Hidden Gems in Los Feliz

From an architectural landmark to a red-hot dining destination, discover this coveted LA neighborhood


Whether it's the Hills, Estate, Knolls or Village of Los Feliz, this neighborhood is proudly inhabited by a diverse cultures, ages and incomes. Along with Griffith Park to the north, Los Feliz made up one of the first land grants in California, to Corporal José Vicente Feliz.

With Hollywood to the west, Silver Lake to the south and Atwater village to the east, the hillside neighborhood is home to some of the most outstanding architecture in Los Angeles County, but also the birthplace of many a motion picture and TV studio. Read on and discover the must-see, hidden gems of Los Feliz, from an architectural landmark to a red-hot dining destination.

Bar Covell | Photo: Bar Covell, Instagram

Bar Covell



Every trip to Bar Covell is an experience, thanks to the attention given to providing each customer a glass of wine he or she loves to drink. This is a great place to learn about wine without the pretension, a place where anyone who is curious will feel just like a regular. There are great beers on tap, as well as a selection of bites to accompany your wine. Bar Covell artfully imparts that uniquely Los Feliz feel, which is just the way co-owners Matthew Kaner and Dustin Lancaster want it.

Randonnée au Griffith Observatory

 |  Photo: Discover Los Angeles

Berendo Stairs to Griffith Observatory



A hike up the Berendo Stairs is perfect for those who would like to get active, if not creative, with their ascent to Griffith Park. The 181 steps were constructed in 1924 - the bottom is found on Berendo at Cromwell, north of Los Feliz Boulevard. You'll be thankful for the rest provided by benches, located midway up the steps and at either ends.

To get to Griffith Park, turn right at the top of Bonvue Avenue, follow the curve to the left and go up another 70 steps to Glencairn Avenue. Take another right to enjoy sweeping views of Los Feliz on the left. Continue on to Catalina, turn right and catch your first glimpse of Griffith Observatory. Follow the road's switchback to the right, putting you on Glendower. If you continue by turning left, you'll find an entrance to the trail which leads right up to the Griffith Observatory.

Drawing Room | Photo: @heatherthefriendlyghost, Instagram

Drawing Room



At the red-hued dive bar known as the Drawing Room, you can imbibe as long as it's legal to sell alcohol - which would be 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., daily. Pick a few songs from the jukebox, which offers a music selection that's better than most in L.A. Sit down at the bar or one of the tufted booths and enjoy cheap drinks. If you're game, pick up a game of electronic darts with one of the locals over spirited conversation.

Ennis House | Photo: Scott Beale, Flickr

Since its completion in 1924, Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House has become widely regarded as an architectural landmark. The concrete-block Mayan Revival house is named after Charles Ennis, the owner of a men's clothing store who commissioned it. The house is set upon an acre of property, and is comprised of three bedrooms and three half-baths. Since concrete was a new building material at the time, the house was an experiment in concrete construction. Billionaire Ron Burkle has guaranteed a loan of $4.5 million for its continued restoration and promises to open the Ennis House to the public 12 days a year.

The Greek Theatre | Photo: Francisco Saiso Alva/The Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre



Completed in 1929, The Greek Theatre was built on a canyon site according to land tycoon Griffith J. Griffith's dying wishes, for which he left construction money in his will. Designed with just short of 5,000 seats by Samuel Tilden Norton, its actual use fluctuated over time, including the theatre being used as barracks during World War II. Since then, the facade has been renovated, the structure has undergone an earthquake retrofit, and seating has been expanded to over 6,000 seats. Today, contemporary and classical music acts consistently perform here for an eclectic line-up of shows.

HomeState | Photo: HomeState

HomeState



There's no better neighborhood than Los Feliz to enjoy Austin, Texas-inspired breakfast tacos, Frito Pie right in the bag, and more in this little shop on Hollywood Boulevard. Order at the counter and take a number before sitting down to a Tex-Mex breakfast or lunch wrapped in flour tortillas straight from owner Briana Valdez's grandmother's recipe.

Tom Neely, "Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever Legos" à La Luz de Jesus | Photo: Tom Neely, Instagram

La Luz De Jesus Gallery



A visit to La Luz De Jesus Gallery will invariably take longer than anticipated, with an art gallery and pop culture toy shop called Wacko rolled into one. Also on-site are the La Luz De Jesus Press and the family-run Soap Factory, both of whose products you'll see in the shop. With the art gallery constantly rotating exhibits bordering on or stepping firmly in the "lowbrow" category, there's always a reason to revisit - if not for the kitschy gift shop in and of itself, which also carries vintage trinkets and the largest collection of postcards in L.A.

Skylight Books | Photo: Skylight Books, Twitter

Skylight Books



It's easy to lose a few hours in this gem of an independent bookstore, with its wonderfully curated selection of books encompassing literary fiction, art, film, TV, L.A. culture and history, and more. The knowledgable staff, who also make their own recommendations, are always helpful in finding what you need, whether it's in stock or not. If the latter, you can often order it through Skylight and they'll have it ready for you in a week or so. Catch one of your favorite writers on their impressive schedule of author reads.

Vista Theatre

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Vista Theatre



The single-screen Vista Theatre opened as the Lou Bard Playhouse to the public in 1923, showing movies as well as vaudeville acts of the time. It originally had over 800 seats, reducing to 400 after the owners took out every other row in the seated audience. Much like the famous Forecourt of the Stars at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, you'll find hand- and foot-prints of actors and directors at the entrance, but of players who tended to be involved in more independent film.

 

Yuca's | Photo: @theejuliechristensen, Instagram

Yuca's



It's not often where you can vouch for the carnitas and the burgers at the same place, much less a taco stand, but Yuca's on Hillhurst is just that kind of place. Try the Yucatan-style tamales, available only on Saturdays, but also the cochinita pibil while you're there. Meat lovers will love the tender textures inside their tacos or burrito (pick between rice and beans for the latter). To enjoy this humble feast, be sure to bring cash.