top of page

The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival

Los Angeles Visitor Guide

New to Los Angeles? This guide is intended to give you some ideas about our neighborhoods, interesting sights, dining recommendations and more! If you encounter something and want to know more, feel free to reach out to anyone on the YPF team for more information!


Los Angeles is made up of connected neighborhoods.  In each there tends to be a main artery of shops and restaurants.  Our recommendation is to peek around these neighborhoods for places to stay. One caveat: Hollywood proper can, unfortunately, be the most inconsistent. There ARE lovely parts of Hollywood, but you have to know LA to know which ones, so we suggest avoiding Hollywood itself for accommodations, or if you see something you like, feel free to check in with us about the area!


(marked in AQUA is home

base for YPF) is in Los Feliz, a

great neighborhood east of

Hollywood. YPF Rehearsals YPF

are either here or at LOFT

Ensemble (marked in PINK) is in

the North Hollywood Arts District

(NoHo). We highly recommend

staying somewhere in Los Feliz /

Silverlake / Beachwood Canyon

areas to be near the venue. It’s

worth looking at AirBnB in lieu of

hotels (avoid LA hostels). You can

find awesome houses to stay in for

the price of a hotel (or less!), and

if you’re staying in a neighborhood, you can really get the feel of tree lined, walkable LA.  Keep reading for a breakdown of our favorite neighborhoods!

HOW TO GET AROUND: “everywhere is 20 min away”

Rent a car or, depending on how much driving you’re going to do, it might be more cost effective to get Uber or Lyft on your phone. Do not bet on public transport-our subways are getting better, but we still need a good decade or two before we become the awesome futurey LA of Spike Jonze’s HER.


The WAZE app is very good and reliable for traffic-both in planning ahead and for real time updates/and reroutes.  Google maps can also navigate you around LA but we find WAZE to be really good in LA for avoiding traffic snags.



Because LA is so spread out, rather than lump dining recommendations and to-dos by category, we’ve organized it by neighborhood/area, and focus on the neighborhoods adjacent to Hollywood. As a rule, to get to adjacent neighborhoods, give yourself at least 20 minutes (as they say in CLUELESS), to get across town (if going east to west, valley to not-valley, give yourself an hour to an hour fifteen).





Bree Pavey, Producing Director for The Blank -

Annie, McGrath, Managing Director for The Blank -

Marguerite Moreau, Board Member and Hospitality Director -



Screenshot 2024-05-22 at 16-44-12 Blank map.pdf.png

LOS FELIZ - where the performance venue is!



As neighborhoods go, Los Feliz (los FEEL-iss) is pretty hard to beat. Nestled just south of Griffith Park (arguably one of the city’s greatest treasures), it manages to hit the balance of being cool and interesting without trying too hard or being over the top. In Los Feliz, you’ll find all kinds of eclectic shops and cafes, diners and more, mainly on Hillhurst and Vermont Avenues. Home to Thai Town and a whole mess of delicious hidden gems, Los Feliz is a diner’s paradise. It’s worth exploring Los Feliz on foot: take in the old homes, shady streets, the old Hollywood-glamor Los Feliz Cinema, and more.

Great nearby neighborhoods to consider: Atwater Village, Silver Lake

SKYLIGHT THEATRE is where YPF32 will happen! 1816 1/2 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 - All performances and most rehearsals will take place here!  Entrance next to Skylight Books

Metro: Red Line: Sunset & Vermont Stop (10 -12 mins walk to theatre)

Parking: Leave extra time to park

  • Street Parking: Is limited. Plan accordingly.

  • Closest Pay Lots: $5 -$6 (subject to change)

    • Directly behind the theatre – Metered accepts credit cards and coins and there’s an app

    • Dresden Restaurant – Alley access between Melbourne Ave and Kingswell Ave

    • 13th Church of Christ Scientist - Cash Only


SKYLIGHT BOOKS is an amazing independent bookstore and there’s a tree growing in the middle of it and it’s right next door to the theatre where YPF will happen!


