Just over the I-5 from Silver Lake and Los Feliz, Atwater Village, known for its attractive, moderately priced Spanish-style bungalows, has become less affordable since its two neighbors' hip factor exploded. Home to poppy and strawberry fields at the turn of the last century, Atwater was annexed by L.A. in 1910 and became a haven for the working class, some of whom labored at the Gladding, McBean/Franciscan Ceramics factory. The factory was razed in the '90s; the lot now holds a Costco and a Toys R Us. Because sections of Atwater are zoned for horses there are a number of private stables and a popular equestrian center, the Paddock, that draws riders from all over.
The Many Colors of Wine
Jill's Paint has Home Depot and its ilk trounced. Not only will you find personal service and high-quality paints, but every afternoon at 4:30, complimentary wine and beer are served to customers at a granite-topped bar. Peggy McCloud owns the place and also runs the mostly female Silver Lake-centric house-painting crew called Jill of All Trades. "Peg collects wines," employee Bobby Villarroel says, explaining that McCloud just wanted a place to store her bottles before she hit on sharing them. Paint and wine, who would've thought? 3534 Larga Ave., (323) 664-9067.
Years the Frank and Van de Kamp families have owned the Tam O'Shanter Inn.
When Joe Grzybowski passed away in 1984, he left Club Tee Gee, which he had owned since World War II, to his longtime girlfriend, Betty Bartlotta. Fire gutted the Tee Gee in 1993, but Bartlotta didn't give up: She re-created its '40s-style ambience. In September the popular hangout celebrated its 60th anniversary with a soiree attended by Councilmen Tom LaBonge and Eric Garcetti. 3210 Glendale Blvd., (323) 669-9631 ... For nearly 12 years Maria Flores has served her famous "Papa's" potato burrito to crowds at Tacos Villa Corona. Named for the burritos her mother made for her father's lunch, Flores says "he knew that us kids loved them and he would save us a bit for when he came home." 3185 Glendale Blvd., (323) 661-3458.
ONE THING TO DO
Swing Your Club, Swinger
The Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course is a Griffith Park treasure that actually falls into Atwater territory. The nine-hole course became a favorite of struggling actors after it was featured in the indie hit "Swingers" in 1996. Besides the gainfully unemployed, the course attracts movie stars, business types, vacationing moms and dads and hipsters secretly swigging hooch. Adjacent to the course is the often-packed greasy spoon Los Feliz Cafe, with outdoor tables right up against the green. A round of golf is $4 on weekdays and $5 on the weekend. 3207 Los Feliz Blvd., (323) 663-7758.
Art & Architecture: Be sure to marvel at the Egyptian and Norman-style spires, turrets and cupolas that define Atwater's fantasy bungalows. According to the L.A. Conservancy, the 18 homes, between 3636 and 3742 Brunswick Ave., were built in the 1920s by real estate agent Barney B. Kenoffel, who was believed to have been inspired by silent-film sets and sensational newspaper reports about the discovery of King Tut's tomb.