LA's Eastside revival

Author: George Epaminondas
Photography: Bethany Nauert

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

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