Los Angeles’ LGBT community has long gravitated toward the ‘gayborhoods’ of West Hollywood and Silver Lake, often due to concerns of safety and those cozy hamlets’ wide range of cultural and nightlife options. But times, they are a-changin’, and our city’s younger set of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Angelenos prefer to pop the proverbial bubble. L.A. is a veritable playground for the adventurous, and options for living a thrill-filled, well-adjusted life can be found throughout the city limits.
It’s the little things that make a neighborhood a home—places like a great café or resto lounge, retailers that know your name, and opportunities to ‘get fit’ outside of a gym. Here are a few points of interest in five neighborhoods outside L.A.’s well-traversed gay bubbles, along with which segments of our city’s LGBT community they’re tailor-made for. These nooks are perfect for perusing on a warm weekend afternoon—or perhaps even setting up shop with the partner and kids.
This new speakeasy-type bar serves cocktails for movie buffs, like the Betty Boop, Audrey Hepburn (Aperol and champagne with cucumber) and the Cagney (with rye, brandied cherries and cabernet). 12223 W. Washington Blvd., behind Fin
Culver City Farmers Market
Every Tuesday from 2 to 7 p.m., rain or shine, this farmers market conveniently extends into the evening hours, unlike most early-bird markets. Easy parking with 200 adjacent spaces, first two hours free. Main Street between Culver and Venice Blvds.
Arcana Books on the Arts
This shop specializes in rare and out-of-print books and holds frequent author events, like the one on June 3 celebrating Tim Nye’s The Astonishing Works of John Alton, about the iconoclastic L.A. artist of the ‘50s and ‘60s, in advance of the Alton retrospective at LACMA (June 8 – Sept. 14). 8675 Washington Blvd.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Take in one of Los Angeles’ most gorgeous vistas while working on your fitness. It’s a 20-minute hike to the top if you take the stairs (work those glutes!) or you can extend your workout by taking the dirt trail. 6300 Hetzler Rd.
Goodwill L.A. Flagship & Outlet Center
It opened mid-May—all 135,000 square feet of it—and the space is soon to open a café, great for a full day of retail therapy. 3150 N. San Fernando Blvd.
Bauer Pottery Showroom
Find seasonal sales on “seconds” (items with minor imperfections), perfect for mid-century aficionados with tight budgets. Next sale dates are June 7 & 8. 3051 Rosslyn St.
This indie boutique is a favorite of menswear stylists and hosts events like flower workshops and heirloom tomato tastings. It’s a masculine shop specializing in everything from fashionable denim to utility knives. 3176 Glendale Blvd.
Texas boys with a hankering for barbecue need look no further than this recently-opened spot that uses cherry, almond and applewood for a deep-smoked down-home flavor and features a sunny outdoor patio for chowing down. Since the previous tenant’s pizza oven is still in use, how ‘bout a smoked brisket pie? 3245 Casitas Avenue
Precinct & Redline
It’s been years since Downtown L.A. has had true gay bar offerings, and 2014 will see the opening of two watering holes aiming for LGBT clientele. Precinct (307 W. 4th St.)—a multi-room space that will host a mix of dance parties and drag shows—opens this summer, while Redline (131 E. 6th St.)—an intimate video bar and lounge—will open its doors this fall.
This L.A. boutique is the brand’s fourth after two in New York and one in Paris. Part of the Broadway Theater District’s recent resurgence, Oak’s monochrome merchandise includes the best and brightest of local and global designers. 910 S. Broadway
Theater at Ace Hotel
A stunning gem of Los Angeles, what was once the United Artists Theater, built in 1927, now offers the varied programing you’d expect from hipster hotel brand The Ace—movie premieres, film fests (like the Sundance Next Fest in August), concerts and everything in between. 929 S. Broadway
Restaurants are popping up all over DTLA, but the fusion style of Chef John Sedlar (named 2011’s Chef of the Year by Esquire) is Southland to the core—”loncheras” global cusine served dim-sum style. 1050 S. Flower St.
Cinema-philes will love this 21st century movie palace luxuriously kitted out with 424 premium leather seats divided among six auditoriums. Featuring seasonally driven noshes and crafted cocktails, there’s even “Premium Plus” pampering with free popcorn, blankets and couch-side service. 10840 Wilshire Blvd.
Clark & Madison
If you’re a travelin’ man, then this emporium filled with luxe weekend bags, Dopp kits and sustainably made globetrotter goods is just the ticket. A pop-up that’s continuing through the summer months, it also features well-crafted tees and polos from L.A. brand Grover that are perfect for packing. 10918 Kinross Ave.
This L.A. museum mainstay features exhibits like the free biennial focusing on local art stars-on-the-rise, Made in L.A 2014 (June 15 – Sept. 7.) Special events are often on tap as well, like a recent fashion conversation between W magazine editor-turned-foodie Kevin West and ever-hip Band of Outsiders designer Scott Sternberg. 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
“Move on down the line” has a Neapolitan flavor at this always-jammed pizzeria where customers build their own pizza as they move through service. Choose from toppings like applewood smoked bacon and Sicilian olive-oil-packed sardines, finishing off with cheese, glorious cheese—gorgonzola, fontina, burrata. Think of 800 Degrees as pizza done Chipotle-style. 10889 Lindbrook Ave.
Food Trucks Outside LACMA
Weekdays between noon and 2 p.m., all your culinary dreams come true, right in front of L.A.’s Museum Row on Wilshire. Grab some grub before hitting up LACMA (which offers free admission to L.A. locals weekdays after 3), one of the city’s most diverse selections of meals on wheels. Wilshire between Ogden and Spaulding.
The park has its fair share of families wandering around the Tar Pits, but you’re also bound to stumble upon Boot Camp L.A. drill instructors Jay and Marcella Kerwin leading recruits in morning and early evening boot camps here. What better setting for a workout than a bubbling death pit for ice age mammmals? 4900 Beverly Blvd.
Say bonjour to La Brea’s newest café, a San Francisco brand now under Starbucks control, opening this month. The counter-service bakery will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will have a wine and beer license. 359 S. La Brea Ave.
This compellingly edited sanctuary of modern design—a collaboration between Brit movie veteran Andy Griffith and hometown fashion journalist Rose Apodaca—is a lofty space that accommodates furnishings on display from museum-worthy lines from around the world, as well as cutting-edge Californians. 171 S. La Brea Ave.
Chef Kazunori Nozawa’s highly simplified take on tradtional sushi is all the rage among foodies at the moment. Order from three menus dubbed Trust Me’s, a new-school take on Omakase-style dining. 101 S. La Brea Ave.