Those looking for a quiet life on the Westside could do worse than Mar Vista. It's not so edgy or even interesting (outside of some highlights); it's just nice. Mar Vista made headlines this year when homeowners along its southern edge attempted to secede from LA and join neighboring Culver City. The effort did not get very far.
Who lives there: Young families, young professionals, formerly-young families that moved in 30 years ago and never left.
The neighborhood: Near Venice and Santa Monica (and therefore the beach), but way more affordable, it's one of the more ethnically- and economically- diverse swathes of Los Angeles. Boosters tout its small-town feel and the mid-century pedigree of architect Gregory Ain's Mar Vista Tract.
Highlights: Mar Vista Lanes and its attached greasy spoon Pepy's Galley, a nice Sunday farmers' market, Santouka Ramen (and Sawtelle's ramen row isn't far away), Bigfoot West for the Westside hipsters.
Rental stock: Architects working in Mar Vista seemed to save their good stuff for houses and condos. Rental units are most commonly found in unremarkable but well-maintained mid-size developments. There isn't much to get your pulse racing, but a few complexes verge on cute. The buildings along Venice Boulevard tend to be less expensive.
Can afford to pay more? Try: Santa Monica or Culver City
Want to pay less? Try: Palms
-- A studio with full kitchen and bath in a complex on Venice Blvd. with a pool for $895
-- A charming one-bedroom apartment in a small complex with shared outdoor space for $1,395
-- Fixed-up two-bedroom apartment in a smaller building for $1,750
-- Newly-remodeled two bedroom house near Beethoven Elementary for $2,500 --Eve Bachrach
· Renters Week 2012 [Curbed LA]