The smallest neighborhood in Los Angeles is, fittingly, also one of its most quaint and small-town adorable. It's so quaint and small-town adorable, it still has an independent bookstore. There are a lot of ways to define LA's smallest 'hood (it could be downtown Culver City?), but we're going with the tiniest by area, according to the Los Angeles Times's comprehensive mapping project, which puts Larchmont in a .49-square-mile rectangle surrounded by Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Hancock Park, and Windsor Square.
Larchmont (use it interchangeably with Larchmont Village if you like) is far less fancy than Hancock Park or Windsor Square and more suburban than Hollywood, East Hollywood, and Koreatown, and it's defined primarily by the single long strip of Larchmont Boulevard, lined with diagonal parking, wide sidewalks, coffee shops, toy stores, expensive boutiques, dog bakeries, a Rite Aid, and a Chipotle.
Here are some scenes from around the village:
And, here's what you need to know about Larchmont:
History: A man named Julian Labonte first established Larchmont Village in 1921 as part of the sprawl out from Downtown in that era, with one-story stores (sometimes with second-story offices) along Larchmont Boulevard, starting with the east side of the street; eventually he added a movie theater on the western side, according to the Larchmont Buzz. The Los Angeles Railway Yellow Car ran down the center of the street. The area prospered as the commercial center for old-money Windsor Square, and in the 1950s the streetcars and telephone poles were taken out to make the strip more pleasant, according to an old story in the Times: "Since then, change has taken place only gradually, sparing the street any major upheavals."
Demographics: For such a bougie little area, Larchmont is actually less rich and less white than you might think. The Times ranks it as "highly diverse" for both the city and the county—it's 24.6 percent, 37.2 percent Latino, 30 percent Asian, 3 percent black, and 5.3 percent "other"—and a huge 56 percent were not born in the US. The median income is $47,780, which is only average for the city and low for the county. A majority of residents earn less than $40,000 a year. Larchmont also has unusually high percentages of single, never-married people.
Real estate: Like we said, it feels suburban—some bungalows, duplexes and other small multifamily buildings, medium-sized apartment buildings, and big setbacks that allow for yards. Only a little more than a quarter of residents, 27.1 percent, own in Larchmont. The other 72.9 percent are all renters.