Travel News

LA's Eastside revival

Fresh restaurants and luxury digs inject new vibrancy into the alternative scene of LA’s Eastside.

By George Epaminondas
Hotel Covell

Fresh restaurants and luxury digs inject new vibrancy into the alternative scene of LA's Eastside.

The Eastside of Los Angeles has long been a magnet for artists, musicians and bohemians, but hasn't been known for refined restaurants and luxe lodgings. A handful of new enterprises is remedying that.

Leading the way is Hotel Covell, a micro-inn in Los Feliz, with five exquisite rooms conceived by interior designer Sally Breer. Breer was inspired by the idea of a fictional bon vivant and each suite reflects a different chapter in his life. "None of the rooms match, so repeat visitors can have a completely different experience," says hotelier Dustin Lancaster, the entrepreneur behind L&E Oyster Bar, El Condor restaurant and the popular Bar Covell in the same 1930s building as the hotel. Mid-century furnishings and eclectic accessories in a room called "Chapter 3" recall artistic days in Paris. "Chapter 4", meanwhile, with its malachite-printed walls, Moroccan-style master bedroom and clawfoot tub, is the most luxe suite. Each room has a turntable plush bedding and a Smeg-equipped kitchenette. Guests can explore Los Feliz's vintage boutiques, retro bars and bustling cafés; the espresso virtuosos behind G&B Coffee are opening an outlet here soon.

A 10-minute drive away in Silver Lake, chef Zach Pollack is wowing diners at Alimento, turning out adventurous Italian-Californian fare. "I'm trying to make Italian cuisine new, fun and reflective of local ingredients," he says. Among the high points are a chickpea pancake with lamb belly, salt cod served with parmesan "in the style of the Mantovan Jew".

Among further culinary attractions in the area, all-day diner Dinette serves the likes of French-style pastries, farro salads and spaghetti with meatballs from a curved window. Diners then take their seats under an awning. Owner Gareth Kantner is also behind the Silver Lake institution Café Stella, a popular French bistro. And no visit to the Eastside would be complete without a drink at Stella's bar.

With such new enticements, it's no wonder that the east is unseating the west as the buzziest place to be in LA.

Hotel Covell (rooms from $245), 4626 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles