Author: Emmanuel

3 Financial Steps to Take Before Investing in Real Estate

This guest post was contributed by Dream Home Property Solutions, LLC, your source for expert advice on Ventura County Real Estate.

Real estate has yet again become one of the most popular forms of investing.  With the recovery of the real estate market in many locations, the popularity of the house flipping shows, and all of the real estate gurus teaching their “secrets,” it’s created the perfect storm for people to consider investing in real estate.  Although we love real estate investing and what it can do for people financially, there are several steps you might want to consider before taking the leap.

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Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Build Your Savings Account

Whether you are investing in real estate or not, most experts agree that everyone should have money saved up in their savings account for emergencies.  The idea behind this is that you want to have money immediately available for you to live on if you were to lose your job for whatever reason and/or are not bringing in any source of income. Even if you have a fairly stable job, this money could be used to pay for any large unexpected expenses, such as medical bills, home repairs, etc.

This money does not necessarily need to be in a bank savings account, but it should be fairly liquid, such as a Certificate of Deposit (CD). We have seen recommendations anywhere from 3 months of savings to 12 months of savings.  The amount you choose will ultimately be up to you and your risk tolerance.  If you have a stable job and not many expenses, you may choose the lower end of that spectrum.  If you are self-employed, or have an older home or car, you may want more savings in anticipation of costly repairs.

Pay Down Debt

As you are building up your savings, you’re also going to want to start paying down any debt you may have.  The most common approaches we have seen for this are either paying off your lowest balance debts first or paying off your highest interest rates.  The idea behind paying off your lowest balance is that once it’s paid off, you can then use the amount of money you were paying per month and apply that additional amount to the next lowest balance.  There are pros and cons to each approach, so do whichever one you feel most comfortable with.

Although some financial planners view all debt as bad, you will find a lot of seasoned real estate investors tell you that leverage used properly is a good thing.  If you have debt with a low interest rate, and can get a higher expected return by investing in real estate, it may make sense to invest in real estate as opposed to paying off the debt faster.  For example, those with good credit can find auto loans for 0% interest.  Instead of paying off the auto loan, you might be better off financially by investing that money in real estate.

Take Advantage Of Your Company’s Retirement Matching

Some companies will match your retirement contributions (401k, TSP, etc.) up to a certain amount.  If your company has this perk, you should strongly consider at least investing the amount up to which your company will match.  This is basically free money for you to take advantage of.  We have heard one financial planner state that you can get higher returns in other vehicles, even when you take into account company matching, but contributing to your retirement account is an easy method to start saving up money for retirement.

At Dream Home Property Solutions, we are here to help you with all of your Ventura County real estate needs. Visit us online at www.DreamHomePS.com

Los Feliz Shopping Guide

We have so many reasons to love Los Feliz in Los Angeles: the authentic food, the awesome nightlife, and the diverse community. But if you’ve got a shopping bug or love hunting for unique pieces, you have to check out the shopping in Los Feliz.

Tired of shopping at chain stores and coming home with the same stuff? Hop over to Los Feliz and shop at some of these local small businesses. You’ll find vintage items and one-of-a-kind handmade crafts at the boutiques and local shops in this historic Los Angeles neighborhood.

Skylight Books

Why go to a chain bookstore when you can visit a hip Independent bookstore that’s been around since the 90’s? Skylight Books near Griffith Park offers a wide range of books for its varied audience and readers in the Los Angeles area. The store carries everything from graphic novels and magazines to children’s books. If you aren’t sure what you should read next, try checking out the curated staff picks (they’re posted online if you’d like to read them). And if you are looking for more than just shopping, independent bookstores run community events. Skylight Books hosts the Coyotes Book Club every month and features regular events with authors.

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We can’t think of a better place to grab a book and pass the time, especially in the lovely atmosphere created at this beloved bookstore

Spitfire Girl

Don’t buy a generic gift this Christmas season. Go to a shop like Spitfire Girl where you’ll find special, hand-crafted items for friends, family, and loved ones. The founder of Spitfire Girl, Kristin, shared her inspiration in an interview with Modcloth (read here). She described how the experience of hand-making invitations for her own parties and her daughter’s birthday party gave her the idea to open a store. Kristin and other artists (like her husband and daughter) design products sold in her store, like postcards printed on pieces of wood. You can’t find these just anywhere! She carries box cards, candles, perfumes, gift sets, dolls, bath salts, lotion, and more. For the home, you’ll also find pillows, tea towels, handmade soaps, etc.

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Photo Credit: http://blog.spitfiregirl.com/wp-content/uploads/sfg-interior-2.jpg

You might find something you didn’t know you wanted or needed!

Squaresville

For those of us with a passion for buying clothes and regularly updating your closet, Squaresville is heaven on earth. This second-hand clothing store has been operating in Los Feliz since 1996, making it more than twenty-years-old! Squaresville buys, trades, and sells vintage, second-hand, and designer clothing. Specifically, this store collects pieces from the early 1990s all the way to the 90s and keeps recent styles in stock for its customers. Regulars will love shopping here, because the stock is always rotating. You’ll never know what you’ll find from one day to the next. Your shopping experience is always new.

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Don’t forget your accessories and your shoes, which you’ll find a wide variety of at Squaresville on Vermont Avenue

Co-op 28

Love antiquing and vintage finds? Are you always checking out the inventory at your local Good Will and antique stores? Then you have to stop by Co-Op 28, voted Best of LA Boutique Store in 2015. Located in Los Feliz Village, this alternative store carries everything from furniture, clothing, signs, books, jewelry, artwork, home goods, candles, and more. When you shop at Co-Op 28, you know that you are supporting local business as well as local artists. The store carries objects, both vintage and handmade, from more than one-hundred artists. If you haven’t been there to shop in a while, then you might not know about the store’s new furniture collection, titled the Los Feliz Collection. You can order custom options or you can order a pre-designed couch produced by a local manufacturer. Our favorite part of the store is the counter made of stacked books and shelves. Co-Op 28 will also be launching an online store on its website, where they are also announcing the opening of the Bukowski’s Intellectual’s Dive Bar behind the store. Soon, you may want to hang out where you shop.

Carol Young / Undesigned

If you are passionate about fashion that is both functional and beautiful, then you will love the designer Carol Young. After her fellowship at Cornell University, she designed her own line of clothing that is recycled, organic, and designed for people living active lives. At her store, you’ll find dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes, boots, throw pillows, travel wear, and more. She also carries other brands in addition to her own.

Wacko Soap Plant

Wacko Soap Plant may be one of the weirdest shops you’ve ever been in. With a history dating back to 1971, Wacko Soap Plant is a well-known name in Los Angeles. At its current location, the store spans 6,000 square feet and is stocked full with popular culture items, music, books, toys, candy, gadgets, posters, clothing and more. The store originally offered handmade soaps, ceramics, and leatherware and was family-run. Owner Billy Shire expanded the store’s inventory over the years to include items that represent popular culture, counterculture, and Los Angeles art. The store is also home to the La Luz de Jesus Gallery, where art shows are held every month.

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Kingswell

This post wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to the skateboarders out there in Southern California. Kingswell is a rare store for professional skateboarders and those interested in beautiful design and street culture. Kingswell celebrates Los Angeles artwork, well-designed skateboards, and tattoo art. Skaters will find hats, shoes, t-shirts, and skateboards from brands like Converse, Huf Cromer, and Santa Cruz Skateboards.

We hope this post has inspired your next shopping trip as you get to know the small businesses within Los Feliz.

Real Estate Unlimited is a real estate agency with expertise in luxury real estate in Los Angeles. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Los Feliz or in another Los Angeles neighborhood, we are here to answer your questions, share our knowledge with you, and help you find the right fit. Feel free to contact us today.

Best Places to Grab a Bite in Los Feliz

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Photo Credit: Strommeninc.com

The Los Feliz neighborhood is one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse in Los Angeles. As a result, residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a place to eat. In this post, we’ll share some of our very favorite dining options in the area, so you’ve got a shortlist when you plan your next visit!

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Photo Credit: Lataco.com

Yuca’s

Like most parts of Los Angeles, traditional and fusion Mexican-inspired cuisine makes a strong showing in Los Feliz. One standout venue is Yuca’s, whose original location opened here in Los Feliz just over thirty year ago. The owner won a James Beard Award for her superlative cookery, and the resulting media buzz allowed her to open a glossy second location on Hollywood. We prefer the original location, whose cozy, intimate interior is the perfect place to enjoy Mexican cuisine from Socorro Herrera’s kitchen. You can find a long list of traditional favorites on Yuca’s simple yet splendid menu, and we recommend Yuca’s burrito: satisfying comfort food in an unassuming package.

Figaro Bistrot

If you’re planning a romantic evening, you can’t choose a better restaurant than Figaro Bistrot, a little slice of Paris in the heart of Los Feliz. Mirrored walls in gold lettering, spindly ironwork chairs, and elegant menus for the patrons: you’ll think you’re in Montmartre. The pastry case near the front entrance is filled with scrumptious creations of delicate pastry and rich cream, including eclairs, profiteroles, and a gleaming selection of fresh fruit tarts according to the season. If you’d like to sit outside and watch the people strolling by in traditional flaneur style, grab one of the wicker chairs out front and sample a noisette or a café au lait. If you’d like a more substantial lunch, try the onion soup covered with a toasty golden-brown layer of molten gruyere, or the veal entrecote with tangy green pepper sauce.

Looking for a music and cocktail venue to round out your evening? Check out the Dresden in Los Feliz!

Speranza

Named for the Italian word for “hope,” this family-friendly restaurant concentrates on fresh, unpretentious Italian fare. Tender, homemade pasta and tasty homemade sauce makes up the bulk of the menu, and every single combination – especially the ones that come paired with succulent seafood – is worth trying. We like the carbonara and the creamy alfredo on a platter of linguine, but we can’t honestly say that any of Speranza’s pasta dishes are anything but sublime. Perfect for an extended-family visit or a quiet Sunday night meal – just bring a hearty appetite.

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Photo Credit: Ijustwannaeat.blogspot.com

O Banh Mi

O Banh Mi is one of Los Feliz’ best kept secrets – and one of its most precious. This little Vietnamese sandwich shop is hard to suss out, with the only signage being a neon O shining in the window. O Banh Mi is devoted to banh mi, the traditional Vietnamese sandwiches comprised of pate, honey, meat, cilantro, and crunchy cucumber and carrots on a fresh baguette. Opening hours are restricted from noon to 4 p.m., and residents in the know show up at noon on Friday, when a whole roasted pig is brought in to furnish the afternoon’s batch of sandwiches. If you’re interested in trying another variety of banh mi, you can choose from pork, chicken, or tofu. More adventurous snackers may want to try the pungent anchovies or salty squid version. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy an authentic Vietnamese treat. Just remember to get there by four – and don’t forget to bring cash.

