Inglewood may be immortalized in “California Love” as “always up to no good”, but many people don’t realize that Inglewood isn’t just a neighborhood. It’s a small city just to the south of LA and it has good and bad parts like any other. When I lived there a few years ago, I paid just $900 for a lovely one-bedroom with a private patio overlooking a well-kept courtyard topiary garden and a clover-shaped pool. It was a quiet neighborhood of families with young children and lots of LAX workers.
With the arrival of the LA Rams and the general rise of real estate, the cost of living in Inglewood has risen dramatically, but it still remains one of LA’s last affordable housing areas. If you’re still on the fence about the City of Champions, here are 20 reasons to consider Inglewood.
1. Inglewood is one of the last affordable areas on the westside.
People have this idea that Inglewood is much further out than it is. You can be in Culver City in mere minutes. If you’re working in Venice, Santa Monica, or West LA and don’t have the patience for a terrible commute, it’s the last bastion of reasonable pricing.
2. Not only can you still find apartments under $1,000, but they’re likely to be larger with higher quality architecture.
Many of the larger homes and complexes were built by some of Southern California’s top modern architects in the 1940s-1950s, especially in the northern area of Inglewood. Stylish courtyards, pools, and manicured gardens add an elegant charm to many of the city’s complexes.
3. You’re about to get a front seat to LA’s first NFL team in two decades.
Even if you’re not into sports, it’s kind of a cool moment in LA history. Both the Rams and the Raiders left LA in 1995 in the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake and there hasn’t been an NFL team in the greater Los Angeles area since.
4. This means that you’re about to see sports bars, grills, and family restaurants popping up.
Sure they’ll be zoos on game day, but the rest of the year, the businesses around that 300-acre megaplex will be all yours.
5. Randy’s Donuts has attracted alien life several times.
Earth Girls Are Easy, Mars Attacks!, and Futurama’s “When Aliens Attack” all made stops at this 1953 donut shop.
6. Pann’s Diner is one of the most picturesque diners in Los Angeles.
One of the best examples of classic Googie architecture, Pann’s was designed by the famed Armet and Davis and has served classic diner food with a southern flair for 57 years.
7. A super fast commute to LAX takes the edge off going out of town.
Even if you have to take a yellow cab back from the airport, it’s a fast cab ride.
8. Look for the enormous iconic chicken bucket on top of Dinah’s Fried Chicken.
There’s also a Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles on Manchester in Inglewood, but locals all direct you to Dinah’s Fried Chicken. They’ve been serving it up in a beautiful Googie style diner since 1959.
9. Front Page Jamaican Grill is not only one of the best, but one of the friendliest Jamaican spots in LA.
Touted as the place for the best Jamaican food in LA, Front Page Jamaican is unpretentious family-run place with oxtail, whole snapper, and house-made ginger beer.
10. Don’t even front like you don’t love a Kohl’s sale. There’s one right on Manchester.
The only other one in LA is way north on Laurel Canyon in Sun Valley, which is way too far to go for your 70%-off basics.
11. Say “Pröschtli” at the Chalet Edelweiss.
Pretzels, Swiss food and German beer on tap make this a lovely little spot for a weekend lunch.
12. Kenneth Hahn park is a beautifully quiet escape from city life and it’s way less crowded than the other parks.
There are running brooks, ducks, workout areas, playgrounds, and running trails. And since it’s not as crowded, you can actually work up a sweat without being judged.
13. Inglewood’s gorgeous trees were planted during its boom in the 1950s.
Meaning they’ve had over half a century to mature and keep your home cool without adding a penny to your bills.
14. Try your circus skills at Aerial Physique.
If you’ve never tried aerial silks yoga, the first class is only $30. Aerial Physique offers aerial silk, aerial lyra (hoops), private lessons, and private parties.
15. If you’re an architecture geek, you’ll love the classic mid-century touches on Inglewood’s apartment buildings, homes, and businesses.
Being overlooked for so long, Inglewood’s buildings escaped the wrecking ball and now little architectural delights are scattered throughout Inglewood’s streets.
16. Hop on the 90 and take it straight west for a ridiculously easy shortcut to the beach.
The 90 is one of the most pleasantly unjammed highways in the city. Jump on and it’ll spit you on Lincoln. Head north and you’re right there at Venice Beach.
17. Wanna see a popular movie on opening day at an Arclight? Oh, NBD, you’re right by Arclight Beach Cities.
All those lux Arclight perks with free parking and half the crowds. It’s a very quick drive and you’re practically guaranteed a good seat just down the 405 in El Segundo.
18. You’re a quick Uber over to shows at the Forum.
After being added to the National Register of Historic Places and reopening as a music venue, the Forum is fabulous again. With renovations handled by Madison Square Garden Co., the iconic 1966 venue is redesigned for quality acoustics for music acts.
19. Don Rogelio’s is the homiest Tex-Mex place in LA.
A sweet grassy patio with fountains and flowers provides most of the seating space in this family owned spot. Texas barbacoa, cheese enchiladas, and guisada are the stars of Don Rogelio’s, right on the border of Inglewood and Lennox.
20. You’re a quick drive to everything in LA proper, but in a city that’s uniquely your own.
Yeah, Inglewood hit a rough patch in the 90s, but it’s ridiculous to think it’s still up to no good. If people judge you for living in Inglewood, they’re not people you want to keep around. You’re hip to a part of LA that isn’t in the tourist books, and that’s pretty cool.