Thailand? Armenia? Yes!
A Walk in LA's Thai Town, Little Armenia, and Barnsdall Art Park
Talk about a melting pot! Try this delicious medley composed of Thai Town, Little Armenia, and Barnsdall Art Park—all three and more on a tasty 2.75-mile East Hollywood walking loop.
Park at Barnsdall or on the street and explore the park’s 36-acre hillside space that offers a glorious vista of Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign. Barnsdall is also home to the free LA Municipal Art Gallery and the Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1921 creation known for its Mayan Revival style, or as Wright coined it, California Romanza—“freedom to make one’s own form.”
Next, head west on Hollywood Blvd. through the easternmost block of Little Armenia and stop at Taron Bakery, known for cheap, tasty snacks like lahmajune (Armenian pizza) and beoreks (like empanadas). Soon after, you’ll reach the intersection of Normandie Avenue—where Thai Town and Little Armenia meet—and one of a series of murals themed around the Armenian genocide by artist Artoon. As you venture into Thai Town—the first designated in the US—you’ll come to Thailand Plaza, home to myriad restaurants, dessert shops, and a market, as well as two beautiful Buddhist sidewalk shrines.
At Western, take a left to Sunset and then head east back toward Barnsdall. For dinner, try Jitlada, a cozy, decorative place full of endless spicy southern Thai options (we can’t get enough of the Crying Tiger Beef) located in a strip mall at the intersection of Harvard Blvd. If you dine early, you can make it back to Barnsdall (about 0.75 mile east) through the southern end of Little Armenia for a gorgeous sunset. After dark, pink streetlights come to life among the pines, a fitting end to this cultural stroll. Kenats, chai-yo, and cheers to LA!
To get to the Barnsdall Art Park, exit Los Feliz west off the I-5 and continue for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Vermont Ave., taking it for 0.7 mile to Hollywood Blvd. and turn right. The lower lot entrance will be on your immediate right. Alternatively, take the Vermont Ave. exit north off US-101 and follow it for 0.8 mile to Hollywood Blvd. and turn left. The lower lot entrance will be on your immediate right. Dog-friendly!
Story and photos by Matt Pawlik, @mattitudehikes
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