McConnell’s

Okay, maybe it’s cheating for us to put an ice cream parlor on the list – but you won’t blame us for making an exception when you see what McConnell’s has to offer. This small chain of ice cream parlors originates in Santa Barbara. The Los Feliz branch opened just last year, and it’s safe to say that it’s a neighborhood hit. (Proximity to another Los Feliz crowd-pleaser, HomeState, definitely isn’t hurting McConnell’s chances of becoming a neighborhood fixture.) The parlor includes a rotating selection of seasonal flavors as well as several permanent options. We like the chocolate almond brittle and the cool peppermint stick. Fruit flavors tend to be seasonal, but they’re always fresh, inventive, and delicious.

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Photo Credit: Gandb.coffee

Go Get Em Tiger

As the name implies, this restaurant is a great place to refuel – breakfast, lunch, and sandwich options are among the most unique – and delicious – in Los Angeles. Their coffee and espresso drink menu is inventive and consistently delicious – try the almond-macadamia latte for a sugary pick me up – but sandwiches and homemade baked goods are not to be missed. If you’re a blintz fan, try the L.A. Baby, a baked pancake served with crème fraiche and fruity preserves. If you’re in the mood for a savory breakfast option, try the toasted pan de sel breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, onion jelly, and spicy arugula. The chicken salad sandwich on a baguette is our favorite for a fortifying lunch, but don’t be afraid to explore the daily and weekly specials, which are rotated frequently. Just don’t forget to grab a cookie for dessert!

Planning a weekend trip to the neighborhood? Don’t forget the Greek Theatre in Los Feliz!

Real Estate Unlimited is a real-estate company dedicated to representing clients in Echo Park and other historic neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’re glad to give our clients the benefit of our local expertise. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Soap Plant Wacko in Los Feliz

The Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles has become a popular hotspot for local artists, many of whom have opened up innovative gallery spaces and boutiques to capitalize on walk-in traffic from younger residents looking to purchase quirky artwork. Today, we’ll give you an insider look at one of the most unique of these fashion-forward neighborhood fixtures: La Luz de Jesus Gallery, known to neighborhood residents as, simply, “Wacko.”

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Photo Credit: Weekendtrips.com

Looking for a place to grab a bite nearby? Check out our post on the best restaurants in Los Feliz!

Wacko is what you could call a Kitsch Convenience Store – or maybe Pee Wee Herman’s Roadside Souvenir Stand – a cornucopia of obscure toys, inventive and colorful housewares, eclectic books, vibrant prints, personable figurines, and innumerable other random doodads that you don’t really need but absolutely must have.

Every shelf and wall is densely stocked with myriad odds and ends (but mostly odds), enough to fascinate any visitor for hours. Kewpie dolls in pink pinafores, desktop gumball machines, robot cookie jars, taxidermy moths and beetles, rare art and print books, unicorn statuettes, Star Trek figurines: Wacko aims to have a tchotchke for every taste.

Whether you’re looking for a wind-up Godzilla, a watermelon-scented eraser, a sock monkey shoe tree, or a pair of pineapple-print suspenders, you can probably find it at Wacko. Wacko is also the best place in Los Angeles to shop for a truly unique gift – loyal trekkies, comic-book nerds, kitsch enthusiasts, and lovers of innovative design will all treasure presents purchased at Wacko. Most of the merchandise embodies a singular sense of humor, such as the solar-powered Queen Elizabeth II figurine, who executes a smooth royal wave when installed on a sunny windowsill – the stately statuette has a companion piece, a head-bobbing Corgi that’s solar-powered as well.

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Photo Credit: Laweekly.com

Owner Billy Shire has taken a hands-on role in managing the merchandising and marketing since taking over the family business back in the early 1980s. The store’s full name is Soap Plant Wacko, and it began as a handmade soap shop in Los Feliz, followed by a stint on Melrose Avenue before moving to its current digs on Hollywood Boulevard in 1995. Since then, Soap Plant Wacko has become a Los Angeles landmark, adorned with vibrant murals that can be spotted blocks away.

Staying in the neighborhood for the evening? Stop by the Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz!

In addition to its curio collection, Soap Plant Wacko’s La Luz de Jesus art gallery has been displaying the works of underground artists, showcasing California’s “lowbrow” art movement. Fine arts aficionados know this humble knick-knack emporium as one of the most important, ground-breaking galleries in the Los Angeles area, which quickly gained renown with collectors, galleries, and artists around the world.

La Luz de Jesus Gallery was established several years after the Soap Plant first opened, founded by Billy Shire as a space to showcase innovative art and foster creative expression by unconventional local artists. The original gallery was located in the venture’s bright pink building on Melrose Avenue, upstairs from Shire’s retail outlet, the Soap Plant artisanal soap store and the Wacko literally everything else you could imagine (and many things you probably can’t) store. When Wacko moved back to its original Los Feliz stomping grounds, the gallery went along with it, re-opening in its current gallery space on Hollywood Boulevard near Vermont Avenue. In April 2005, Shire opened a sister gallery in nearby Culver City, California, Billy Shire Fine Arts.

