Silver Lake. So named for that shimmering lake-like reservoir (well … till they drained it) and Water Board Commissioner, Mr Herman Silver, who helped fashion it.
Silver Lake lays claim to Walt Disney’s first major studio (now Gelson’s), the famous Laurel and Hardy Music Box stairs and if you travel back in time, LA’s gay leather 1970s subculture. Bottom line is, if anyone can pull off assless chaps, you’ll probably find them in Silver Lake. For our more tasteful readers, there’s also plenty of modern architecture to ogle, like John Lautner’s Silvertop and Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House.
Whether you tag your LAMILL latte in Silver Lake or Silverlake, one thing’s certain: This neighborhood has everything you could ever need. So, where to begin?
Meet Jessica Rosen of One Down Dog yoga, Dana Hollister from Cliff's Edge restaurant and Laura and Jason O’Dell of Bucks & Does boutique. They’re here to give you the lowdown on the best of Silver Lake:
Jessica Rosen - Founder, One Down Dog
Crowned as one of LA’s best yoga
studios, and with such a crazed following they had to open a second location in Eagle Rock, One Down Dog
(ODD) is the lifelong dream of yogi Jessica Rosen. The young entrepreneur refused to be told it couldn’t be done and worked her ‘asana’ off to prove the naysayers wrong.
“I don’t have any partners, debt, or people to answer to,” she says of doing it her way.
ODD offers classes like tribal-infused BUTI, sweat, restore, sculpt and even moms 'n bubs, alongside massage, life coaching and energy therapy as part of the whole body ethos.
Here’s where Jessica likes to 'flow' around Silver Lake:
Jessica Rosen: Beyond the, awesome, kick ass, feel-good yoga classes, One Down Dog offers a space to connect with the Silver Lake community and take the yoga off the mat. Come get down!
JR: The best tea selection and décor. Winter Sprout is my personal fav.
Stark Waxing Studio
JR: Waxing, jewelry and gifts. Pro tip: pick up a Silverlake scented Stark candle, so good.
JR: My go to place for gifts and goodies. They have an amazing candle selection, great gifts for babies and anyone else on your list.
Silver Lake Ramen
JR: I love Ramen and have tried a lot in my day. This place is by far my favorite. Not only is their ramen fantastic, they also have the yummiest salad, sushi, bowls and other sides. This place is worth the wait…and there’s always a wait.
JR: Great food, fun people, good vibes. Try the chicken tomatillo salad and get an order of their fries—the best!
Shinola Silver Lake Store
JR: I’m originally from metro Detroit, so you know I’ve gotta rep Shinola. If you’re in the market for a new watch, get a Shinola. Also, check out their bags, notebooks, dog collars and candles. I really like candles.
Mixto Comida Latina
JR: If you haven’t had Mixto, you haven’t lived. Get there fast and order everything.
Sopressata Silver Lake
JR: No joke, this place has the best sandwiches … and salads too. Recently discovered this place and can’t stop ordering there.
Sopressata Sandwiches. Image courtesy of @woodibly
Silver Lake Meadow
JR: Despite the lack of water in the reservoir, this remains my favorite neighborhood hang. Talk a walk around the reservoir, hang at the meadow, bring your dogs to the dog park or kids to the play ground… basically there is fun to be had for everyone.
Dana Hollister - Co-Owner, Cliff’s Edge
Co-owned by Dana Hollister,
Keith Greco and Pierre Casanova, and perhaps the neighborhood’s most romantic restaurant where you expect fairies and sprites to fly out of that giant centerpiece tree, Cliff’s Edge
is a 12-year-old institution and home to one of LA’s best patios.
That said, Dana Hollister is no stranger to unique hotspots in LA. With the ultra- moody Villains Tavern and One Eyed Gypsy
(now Osso DTLA
, also co-owned by Dana) in her repertoire she certainly has a fierce eye for style
. Silver Lake visionaries Jason Koharik
(and his repurposed lighting fixtures) and sculptor Lika Moore
are some of her favorites.
“Lika’s utterly original forms and shapes are stunning and her lighting designs make me want to weep they’re so beautiful,” says Dana.
Here’s where you’ll find the restaurant and bar maven:
Cliff's Edge Cafe. Image courtesy of Cliff's Edge
Dana Hollister: Needless to say. I’m very proud of what we’ve built at Cliff’s Edge. Beautiful setting and food, award winning wine list, and superb cocktails. It still feels special to me, even after twelve years!
