Handbag and accessories designer Clare Vivier is an East LA neighborhood expert and guru of California cool.
Clare Vivier is the founder and CEO of Clare V., a handbag and accessories line out of Los Angeles. She’s lived in Echo Park on the eastside of Los Angeles since 2001, which in the last ten years has blossomed into a destination enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
“What’s most special about my neighborhood is the sense of community I’ve always felt,” says Vivier. “From my very first store I opened in Silverlake, it’s always felt like a supportive group of like-minded people.”
Vivier also works on LA’s eastside, with her company’s flagship in Frogtown, an up-and-coming neighborhood on the far east side of Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium.
As such, she’s become quite an expert on how to spend a day in East LA. Below, find her favorite haunts, from hidden staircases to the elusive late-night pizza place.
Clare Vivier’s Perfect Day in East Los Angeles
9 a.m. — Pick Me Up at the LA River
La Colombe for an oat milk cortado. I love it there because it’s right on the LA River and close to my work.
9:30 a.m. — Breakfast Alley
Croft Alley for their yogurt with chlorophyll and soft scrambled eggs with turkey sausage.
10:30 a.m. — Swing By Elysian Park
I like to walk through Elysian Park with my dog, Paco. There’s a great trail and a famous swing.
12:30 p.m. — Lunch Staples
2:30 p.m. — Secret Stairs
One of my favorite things to do with locals or visitors is to take a walk on one of the hidden staircase walks found in the book Secret Stairs LA—there’s even an app for it now. It’s so fun and you get exercise at the same time.
4:30 p.m. — Treat Yourself
Cookbook in Echo Park to pick up quick treats or gourmet snacks.
7:00 p.m. — Israeli Home Cooking
Silverlake and Echo Park have a lot of great options, but one of my standouts right now is Mh Zh. It features Israeli home cooking and has a super informal vibe (think plastic crates on the sidewalk and card tables). There’s always a wait because they don’t take reservations, but it is always worth the wait. Also, they do not serve alcohol, so your bill is always super reasonable.
10:00 p.m. — Elusive Late-Night Pizza
Unfortunately, LA is a pretty early city. Most restaurants stop serving at 10 and you usually get snarls if you walk in close to that hour. My favorite place past 10 is Pizzeria Mozza. They’re open until 11 p.m., and it’s always delicious.
The East Los Angeles Essentials
Read Before You Go to East LA
Know Before You Go to East LA
Everyone should know to not take a meeting in Santa Monica and a meeting downtown or in Silverlake in the same day. Nor should they try to visit the beach and Hollywood in the same day…nor the Broad and the Getty in the same day…you get the picture. The best advice is to stay on one side of town per day.