Welcome to West Adams
GET TO KNOW WEST ADAMS
West Adams is one of the oldest neighbors in Los Angeles and home to the largest collection of historic homes on the West side of the Mississippi. Today, the neighborhood is designated as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone for its outstanding architectural heritage featuring one of the largest collections of historic houses and small mansions in the west. Some of the many architectural styles present in West Adams include Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Neoclassical.
Historic West Adams stretches from Figueroa to Crenshaw. But amongst that area are individual neighborhoods that also have different names. There's University Park, Harvard Heights, West Adams, Arlington Heights, Jefferson Park and Adams-Normadie district—all of these are parts of the West Adams district. They each maintain their own individuality of local block clubs and neighborhood associations, but it's all West Adams. Each neighborhood is also defined by the architecture. The Jefferson Park area is almost exclusively single-story Craftsman bungalows, whereas the other neighborhoods take on different architectural characteristics depending on the decade that area was settled. University Park close to Figueroa has not only the Victorians around USC and on Hoover Boulevard, but also the mansions of St. James Square and Chester Place.
For the purpose of this neighborhood guide, we are speaking about the area of West Adams, which I’d consider to be between Crenshaw and Hauser to the east and west and Adams and Jefferson to the north and south. Or, when I’m describing it to people, I say, “Just east of Culver City.”
As you drive down West Adams Boulevard past Culver City, you may notice signs of a neighborhood undergoing change. There may be older liquor stores, empty lots, and scars from the 1992 LA Riots. However, upon closer examination, you may also see a trendy boutique hotel, a pasta bar, and modern apartment buildings under construction. These new developments suggest that the neighborhood is evolving and undergoing transformation.
West Adams is extremely diverse and has an incredible sense of community. There is a very strong family and homeowner contingent here.
Living History Tour at the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery at the corner of Normandie and Washington Boulevard. It's one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles.
Diverse, tight-knit, supportive, neighbors helping neighbors
MY FAVORITE PLACES TO GO, FOOD TO EAT, THINGS TO DO
- Johnny’s West Adams: Reinvented old-school hot dog stand doling out pastrami sandwiches, hot dogs & burgers.
- Alta: Keith Corbin’s reimagined soul food restaurant.
- Farmhouse Kitchen Thai: A Thai New Generation restaurant focusing on bringing you adventurous, bold flavors of traditional and non-traditional dishes using the freshest local ingredients. Beautiful outdoor patio.
- Bee Taqueria: A Michelin guide restaurant. Casual taqueria whose creative style arrives courtesy of the talented Chef Alex Carrasco (of Scratch Bar and Osteria Mozza).
- Mian: Chinese restaurant with a focus on Sichuan-style noodles.
- Tartine: Breads baked and elegant pastries made using a wood fired brick oven and using many techniques learned abroad.
- Cento: The West Adams wine and pasta bar is where such simple pleasures occur nightly, but it’s also home to more than just the usual neighborhood comforts.
- Highly Likely: An all-day cafe perfect for meeting friends, getting work done or grabbing a quick bite amidst a vibe. Highly Likely serves dishes like a Japanese breakfast bowl stacked with pickled vegetables, a gem lettuce and halloumi plate, and a fish finger-stuffed sandwich that’s the best thing here. More than half the menu can be made gluten-free or vegan, the coffee is good, and they’re not going to mind if you take over a table and turn it into your office for the day.
- n/soto: Soto” means outside in Japanese. n/soto was born during a pandemic. Excellent, high-end izakaya in Mid-City (just north of West Adams) run by the N/Naka team. N/Soto is a study in contrasts, all at once intimate and relaxing, but also boisterous and fun, too. The innovative menu of izakaya-inspired Japanese cuisine is meant to be shared, so bring a crew.
- Mizlala: Moroccan fried chicken, shawarma & other Middle Eastern dishes in a relaxed outdoor patio.
- Vicky’s: Vicky’s is a California Brasserie keenly focused on serving up locally-sourced modern Mediterranean comfort food fused with West Coast classics
- Mel’s Fish Shack:
- Taqueria Los Anaya: Counter-serve Mexican spot offering a menu of traditional eats from morning to night in casual digs.
- Open Face Sandwich Shop: Modern Danish sandwich shop.
- HomeState is a Texas Kitchen in Southern California sharing breakfast tacos, queso, brisket, house-made flour tortillas, margaritas and genuine hospitality. They briefly opened, then shut their doors to use the space as a commissary. Hoping they reopen to the public soon!
- Mandrake: Casual hangout with spartan decor & a large patio for drinks, live DJs & an artsy crowd in the arts district of Culver, just west of West Adams.
- The Bar at Johnny’s: The best bar in the neighborhood. Great ambiance, killer drinks.
- Party Beer Co.: 15+ local vendors, plus beer, games, music, giveaways + more on the PBC patio. New rotating vendors every week!
- Highly Likely: An all-day cafe and coffee shop perfect for meeting friends, getting work done or grabbing a quick bite amidst a vibe.
- Palm Grove Social: A cafè, gallery, & event space in Mid-City celebrating coffee, art, music, and books.
- City Bean Roasters (Retail Shop and Wholesale): City Bean Coffee Roasters is a Los Angeles based wholesale coffee roaster and tea supplier.
CENTRALITY & TRANSPORTATION
- Extremely central to everywhere in Los Angeles.
- Right off the 10 Freeway.
- Expo Train Line
- Very walkable to everything within the West Adams area.
THE REAL ESTATE MARKET
- Montessori Academy Of West Adams (Pre-School)
- Stella Middle Charter Academy
- Marvin Elementary School
- Cienega Elementary School
- Cleophas Oliver Learning Academy
- Virginia Road Elementary School
- Full Circle Learning Academy
- Crown Preparatory Academy
- Schools in this neighborhood are ranked relatively low. I recommend that you research and compare several different charter schools in the Los Angeles area to determine which one might be the best fit for your child. You may also want to consider consulting with educators, school administrators, and other experts to get more information and advice.
- A consideration would be to evaluate nearby highly ranked charter schools.
- 2023 Best Charter Elementary Schools in the Los Angeles Area
- Some things to consider when evaluating charter schools in Los Angeles:
- Curriculum and teaching methods: What approach does the school take to teaching and learning, and how does it align with your educational goals for your child?
- Student outcomes: How do students at the school perform on standardized tests and other measures of academic achievement?
- Parent and student satisfaction: What do parents and students who have attended the school have to say about their experience?
- School culture and community: How does the school promote a positive and inclusive learning environment?