LOS FELIZ 3 Cinema is next door the Skylight Books and is a great place to catch an indie movie. This is all on VERMONT BLVD (park on a side street like Franklin), which is very Brooklyn and hipstery.


DINING - there are SO many options within walking distance of the theatre:


  • UMAMI - incredible burger place - 4655 Hollywood, Blvd, 90027

  • MOTHER DOUGH - beloved pizza place - 4648 Hollywood Blvd, 90027

  • ALCOVE - awesome food on an awesome patio - 1929 Hillhurst Ave, 90027

  • LITTLE DOM’s - is a favorite for Italian with - 2128 Hillhurst Ave, 90027

  • FARFALLA coming in a close second - 1978 Hillhurst Ave, 90027

  • JENI’s is amazing for ice cream - 1954 Hillhurst Ave, 90027

  • THE DRESDEN - classic Rat Pack vibe upscale dining - 1760 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • FIGARO BISTRO - French deliciousness - 1802 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • FRED 62 - a step above diner style but so good! - 1850 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • HOUSE OF PIES - as named, it has a ton of pies! and other stuff - 1869 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • IL CAPRICCIO - Italian! - 1757 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • PALERMO’S ITALIAN - Italian - 1858 N. Vermont Ave,  90027

  • PATTAYA BAY - delicious Thai food! -  1727 N. Vermont Ave,90027

  • 1739 PUBLILC HOUSE - classic American yummy pub - 1739 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • ROCCO’S ITALIAN DELI - Italian and casual - 1761 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • SIDEWALK GRILL - classic socal pub food -  1727 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • STARFISH SUSHI - sushi yay! - 1755 N. Vermont Ave, 90027

  • TACOS TU MADRES - Mexican and delicious - 1824 N. Hillhurst Ave, 90027

  • BRU COFFEEBAR - coffee and pastries and snacks - 1866 N. Vermont Ave, 90027


GRIFFITH PARK and GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY are a short drive and they’re great.


UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE (UCB) is currently a huge incubator for talent, go see a

show on any night of the week and someone you see will be famous by next year. Plus the

shows tend to be pretty rad! Buy tickets online if you can, they sell quick.  5919 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

SILVERLAKE - 5 min from the theatre



Silver Lake earns its reputation as a haven for hipsters. But is that so bad? It depends on your point of view. Trendsetting and yet somehow fairly calm, Silver Lake is home to boho-chic bars, artisanal coffee shops, and delicious eateries. The neighborhood is centered around Silver Lake itself — which is, in fact, a reservoir built in the early 1900s. The partially paved 2.2-mile trail around the lake is a popular spot for locals to walk, jog, hike, or run.


DINING - So many good places to eat!!


  • KENBEY SUSHI - small and intimate and delicious! - 4331 Sunset Blvd 90029

  • LA PHARMACIE DU VIN - cafe and wine bar - 3926 Sunset Blvd, 90029

  • THE BLACK CAT - bistro and bar and historical landmark! 3909 W Sunset Blvd, 90029

  • PINE & CRANE - Taiwanese and Chinese classics - 1521 Griffith Park Blvd, 90026

  • SPOON & PORK - Filipino comfort food - 3131 Sunset Blvd, 90026

  • BODEGA PARK - NYC bodega + Korean + SoCal = YUM! - 2852 Sunset Blvd, 90026

  • MAURY’s BAGELS - 2829 Bellevue Ave, 90026

  • SPERANZA is a hiddenItalian treasure - 2547 Hyperion Ave, 90027

  • SQIRL’s great brunch - (no dinner) - 720 Virgil Ave #4, 90029,

  • BLAIR’S is great for upscale new American plates - 2901 Rowena Ave, 90039

  • NIGHT+MARKET SONG is a favorite for Thai - there are a couple of other locations in LA but this one is N+M SONG - 3322 Sunset Blvd, 90026

SILVER LAKE RESERVOIR is fun for a walk or a run! It’s really beautiful and pretty peaceful!


THE GREEK THEATRE is an outdoor amphitheater style venue that has great concerts!


