Be Out

  • Silver Lake / Los Feliz
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Silver Lake Day Out

Think Silver Lake is only for electro-disco-indie band members, craft-brew-guzzling picklers, and liberal arts refugees? Well, have we got news for you: what used to be L.A.'s esoteric elitist outpost is now our favorite Eastern hub of activity and a great place to spend a day out -- no handlebar mustache required.

Start by chilling out and then amping back up again. The Raven is a day-spa-plus-yoga-studio where you can double-dip on some "core awakening" yoga and a relaxing massage -- plus, they're a Groupon regular. Then, step next door to Broome Street General Store, where they serve New York's cult-like Gimme Coffee, Cube salads, and Cake Monkey pastries. The Anthropolgie alums also stock an impressive array of housewares, from Weck jars and Japanese ceramics to anchovy paste and Bob's Red Mill grains. If haute cleaning supplies are putting a dent in your paycheck, try the Common Good bulk cleansers stocked here, which are cost-effective and eco-friendly. Options not your thing?  Head over to Sunset Junction and stand in line at the original L.A. location of Intelligentsia Coffee. Just don't be surprised if your soy chai latte order is met with a mega eye roll. You've been warned.

After you're suitably caffeinated, walk up to Flore, the healthful vegan restaurant whose kale tofu scramble has won itself staple status in the neighborhood. Grab a freshly pressed juice next door at Naturewell before forging out again. We love the gingery, sinus-tingling sensations of the Coldbuster, even when we're not the least bit under the weather. Hey, we get our thrills where we can, ok?

On Saturdays, the Silver Lake Farmer's Market hawks a heaping dose of vintage alongside its farm fresh veggies. We've been known to find dirt-cheap gems in early-morning rummages and uncover rare vinyl in the record tent.  Later, do as the locals do -- go to jamming and pickling classes at SQIRL, where you'll learn how to cook up botulism-free jams and jellies in extra-hip flavor combinations like Campari and Cranberry.  Sure, the pricetag might be high, but think of all of the money you'll save in the long run by learning how to preserve your produce! 

For lunch, stop by Silver Lake Wine, where value bottles and takeout from Heirloom LA (lasagna cupcakes!) are the name of the game.  Then, pick up a bag of street fruit, with extra lime and pico de gallo, in front of the Bank of America across the street and take your insta-picnic over to the newly minted Silver Lake Meadow -- a manicured patch of land with a stunning view of the reservoir.

Silver Lake's shopping scene has, of late, seriously evolved, which means finding a deal takes a little more savvy. Take a lap around Mohawk General Store, but don't get too comfortable -- unless they're hosting one of their fantastic sidewalk sales, you'll want to keep sailing by. After, stop by Painted Bird, the second location of the San Francisco vintage favorite, for secondhand clothes that don't have the price tags typical of such a well-curated selection. Then, head over to Silver Lake Boulevard, where OK, Yolk, and Lawson Fenning sell superlative housewares and a decent amount of well-priced gift items. At Lake boutique, we suggest working back to front as their epic sale rack just may be responsible for keeping all the local ladies clad in Isabel Marant and Rag & Bone. Up the street on Micheltorena, fine jeweler Katherine Bentley's lower-priced line Dream Collective has a storefront full of ethereal brass baubles. 

On Mondays, Little Dom's offers a 3-course meal for just $15 as well as red and white wine bottles for $12.  On any other day of the week, you'll want to enjoy dinner at Blossom Vietnamese. Ask for seating downstairs in their moody and modern plywood palace that feels more expensive than the restaurant's actual price point. After, grab a Francophile-friendly drink at the newly-expanded and renovated Cafe Stella or check out a whiskey menu that'll make your head spin at the Thirsty Crow. You may also want to check out up-and-coming bands at free Monday night residencies at The Satellite and Silverlake Lounge.  Then, if your Iced Angeleo (read: 4 espresso shots) from the morning at Intelligentsia is still in your system, wrap up the night dancing at Los Globos. The Latin music club was recently acquired by Spaceland, which means you might stumble upon a super-sweet surprise set from local DJs or a salsa-a-thon you won't soon forget.

written by Zinzi Edmundson

Aug 13, 2012 - 10:49 AM

cheap eats, cheap drinks, cheap activities