610 Levering Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Living in Westwood.
Home to UCLA, Westwood lies on the Westside among many of Los Angeles’ premiere neighborhoods. Straddling Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood and Century City, multimillion dollar homes populate the periphery while students pay a premium to rent near campus. The area located directly south of the university, referred to as the “Village,” features blocks of restaurants and businesses catering to both students and a large white-collar workforce. Many prominent corporations and law offices reside along Wilshire Boulevard, one of the busiest east-west transit corridors across the city. Conveniently bordered by the 405 Freeway, residents live only 6 miles east of Santa Monica Beach and 12 miles west of Downtown LA.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Limited by some of the strictest late-night regulations in the city, Westwood still has a vibrant collection of restaurants and bars catering to young and old. Palomino is a popular upscale restaurant that attracts many suits after work with its considerable lounge and happy hour. You'll find many guests sipping $5.95 cocktails and taking advantage of the complimentary tomato basil bruschetta for dinner. Sepi's is the only establishment serving pitchers in the village, making it popular among students. Flooded with a number of flat screens dedicated to sports, pitchers of Coors Light go for about $10 later in the night. 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria invented the idea of quickly cooked gourmet pizzas. Margherita pizzas start around $7, with a charge per topping. The signature pies are better values, such as the Carni covered with salsiccia, pepperoni, meatballs and rosemary ham for about $11. On every night of the week, lines form out the door of Diddy Riese. One of the best values anywhere, you can get three cookies for around $1 and an ice cream sandwich for approximately $2. If you prefer a more energetic dive bar atmosphere, head over to O'Hara's on Gayley Avenue. Drop in on Tuesdays and Thursdays for pint nights, or celebrate hump day with a special deal on one of O'Hara's signature cocktails.
History & Culture
Westwood remained primarily as grassland until the 1920s when the Janss family began developing the property. Their plan started to pay off as UCLA searched for a new site for its outgrowing Vermont campus. The Janss’ arranged a private tour of prospective locations across the region for the UC Regents. Their plan paid off, as buyers found the lure of Westwood's perfect year-round weather irresistible. The neighborhood quickly took form and still holds the same character today. It was a focal point for a vibrant street scene until a 1988 gang shooting spawned curfews and restrictions aimed at controlling the college-age population. These actions hurt businesses, and the neighborhood hasn’t fully recovered today. Because of the transient daily population, Westwood doesn't hold any annual festivals, though UCLA holds a number of events, museums and art shows on campus.
Because Westwood attracts a large population of students and workforce during the day, traffic constantly occupies the streets. Conversely, finding available and inexpensive parking will be impossible. Paying for a $12 day pass on the campus lots costs less than what you find in the Village, but they fill up fast. The lot on Broxton Ave. features 2-hour hour free parking, but only for a limited time in the evening. You'll find many cyclists despite few bike lanes, mostly due to traffic and high cost of parking. With these limitations, buses play a large role for commuters. Metro, Culver CityBus and a number of agencies serve the Westwood area, but Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus ranks as one of the best in the nation and only costs a dollar. UCLA also provides a free shuttle from the Village up to campus. Many travelers take advantage of the Flyaway bus with direct access to LAX for $10. The younger crowd utilize scooters and bicycles as a preferred way to get around. Zipcar has locations around the neighborhood, and you can easily find a ride from Uber or Lyft, as many students drive to support themselves. Cabs station themselves near the Hammer Museum and the W Hotel.
If you’re one of the few wanting to call Westwood home, then you’ll have to pay for it. Many students defer the cost by sharing a bedroom, a practice they learned from dorm life, or looking for cheaper apartments south of Wilshire. Also, not every unit has its own parking, so you can expect to pay upward of $100 a month for your car. With a scarcity of gas stations, expect to pay $.20 per gallon more than the Los Angeles average. Most use Metro to get across the region with a $1.75 fare that includes all transfers within a 2-hour period. ё
Since Westwood doesn't attract a casual crowd, you'll scarcely find high-end shopping opportunities; many residents look elsewhere to buy goods, such as the area south of Wilshire, which provides more value and parking. Here, you'll find a wider range of goods and services, including Westwood Music, Boulevard Hardware and many ethnic markets. One of the more unique boutiques, Flax Pen to Paper carries a wide variety of stationery products perfect for scrapbooking or detailed art projects. Judy’s Pet Depot helps find rescue animals their forever homes. The store sells quality pet food and other supplies for all sorts of animals as well as providing grooming, a vet clinic and dog training classes. The store features natural and holistic brands of pet foods including fresh, frozen and raw pet diets. Target provides many conveniences at affordable prices and validated parking. Ralphs grocery store sits above, providing groceries at a modest cost. Located on Gayley Avenue, a small Whole Foods Market serves as the place to get specialty items, but shoppers on a budget head to the Trader Joe's instead. The Westwood Village Farmers' Market closes off Broxton on Thursdays, pulling patrons from both campus and the skyscrapers.
Westwood contains little open space, since real estate values are high. The Westwood Recreation center just south of the Federal Building attracts many locals that aren’t students. It features tennis courts, basketball and an indoor pool with plenty of lanes. Most features come at a cost, with a pick-and-choose amenities pricing scale. You’ll find many people in the neighborhood heading up to campus with nearly every activity represented, from archery to diving and golf. Joggers will head to Drake Stadium to run laps or take the undulating 5-mile loop that encircles campus. The Armand Hammer/Holmby Hills Park looks like a typical park, but it contains an 18-hole pitch and putt golf course, costing only $4 to play on weekends. The park also plays home to the Holmby Park Lawn Bowling Club, the only such club in the city of Los Angeles. Leashed dogs and kids alike enjoy this sprawling recreation area. An enclave off the busy streets hides the tranquil courtyard at the Hammer Museum. The lunchtime crowd will bring their meals along to enjoy the quiet surroundings and free admission into its fine art galleries.
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610 Levering Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024