From East Coast to Best Coast, Associate Partner Juliet Di Pietro knows how to find, and flourish in, the lesser-known pockets of her city. A Miami native, Juliet moved to Los Angeles four years ago and found herself romanced by Mid-City’s architectural homes, central location to just about everything and a rich, eclectic culture. She was soon bitten by the renovation bug that pervades the area as she recently bought, and plans to update, a classic duplex.
A self-proclaimed foodie, Juliet has done her due diligence, scoping out all the must-try eateries in the area. And when she’s not noshing on local fare, deep in a Sci Fi novel or selling homes in Brentwood, she’s enjoying the vibe that her neighborhood provides, from art walks to casual Farmer’s Market strolls to simply socializing with the neighbors.
As for the what’s what of Mid-City, read on to see Juliet’s top picks.
Mid-City is no stranger to a strong and memorable morning brew. But one place that stands out is Hermano’s Cafe. The quaint little stop is just off San Vicente and, though small, it’s mighty, serving up a mean cortadito (Cuban espresso). You’d be hard-pressed to find another on this coast, says Juliet, reflecting on memories of Miami.
Naturally, you can get your daybreak pastry fix here too. With selections like the creme fraiche scone, vegan banana loaf and Cofax donuts, you’ll get your morning off to a sweet and delicious start right here.
To Eat Or Not To Eat
A foodie’s paradise, Mid-City is laden with renowned and lesser-known spots that are worth experiencing. The first, Trejo’s Tacos (owned by actor Danny Trejo). A cool spot located along La Brea, this hip haven brings California flavor to a traditional Mexican dish. Juliet, who just loves this spot, recommends the fried jidori chicken taco and the blackened salmon taco—enjoyed on the patio, of course.
When tacos aren’t on the evening menu and you’re on the hunt for something with a little more heart, look to soul food at My Two Cents. Calling Pico its home, this eatery blends old-school service with a slightly new school twist on traditional Southern eats. You can’t leave without ordering their Plantain Stuffed Pork Chop or the Chocolate Bread Pudding, Juliet says. A few other standouts include the Fried Chicken, Mac and Cheese and Creole Shrimp and Grits. If you’re non-carnivorous friends are up to try the place out, Vegan Spaghetti is on the menu, too.
Republique is no small name. It’s a much revered spot in Mid-City that serves up big flavor. And though you can wait anywhere from from 15 to 45 minutes for a table around brunch, Juliet says it’s worth every moment. A must-try on their brunch menu is “This Morning’s Bread,” served with life-changing French butter and jam. Other do-not-overlook eats: the Ricotta Toast and Shakshouka. In true French fashion, the interior matches the food—divine. It’s rustic and French-inspired with brick walls and cozy banquet seating along with wood details. But before you can get lost in the beauty of it all at supper time, Juliet says make a reservation, because trying to score a table as a walk-in is nearly impossible.
Art of Visuals
You can’t visit Mid-City without a visit to nearby LACMA or the La Brea Tar Pits. Whether you’re stopping by to Instagram yourself at Chris Burden’s UrbanLights sculpture or looking to see what fossils are being found in L.A. these days, both locales are visual wonders and a token just-beyond-Mid-City stop when you have visitors in town or if you’re in the mood to rediscover L.A.
When you’re looking to veer off the beaten path, spend an afternoon exploring Kayne Griffin Corcoran, a contemporary gallery with rich pieces and a lush courtyard that you won’t be able to resist.
Raise The Bar
Late nights were made for memory making or just catching up at Little Bar Lounge. Affectionately dubbed “Miracle Mile’s Favorite Neighborhood Bar,” this place is a no-frills type of joint, that’s all about a good vibe, friendly service and a jukebox that could change your life—at least for a night. Simply designed with kitschy pieces strewn throughout, this spot is more about the experience than the aesthetic. And if you’re hungry, you can order in your favorite take-out. How’s that for the best local bar ever?
Sings the Blues
When you get tired of pop music, there’s PIP’s on La Brea. A low key jazz spot that’s laidback and reminiscent of days past, PIPS offers live music and rich Italian eats almost every day of the week. Go here to follow up long days with cool nights complete with PIPS famous pizza. Or, show up for brunch for intoxicating sax sounds to go with that bottomless mimosa. The place is a favorite of locals and one that’s worth adding to any Mid-City adventure.