Sawtelle isn’t a household name among the Bel Airs and Santa Monicas of Southern California, and that’s a shame … or maybe it isn’t. Ask the residents of this hidden urban gem just to the west of Brentwood and a few short miles from Santa Monica to the Pacific Coast. Sawtelle is home to one of the cultural jewels of Los Angeles—Little Osaka Japantown. Got a craving for sushi? Look no further.
Established in 1899, Sawtelle has been home to a thriving Japanese-American population for decades. In addition to that still-vital heritage, Sawtelle has become the neighborhood of choice for a young, hip population of tech professionals and off-campus UCLA students, adding energy and flair to the urban charm of this small, self-contained enclave.
Sawtelle has many unique attractions to recommend it. Two arthouse theaters have been places of pilgrimage for decades’ worth of film buffs in an already film-crazy town. The Nuart Theater, dating back to 1929, is a Mecca for midnight movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, while the 1924-vintage Laemmele Royal Theater is one of the oldest single-screen theaters still operational in America, a jewel of the early movie exhibition industry.
Sawtelle is also home to the Village, an iconic recording studio where artists from Frank Zappa to Bob Dylan cut iconic records. More recently, the Grammy-winning soundtrack to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? was cut here.
Some of the best sushi, ramen, and boba tea shops in town can be found here, as well as Japanese markets, Japanese gardens, and hotspots of cuisine throughout Asia. Nightlife options include a healthy helping of karaoke. Residents and visitors can also enjoy Stoner Park with its playgrounds, skate plaza, tennis courts, and recreation center.
Homes in Sawtelle list at median prices just north of $1.1 million, with many options above and below and a reasonable price-per-square-foot of $770.