WeHo locals aren’t wrong when they say “Trends start here.” West Hollywood’s Design District alone is home to over 250 luxury retailers, visionaries, and creatives, all leading figures in design, art, fashion, and cuisine. What’s more, all of this is located within just a few walkable blocks between Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard, and Beverly Boulevard. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about this neighborhood’s latest happenings!
The Design District is defined by its ever-changing variety of shopping options. Nike has recently solidified a once-pop-up shop into a full-time “live concept” space called Nike by Melrose, which tailors its aesthetic and product to the specific needs of the neighborhood’s NikePlus members.
Another big-brand store worth checking out is Leica Cameras on the corner of Robertson and Beverly, which features multiple artist exhibits, as well as a selection of world-class cameras, accessories, and photo books. To dive into the interior design scene West Hollywood is known for, we recommend spending some time at Duroque, a locally owned shop on North Robertson, near West Hollywood Park. Inside you’ll find a cool collection of neon signs, eclectic furniture, and funky home décor, everything from artsy fire extinguishers to luxury beds for your furry friends.
While traversing the neighborhood, you’ll probably need a break or two to get off your feet and step out from the heat, which is as good an excuse as any for checking out the nearby cafés. The Assembly is a good place to start, a community-oriented spot perfect for enjoying quality coffee and pastries while you relax or even get some work done. The café also offers patio seating and a wall full of Vibes LA sunglasses, notebooks, cards, coloring books, and other knick-knacks. For something trendy, step down into Alfred Coffee in the Alley, one of the most popular of the Insta-friendly brand’s dozen locations. Located at 8509 Melrose Ave., it’s stylish and boasts a friendly staff. And if you’re hungry, it’s just down the road from Urth Caffé, which you might recognize from the show “Entourage.”
The people of West Hollywood aren’t afraid to show off their artistic side, and that’s on full display in their plentiful galleries and street murals, as well as the city’s architecture. To start things off, wander over to the Pacific Design Center, a building that’s equally beautiful inside and out, and often referred to as the “Blue Whale” because of its massive size and glassy blue exterior. Inside you’ll find offices, showrooms, furniture markets, and even a branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Just next door is MOË Japanese Functional Art, a clean space adorned with pottery, paintings, and other Japanese crafts.
Down on Beverly there’s Art Angels, another eclectic gallery that showcases everything from wildlife photography to live-castings, from sculptures to street art. And fans of the latter, will be excited to know that the Design District is also home to a number of street murals, most notably the recent projects against the exterior of the West Hollywood Library, just across from the Pacific Design Center.
If you’re interested in the architectural side of things, don’t be afraid to wander a little bit east of the Design District to the Schindler House (MAK Center for Art & Architecture), located at the corner of Kings and Willoughby, just two blocks north of Melrose. Built by the famous LA architect Rudolph M. Schindler in 1922, the open-floor house has become a major icon of modern residential architecture, changing the way we think about the buildings we call home.
Parks and Recreation
Whether through their beauty shops or green spaces, the city of West Hollywood puts an emphasis on health and wellness. And even within the art-oriented Design District, you can’t escape the fact that people like to get outdoors and stay active. One of the most well-kept areas to enjoy the warm weather is West Hollywood Park, a gorgeous stretch of public land comprised of grassy lawns, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and even a pool.
Also onsite is a dog park, which is split into two areas (one for small dogs, the other for larger canines) and complete with overhead floodlights and astro turf. The grounds also host a number of community events and are even connected to the WeHo Public Library.
Food and Cocktails
The food and drink scene is alive and well in West Hollywood’s Design District, and it starts at E.P. & L.P., a lively two-in-one establishment on just off of Melrose.
Split into two, the E.P. side serves up a swanky, indoor Asian dining scene, while L.P. is reserved for rooftop cocktails and a few smaller plates. Gracias Madre is another can’t-miss spot that proudly offers an entirely organic, plant-based, and Mexican menu, featuring dishes such as jackfruit tacos, chimichanga, gorditas, and an extensive drink menu. Another option is Craig’s — where you might just run into that celebrity you’ve been hoping to see.