THE GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY is iconic and gorgeous. You can take the bus up and then hike down! Or hike it both ways if you’re an enthusiast! (sunscreen.hat, h2o a must!)

ECHO PARK - 5 min from the theatre



Head southeast from Silver Lake, cross under the 2, and you’ll find yourself in funky Echo Park. Mid-century apartments, Spanish-style homes, and craftsman houses line the streets of this trendy neighborhood. Here you’ll find Dodger Stadium and the expansive Elysian Park area (technically its own very small neighborhood). And living up to its name, Echo Park has a lovely green space surrounding a lake (Elysian Reservoir), with biking and walking paths — all part of a recent renovation. With such close proximity to essential L.A. hangouts, from Chinatown to DTLA, this is an ideal place to set up your home base. Echo Park has a bit of a scruffy feel in places and is still somewhat affordable, which makes us love it even more.

DINING: You’ll come to see that LA is a foodie haven and has marvelous neighborhood specific offerings!


  • SAGE VEGAN BISTRO & BREWERY - beloved vegan spot - 1700 Sunset Blvd, 90026,

  • GUISADOS - badass tacos - 1261 Sunset Blvd, 90026

  • COSA BUONA - wine, pizza, salad, delicious - 2100 Sunset Blvd, 90026

  • LOWBOY & BAR FLORES - think burgers and beer - 1540 SUnset Blvd, 90026

  • THE LONELY OYSTER - seafood adventures! - 1320 Echo Park Ave, 90026

  • THUNDERBOLT - southern cuisine - 1263 W Temple St, 90026


THE ECHO and THE ECHOPLEX always have amazing live music.


ECHO PARK LAKE is such pretty fun and there’s paddle-boating!

MIDTOWN (aka Mid-City)


This is sort of an amorphous term for several neighborhoods that are all closeish together, bounded on the north by Pico Boulevard, on the east by Crenshaw Boulevard, on the south by the Santa Monica Freeway, on the southwest by Washington and National boulevards, on the west by Robertson Boulevard and on the northwest by Cadillac Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard.  It is flanked by Carthay and Mid-Wilshire to the north, Arlington Heights to the east, Culver City and West Adams to the south, Palms to the southwest, Beverlywood to the west and Pico-Robertson to the northwest.  Smaller neighborhoods within Mid City include:


DINING: There are also SO MANY great restaurants in midtown (LA is the best food town, that’s why our legendary and beloved Jonathan Gold (LA Times), was the first and only food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize!)


  • CAFE GRATITUDE - delicious vegan scene - 639 N. Larchmont Blvd, 90004

  • SUGARFISH - a sushi favorite (there are many locations around the city)

  • SON OF A GUN - great foodie seafood - 8370 W 3rd St., 90048

  • PETIT TROIS - casual French and tiny but amazing - 718 N Highland Ave, 90036

  • SYCAMORE KITCHEN - for brunch yummies! - 143 S. La Brea Ave, 90036

  • MEALS BY GENET - truly GREAT Ethiopian food - 1053 S Fairfax Ave, 90019

  • CANTERS - LA’s iconic deli/diner and a staple - 417 N Fairfax Ave, 90036

  • ANIMAL - the foodie phenom restaurant, tiny so reserve early! - 435 N Fairfax Ave, 90036

  • PIZZERIA MOZZA - unbelievable gourmet pizza and wine - 641 Highland Ave, 90036

  • OSTERIA MOZZA - very upscale experience but WORTH IT - 6602 Melrose Ave, 90038

  • FATHERS OFFICE - amazing burgers in Culver City -3229 Helms Ave, 90034

  • NATE N AL’S DELICATESSEN landmark Jewish deli in the middle of Rodeo Drive area, many celebs can be seen eating there (like Larry King and Henry Winkler among others) - 414 N Beverly Dr, 90210

  • REPUBLIQUE gorgeous spot, delicious food. Incredible baked goods/pastry case/ high end dinner - 624 S. La Brea, 90036

LARGO has incredible live shows, lots of famous people and their famous friends putting on comedy/music/variety shows together.


