Metro Daycation: North Hollywood
All photos by Juliet Bennett Rylah
Welcome to Metro Daycation, our series exploring Los Angeles’s Metro system, presenting a host of entertainment and cultural opportunities, all located within one mile of a Metro stop. This month, we explore North Hollywood.
Though one of several neighborhoods to contain the name “Hollywood,” North Hollywood is the only one of them in the San Fernando Valley.
According to Los Angeles historian Nathan Masters, the community was once known as Lankershim, but adopted its new name in 1927 to capitalize on the glamour of the film industry blossoming further south.
North Hollywood’s Metro station opened in 2000, completing the Red Line (for now) and connecting NoHo to Hollywood, Los Feliz and Downtown L.A.
It’s near the North Hollywood Metro station that you’ll find a fun and walkable Arts District, full of shops, restaurants, bars, theaters and other unique outposts to explore.
GET THERE: Hop on the Metro Red Line and take it all the way north to its final destination, the North Hollywood station.
11275 Chandler Blvd.
Just steps away from the Metro station is Groundwork Coffee, housed inside the old Lankershim Train Depot. According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, the station was built in the 1890s, making it one of the only 19th century landmarks in the Valley. The station was transformed in early 2017 into beautiful coffee shop that boasts a spacious, dog-friendly outdoor patio. In addition to a host of coffee, tea, and espresso beverages, they also offer a breakfast and lunch menu with favorites like avocado toast, breakfast burritos, salads and sandwiches.
Coffee for Breakfast
11482 Burbank Blvd.
This cozy, family-owned cafe has only a handful of seats, but serves up hearty portions of incredible Venezuelan cuisine. You can get a traditional Venezuelan breakfast here, with eggs, black beans, cheese, meat and arepas. Other menu items include omelettes, sandwiches, French toast, coffee drinks and desserts.
ARTS & CULTURE
5220 Lankershim Blvd.
You don’t have to be a member to wander around the Television Academy campus, where you’ll find numerous busts and statues honoring the titans of TV, including Andy Griffith, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Lansbury and other notables.
5050 Vineland Ave.
TeaPop is both a tea shop and an art gallery. They serve a variety of organic and imported teas, plus coffee, lemonade, and soda. While you enjoy your drink, you can browse the rotating selection of local art that hangs around the space.
5108 Lankershim Blvd.
Gallery 800 is the gallery space for the Art Directors Guild International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 800. The space features a rotating collection of unique art exhibits from TV and film professionals. Exhibits change frequently throughout the year, so check online to see what’s showing now or when their next reception will be held.
5060 Lankershim Blvd.
Urban Skillet serves Asian fusion food that’s also 100% Halal, meaning permissible under traditional Islamic law. Choose among flavorful entrees like a kimchee burger, a pulled BBQ jackfruit sandwich, a Korean BBQ cheesesteak, or a burrito made with kimchee fried rice.
5231 Lankershim Blvd.
Between Dog Haus and Vicious Dogs, North Hollywood’s hot dog game is strong. Unlike the former, Vicious Dogs only has this one location. Customers can choose from several types of dogs (including veggie), which come served in a variety of styles. Want a bacon-wrapped dog topped with mozzarella cheese and a chicken tender, or perhaps a dog smothered in peanut butter and jelly? No problem. They’ve got about 40 ways to garnish a hot dog, plus sides like fries, wings, cole slaw and jalapeño poppers.
11135 W Magnolia Blvd.
You’re the master of your destiny and can have dessert for lunch if you like. CREAM stands for Cookies Rule Everything Around Me, and their specialty is the ice cream cookie sandwich — though you can also use waffle cone taco shells, waffles, or brownies as a vessel for ice cream, too.
5118 Lankershim Blvd.
Blastoff Comics is a friendly neighborhood comic book shop. They offer an exciting selection of rare and vintage comics, while also maintaining a sizable collection of new works, novels and art. Co-founders Scott Tipton and Jud Meyers are extremely knowledgeable about their wares, and explore pop culture via their podcast, Blastoff Podcast.
Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee
5006 Vineland Ave.
The name is a bit misleading: this is not a matinee theater. It is, however, a video store with a truly impressive collection of classic and rare VHS tapes, DVDs, posters, and photographs. It’s been open since 1969, and, according to staff, boasts some high-profile regulars, including filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson and Los Angeles treasure Angelyne. If you find a VHS you like but don’t happen to have a VHS player, they can copy the film to DVD for you.
Kathy’s E Antique Boutique
11054 Magnolia Blvd.
Find vintage men’s and women’s fashions and accessories at this long-standing boutique. Though they haven’t always been in this particular location, they have been outfitting their loyal regulars in stunning retro style since the late 1980s.
The Fat Dog
11050 W Magnolia Blvd.
Ample portions, craft cocktails, and a beautiful, dog-friendly patio make The Fat Dog a perfect way to cap your NoHo exploration. The Short-Rib French Dip is essentially two sandwiches, topped with melty Gruyere and caramelized onions, while their take on potato skins includes crispy pork belly and pepper jack cheese. Lighter fare includes salads, mussels, and a veggie burger served on brioche. They offer a daily $7 cocktail, as well a solid selection of wine, craft beers and clever concoctions.
4824 Vineland Ave.
Idle Hour is a surviving example of the programmatic architecture Los Angeles loves in that it’s shaped like a giant barrel. Built in 1941 then beautifully restored by the 1933 Group (also known for Silver Lake’s Thirsty Crow and Atwater Village’s Bigfoot Lodge) in 2015, Idle Hour now serves a fine selection of craft beer and cocktails, plus a menu of Southern-inspired comfort food. Head out to their large patio to see another piece of programmatic architecture: a replica of the pipe-smoking bulldog from the Bulldog Café.
11049 Magnolia Blvd.
For fine Italian cuisine, try Spumante. House-made pastas, pizzas, and meaty entrees line the menu and should definitely be followed with tiramisu or tartufo. They also have a robust wine list, with plenty of Italian and Californian options.
Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater
4850 Lankershim Blvd.
Zombie Joe’s is where you can see some truly weird, independent theater with a distinct horror bent—even when the date is no where near Halloween. Highlights include the disturbing vignettes of their Urban Death and Blood Alley series; unsettling adaptations of classic plays; and immersive, full-contact haunts like Santu Deliria. If horror isn’t your thing, the area is home to many other great theaters, too, including El Portal, Secret Rose Theatre, The Sherry Theater, Whitmore Lindley Theater Center and The Road Theatre Company.
Laemmle NoHo 7
5240 Lankershim Blvd.
Though perhaps not as flashy as an ArcLight or iPic, this movie theater excels when it comes to its selection of new indie and foreign films. Swing by for a weekday matinee at only $8 a ticket.
11500 Burbank Blvd.
The escape room trend did not miss North Hollywood. You’ll find The Room but a short walk from the station, with two different adventures to choose from: The Cabin, which anchors around the old horror trope of a creepy cabin in the woods, and sci-fi adventure The Spaceship. Find clues, solve puzzles, and work together to get out in an hour or less. If you beat those, Hollywood Escape House is just over on Vineland.
California Institute of Abnormalarts
11334 Burbank Blvd.
One of the strangest venues is town is the California Institute of Abnormalarts, perhaps better known as CIA. Bands, burlesque dancers and other vaudeville performers take the stage, while the venue and patio are full of oddities, starting with the giant half-skull where you purchase your tickets.
The Brickyard Pub
11130 W Magnolia Blvd.
The Brickyard Pub is dark and casual, like any good dive, but is a great find for beer lovers. They offer a huge selection of beers, from your standard pilsners to more interesting stouts and fruit beers, plus bar games including pool and shuffleboard.