There are several steps that are necessary to feel like a fully-functioning resident of Los Angeles. Learning that Olympic is always the answer. Never doing Halloween in Weho again. Being able to hold a conversation about ClassPass. But all of that pales in comparison to the true power of a finished screenplay. Even if you aren’t in the business, you still better have one. Same reason why you store an ice pick in your glove compartment. You don’t need one until you do. Besides, in LA, we have every place imaginable to get those creative juices flowing. Here are our favorite spots for creating, writing, and (finally, maybe) finishing your glorious masterpiece.
Perfect For Writing: A fast-paced political thriller, an HBO pilot your agent won’t take seriously.
Insomnia is simply where people go to write. Everyone in there identifies as a writer to their families during the holidays and everyone in there is actually writing. There’s a tiny menu and some coffee drinks you’ll purchase in order to receive the wifi password, but none of that matters. What matters is the highest-functioning space in the city for you and your laptop. The furniture is comfy but not too comfy and there’s an 8-outlet surge protector every few feet resolving any power chord turf war anxiety you might have. The place has great natural light, there’s a no talking rule, and classical musical plays softly in the back. Any questions?
Perfect For Writing: A conceptual feature based on a graphic novel you read in college, a FernGully reboot.
Walking into Bourgeois Pig is a fairly unremarkable experience. There are a few tables scattered around, a place to buy your coffee, and a billiards table. But this is not where the magic lies. No no, that is reserved for the little forest room in the far reaches of the coffee shop where the outdoors is indoors and hobbits are finally allowed to be The Plastics. There’s a legitimate (fake) tree canopy, an ivy-covered hut, and weird fire pit where we suspect spirits of old executives judge your pitches. But if you honestly can’t get inspired by writing inside a tree trunk, it’s probably time to put that business minor to use.
Perfect For Writing: A racially-charged Sundance qualifier, a Kimmy Schmidt spec script.
There’s a ton of room up for grabs these days in the Arts District and Zinc Cafe recently gobbled up about a half block’s worth. The result is essentially a fully-functioning hipster coffee resort with its own outdoor park smack dab in the middle of it. The coffee and food are quite good and there’s enough space for your entire tribe to crank out the next Beasts of The Southern Wild together, hand in hand and never breaking eye contact. Bonus: Bar Mateo is open on the premises, once again uniting writers and alcohol. The real LA power couple.
Perfect For Writing: A remake of a respected Japanese horror film, a Jack White biopic.
Wedged in a corner in Silverlake, you can’t miss this building and yet you’re completely unsure of its actual entrance. If you’ve walked into Rudy’s barbershop by accident trying to get in here, you are exactly like the rest of us. But once found, this Seattle transport serves “serious” coffee in a surprisingly accommodating space. The downstairs doesn’t appear to offer you much, but up the staircase you’ll have all the room in the world to spread out and let the laptop magic begin. Besides, if you hit a wall you can always just walk across the street to The Vista, one the best indie theaters in Los Angeles, and realize how far you still have to go.
Perfect For Writing: A Seth Rogen stoner comedy not about North Korea, Blue Crush 2.
Yes, as in THOSE Toms. The “get one, give one” shoe company (obviously) has their flagship store on Abbott Kinney but don’t be fooled. This is no average shoe store. This is the outlet/cafe/optical/juicery/bakery that Los Angeles has been clamoring for. And now we have it. Praise. As ridiculous as this all sounds (and it is), the craziest part might just be the weird hidden back patio of turf grass, casual lounge chairs, and an addicting vibe you hate to love. But the fact is most days of the week this hidden oasis is flat-out serene with top-notch people watching and those golden rays of sun filtering in from the beach. Surfs up, Lena Dunham.
Perfect For Writing: A heady family drama that’ll get overlooked during awards season, a Drew Barrymore comeback feature.
Located in a converted Craftsman-style bungalow in the heart of Los Feliz’s industry-laden neighborhood, nothing about the success of this place should be surprising. There places feels homey because, well, it used to be a home. With seating options that include an open patio, high top tables, hidden booths, smaller tables and the counter, no writer will be left without their precious nook. We’re not mad about that egg bagel either. WARNING: No outlets to be found here. So come fully charged. Computers and otherwise.
Perfect For Writing: Historically inaccurate Oscar bait, Sister Act 3.
When this acoustically perfect performance hall opened in Bunker Hill in 2003, it became an instantly recognizable architectural landmark not just in SoCal but around the world. And yet sitting quietly on the roof of this modern masterpiece is an epic sanctuary most people have never even heard of. The Blue Ribbon Garden is a lush oasis filled with sculptures, ponds, mosaics, and even edible flowers. Yes, edible flowers. And with over an acre of land, there’s plenty of room to ponder one’s greatest ideas. No outlets or wifi here of course, but who even cares?
Perfect For Writing: A Christmas rom-com starring Rachel McAdams with Blythe Danner as the mom, an ABC Family pilot.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Bricks and Scones. The whole operation feels like a weekend retreat at your college professor’s lake house who you might end up sleeping with before it’s all said and done. The secluded second floor is the type of place you can stretch your legs out and stay for six hours and not even realize it. Plus with free wifi, ample neighborhood parking on Arden Blvd., outlets galore, and scones upon scones, is anyone actually even keeping time?
Perfect For Writing: A sexist Michael Bay trilogy, Wild Hogs 3
THIS PLACE IS F*CKING INSANE. It’s like a holy temple to the sensitive bro. You can walk amongst the handcrafted motorcycles built in-house, gaze at the walls of surf boards, and then grab a quick latte and bowl of granola and hash it all out on the back patio. Honestly, nothing here makes sense, the world is spinning, and we love it. That latte is filled with Handsome Coffee Roasters (legit) and the back patio somehow all works. So grab your Phi Psi buddies, a flask of Fireball, and go crank out a movie where robots and sharks team up to save the world. 2 billion dollars await you.