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Photo Credit: Voyagela.com

La Luz de Jesus Gallery provides both an exhibition space and a support structure to the Lowbrow arts movement and associated pop surrealist artists – the movement and the gallery share a sensibility with Wacko’s affectionate enthusiasm for all things pop, and most of the artists producing Lowbrow art use pop culture tropes, palettes, and graphic design features as the springboard for their own original artistic creations.

In a 1988 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Shire summed up the gallery’s philosophy as, “Art should be by the people and for the people. It should be something that speaks to you, that entertains and challenges and changes your outlook.” In keeping with this popularizing, community-oriented approach, the gallery offers an impressive lineup of original art exhibitions, showcasing a fresh exhibit every month that kicks off with an opening reception on the first Friday of each month.

The gallery showcases primarily figurative and narrative painting and unusual sculpture, with a focus on themes and styles including folk art, outsider art, religious-themed art. The gallery has launched the careers of a number of famous artists who were working in near-total obscurity when their work took center stage at the gallery, including Manuel Ocampo, Joe Coleman, and Robert Williams. Notable established artists who have exhibited new work at La Luz de Jesus include Marco Almera and Joe Sorren.

On top of regular solo and two-person shows, and in keeping with its collaborative, pop-culture-oriented brand, the gallery also hosts a variety of group shows throughout the year, including a much-anticipated annual group exhibition called “Everything But the Kitschen Sink,” which is dedicated to promoting the work of relatively unknown and emerging artists still at the beginning of their careers.

So if you’re in the market for a solar-powered monarch, a Chewbacca Pez dispenser, or a Steven Universe-style beanie, stop by Soap Plant Wacko in Los Feliz. Even if you have no idea what you’re looking for, you’ll find something to love.

Real Estate Unlimited is a real-estate company dedicated to representing clients in Los Feliz and other historic neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’re glad to give our clients the benefit of our local expertise. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

The Dresden in Los Feliz

Like so many other neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Los Feliz is home to multiple buildings that are cinematic as well as local landmarks. One such iconic locale is the Dresden, and today we’ll take you on a tour of this atmospheric bar.

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Photo Credit: Takesunset.com

Since its opening in 1954, The Dresden attracted the attention of directors seeking to capture a sense of Old Hollywood magic because its interior gives such a strong impression of glamor and character – it’s the paradigmatic midcentury Hollywood lounge.

In the mood for more music venues in Los Feliz? Check out our post on the Rockwell Table & Stage!

The Dresden’s most famous star turn was in indie classic Swingers – it’s the setting for the “You’re so money!” speech Vince Vaughn’s Lothario character delivers in an attempt to inspire his friend to approach the object of his desires. The Dresden acknowledges the homage with a permanently-installed Swingers poster, which you can find on the wall leading to the back exit. En route, you’ll also be able to check out a wall of headshots donated by the Dresden’s celebrity patrons and regulars, including Jon Hamm, Dolly Parton, Jay Leno, and Adam West

The Dresden has starred in more than one cult classic – it also features in a pivotal scene in comedy That Thing You Do, as the place where striving musician Guy Patterson, played by Tom Everett Scott, finally meets his idol, musician Del Paxton, played by veteran character actor Bill Cobbs. For many moviegoers, the Dresden forms part of their image of classic Hollywood cool and characteristic Hollywood luxury – it’s also been the stand in for that essential Hollywood lounge atmosphere in Los Angeles-filmed movies like Anchorman and What Women Want.

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Photo Credit: Laweekly.com

As soon as you enter through the front door off noisy Vermont Avenue, you’re instantly transported back to the Los Angeles of the silver screen era. The Dresden’s interior has been carefully preserved ever since its renovation in the sixties by then-proprietor Carl Ferraro, and the quiet interior is the perfect place to escape from the crowded streets of contemporary Los Angeles.

As your eyes adjust to the dimly-lit lobby, you’ll see a private room to the right, perfect for intimate gatherings or a refuge from the crush of the always-busy bar area. On the left, you’ll see the restaurant, fitted out in true midcentury style with white leather booths and striking floor-to-ceiling light fixtures. The menu also has a vintage feel, with classic American fare like prime rib and pork chops. The menus capture the succulent Continental fare that was characterized American midcentury fine dining, with offerings like rack of lamb and the hearty chateaubriand for two.

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Photo Credit: Franklinavenue.blogspot.com

Straight ahead from the lobby is the lounge, equipped with unforgettable retro-chic décor: semicircular brown leather booths lining the faux rock walls and richly-toned wood paneling, or small white tables with red rolling chairs clustered in the center of the room. If you’d like to be close to the action, you can sit at the long table that wraps snugly around the piano at the center of the room. Heavy globe chandeliers adorn the ceiling. The bartenders wear tuxes, mixing drinks efficiently and expertly – and be warned: cocktails at the Dresden are made at midcentury strength, with liberal pours of whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum. Old-fashioned cash registers are used to settle your tab at the end of the evening.

Music-lovers who visit after 9 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday – the Dresden’s most popular hours by far – you can sip your cocktail as you listen to live music provided by resident jazz musicians Marty and Elayne, who have been playing soulful jazz standards at the Dresden since 1982. Sometimes they’ll share the stage with a select roster of guest musicians, but more often than not, Elayne plays the piano as Marty plays the drums or strums along on the upright bass. The duo also appeared in Swingers.

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Photo Credit: Scpr.org

Looking for the perfect place to see a concert? Visit the Greek Theater in Los Feliz!

