Located in what is known as Central L.A., Silver Lake is between the 101 Freeway and the 5 Freeway. Flanked by Atwater Village, Echo Park, East Hollywood and Los Feliz. The area is comprised of residential and commercial neighborhoods and is built around a city reservoir.
About Silver Lake
Silver Lake has been "on the map" nationally for several years. With popular restaurants, bars and nightclubs, the area has a lot to offer in addition to being centrally located to many other areas of LA. The reservoir brings a park-like setting to the neighborhood and features walking paths, a recreation center, a dog park, and the dog-free meadows (aka, the “quiet space”). For those with young children, there's the Neighborhood Nursery School and Silver Lake Rec. Center featuring summer day camps for ages 5 – 12.
Bit of History
Silver Lake was originally named “Ivanhoe,” after the 1819 novel by Sir Walter Scott. Some of the streets are still named after characters from the book, e.g., Rowena Ave. and Locksley Place. In 1887, lots were beginning to be sold off and by the 1920’s and 1930’s developers embarked on the area's residential development.
Named after Water Board Commissioner, Herman Silver, the Silver Lake Reservoir – also contributing to the districts’ name – was established by the Department of Water and Power in the early 1900’s. It was officially named in 1906, while the upper body of water was named Ivanhoe. Today, LADWP is in the process of by-passing the reservoirs and they will no longer be used as a source of potable water. To maintain the quality of the community, the LADWP will continue to maintain the bodies of waters as non-potable water.
You may know, Silver Lake has a history in the motion picture industry as well. In the 1930’s, Walt Disney built his first large studio––now the site of Gelson’s Market. The 1920’s also brought Tom Mix, star of many Western films. His shooting set is now occupied by the Mixville Shopping Center on Hyperion.
Where to Eat
Following the curve of Silver Lake Boulevard and right before you hit the reservoir, there are some really sweet places to visit for a meal. Notable spots to check out are:
• Alimento: 1710 Silver Lake Blvd. - "Creative and soulful" Italian food.
• L&E Oyster Bar: 1637 Silver Lake Blvd. - Great place for raw oysters and champagne. Such a great place to hit up during the summer.
• Yakuza Sushi: 1700 Silver Lake Blvd. - Great lunch special for $15.
• MILK: 1639 Silver Lake Blvd. - Now we don't have to wait in line on Beverly for our ice cream fix.
For a good workout...
With nearly 2.2 miles of wonderfully maintained walking paths, a dog park, a variety of sports facilities and a lush meadow to cruise around, Silver Lake reservoir is a great location for being active. The conveniences of the reservoir are nothing new to residents, but to other LA locals, the reservoir is a nice option to add to your daily workout routine. My favorite part about going around the reservoir is seeing all the great architecture along the way. "Curbed LA" has a good article discussing the future of Silver Lake Reservoir. Click here for the article.