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If Los Angeles is the film capital of the world, Studio City is the film capital of Los Angeles. Residents are likely to see film and TV stars, such as Miley Cyrus, or Jessica Beil shopping at the market or walking their dogs. But the stars aren’t the only draw to this eclectic, valley area. Celebrities and regular folks alike come for the luxurious hillside homes with views or the quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods.
Studio City is located in the southeast section of the San Fernando Valley, bordered by the Hollywood Hills to the south, Sherman Oaks to the West, Valley Village and North Hollywood to the north, and Toluca Lake and Universal City to the south. The area has great access to the West Side via Laurel and Coldwater Canyons, and Cahuenga Canyon takes you right over to Hollywood! Hop on the 101 and you can get downtown or to the west valley in no time, depending on traffic of course.
In 1927, Mack Sennett began building what is now CBS Studios on 20 acres, and the area around the development was named Studio City. Until then, Studio City was a large parcel of rural land. Ventura Boulevard was only a country road and the Studio City Business District consisted of nothing more than a drug store, a grocery store, a small bank, a couple of hamburger stands and a few businesses. Notable homes include the Laurelwood Apartments on 11833 Laurelwood Dr. that were designed by noted architect, Rudolph Schindler and El Paradiso, a modern, space-aged, 4,500 square foot house designed by Raphael Soriano.
The population was 34,034 in the year 2000 according the U.S. Census. It was estimated to be about 37,201 in 2008 by the L.A. Department of City Planning. The racial makeup of the neighborhood consists of 78% white, 8.7% Latino, 5.4% Asian, 4.1% other, and 3.7% black. Many of the residents work in the entertainment business. The average income is $75,657 (2008) and the median age is 38.
Since Studio City is located in the San Fernando Valley, it does have high temperatures in the summer, sometimes topping 100 degrees. Annual rainfall is 15.9 inches with about 292 mostly sunny days per year.
My favorite restaurant in all of Los Angeles is Katsu-ya on Ventura Blvd. Located in an unassuming strip mall next to a pet food supply store, Katsu-ya packs the best sushi I’ve had into a teeny little space. I saw National Georgraphic Reporter Lisa Ling there once and many other celebrities frequent the spot for its famous fish. Katsu-ya has since branched out into franchises in Hollywood and Downtown LA, among others, but the original is still the best, even though it’s teeny.
Raphael is a new addition to the american restaurant lineup. It features a patio surrounded by a living, green wall, gourmet food and that “new restaurant” buzz. But I absolutely go head over heels for the throw-back decor of Laurel Tavern. One of the many gastropubs opening in the past years, Laurel Tavern stands out with it’s hand picked selection of artisinal beers and delectable food such as Chorizo Fondue and Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers.
Those great places don’t even begin to touch the surface of how many excellent restaurants and retail shops there are in the area. Other notable spots are Firefly, Faire Frou Frou, and Mimi & Hy.
One of my favorite little areas of Studio City is Tujunga Village, a stretch of Tujunga Ave, just south of Moorpark that is home to lots of little mom and pop boutiques and eateries such as Suck it! Sweets & Treats, and Aroma Cafe. You’ll often find many people walking, chatting and relaxing at the cafe in this area and the feel is very chill and friendly.
The Studio City Recreation Center (also known as Beeman Park) is in Studio City. It has an auditorium, barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children’s play area, picnic tables, unlighted tennis courts, and many programs and classes including the second-largest youth baseball program in the public parks. Moorpark Park, an unstaffed pocket park in Studio City, has a children’s play area and picnic tables. Woodbridge Park on the eastern border of Studio City with a children and toddler’s play area. Wilacre Park, an unstaffed park, is in Studio City. In addition, Studio City has the Studio City Mini-Park, an unstaffed pocket park.
Colfax Meadows, one of Studio City’s original neighborhoods was named after Schuyler Colfax, vice president under President Ulysses S. Grant from 1869 to 1873. Many of the houses date from the mid-1930s and are hacienda influenced, board-and-batten one-story ranch houses. Named one of Los Angeles Magazine’s 10 Best Neighborhoods You’ve Never Heard Of.
Studio City Hills
The Donas is a development of extremely upscale single family homes. It is just south of Ventura Boulevard and east of Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Of course, all the street names start with “Dona” and that’s the reason for the name.
The Silver Triangle is an upscale development of about 400 single family homes also located south of Ventura Blvd and conveniently located near some of Studio City’s best restaurants, such as Umami Burger, Laurel Tavern, and Katsuya.
Tujunga Village – See above restaurants, entertainment and nightlife section.
Valley Village, Valley Glen, North Hollywood, Burbank, Universal City, Beverly Crest, Hollywood Hills, Hollywood, and Sherman Oaks.
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