CINEFAMILY is one of the weirdest and most wonderful art film houses in the country they’re a mix of old and new and the curation is tops.


THE NEW BEVERLY (another art house recently bought by Quentin Tarantino) does great film revival pairings.


LACMA is a gorgeous museum and there are always great exhibits.


MELTDOWN COMICS is nerd heaven and they do all kinds of comedy shows in the back room.


GREYSTONE MANSION in Beverly Hills has all kinds of spooky stories and is a fun visit.


SUNDANCE CINEMAS in WeHo is a great indie movie theater and they do $5 Tuesdays. 


THE GROUNDLINGS THEATRE (on Melrose Ave) is one of the 3 main improv schools that feeds talent into Saturday Night Live (famous alums include Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and many more). They have shows nightly so check them out if you want to have a good laugh.


HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY-great events/screenings of beloved movies-grab a blanket from your airbnb and go!


GETTY CENTER, an A+ museum with A+ views, a gorgeous way to spend a half day. (OFF THE 405) is a free monthly music series (ticket required) that is a cool vibe - it’s west into the neighborhood of Westwood (where UCLA is located).


THE JURASSIC MUSEUM OF TECHNOLOGY, one of the weirdest museums ever, it’s a very polarizing experience, people love it or they hate it. It’s in Culver City, which is a bit of a hike but visiting the West Side at least once is worth it!

THE VALLEY: NoHo Arts/ Studio City/ Sherman Oaks/ Burbank


  • Great for: Outdoor activities, weather, public schools, families, diversity

  • Transportation: The Valley is serviced by the 5, the 405, the 101, and the 210. Be aware that being somewhat removed from the city “proper” can mean long commutes — especially if you want to go  downtown or to the west side during rush hour.


Encompassing a number of neighborhoods and incorporated cities (including Glendale, Burbank, Hidden Hills, and Calabasas), the San Fernando Valley is still in L.A. but feels just a little removed from the big city vibes of downtown and Hollywood, with more of a relaxed feel. Beware — without those coastal breezes, temperatures can elevate more than 10 degrees compared to other parts of Los Angeles. And while strip malls are prevalent throughout L.A., they’re truly everywhere in the Valley… and hiding some of the best restaurants (sushi, especially) in the city.

Neighborhoods and cities in The Valley: NoHo Arts, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, Calabasas, Studio City, and more.


DINING: The Valley has a lot of casual and not so casual dining options and they are DIVINE!


  • BROKEN COMPASS TIKI - a VERY cool pirate ship on the inside!! - 2013 W Burbank Blvd, 91506

  • THE FAT DOG NOHO - casual but delicious with a gorgeous patio - 11050 Magnolia Blvd, 91601

  • SPORTSMEN'S LODGE - lots of options - 12833 Ventura,, 91604

  • JINYA RAMEN in Studio City is extra great for noodles! - 11239 Ventura Blvd, 91604

  • AVI CUE named best bite in LA (wagyu shawarma) - 11288 Ventura Blvd, 91604

  • CASCABEL in Toluca Lake is good Mexican - 10717 Riverside Dr, 91602

  • GORILLA PIES - such good pizza - 12417 Burbank Blvd, 91607

  • BACARI - italian and adorable, has other LA locations - 14106 Ventura Blvd, 91423

  • OSTERIA BUCA - italian and delicious - 14235 Ventura Blvd, 91423

  • CASA VEGA - a Mexican dining valley legend! - 13301 Ventura Blvd, 91423

  • THE FRONT YARD - classic Californian dining - 4222 Vineland Ave, 91602

  • VERSE - live music nightly/fine dining LA cuisine and cocktails - 4212 Lankershim Blvd, 91602

  • GRANVILLE NOHO - YUM! - also in Burbank, Studio City, WeHo - 11136 Magnolia Blvd, 91601

  • SALT & STRAW - inventive gourmet ice cream - 12180 1/2 Ventura Blvd, 91604

  • GYU-KAKU - Japanese BBQ - ALWAYS BUSY so make a reservation! - 14457 Ventura Blvd, 91423


FRYMAN CANYON is more chill than Runyon, but has breathtaking views! It’s in Studio City (off of Laurel Canyon Blvd), and is less of a scene but an equal chance to see celebs walking their dogs.


