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Sensi Magazine

Welcome to NoHo

Mar 28, 2019 10:07PM
You know that saying, “more than meets the eye?” It’s true in the case of one small strip of North Hollywood.

North Hollywood, originally named Lankershim, has a story that goes as far back as 1542, but it was in the 1910s, when Moses Hazeltine Sherman, HJ Whitley, and Harry Chandler began developing housing, that the city got its legs. In 1927 it was officially named North Hollywood for the stars and starlets who called the area home. Fast forward 90 years, and the city is returning to its glory. With a commitment to improving the neighborhoods, bringing in more businesses, and building more housing developments, the implemented gentrification of what is lovingly referred to as NoHo offers a plethora of options for locals and Angelenos alike. On Magnolia Boulevard in the arts district, you’ll find theatre houses, acting schools, random shops, and eateries serving sushi, classic Americana, phô, pie, hot dogs, Italian, and Mediterranean; a cantina; and a bar with no name. Each has its own story, but on a weeknight when you need a drink, these spots have just what the doctor ordered: something that won’t break the bank or make you question your dining habits. NoHo is also home to one of the city’s best dispensaries.

KAHUNA TIKI | 11026 Magnolia Blvd.

When you’re hungry for sushi, want to be surrounded in island tiki while sucking down drinks with an umbrella in a totem glass, and eager to expand your knowledge of old surf movies, Kahuna Tiki (KAHUNATIKI.COM) is the place. This South Pacific island bar with torches, strung lights, grass huts, and a fire pit serves island-inspired cocktails that make its Aloha Hour all too good to pass up. These drinks are not light on the alcohol, so if you order the Lava Pit, Mai Tai, or any one of the other tiki drinks, you may need to follow that up with some Polynesian-inspired food. The sweet potato tater tots, reef pasta dish, or burger will do, but you may want to prepare for mass amounts of sushi. During Aloha Hour, the sushi is reasonably priced, most cocktails are $6, and if you time it right and stay a little later, you may end up getting a hula dance.

FAT DOG | 11050 Magnolia Blvd. + 801 N. Fairfax in WeHo

Greeting you with a French bull dog face upon arrival, Fat Dog (THEFATDOGLA.COM) is a highlight of the NoHo strip. Serving brunch, lunch, dinner, and the coveted happy hour, the menu is delicious and expansive, and the industrial space with warm wood accents makes it easy to pull up a bar stool, grab a booth, kick it in the outdoor patio (with heaters), or sneak into the Fat Dog Bar in the back. Fat Dog is the cool kid on the block, and its menu and beer selection make it easy to see why. The fish n chips rival those of proper Brits, the créme fraîche deviled eggs sound pretentious but are goddamn delicious, the vegan jalapeño mac and cheese is the cure to stressand if you add the hickory-smoked bacon, you’ll find vindication. Feasting on food is a no-brainer when you’re drinking, and this place caters to your LA food snobbery without the entitled attitude.

EL TEJANO TEX MEX | 11122 Magnolia Blvd.

Pretend you’re in Austin, when it was still cool and weird, with bright picnic tables, Texas state signs on the walls, odd art of naked cowgirls next to Velveeta boxes, beer, loud music, and cornhole. Now picture all of that on Magnolia in NoHo, and you’ll find yourself at El Tejano Tex Mex (ELTEJANOTEXMEX.COM) cantina. El Tejano reeks of a good time, guaranteed drunken stupors, endless margarita and beer pitchers, and Tex Mex food that goes with all of the above. It’s sports bar meets hipster with questionable art that feeds your adolescent fantasies on the walls above the bright blue booths. There’s even a wall full of sombreros, because hey, Texans love themselves some sombreros. This is where you come to saddle up, watch a game, drink way too much, take full advantage of the Frito pie, and make frequent visits to the chips and salsa trough.

GREEN VALLEY COLLECTIVE | 10842 Magnolia Blvd.
Along the Magnolia strip is Green Valley Collective (COME-SAYHIGH.COM), the dispensary of all dispensaries. Lining the exterior are sustainable wooden panels with a cannabis emblem inviting you inside, where you’ll encounter walls featuring rock ‘n’ roll fame. The walls have quotes by Jimi Hendrix, black and white photos of the Red Hot Chili Peppers endorsing Green Valley Collective as their dispensary of choice, and photos of other rockers who call this dispensary their cannabis stop shop. The staff is knowledgeable, the selection impressive, and the edibles and oils on point. A strain called Jellyfish with a 10:4 CBD- to-THC ratio is a draw for people looking for a tame flower high.

NO BAR | 10622 W. Magnolia Blvd.
The NoBar (VINTAGEBARGROUP.COM/NO-BAR.PHP) is as cool as it sounds. Part of the Vintage Bar Group, NoBar is an intimate neighborhood lounge. Opening at 6 p.m. week nights and 8 p.m. on weekends, this incredibly dark, slightly seedy bar has a jukebox and pool tables and dark corners for whatever. If you come here regularly, the bartender might remember you, but don’t count on it. The alcohol selection is standard, but NoBar features specialty cocktails with spry names like Cherry Mash Old Fashioned, Irish Manhattan, Bowl of Cereal, and Swedish Fish. The unconventional happy hour is why locals stroll in and stumble out on the regular, with smiles on their faces and their wallets intact.