If you were enchanted by the Dresden when you saw it on the silver screen, or if you just want to grab a drink and listen to some live jazz in watering hole fit for the Rat Pack, then head to the Dresden. Their signature cocktail, the Blood and Sand, is a tart blended rum drink not unlike a cross between a margarita and a Jamaica. If you prefer to stick with classic drinks, you can’t go wrong with an expertly chilled martinis or a bittersweet old-fashioned. The bar is open until two every day but Sunday, when it closes at eleven.

Real Estate Unlimited is a real-estate company dedicated to representing clients in Los Feliz and other historic neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’re glad to give our clients the benefit of our local expertise. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Seven Best Restaurants in Los Feliz

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Alcove Café Patio – Photo Credit: Alcovecafe.com

Like so many of Los Angeles’ signature neighborhoods, Los Feliz is a vibrant mix of quirky charm, hip upscale hot spots, and old Hollywood glamour. In this post, we’ll give a list of the seven best restaurants in Los Feliz!

Why not dinner and a show? Read our post about the Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz!

Little Dom’s

As the name insouciantly implies, Little Dom’s is the little brother of gone-but-not-forgotten Dominick’s in West Hollywood. Italian-influenced cuisine with an emphasis on satisfying plates like scrambled eggs bruschetta, meatball sandwiches on soft baguettes, and crisp golden whitefish picatta. If you’re in the mood for a sweet breakfast, the fluffy ricotta and blueberry pancakes are ridiculously delicious. If you’re looking for an affordable prix fixe spread that will leave you stuffed, the three-course Monday-night supper provides you with delicious home cooking at a bargain price.

Alcove Café and Bakery

Don’t let the name fool you – the Alcove’s menu is by no means limited to scones and avocado toast. This cottage-like café serves up heaping plates of gourmet American dishes as well as a long list of lighter fare like salads, wraps, and paninis. If you are hoping to grab a cup of coffee and a bite of pastry, the plethora of baked goods in the pastry window includes raisin-studded scones, buttery croissants, soft danishes, and frosted cinnamon rolls. If your sweet tooth still isn’t satisfied, grab a house-made chocolate bar from the display by the register – flavors include but most definitely are not limited to red velvet, salted caramel, and orange-infused mimosa. If you stop in for an early dinner, the adjacent Big Bar is the perfect spot to stop for an eclectic lineup of cocktails, craft brews, and fine wines alongside an innovative selection of bar bites.

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Diners at HomeState – Photo Credit: Myhomestate.com

HomeState

As with most neighborhoods in this SoCal metropolis, you’ll be spoiled for choice if you’re looking for tacos or tortas in and around Los Feliz. If you’re on the hunt for Tex-Mex in particular, however, your options may be slightly more limited so many miles from El Paso. HomeState will cure your homesick yearning for Lone Star-style Mexican food, with an exhaustive menu that is especially heavy on the savory breakfast options: fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, melted cheese, refried charro beans, spicy chorizo, tender brisket, and more. Migas, chilaquiles, tamales – and if you really want to try an original fusion creation, check out their signature Frito Pie in a Bag, a crunchy bag of Fritos covered with chile con carne, black beans, lettuce, tomato, and Mexican-style giardinera.

In the mood for a picnic in the sun? Check out our post about Griffith Park in Los Feliz!

Stamp Proper Foods

This unique café-market hybrid brings a whole new meaning to “farm to table” – Stamp Proper Foods is designed to serve as your one-stop shop for purchasing healthy ingredients and sampling healthy meals. Breakfast is on offer all day long, including savory Mexican-inspired fare like molé omelets, vegan chilaquiles, and piquant avocado toast. Sandwiches, soups, and salads are also served all day, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients in inventive combinations. If you’re gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian, Stamp Proper Foods is a very welcoming place – try the roasted sweet potato sandwich and or the zoodle salad with lemony vinaigrette dressing. Fill your basket with house-made granola bars, cookies, and other snacks.

Farfalla Trattoria

Traditional Italian fare makes a strong showing throughout Los Feliz, but we like Farfalla’s wholesome yet piquant menu. Portions are hearty, with an emphasis on familiar Italian favorites like chicken marsala, fluffy gnocchi, and homey pasta e fagioli. Crispy thin-crust Italian-style pizzas are also on offer, with toppings like juicy red onions and tender artichoke hearts. If you’re in the mood to split a bottle of authentic Italian vino rosso, Farfalla Trattoria boasts an exhaustive wine list, with flavorful selections starting at under ten dollars.

MessHall

MessHall is a dinette with a difference. Their theme is an original twist on summer camp food, with the mission statement to revive – and riff on – All-American comfort food favorites. Flavor profiles are simple without ever being bland or predictable. Their turkey kale chili is served with a thick slice of fresh golden cornbread, and their smoked corn fritters are garnished with a piquant poblano chili and pumpkin seen romesco. If you’re in the mood for more adult fare, MessHall also has a standout raw bar, including oysters with a variety of fresh dressings, tart ceviche, succulent shrimp cocktails, and delicate tuna tartare.

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Spitz – Photo Credit: Eatatspitz.com

Spitz

Spitz is quickly becoming Los Feliz’s prime location for primo döner kebab. Spitz is part of a chain, and you can find sister locations in nearby Eagle Rock, Little Tokyo, and Studio City. Each location in the franchise offers customers a colorful, comfortable spot to dig into a hearty Meditteranean platter filled with creamy hummus, crunchy falafel, and savory braised meats. If you’re in the mood for a salty snack, try the Street Cart Fries, smothered in feta, green onion, tomato, olives, pepperoncinis, and garlic aioli.

