Beyond the glamorous lifestyle and ritzy reputation, what is it really like to live in Brentwood? To find out, take a look at this insider’s guide:
Schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) serves the students in Brentwood. With a countywide student population of 600,000, LAUSD is the largest public school system in California and the second-largest in the country. It operates over 1,300 schools and offers comprehensive academic and extracurricular programs. Clover Avenue Elementary School, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, and Downtown Magnets High School are among the top-rated schools in the area. There is also a selection of elite private schools here, such as Brentwood School, Futures Academy, and Westridge School.
Weather. Like the rest of L.A. County, Brentwood gets over 280 sunny days out of the year—considerably more than the U.S. average of 205. Given the area’s outdoor-friendly weather, BestPlaces.net gives it a 9.1/10 rating on its Comfort Index scale. Summer temperatures peak at a warm but comfortable 84℉, while the mercury rarely drops to 46℉ in the winter. Experts agree that the local weather is at its best in June, May, and October.
Food and drink. With Brentwood being a celebrity neighborhood, people often think that its food scene is limited to the organic, raw, and gluten-free joints that stars favor. But explore the community and you’ll discover a wealth of dining options that would impress even the most discerning of foodies.
- Winston Pies: Pies in Brentwood don’t get any better than those at Winston Pies. The brainchild of lawyer-turned-baker Brianna Abrams, this shop uses organic ingredients to create exquisite full-sized and miniature pies. Its Classic Pecan and Chocolate Cowgirl pies cannot be missed.
- Pizzana: That long line around San Vicente Boulevard? It’s not because of a celebrity meet-and-greet—though Pizzana’s gourmet pizzas could be considered something of a local celebrity here. Each pizza is handmade by Chef Daniele Uditi, who uses a signature blend of Italian flours for the crust. If it’s your first time to dine here, be sure to try the cacio e pepe and carnivora pizzas.
- Farmshop: Brunch is big in Brentwood and the locals’ favorite mid-day dining spot is Farmshop. The joint’s signature dish is its made-from-scratch pastrami with poached eggs, sweet corn, and shishito peppers. Be sure to check out its attached deli as well—who knows, you might just bump into a star while you shop.
- Sushi Sasabune: This restaurant pioneered Omakase-style sushi in L.A., wherein the chefs themselves assemble a tasting course of their most recommended sushi. For over 25 years, this small but commendable sushi place has been serving some of the best tuna nigiri, albacore sashimi, and salmon rolls in Los Angeles.
Shopping. The prestigious neighborhood of Brentwood has an eclectic mix of upscale stores, trendy boutiques, and specialty shops to choose from. Below are just some of its top shopping destinations:
- Brentwood Country Mart: Brentwood Country Mart is a one-stop-shop for all your needs. It’s home to boutique retailers like toy store Jennybec’s, jewelry shop Broken English, and even Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Lab. It also has an excellent food court that serves top-notch tacos, burgers, and ice creams.
- Brentwood Farmers’ Market: If it’s fresh produce you’re looking for, head over to Brentwood Farmers’ Market. It is one of the 20 California Certified Farmers Markets and sells an assortment of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Shoppers can also purchase organic prepared food like hummus, tamales, waffles, and sorbet. Take the kids, too—they’re sure to love the mini-petting zoo here.
- Ron Herman: Ron Herman is a fashion store where urban chic meets haute couture. Where else can trendy brands like Free City co-mingle with fashion houses like Balenciaga and Yves Saint Lauren? Aside from apparel, the store also carries a curated collection of fashion and home accessories.
Arts and culture. Given Brentwood’s proximity to Hollywood, it’s unsurprising that the community has a strong love for arts and culture. Luckily, there are many attractions in and around the neighborhood that are sure to spark your creativity:
- Getty Museum: The museum’s stunning architecture, lush gardens, and hilltop vistas alone are worth the visit, but the real draw here is its extensive collection of pre-20th century masterpieces. Among the must-see artworks are “Irises” by Vincent van Gogh and “Rembrandt Laughing” by the Dutch master himself. Many of the pieces are from the personal collection of business magnate J. Paul Getty, who saw art as a civilizing force in society.
- Skirball Cultural Center: Skirball Cultural Center is L.A.’s leading museum on Jewish art and history. On display are over 25,000 artworks and artifacts that trace Jewish culture from biblical to modern times. It’s also home to an interactive replica of Noah’s Ark, which has won awards for its ingenuity.
- Brentwood Art Center: Why settle for just admiring art when you can create it? Luckily, the non-profit Brentwood Art Center provides instruction to aspiring artists of all ages. There’s a wide range of courses to choose from, including life drawing, watercolor painting, and even stop-motion animation. Too busy to drop by in person? The center also offers online classes and workshops.
Attractions. For a fairly small suburb, Brentwood has an abundance of attractions that are sure to delight your entire family. Among the best are:
- Irwin’s Central Garden: Located at the Getty Center, this 134,000-square-foot garden is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places to visit in the neighborhood. It’s divided into four different sections: The Cactus Garden, Lower Terrace Sculpture Garden, The Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Terrace, and Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden. And thanks to its rotating roster of seasonal plants and blooms, this garden is worth visiting again and again.
- Mandeville Canyon Trail: Fitness buffs are sure to love the Mandeville Canyon Trail, an 11-kilometer path that’s ideal for hiking and biking. The trail leads to a summit that offers breathtaking views of the Mandeville Canyon and the Los Angeles skyline. And at just 20 minutes away from Brentwood, it’s the perfect place to escape the urban grind.
- Crestwood Hills Recreation Center: This attraction is a family-friendly place where you can enjoy barbecues, picnics, and outdoor playtime with the kids. And if you want to shoot some hoops, there’s also a basketball court that’s open until evening. The Crestwood Hills area itself is home to architecturally significant mid-century modern houses, so check them out while you’re in the area, too.