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Janss Dome Building  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > North America > USA > California > Los Angeles > Walks, Tours & Itineraries

Wingin' it in Westwood

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Westwood buzzes with the youthful energy of UCLA students and an array of services to support the campus and local office buildings. A bewildering variety of restaurants, cafes, theaters, book stores, and some landmark buildings make Westwood a fascinating walk around. Note especially the vintage movie theaters in the area, sites of many star-studded film premieres going back to the 1930s.                                                                                     

Start in front of the Hammer Museum at the corner of Wilshire & Westwood Blvd. Proceed up the block to Lindbrook and turn right. The surroundings shift from modern to historic at 10840 Lindbrook with 1930s Monterrey Revival style garden apartments. Check out the lovely courtyard centered between the units. Do the same next door in the Spanish Colonial Revival building and savor the tile works, fountains, and garden walkways providing serene refuge from the urban frenzy. Continue to the corner and note the 10800-08 Mediterranean style garden apartments.

Turn left on Malcolm Avenue and next left onto Weyburn. Make another left on Hilgard and stop at the Italian Cultural Institute at 1023 Hilgard. The center features an exquisite art gallery, a theater for screenings, lectures, conferences, concerts, and special events that often include copious amounts of pasta dishes. Pick up a schedule of events.

Go back to Weyburn, make a left and then a right on Tiverton. At Le Conte Avenue, turn left and you'll pass a Ralph's supermarket for any beverage and snack pangs. Farther along the street is the Geffen Playhouse (10866), which produces some of L.A.'s finest local theater. The next intersection is the entrance to UCLA. Hop on a campus shuttle bus and explore the leafy campus.

Returning to the Le Conte/Westwood Blvd. intersection, cross Le Conte and enter the ivy covered office building on the left side of the street. Not historically significant, but interesting nonetheless. Stroll down Westwood Blvd. and veer right on Weyburn. At the end of the block is the Regency Bruin Theater, with its sleek wrap around Streamline Moderne marquee, made in 1937. Across the street is the historic Village Theater, opened in 1931. Its iconic 170 foot high Spanish Revival tower was a beacon for many film premieres and those who starred in them. 

Cross Weyburn and stay on Broxton until reaching Kinross, where you'll make a left and at Westwood Blvd. is the first edifice erected in Westwood Village in 1929, the Janss Building. A white Mediterranean themed beauty with gold leaf trim, the main section is an octagon, and is topped by a Moorish dome. The high portico and arched windows add to the classic character. 

Continue down Westwood to the corner at Lindbrook and the Bratskeller/Egyptian Theater, another Mediterranean influenced product of 1929 with a portly cylindrical shape. Cross Lindbrook and visit the permanent collection of 19th century French paintings at the Hammer Museum on the opposite side of Westwood Blvd.

Staying on Westwood, go across Wilshire Blvd. to the Art Deco gem known as the Crest Theater at 1262 Westwood Blvd. When a movie begins inside the theater, a shooting star flies across the ceiling and explodes in shimmers of stardust as the curtain opens.

Keep heading south on Westwood to Wilkins and you'll see store front signs in the Farsi language. You're in Little Tehran, the commercial district for the city's Persian population. Ready for lunch now? Step into the Shaherzad restaurant at 1442 and savor the best in Persian cuisine. Or for a casual bite and immersion into conversations amongst Persian ex-pats, go to the popular meeting place called Attari Sandwich Shop. You MUST save enough room for dessert across the street at the Saffron & Rose Ice Cream Shop (1387 Westwood Blvd.), for the homemade hybrid with saffron and rosewater, giving it such a distinctive taste. Try as many flavors as you want (there are many), the owner will give you a spoonful with a smile. The best ice cream on the Westside.

Now you can return back to the starting point at Wilshire and Westwood Blvd., knowing the day was filled with local culture, history, visual and culinary treats.            


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Type: Day Trip
Difficulty/exertion: Easy
Location: Westwood, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Starting point: Wilshire & Westwood Blvd.
Nearest public transport: MTA bus, Wilshire/Westwood Blvd. stop
Finishing point: Wilshire & Westwood Blvd.
Distance & duration: Up to four miles, 1/2 - 1 day
Food/drink stops: Ralph's, Sharhzad Persian Restaurant, Saffron & Rose Ice Cream Shop

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