UNIVERSAL STUDIOS is in the valley and it’s SO MUCH FUN! It’s a theme park, so it’s got theme park prices, but it’s really fun with rides inspired by Jurassic Park, The Mummy, Transformers, Harry Potter, and more!


UNIVERSAL CITYWALK is adjacent to the theme park but it’s an outdoor mecca of shopping and dining. There’s no admission to go in and walk around Citywalk and there’s lots to see!




Looking for a quiet, suburban existence? West Hollywood (WeHo) is not for you. Trendy and bustling, L.A.’s LGBTQ+ capital boasts some of the liveliest nightlife the city has to offer. Home to L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip and the fabled Chateau Marmont, the entire city (yes, West Hollywood is technically a city all its own) only covers about two square miles and is worth exploring on foot. Neighboring Central Hollywood, you’re just a short distance from some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks: Grauman’s Chinese Theater (now called TCL Chinese Theatre), the Capitol Records building, etc. Touristy? Absolutely. But still worth seeing.


***Even though we do not recommend Hollywood for accommodations, there ARE still some cool things to see and cool restaurants to visit in Hollywood!


DINING: As with other neighborhoods, WeHo and Hollywood have some spectacular dining options!


  • PURA VITA - plant based Italian and it’s amazing - 8274 Santa Monica Blvd, 90046

  • BREAKFAST by SALT’S CURE - breakfast lunch brunch done right - 7494 Santa Monica Blvd

  • CONNIE & TED’S - classic New England seafood restaurant - 8171 Santa Monica Blvd, 90046

  • MADRE - excellent Oaxacan food including tlayudas, moles, and memelas - 801 N Fairfax #1, 90046

  • JONES HOLLYWOOD - old Hollywood glamor with classic plates - 7205 Santa Monica Blvd, 90046

  • NORAH - classic plates, small and large, dinner only - 8279 Santa Monica Blvd, 90046

  • LADYHAWK - dazzling Lebanese inspired menu served family style - 627 N La Peer Dr, 90069

  • DAN TANA’S - old school red sauce joint- avoid it on weekends - 9071 Santa Monica Blvd, 90069

  • MUSSO & FRANK - THE classic old hollywood fine dining on the walk of fame for over 100 years - 6667 Hollywood Blvd, 90028

THOMPSON HOTEL, MAMA SHELTER or DREAM HOTEL - Publicly accessible rooftop dining with incredible views!


FLOYD’S BARBERSHOP - Need a quick haircut/color while you are in town? (on Cahuenga) Ask for Dominique!!! 


HOLLYWOOD FARMER’S MARKET - Sundays 8-1 - 1600 Ivar Ave., 90028


GRAUMAN’S MANN CHINESE THEATRE - located in the Hollywood & Highland complex - it’s a busy and touristy area but definitely worth it to walk through the complex and try to catch a film there on the big screen!


THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL - grab a ticket to ANY concert and go! It’s an incredible experience.


RUNYON CANYON  great hike and total scene, sometimes you see celebs, sometimes

you see celeb wannabes, everyone is trying too hard and it’s hilarious and amazing.




Downtown L.A. has undergone a significant renaissance in the last decade or so. Formerly an area with stagnation, Downtown is now a place where Things. Are. Happening. With a flourishing arts and design community and people everywhere you look, Downtown now features incredible restaurants and cultural landmarks such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Here you’ll also find Little Tokyo, Angels Flight Railway, and the Fashion District. If you’re moving from SF or NYC and want to maintain the feeling of living in a bustling downtown, DTLA might be the perfect place for you.

Nearby neighborhoods to consider: Echo Park, Historic Cultural District


There are a lot of one-way streets and parking can be pricey/stressful, but DONT LET IT :)


DINING: Dining options in DTLA are expansive and cover many different kinds of foods, different price points and different vibes!


