Westlake apartments and rentals are located in one of Los Angeles' more challenged neighborhoods. While at one time this area was the West Coast's version of Manhattan's Upper East Side, those times are past. Some gentrification has recently begun, pushing in from the edges, but Westlake remains associated with crime and illegal immigration. How comfortable you feel here will largely depend on your attitudes and experience. The neighborhood is named for the lake located in historic MacArthur Park--a lovely place for a daytime picnic. Westlake sits between Downtown, the Santa Monica Freeway, Koreatown, and the Hollywood Freeway.
Westlake has had an up and down history. Back in the 1920s, this part of Los Angeles was well off and largely Jewish. When the streetcar lines gave way to freeways, Westlake property lost its appeal. The wealthy population moved away in the '50s, replaced by Mexican Americans and others. In the '80s, Central Americans escaped turmoil in their homelands to settle in Westlake. Crime and drug use afflicted the area. While it has gotten safer since those days, Westlake remains a densely populated and low-income neighborhood.
Westlake isn't a place you can't find services, but it isn't a neighborhood people frequently visit, either. It has plenty of shops, markets, pharmacies, restaurants, and bars. A remnant of the olden days, Langer's Deli serves up hot pastrami sandwiches that the New Yorker called the best in the country. The First American El Pollo Loco opened in Westlake, and the first Original Tommy's burger stand can be found here as well.
Historic MacArthur Park has paddleboats, an amphitheater, and ball fields. Come during the summer for one of over fifty free concerts. Significant revitalization effort has gone into MacArthur Park since 2002 and crime levels have plummeted.
The 1920s mansions built in Westlake were long-ago split into apartments. Many buildings also became residential hotels. More recently, some large residential developments have gone up. The average one-bedroom goes for $1,250 a month. Almost three-quarters of Westlake residents are Latino, making it one of L.A.'s least diverse neighborhoods. Westlake is convenient for subway commuters, with Metro Purple Line and Red Line trains both stopping at Westlake / MacArthur Park Station. It's close to the Hollywood, Harbor, and Santa Monica freeways.
There are two branches of the Los Angeles Public Library in Westlake and a couple of US Post Offices. Medical facilities in the neighborhood include the St. Vincent Medical Center and the Good Samaritan Hospital. In regards to the Los Angeles City Council, Westlake falls mostly in District 1, but sections are also covered by Districts 4, 10, and 13.
Westlake is in the 90057 zip code.