Life in Los Angeles

Collage of LA Photographs

LA is the classic driving city, but some parts of that are changing. From the earliest days, LA was planning to be a train or trolley city, but this all changed with the mass takeover of the automobile. Naturally, if you've seen the movie Drive, not everyone is so desperate that they use the mostly concrete LA river banks to navigate the traffic, but here are some tips:

Reverse commute is your best friend

It is significantly easier to travel East and North in the morning, and vice versa in the evening. Crossing freeways is always more challenging than staying within them. Major freeways to consider include the east-west freeways that you’d cross north (the 10, the 110) or south (the 101). The north-south freeways to consider are always the 405, and the 5 to those living on the eastside.

Live where you want to be | Live where is convenient

Though the commute is highly variable, LA is such a neighborhood city. LA has a rich cultural diversity with many neighborhoods known for their regional cuisines. Some of the largest cultural communities outside of their home countries can be found in the City of Angels: Korea, Iran, Thailand, Mexico, and El Salvador. LA often feels like many small towns merged together, with each area having its own unique personality and flavor. Many of our residents live on the westside for convenience and proximity to our hospitals. Choosing a convenient location may be different from other cities that you have lived in. As you see above, the direction of the reverse commute can help you make some of these decisions.

Don’t forget about the growing Metro system

Depending on where you live (see above), you may have immediate access to the Metro stops. There is the blue Expo line that travels along Exposition Blvd from the 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica to Downtown in about 35 minutes, with stops at notable locations like the LAFC (soccer) stadium, Banc of California Stadium, USC, the California Science Museum and the Culver City platform along the way. The unfinished purple line will travel from Brentwood - specifically our VA location’s parking lot - through Westwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, into Downtown.

A bit on the history of the LA Trolley system: 

Here is the current map of the transit system. It is a little stuffy because of the bus system, but you can see where the subway/railway goes.

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LA is one of the rare food and dining cities and is a vast landscape waiting to be explored. There are a few ways to slice up the dining situation, and some useful apps or articles that can give you a framework to explore.

Eater LA

One of the most reliable resources to review restaurants of basically all types. They have the city broken down by neighborhood, cuisine, and even venue specific (like what to eat at Dodger stadium). Notable neighborhoods to explore around UCLA include Westwood, Persian Square, "Little Osaka" or Sawtelle, Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Amazing tacos can be found on nearly every corner (especially at night when the taco trucks appear). We recommend venturing further out to other amazing areas like Koreatown, Little Ethiopia, Boyle Heights, Inglewood, and Little Tokyo. Venturing even further out, San Gabriel Valley and Cerritos boast some of the best East and South Asian food in the country.

People and friends

Word of mouth is extremely helpful in this city, and especially in the era of food drops and mini kitchens via social media. Lots of things bring people to LA, as you’ll see in other sections, but we believe the diversity of food experiences is one of the most commonly beloved parts of LA. Everyone has their local food (usually taco) truck. Everyone has their own local cafe. Everyone should have a deli. If you ask, good things will happen.

Food in the back of other things

Some of LA’s greatest food exists in the back of something else. Hidden in strip malls across the sprawl are precious gems run by lovely people with incredible stories. The Donut Kings, Tehran market’s weekend grill, Dr. Sandwich, Bar Nine, and Venice’s First Friday food truck festival are all stories of highly talented chefs and “producers” who put together something special in an easily overlooked place. Now, these are just some examples, but basically anywhere that looks like your college bar with a line on a weeknight is probably fair game.

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OK, this is not London, New York or Paris; however, where there are fancy people there are fancy things. Yes, there are your usual reliable chains, but with a little extra work you can find good coffee close to you no matter where you are. Similar to the food and dining scene, coffee and tea have interesting stories in LA.

Where do our residents live?

Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood, Los Angeles, Culver City/Palms, Venice Beach, Marina Del Rey, Pasadena Downtown LA, Mar Vista, West LA, Sherman Oaks

Our residents are made up of a mix of native Angelenos as well as out-of-staters. We bring together a diverse background and set of interests, which we hope you’ll ask us about when you come for a visit. 

Los Angeles offers cultural experiences including numerous ethnic neighborhoods, museums, live theatre, along with music and sports venues. Not a weekend will go by without some part of the city waiting to be explored. Los Angeles is also a fantastic location for outdoor activities including surfing, hiking, biking, and just a few hours away is some of the best skiing in California.