There are certain boxes you need to check on your way to becoming 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 Class Pass.
But all of those pale in comparison to finishing a screenplay. Even if you aren’t in the business, you should have one. (For the same reason you store an ice pick in your glove compartment. You don’t need one until you do.) Here are our favorite spots to help you finally finish your masterpiece.
It’s hard to eat well when you’re waiting for your big break. Get the rest of The Actor’s Guide To Eating & Drinking In LA here.
Perfect For Writing: A fast-paced political thriller, or an HBO pilot your agent won’t take seriously.
Everyone in Insomnia self-identifies as a writer (especially to their families, repeatedly, during the holidays). 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 eight-outlet surge protector every few feet, which should resolve any power-cord-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.
Perfect For Writing: An unwatchable Netflix teen dramedy, or a self-important pilot about your quirky life as a writer in LA.
Semi-Tropic is a wine and beer bar in Echo Park where pretty much the entire neighborhood congregates on a daily basis. Open from 9am to 2am, this casual space feels much more like a coffee shop than a bar (although they do start serving alcohol when they open). There are big wrap-around couches, tons of tables scattered throughout, and a small snacks menu for when you get hungry. Everyone in here is writing and freaking out about that email their manager just sent them, and that certainly includes you.
Perfect For Writing: A conceptual feature based on a graphic novel you read in college, or 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. That’s reserved for the tiny room in the back that looks like a mythical forest full of people who are just trying to make it to staffing season. There’s a (fake) tree canopy, an ivy-covered hut, and a weird fire pit where we suspect spirits of old executives judge your pitches. If you 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 growing-up-in-the-90s Sundance qualifier, or a Kimmy Schmidt spec script.
This is a coffee resort with its own outdoor park in the middle of it. The coffee and food are quite good, and there’s enough space for your entire acting class to crank out the next Beasts of The Southern Wild together, hand in hand, 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, or a Jack White biopic.
Sitting on a corner in Silver Lake, you can’t miss this all-black building that kind of looks like the global headquarters of a non-threatening lifestyle cult. Once inside though, you’ll find a surprisingly bright and accommodating space that also serves excellent coffee. Walk up the staircase and you’ll have all the room in the world to spread out and let the laptop magic begin. If you hit a wall you can always just walk across the street to The Vista, one of the best independent theaters in Los Angeles, and realize how far you still have to go.
Perfect For Writing: A heady family drama that’ll get overlooked during awards season, or a Meg Ryan comeback feature.
Located in a converted Craftsman-style bungalow in the heart of Los Feliz, nothing about the success of this place should be surprising. With seating options that include an open patio, high tops, hidden booths, and a counter, no writer will be left without their precious nook. They also have a pretty solid food menu that goes all day. Warning: There are no outlets to be found here. Come fully charged.
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 Southern California, but around the world. And yet sitting quietly on the roof of this modern masterpiece is a sanctuary most people have never even heard of. The Blue Ribbon Garden is an oasis filled with sculptures, ponds, mosaics, and a garden of edible flowers in case you get hungry. With over an acre of land, there’s plenty of room to ponder one’s greatest ideas. No outlets or wifi here.
Perfect For Writing: One of those movies where Diane Keaton reclaims her sexuality, or a Sideways prequel.
We are, in fact, talking about the gigantic and extremely expensive furniture store on Melrose in West Hollywood. While this is still the place to go for $500 candle holders and textured bark planters, if you think that’s all there is to this place, you’re missing out. There’s a massive patio on the roof with couches in every direction, electric fire pits, free wifi, and a quiet atmosphere that’ll really allow you to dive into the character complexities of a 55-year-old divorcee from Santa Barbara. They don’t serve any food or coffee, so grab something beforehand and bring it up with you.
Perfect For Writing: A Christmas rom-com starring Rachel McAdams with Blythe Danner as the mom, or a Freeform pilot.
This place feels like a weekend retreat at the lake house of your college professor, 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 without realizing it. Plus there’s free wifi, ample neighborhood parking on Arden Blvd., outlets, and scones. Lots of scones.
Perfect For Writing: A sexist Michael Bay trilogy, or Wild Hogs 3.
This place is a holy temple to the sensitive bro. You can walk amongst the handcrafted motorcycles built in-house, gaze at the walls of surfboards, and then grab a quick latte and bowl of granola to eat on the back patio while you crank out a movie where robots and sharks team up to save the world. 2 billion dollars await you.
Perfect For Writing: A mini-series about strangers who can communicate telepathically, or a WestWorld rip-off.
Koreatown has many great day spas, but Wi Spa is the undisputed grand master of them all. This massive, four-story spa has separate mens and womens floors, family areas, a full-service restaurant, computer rooms, a gym, and every type of sauna imaginable. And after clearing your mind through a much-needed clay meditation, head up to the rooftop terrace (in your Wi-spa provided uniform) where there’s free wifi, plenty of seating, and a quiet environment ideal for writing/staring at your computer.