Los Feliz is a thriving neighborhood, and new eateries are hanging out their shingles on a weekly basis. Try these popular Los Feliz restaurants, and see if you find yourself a new local favorite.

Real Estate Unlimited is a real-estate company dedicated to representing clients in Echo Park and other historic neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’re glad to give our clients the benefit of our local expertise. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Rockwell Table & Stage (Los Feliz)

Are you a Broadway lover but you aren’t in New York City? Don’t fret, because the Rockwell Table & Stage in the neighborhood of Los Feliz in east Los Angeles features musical performances alongside meals crafted by Chef…If you haven’t been to the Rockwell yet, definitely check it out for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Rockwell Table & Stage is a restaurant mixed with an entertainment venue for musical performances, DJs, comedians, special events, and more. The shows at the Rockwell celebrate Los Angeles’ history as a leader in entertainment and innovation. In addition to excellent dining and craft cocktails, people go to the Rockwell to see musical parodies of their favorite Hollywood movies and cult classics.

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Photo Credit: http://rockwell-la.com/i/homepage/hp-slide5.jpeg

The Return of The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Hocus Pocus this year celebrates the goofy Halloween movie, that you may remember watching every year, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. Or take for example the Rockwell’s past product Cruel Intentions the Completely Unauthorized Musical Parody. Actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair (who starred in the 1990s film Cruel Intentions) all met at the Rockwell for a performance of the parody. Gellar also appeared there with the writer and director of the film, Roger Kumble, and actor Sean Patrick Thomas.

The production Romeo & Juliet: Love is a Battlefield was another nostalgic drama performed at the Rockwell. This time the play featured Pat Benatar’s 1980s music about love. Similarly, Rockwell Drops the Mic: Madonna is another celebration of an iconic singer’s music. Other performs and film directors celebrated at the Rockwell include Baz Luhrmann, Martin Scorsese, Tarantino, John Hughes, and Jeff Goldblum.

The Rockwell is about more than musicians though. The venue hosts DJs, special events, parties, and more. Audience members look on at the 360-degree stage while enjoying the amazing ambiance, atmosphere, and comforting food. Back in the 1940s, the site of the Rockwell was an Italian Pastry Shop (Sarno Pastry Shop). Today, Chef Wayne directs the kitchen as well as Crumble Catering.

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Lunch, brunch, dinner, happy hour — you name it — you can enjoy it at the Rockwell. Diners partake of filet mignon tacos, sesame seed crusted Atlantic salmon, crab cakes with saffron aioli and watermelon radish, espresso rub pork chop, grilled cheese with Havarti cheese, truffle butter, and tomato bisque, to mention a few of the items on the current menu. On the menu, you’ll also find an array of flatbreads, salads, and burgers. Don’t forget to try some of the craft cocktails designed and served at the Rockwell, like the Alhambra (grapefruit vodka, elderflower, and jalapeno soda) or the the Rejected Suitor (honey scotch, blackberries, mint, and cointreau). The bottomless mimosas at Brunch are another popular item.

Where:

1714 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

When:

-Performances typically begin 8pm-9pm

-Open from 11am-12pm on Sundays through Thursdays and 11am to 2am Fridays through Saturdays

-The restaurant does take reservations

-They deliver!

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Why:

Enjoy the beautiful atmosphere, fun performances, and delicious dishes at the Rockwell. There’s nowhere else you’ll have the unique experience of rocking out to your favorite tunes while enjoying amazing, Californian cuisine.

Los Feliz is a neighborhood in central Los Angeles, just south of the Santa Monica Mountains. Homeowners enjoy close proximity to downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Silverlake in Los Feliz. Los Feliz — named after Jose Vincente Feliz —  is known for its hilly landscape, celebrity homes, and shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Other entertainment venues in Los Feliz:

-Greek Theatre

-Vista Theater

-The Dresden Room

Real Estate Unlimited is a luxury real estate agency with a team of professionals that are excited to assist buyers and sellers in Los Feliz and the other surrounding neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Feel free to contact us with questions about Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Elysian Park, Echo Park, and more.

Greek Theatre (Los Feliz)

Music-lovers, get ready for the September lineup at the Greek Theatre in Los Feliz, including Mary J. Blige, Classic Quadrophenia, Future Islands, Nickelback, Harry Styles, Kenny G, Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls, George Benson, Switchfoot, and Explosions in the Sky. Located at 2700 North Vermont Avenue, the Greek Theatre of Los Angeles is one of the most beloved outdoor theatres of the nation.

The architect Samuel Tilden Norton designed the original plans for the Greek Theatre, which seats up to 5,870 viewers. This September marks the 87th-year-anniversary of the music and event venue. The theatre’s tagline, “To Play, See and Be Among the Stars” expresses the wondrous experience waiting to be had there.

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Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Greek_Theater_2007.JPG

Colonel Griffith J. Griffith was a journalist and a gold mining expert who purchased Los Feliz Rancho, started an ostrich farm, and later donated 3,000 acres of land to the city of Los Angeles. Griffith specifically stated that the land was meant for a city park and “made a place of recreation and rest for the masses, a resort for the rank and file, for the plain people.” The land became what is now known as Griffith Park. In addition to donating the park land, Griffith also allocated funds (up to one-million dollars) for the construction of the Greek Theatre, as well as the Griffith Observatory. While in or near Griffith Park, be sure to visit the Autry National Center, the heritage tree, the Hollywood Sign, Travel Town Museum, Bronson Canyon, the picnic areas, and the hiking trails. You’ll also find a merry-go-round, baseball fields, soccer fields, and the Griffith Park Zoo.