  • GIRL AND THE GOAT - upscale and awesome innovative new American - 555-3 Mateo St, 90013

  • BESTIA - pricey but incredible - upscale casual Italian - 2121 E 7th Pl, 90021

  • BADMAASH - Bollywood meets pop art gastropub Indian - 108 W 2nd St #104, 90012

  • URTH CAFE - american cafe and sweets - 451 S. Hewitt St, 90013

  • GRAND CENTRAL MARKET - a fun place to wander, it is famous for all of its food stands, EGGSLUT  is a very popular one

  • SONORATOWN - top taco spot (get the costilla burrito!) - 208 E. 8th St, 90014

  • WURSTKUCHE - bratwurst made from all kinds of varietals! - 800 E 3rd. St, 90013

  • BOTTEGA LOUIE - sandwiches and fries and beignets, etc! - 700 S. Grand Ave., 90017

  • SMORGASBURG LA - open air Food Market only open on Sundays - so wonderful.  Tons of food stands with some of the most exciting food in the city - go early for shorter lines!


MOCA’s (Museum of Contemporary Art) two locations are down here and are a great visit


REDCAT (attached to famous Disney music hall) - always has something cool going on - art, dance, performance, theater, music, and film - 631 W 2nd, 90012


THE BROAD - contemporary art museum with great collection (pronounced like Road with a B)


THE BRADBURY BUILDING - a famous architectural landmark and seen in many movies (including Blade Runner, 500 Days of Summer, The Artist and many others). It is right down the street from Grand Central Market.


OLIVERA STREET is super famous, it’s a cool walk.

THE FLOWER DISTRICT of downtown is gorgeous.

PERSHING SQUARE is cool and there's a lot of casual eats in walking distance!


THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM is near USC and it’s a solid Natural History museum.


THE CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER is near USC as well, and it always has a fun exhibit, the Discovery Space Shuttle is on permanent display!




With great shopping, the iconic Santa Monica Pier, restaurants galore, and lovely (expensive) neighborhoods, Santa Monica is a picturesque city to call home. And with proximity to the Pacific, you can count on cooler temperatures and clearer air. To top it off, the school district in Santa Monica is one of L.A. County’s best. Venice is like the younger, bohemian sibling of Santa Monica, who studied abroad and came back really “into” art and pour-over coffee. A little much sometimes? Sure, but dang — they’re having fun with it!  With colorful murals and staircases around every corner, Venice is a walkable blast with so much to discover. Great shopping, great food, beachfront… need we say more?  Divided by the 405, Westwood and Brentwood (north of Santa Monica) are two of the richest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, boasting great shopping, beautiful residential areas, and lovely cultural centers like The Getty. Westwood is also home to UCLA, so don’t be surprised if your coffee-shop neighbors are students and professors.


DINING: Dining by the beach is always fun whether at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade or somewhere along the coast, there are many great options!


  • PIZZERIA SEI - Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizza - 8780 W. Pico Blvd, 90035

  • TASTE OF TEHRAN - Persian-style kebabs and crispy rice! - 1915 Westwood Blvd, 90025

  • CONI’S SEAFOOD - Nayarit-style Mexican serving some of L.A.’s best seafood - 4532 S. Centinela Ave, 9066

  • GJELINA is beloved in Venice for its inspired American kitchen - 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, 90291

  • SHIN-SEN-GUMI HAKATA RAMEN is a solid dinner choice for noodles - 1601 Sawtelle Blvd. #101, 90025

  • EXPRESSO CIELO - a beloved coffee shop in Santa Monica - 1431 Second St, 90401


THE SANTA MONICA PIER is picturesque beachy fun!


VENICE BEACH BOARDWALK is eclectic at best, creepy at worst.


ABBOT KINNEY in Venice is adorable.



Will Rogers

Point Dume

Malibu Pier



The Blank Theatre is committed to the enrichment of Hollywood’s cultural life through production of first-rate theatre, education of current and future artists, and creation of groundbreaking new works for the theatrical repertoire companies in America.

bottom of page