West Restaurant & Lounge
For happy hour, head south to Hotel Angeleno and take the elevator to WEST Restaurant & Lounge, located on the 17th floor penthouse. Every day from 4–7 p.m., sip signature cocktails for $7 each while you enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles. Select beers and wines are $4 per glass. Nosh on $5 happy hour plates like wasabi-soy beer nuts, the ceviche of the day, short rib sliders and rock shrimp sopes.
For dinner, head to Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s acclaimed Tavern, featuring a tastefully prepared seasonal menu served in a beautiful setting with a high-ceiling atrium and soft hues. Tavern is such a destination restaurant it has attracted everyone from locals and foodies to President Obama. The Larder at Tavern offers a variety of quality prepared food, cheeses and more.
Cap off your night by indulging in artisanal chocolates by Jonathan Grahm. Compartes Chocolatier offers over 100 varieties of chocolates - all made in-house - incorporating natural ingredients and unique flavors inspired by Grahm’s travels. High design aesthetics cover each chocolate, resulting in a luxurious experience with each and every bite.