La Brea Neighborhood Guide

GLCO Neighborhood Guides

La Brea

Words + Photos: Christine Yoo


Welcome to the heart of Los Angeles. Tucked away in Central LA’s Mid-City West, between Mid-Wilshire & Hancock Park, wait—what? Neighborhoods are hard to keep track of here, it’s true.

To keep things simple, find The Grove on the map (imaginary or GPS, it’s up to you). Now, go a stone’s throw away to the east. There’s La Brea, a more relaxed and cooler version of its flashy neighbor, abounding with one-of-a-kind boutiques and restaurants.

Fashionistas and foodies, rejoice. Come with ample time to pounce on the plethora of bookmark-worthy specialty shops and eateries. There’s much to see, lots to consume. Use this guide to create a game plan for finding the best spots in this trendy neighborhood.

Republique


Pro-tip: avoid the infamous lines by getting lucky when you arrive. Really -- lines will form even before doors open. But fret not, the line should move relatively fast (depending on how hungry you are). Besides, the extensive menu will keep you busy as your party strategizes how to create the most scrumptious table spread.

After the seemingly infinite passage by the case of delectable pastries, you’ll reach the front of the counter, where you can finally place your order. Then it’s time to gaze again, this time at the rustic yet refined courtyard. The brick, the awnings, tile, and iron – what a sight to behold. Welcome to the dining space, where you can create your own fairytale set in a charming European village.

If you’ve made it this far into the journey, congratulations. Enjoy your meal.


Trading Post Gallery


Americana meets Japanese aesthetics with a touch of Parisian flair in this treasure trove. A passion project of French designer Olivier Grasset, Trading Post Gallery is the home of Olivier’s brand, Dr. Collectors. Based and made in LA, each item is hand picked as a love letter to the sunny California city that Olivier and his family have come to adore.

From indigo clothing to vintage housewares, every item in the store is carefully and intentionally chosen based on excellence in craftsmanship, whether the maker is new to the scene or well-known in the design world. With goods (and good finds) carefully dispersed throughout, the attention Grasset dedicates to every inch of the shop is unmistakable. Walk in and enjoy the hunt.


Bluestone Lane


The Starbucks of Australia has landed in La Brea. In lieu of the green and white mermaid, the Aussies bring a star clad in blue and white.

Each Bluestone Lane café presents a bright theme with a design unique to its locality, and this spot is no different. Plants, mint green tiles, and golden chairs add a lively accent to the exposed brick wall and concrete flooring, a salute to La Brea’s industrial days. Complete with the ever so “LA” patio, guests can enjoy some quality sun time. For hot days, wall-sized windows bring in the light but keep the heat at bay.

Bluestone Lane serves open-faced sandwiches aplenty, health bowls featuring seasonal ingredients, and baked dishes in cast iron pans. Grab an Australian-style coffee, or commit to the LA culture with a wellness drink (read: meal-replacement juice), or indulge in a pastry. We won’t tell.


General Quarters


General Quarters began with a mission to curate men’s clothing and accessories with a uniquely Southern California heritage look. This means classic, friendly, and homey, whether we’re looking at a hat or a candle.

While the interior shows off high design IQ, General Quarters doesn’t give off a pretentious vibe at all. There’s no pressure to look a certain way, either. Instead, an inviting atmosphere beckons passersby to browse as they please.

Laidback LA permeates throughout the space. With warm tones and wooden floors, the shop lets you pause time for a moment to take a deep breath, and retail therapy on exhale. Consider yourself warned: the chairs by the fitting room are high danger zone – don’t sit down if you don’t have time to spare, because you’ll want to stay put there for a bit longer than you should.


Reigning Champ


The trendy collaboration partner of Adidas has been on everyone’s radar as of late. Reigning Champ puts a new spin on athletic apparel, making it look clean and elevated. Throw unmatched quality in the mix, and it’s no wonder there’s so much buzz around this brand. Not only do they design and produce their own premium athletic wear, but they’ve also mastered the secret to making comfy look classy. Following the slogan “Respect the details. Master simplicity.” the minimal aesthetics will win over any skeptic.

Whilst not coming into the American limelight until recently, the Canadian brand known for French terry and signature developed fabrics has been around for a while, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2017. Of 5 locations in the world, La Brea hosts the only brick and mortar store in the US.


The Sycamore Kitchen


Freshly squeezed juice, al fresco dining, a sun-drenched patio with exposed brick walls – it doesn’t get more LA than this.

Chef couple Quinn and Karen Hatfield opened The Sycamore Kitchen back in 2012 as their statement on the bakery-eatery experience. Pastries that usually run out by late morning paired with Stumptown coffee are not all; the food menu is worthy of drooling over as well.

From sandwiches on bread baked in-house to salads that make the most dedicated of carnivores doubt, Sycamore Kitchen is the destination for a fresh meal. What can we say? We’re sure glad the Hatfields turned this industrial 1950s print shop into their café.


Kelly Cole


Under the bold neon sign sits the only Kelly Cole store in the world. Dim lighting and dark toned carpeting set the stage for rare vintage items like music tour shirts and leather jackets, along with one-of-a-kind pieces here. Aside from vintage, there’s also items designed for the brand, from Kelly Cole Denim to leather goods and knit items.

All products are proudly made in the USA, with the majority designed and made in LA. While the store can be shopped online, dropping by Kelly Cole in-person has its perks in the form of limited edition gems, in case you need another excuse to hit up our favorite street in the world.

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