Duck, eggplant, harissa, & blackberries. Image courtesy of @cliffsedge
DH: Everything exotic for your drinking pleasure. Joe Keeper curates fantastic collections of vintage glassware and bar tools, and a superb selection of spirits for the home bar.
DH: Speranza feels like Milan ...
DH: The place I go for personal retail therapy. Owner Melissa Lovoy has a great eye and unwaveringly good taste, whether it’s a skirt or a candle.
DH: Dustin Lancaster’s (Covell, L & E Oyster) yummy Mexican mayhem. It says everything when I’ll cross the street from my own restaurant to eat.
Mohawk General Store
DH: The best of the best —Dries Van Noten on the Eastside
Golden Saddle Cyclery
DH: Coolest bike shop with the nicest people.
Pop-ups at 1629 Griffith Park Blvd
DH: Currently showcasing decadent offerings from Bountiful and Siglo Moderno.Two of the best taste-makers, Sue Balmforth and Jorge Cruzata, in temporary digs in the church on the corner of Griffith Park Blvd and Lucile Avenue. By appointment only.
Clementine Floral Works
DH: It’s like walking into a Victorian fairy painting.
DH: I’ve been sitting at those counter stools since 1985 when I got here.
Lift Silverlake Personal Training
DH: I swear I’m gonna join ...
DH: It’s worth stepping outside the boundaries of Silver Lake just a little and into Atwater to eat at Dune. Really delicious Middle Eastern inspired sandwiches and salads.
DH: Great style ...an interesting collection.
Laura and Jason O’Dell - Owners, Bucks & Does
When Laura and Jason started a side project some 15 years back, they never considered they might become one of LA Mag’s “Best Clothing Shops in LA” nor that they’d get the chance to open their own store in their dream location—Sunset Junction.
Their pride and joy is their label, The ODells,
which is now stocked all over the country— even at Anthropologie. And through this brand, their hood of 14 years has remained center stage. Last year they created four fabrics from photos of their favorite spots. There’s the shade balls of the Silver Lake Reservoir
, a basket of limes from Casbah Cafe,
florals from local flower shop Clementine Floral Works
and the blue-tiled flooring of the buzzing Intelligentsia
What else feeds their creative vision? Read on:
Jason and Laura O’Dell. Image courtesy of The O’Dells.
Bucks & Does
Laura: Our Store! It’s no surprise that we do most of our shopping at our own store. We’re both very casual dressers and I’m always snagging myself a pair of new Mother jeans from the store or scoring some amazing new swimwear.
The Odells ‘Intelligentsia’ print. Image courtesy of @bucksanddoes
Laura: I love their mix of niche apothecary and incense selections. I always find something really unique when I go there and I can’t stop in without buying something.
L & E Oyster Bar
Jason: We go here all the time. It’s so close to our house and the upstairs bar is quaint and cozy. The food is crazy good too.
Jason: I’m a coffee snob and love going there for a regular caffeine fix. We love their breakfast menu too and our kids are obsessed with the mini donuts dusted in powdered sugar.
Laura: Whenever I want to get the kids a special outfit I head over to Sweet William. It’s a few blocks down the street from Bucks and Does and I love their well curated selection of boys and girls clothes that are not overly cutesy.
Laura: This new vegan restaurant opened walking distance from our house and it’s SO good. We are not 100% vegan but love incorporating a lot of vegan meals into our daily meals. Their house-made Kombucha is also amazing and the key-lime cheesecake is my favorite thing on earth.
Broome Street General Store
Laura: It’s just 3 doors down from our daughter’s Preschool and right across the street from our son’s elementary school. We love getting a latte and croissant in the morning after school drop off and we love their selection of yummy packaged foods and well-stocked assortment of beauty products like my favorite non-toxic nail polish (ten over ten).
Jason: This restaurant is like a hidden gem in Silver Lake. We love taking the kids and sitting out on the patio. Our kids devour the bread and tomato tapenades that they serve before the meal. Their wine selection is also really great.
Cafe Stella/Bar Stella
Laura: I’m not a huge fan of margaritas in general but theirs is INSANE. We also love dining in the restaurant on a date-night.
Silver Lake Meadow
Jason: We’re fortunate enough to live just a block away from the Meadow. It’s a great place to go after dinner in the Summer with the kids to let them run around and fly kites. We always end up running into friends there too which is cool.
Belinda Gosbee is an Aussie writer, actress and coffee snob based in Los Angeles. She can regularly be found pursuing her tempermental zen at One Down Dog. Follow her jaunts on twitter @belindagosbee or instagram @gos22