Complain about gentrification all you want (do it! DOOOO IT!), but the hipster takeover of Echo Park means crazy-unique businesses that'll offer you everything from spots where you can listen to actual LPs, to places that show you how to travel back in time to buy 'em. Speaking of which..
1. The Echo Park Time Travel Mart1714 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
2. El Prado1805 W Sunset Blvd, Echo Park
3. Origami Vinyl1816 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
4. 1642 Beer And Wine1642 W Temple, Los Angeles
5. Machine Project1200 D North Alvarado St, Los Angeles
6. Allumette1320 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles
From writer and all-around-good-dude Dave Eggers comes the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a bizarre store on Sunset that's stocking everything you could need for your next time-travel adventure. The whole thing is really a fundraising front for Eggers' amazing 826 National, the nonprofit writing and tutoring center for children and teens he began in 2003 that has expanded to cities across the country. So, go ahead and buy a few things you don't need, it's for a good cause.
This little unique bar houses a rare, ever-changing beer selection, offers simple snacks, and sets the mood through an old-school record player.
This boutique music shop houses a dense collection of new and used records, puts on free shows, and even sells show tickets without the obnoxious service charge.
This hidden-away neighborhood joint is a go-to spot for a great Cali micro-brew, some live music, and endless free peanuts. Find yourself there on a Thursday night and you'll be treated to the happy hour special: free tamales!
This wild arts/lecture/random-strange-things space houses an ever-rotating selection of fantastical art projects, many of which are interactive. Past events have included an enormous indoor shipwreck installation, classes on everything from yodeling to miming, and a lecture on Ping vs. Pong whose direction was controlled by the audience playing a legit 1975 Pong machine. Seriously.
Located in Echo Park, Allumette is the brainchild of Chef Miles Thompson, with owners Charles Kelly and Bill DiDonna expanding on the idea of "apartment dining". Ignore the lack of decor and focus on the food, which could single-handedly trump just about every Top Chef there ever was.