5 Most Underrated Neighborhoods In Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is a place of mythos and iconic landscapes that attract transplants worldwide. From the luxurious shops of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to the breathtaking cliffs of Malibu, transplants that move here often have their sights set on a couple of key neighborhoods. West Hollywood is a popular starting point for young transplants with entertainment career ambitions and an interest in great dining and nightlife, as noted by Travelocity. Santa Monica is a frequent destination for the west side beach seekers, with lots of shopping and walkability.

But as many longtime residents and native Angelenos will tell you or not, the many surprises and hidden gems are what make the city so dynamic and unlike any other. Despite its high cost of living, it does bring a lot to the table. So if you have thought about moving to La La Land, you have come to the right place. As a local Realtor here, I will give you the inside scoop on five underrated neighborhoods that Angelenos don't want you to know about. Whether you be a renter or prospective buyer, there will be something here for everyone. With that said, let's dive in!

Boyle Heights

Newly connected to Downtown L.A. by the 6th Street Bridge, the future is bright for Boyle Heights. With this completed valve between the neighborhoods, residents of Boyle Heights can now enjoy quiet, residential living and be a quick bike ride away from the hip and bustling Arts District brewery scene on the east side of downtown. Increased accessibility aside, this neighborhood features one of the oldest collections of craftsman and bungalow-style homes in the entire city, with many properties dating back to the 1910s and 1920s and some as old as 1882, as noted by Zillow

While the charming original homes and quiet treelined streets will catch your attention, the cultural significance and offerings of the neighborhood are overlooked by even the most seasoned Angelenos. With a rich history of Latino immigrants, Boyle Heights features stunning street art murals, unbelievable Mexican food (and that is saying a lot for L.A. standards), vibrant cafes, and a Sunday market with an authentic Latin flair. Even more impressive is Mariachi Plaza, a longtime stomping ground for mariachi artists honing their craft that you can walk through for free to enjoy live performances, as noted by Dominicana Abroad. Boyle Heights is an excellent option if you want proximity to downtown and an authentic, relatively affordable residential neighborhood. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom home will sell for between $700,000 and $800,000, and two-bedroom apartment leases for around $2,000 monthly, per Zillow.

West Adams

Is West Adams the new Culver City? Quite possibly. With the true main street of West Adams Boulevard, a flurry of cosmopolitan restaurants (Mizlala is a must-try for some incredible Israeli food), a wine club, and several art galleries, this neighborhood has arrived. West Adams has been experiencing a significant revival over the last few years. L.A.'s continually improving public transit system will make this neighborhood more desirable for those commuting to the west side but wanting to avoid the area's prices. It has a true artistic spirit that welcomes local businesses.

On the real estate front, West Adams offers a lot. NBC Los Angeles notes that the neighborhood has an eclectic offering of craftsman and Victorian properties dating back to the late 19th century. There is also a decent supply of classic Spanish-style homes that L.A. is known for. It is also quickly becoming a desirable investor hub and destination for young families. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom home will sell for between $1,200,000 and $1,500,000, and two-bedroom apartment leases for around $2,300 a month, via Zillow.


Just west of the 405, on the way to Santa Monica, lies Sawtelle. One of the more affordable options on the city's west side, Sawtelle is an excellent neighborhood for young professionals and students, with great proximity to the business-heavy districts Century City and Beverly Hills and only a few minutes from UCLA. Originally called Little Osaka, this neighborhood offers an exceptional array of Japanese cuisine, as well as other Asian offerings like Korean and Vietnamese, and more, per Discover Los Angeles. The shopping options are influenced by unique stores with magazines, clothing, and art pieces infused with Asian culture.

Much of the construction in the area is relatively new or updated, and the overall vibe of the site is clean, compact, and contemporary. It does not have the classic L.A. sensibility. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom luxury condo or penthouse will sell for between $1,300,000 and $1,700,000, depending on the quality and newness, and two-bedroom apartment leases for around 4,000 a month, as noted by Zillow.

Playa Del Rey

Without a doubt, the most underrated beach town in Los Angeles is Playa Del Rey. Here, you can enjoy an authentic, old-school beach town with a truly walkable town center, a quiet park, and one of the best-kept beaches in the entire city. Without the costs or crowds of its northern counterparts, Santa Monica and Venice, Playa Del Rey is a surprisingly non-commercialized neighborhood that has long been a highly coveted surf spot, via Daily Breeze. The neighborhood's only main entry point is through Culver Boulevard and, thus, has done a great job of keeping this hidden gem a little off the beaten path and relatively undiscovered. Most of the restaurants are local and family-owned (Caffe Pinguini for Italian, Señor G's for Mexican, and Sushi Beluga for Japanese), and the pace of life is visibly more laidback than in other surrounding areas.

But that does not mean it lacks luxury. This neighborhood has spectacular bluff side homes of various styles that overlook the ocean and west side, as well as rental prices that are more affordable than other beach cities. Zillow notes that a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home will sell for between $1,700,000 and $2,000,000, and a two-bedroom apartment leases for around $3,300 a month.

Cheviot Hills

Are you the family type? Do you want picturesque tree-lined streets with beautiful homes, local golf, and tennis, all while being minutes from everything? Cheviot Hills is a pleasantville escape, and it feels like a neighborhood out of a movie. And that's because it regularly is! Due to its friendly vibes and Main Street, USA sensibilities, this neighborhood is regularly utilized for film and television location shooting, including shows like "The Goldbergs" and "Modern Family," per IMDB. Cheviot Hills feels like a different world in a city of millions of people.

There is a gorgeous country club, parks, and a surprising lack of stuffiness for such a nice neighborhood. It features an eclectic mix of craftsman, mid-century, Mediterranean, and contemporary architecture. The only element Cheviot Hills lacks is a proper town center, and rental options are sparse. It is a suburban getaway with minimal infrastructure. But, for the quality of the streets and homes, it is more affordable than areas like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica. Although these prices are all relative, recent data suggests there may be more favorable buying prospects in the future, and areas like this could be a real opportunity. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom home will sell for between $2,000,000 and $2,500,000, and the occasional two-bedroom apartment leases for around $3,500 a month, via Zillow.