The Ancient Greeks gathered around outdoor theatres to view the dramas and tragedies of their day. In 1931, the first performance in the venue was held for an audience. Fifty years later, the seating was renovated to fit a larger crowd. Now, famous entertainers, musicians, and comedians perform at the Greek Theatre in Los Feliz. Bruce Springsteen, Sir Elton John, and Frank Sinatra are a few of the legends to play there. The venue has also been used over the years for motion picture filming, high school graduations, and other public events.

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Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/thegreektheatre/photos/?ref=page_internal

Thinking about visiting the Greek Theatre? The theatre offers off-site parking for visitors and the Pony Ride Train shuttles patrons to the venue. You can also purchase food and drink on site. Enjoy music and fun at the Greek!

About Los Feliz

Los Feliz is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles near Hollywood, the Santa Monica Mountains, Silver Lake, and the Los Angeles River. Los Feliz was once a part of Rancho Los Feliz. Today, Los Feliz Hills, Los Feliz Estates, Los Feliz Square, and more are communities in the neighborhood.

Other historic destinations in Los Angeles include:

-Griffith Park

-Getty Center

-Ennis House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

-Hollyhock House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

-Santa Monica Pier

-Sunset Boulevard

Real Estate Unlimited is a real estate company in Southern California that specializes in luxury real estate in Los Angeles. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge of the area and with placing our clients in the best-fitting homes. Feel free to contact us with questions regarding real estate in Los Feliz and other neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Griffith Park (Los Feliz)

Need some time away from the city? Head over to Griffith Park in Los Feliz, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Owned by the city, this recreational land is enjoyed by Californians who escape there to go swimming, play golf, picnic, rent bicycles, camp, ride horses, and hike the trails. Known as the “Central Park of Los Angeles,” Griffith Park is home to the Heritage Tree, the Autry National Center, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Travel Town Museum, and the Friendship Auditorium. Read on to learn more.

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Hollywood Sign

Photo Credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5251/5498644878_4a22f69e99_b.jpg

Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, originally from Wales, traveled to America during the 19th century. With the wealth he accumulated through gold mines, he purchased land in Los Angeles known as Rancho Los Feliz that would become the Griffith Park. After purchasing the land, he started an ostrich farm. Later, Griffith donated the park to the city of Los Angeles for the purpose of serving as a city park that would provide “recreation and rest for the masses” (website).

As time went on, the park continued to expand, including the addition of 100 acres named after Cahuenga Peak. Today, the park covers five-square miles (4,310 acres). When you visit Griffith Park, be sure to include all of the sites in your visit.

-Greek Theatre (funded by Griffith)

-Griffith Observatory (funded by Griffith)

-Friendship Auditorium

-Los Angeles River

-Los Angeles Zoo

-Heritage Tree

-Feliz Adobe

-Travel Town Museum

-Autry National Center

-Hollywood Sign

-Visitors Center Auditorium

-site of the Griffith Park Zoo (now serves as a picnic area)

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Autry National Center

Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4f/Entrance_to_the_Autry_National_Center%2C_Griffith_Park%2C_CA_DSCN0091.JPG/1280px-Entrance_to_the_Autry_National_Center%2C_Griffith_Park%2C_CA_DSCN0091.JPG

Dogs are welcome on leashes and cyclists enjoy specific trails. Griffith Park is the perfect family destination for barbecues, birthday parties, cultural events, tennis, soccer, and baseball . Located at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive from 5 am to 10:30 pm.

You may recognize Griffith Park as the background scenery in Hollywood productions. It has been used as a filming location for the music video “Gun and Horses” (by Ellie Goulding), Criminal Minds, The Closer, “If I Had You” music video (by Adam Lambert), Full House, and the feature films Birth of a Nation (directed by D.W. Griffith in 1915), Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future and its sequel, and La La Land.

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Griffith Observatory

Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Griffith_Observatory.jpg

About Los Feliz: Los Feliz is a historic neighborhood in Los Angeles and is bordered by the Santa Monica Mountains, the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood Sign, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village. Los Feliz developed from a portion of what was previously the Rancho Los Feliz land grant. Eventually, the land grant became the neighborhoods of Los Feliz and Silver Lake. Today, 35,000 residents call Los Feliz home.

Other destinations in Los Feliz include:

-Barnsdall Art Park

-Los Feliz Heights Steps

-first Walt Disney Animation Studio.Walt Disney first drew Mickey Mouse in his uncle’s garage,

-Vista Theater

-Lovell Health House by Richard Neutra,

-Hollyhock House

-Franklin Avenue Bridge (also known as the Shakespeare Bridge)

Real Estate Unlimited is a real estate agency with a team of professionals dedicated to educating clients about the neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and shopping in Los Angeles. Whether you are buying or selling, feel free to contact us today about Los Feliz and/or other neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Barnsdall Art Park (Los Feliz)

Where can you enjoy beautiful views, visit art exhibits featuring Los Angeles artists and creators, and view architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright? If you haven’t been there, you definitely need to take a day to check out the Barnsdall Art Park in Los Feliz (near the Vista Theatre in Los Feliz).

