Dating in Los Angeles comes with its own set of problems. One of those problems is how spread out the city is. Each section of the city comes with its own style, attitude, and unofficial set of rules. Here’s what it’s like to date in different sections of this beautiful city of Los Angeles, based on the places I’ve lived.
DATING IN THE VALLEY
Dating in The Valley, is like, totally awesome, you guys. Or it can be, at least. Everything is pretty close to each other in The Valley, and pretty much every place you’re gonna go is gonna be on Ventura, but don’t be fooled — Ventura is one long-ass boulevard. People give The Valley a lot of crap (see Clueless) but really, it’s not all so bad, and it’s gotten cleaned up a lot. I find that people are chiller in The Valley as opposed to say, West Hollywood. There’s less hustle and bustle, unless you’re in Studio City, which is where most of the Hollywood-esque stuff is.
You’ll find your fair share of actors and musicians in The Valley, but you’re more likely to find people who aren’t as industry-oriented. That can be a good thing. A very good thing.
FAVORITE DATING SPOTS: I love Aroma Bakery Cafe in Encino, Laurel Tavern and Firefly in Studio City (though Firefly is an older crowd), and Midori in Encino, Studio City, and Sherman Oaks for the best all-you-can-eat sushi EVER.
DATING ON THE WESTSIDE
The Westside includes Bel Air, WeHo (West Hollywood), Westwood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, and so forth. This is where you’re bound to find more industry-related folk. Dating on the Westside is really annoying, because you’re going to have to do a lot of driving, often through windy, narrow roads.
There’s a lot of actors, agents, and such here, but also more finance-oriented guys. And college students, especially if you’re in the Westwood area, which is UCLA territory, as far as I’m concerned, and which I try to avoid.
FAVORITE DATING SPOTS: Check out Tavern in Brentwood for some amazingly delicious eats. My old haunt is the Beverly Glen Circle in Bel Air where you can find restaurants like Charlie’s Pantry for great brunch and Vibrato for hot jazz and killer food.
DATING IN LOS FELIZ/SILVER LAKE/ECHO PARK
I grouped all of these together as they’re pretty much a package deal. If you date exclusively in Los Feliz, particularly in Los Feliz village, you’re gonna have a good time, because you can pretty much walk anywhere (same with Silver Lake). If you’re dating from Los Feliz to say, Echo Park, an Uber or Lyft isn’t a bad way to go. Parking is diabolical in these areas, and most of dating in LA unfortunately involves your transportation and your parking situation. The thing about Los Angeles is that its public transportation is sorely lacking. I loved living in Los Feliz because of its awesome walkability factor.
That aside, you’re gonna find a lot more musicians in these enclaves than in other sections of Los Angeles. More artists, too. And yes, this is hipster central, so be prepared.
FAVORITE DATING SPOTS: For Los Feliz: my favorite bar is Ye Rustic Inn — karaoke night is Tuesday night and trivia is Sunday night. I also love Good Luck Bar for tiki-themed drinks, and I firmly believe that Figaro Bistrot has the best happy hour in town. For Silver Lake, you MUST go to Edendale, a former firehouse turned restaurant/bar. And for Echo Park, the wine bar El Prado is the classic first date place.
DATING IN HOLLYWOOD
Dating in Hollywood can feel like dating in Los Feliz/Silverlake/Echo Park in that the walkability factor can be there, but your range of people is very different. I’ll put it bluntly: Hollywood is full of weirdos. Captain Jack Sparrow lives on my block. I’m not kidding, every morning a guy in full Jack Sparrow costume walks down my block on his way to Hollywood boulevard where he works as the Johnny Depp character posing with tourists. We say hello.
Dating in Hollywood means you’re dating actors or car salesmen, with the occasional musician thrown in there. Naturally, there’s a lot of hustle in Hollywood — you’ll hear about a project your date has, and they will have a project, because no one is just one thing, everyone is a day job-slash-something creative, even the car salesmen. But I’m gonna be real with you: dating in Hollywood is a hot mess.
FAVORITE DATING SPOTS: Madera is a fine dining restaurant that puts the fine right smack in the dining. The Parlour Room of Hollywood is my favorite bar, as it’s not usually crowded and has excellent cocktails and a 2-for-1 happy hour that can’t be bested. If you’re feeling old school, make like Don Draper and get yourself a martini and steak at Musso & Frank’s.
So there you have it. Based on my humble experiences of living in different parts of this confusing, glorious city, this is what you can expect from the dating world. Wherever you date in LA, be prepared for an unpleasant parking situation — that’s the main lesson here! You gotta really like someone in this city to deal with the parking.
Here’s more of the best date ideas in Los Angeles!
Photo via WeHeartIt.com.