The Barnsdall Art Park was the creation and home of Aline Barnsdall. Barnsdall was an experimental theatre director with wealth from the oil industry. In Chicago, she met the world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Once she experienced sunny Los Angeles, she decided to commission an experimental theater and arts community on Olive Hill. The community included the Barnsdall Residence (Hollyhock House) as well as two smaller buildings.

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Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Barnsdall_Park_sign_Hollywood_Blvd._2015-05-10.jpg

Ultimately, Barnsdall decided to gift the park to the city. Located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd in East Hollywood, the park overlooks Hollywood from the top of Olive Hill and covers 36 acres of Southern California land. This Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument near Hollywood and Vermont is bordered by the Hollywood Hills, Thai Town, Little Armenia, and Griffith Park. Barnsdall Art Park is known for its educational art programs, dedication to exhibiting contemporary and multicultural artwork of Los Angeles, and its beautiful views of the Los Angeles landscape and cityscape.

At Barnsdall Art Park, you will find and enjoy the following sites and experiences:

Barnsdall Gallery Theatre

This theatre venue seats 299 and hosts the Independent Shakespeare Company, the Artwallah Dance, the Thai Festival, and the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. Visit the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre to see dance performance, films, lectures, and special events. It is also available to rent for events like wedding and photo locations.

Junior Arts Center Gallery

More than eight-thousand children (in both local and outreach programs) are exposed to art through the Junior Arts Center Gallery. Three-years-old to eighteen-years-old can enjoy art classes for both children and their parents at the center. At the Junior Arts Center Gallery, you have the unique opportunity to view the students’ exhibits, where the diverse artwork of children is displayed and celebrated.

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Exterior of Hollyhock House

Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7e/Hollyhock_House_exterior_%28color%29.jpg/1024px-Hollyhock_House_exterior_%28color%29.jpg

Hollyhock House

This National Historic Landmark, also known as the Aline Barnsdall Residence, has been restored and preserved over the years. At the Hollyhock House, you will find images of hollyhocks mixed into the decor and the architecture. If you love historic homes, do not miss the chance to tour the house. It was designed by Wright in 1919, and Wright’s son Lloyd and Wright’s assistant Rudolph Schindler. The home housed the meetings of the California Art Club when it was first donated to the city by Barnsdall. Wright’s work on the Hollyhock House features the Mayan Revival style, a central courtyard surrounded by roof terraces, art glass windows, an entertainment room, and a built-in moat that empties into a fountain. Wright also designed two smaller homes that are today used for artists in residency.

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Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Hollyhock_House_pool.JPG

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery

Managed by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery features artwork from local and international artists. The gallery focuses on the cultural diversity of the city and the state. Every year, the space hosts the exhibit for the DCA’s City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowships. The 10,000-square-foot large gallery displays nine exhibits every year to share the contemporary work in California. The gallery also includes space large enough for installations, performance art, and sculpture. Other medias shown at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery include video, photography, electronic art, architecture, and paintings.

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Photo Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/4800_Hollywood.JPG/1280px-4800_Hollywood.JPG

The upcoming exhibition Condemned to Be Modern, curated by Clara Kim, features pieces that explore and inspire discussion about Modernist architecture in Latin America. You can check it out between September 10th and January 28th.

To visit Barnsdall Art Park, you can get off on the Sunset and Vermont Metro Red Line stop. We hope you have a unique experience and learn something new about the landscape, architecture, and culture of Los Angeles.

About Los Feliz

You have more than likely heard of Walt Disney and Disneyland in Southern California, but you may not know that he first drew Mickey Mouse in his uncle’s garage in Los Feliz. Los Feliz is a neighborhood in central Los Angeles and is the home of approximately 35,500 Californians. Disney isn’t the only celebrity to work and live in Los Feliz; it has also been home to Brad Pitt, Beck, Adam Levine, Geena Davis, Val Kilmer, Katherine Heigl, Spike Jonze, Jenji Kohan, James Cameron, and more beloved Hollywood celebrities.

Los Feliz spans two-and-half acres, but it wasn’t always home to Hollywood’s artists and actors. It was originally a part of the Rancho Los Feliz Land Grant that was passed on to Corporal Jose Vicente Feliz. The grant eventually became what is known today as Los Feliz and Silver Lake. The adobe home built by Feliz’s family is still standing and available to visit in Griffith Park.

Los Feliz is known for its excellent shopping, vintage shopping, dining, and nightlife. The neighborhood is bordered by Hollywood, Silver Lake, the Santa Monica Mountains, Griffith Park, and the Los Angeles River. To get a sense of the area, visit Los Feliz Hills, Laughlin Park, Los Feliz Estates, Los Feliz Knolls, Los Feliz Square, and Franklin Hills.

If the Hollyhock House and the creations of Frank Lloyd Wright draw you to the area, then you have to stop by the Ennis House and the Sowden House. Other historic sites to visit in Los Feliz include the Feliz Adobe in Griffith Park, the Lovell health House by Richard Neutra, the Franklin Avenue Bridge (also known as the Shakespeare Bridge), and the first Walt Disney Animation Studio.

Enjoy your time in Los Feliz!

Real Estate Unlimited is a real estate agency that specializes in luxury real estate in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas of Southern California. We have been assisting clients with buying, selling, and researching homes since 1980. Contact us today, and our team will be happy to assist you with finding a home in Los Feliz.