Skip to Content
Hollywood

Lake Hollywood Memories ~ Hollywood Hills

Ten years ago I got my first job in Hollywood, running around town delivering second-rate TV scripts to D-list celebrities. It was a great job for a young dude with an ever-growing love for his native city—I got to drive all around town, from Hollywood out to Malibu and into the deepest recesses of the Valley. I hauled the length and breadth of the Streets That Go on Forever and spelunked the countless Drives, Trails, Circles and Ways that curlicue in between, and along the way I met some of the footnotes, sidebars and marginalia that pepper the unabridged encyclopedia of this company town. It didn't take too long to make an early and important observation: Ascendent mediocrities never had time for you, while the holding-pattern-to-descent names from the past would always invite you in for a beer and shoot the shit, eager to tell you about what they'd done and ask you about what you hoped to do. Maybe they were just hedging their bets against your someday becoming a hotshot check-signer, but it sure as hell beat the smug myopia of the “just slip it under the door” set. Enjoy it while you got it, sweetheart, Id catch myself thinking, cause I just sat down with your future in a ranch house in Reseda and it wouldnt shut up about the time Conway Twitty grabbed its ass on the set of “Hee Haw.”

At any rate, one actress on the route, the self-proclaimed “Queen of the D-Listers” and the my-proclaimed “Empress of the Just Slip it Under the Door’ crowd,” lived pretty deep into a Hollywood canyon I'd never explored before. After a couple visits to this enchanted little dell curiosity got the best of me and, scrapping my delivery schedule, I set off to find where that road went. Sometimes those sparks of curiosity pay off in the sorts of treasures that make even a loveless life of sweat and toil impossibly rich, and this was one of those times. After a mile or so of increasingly tortuous, rustic and broken road I popped out of the canyon, ascended a ridge, parked on a rutted shoulder and was faced with the unimaginable....

DSCN0569

That's right, a pine-rimmed, Art-Deco-dammed, great-blue-heron-infested freakin Alpine lake, nestled in the hills virtually directly below the Hollywood sign. Look! A flock of mallards! Over there! A mule deer doe and her fawn! ¡Mira! The Capitol Building!

DSCN0573

DSCN0570

DSCN0574

Now, undoubtedly some of you are well aware of this little civic gem hiding out in the hills, but I can't imagine many—in a town were every day is beautiful, nobody works and everyone is compulsively searching for something to jog around, I think Ive ever seen one soul up there, and I believe he was a hobo.

IMG_2349

Now to allow you some measure of self-reward I wont tell you exactly were this place is, but there's enough here for you to find it on your own, so grab a map, do some Googling and get out there! And to recount, the Taco lifestyle isn't about snubbing the hired help, its about asking yourself where does this road go, and sniffing out the hidden treasures of this beautiful city.

DSCN0572

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Protester Whose Testicle Exploded After LAPD Officer Shot Him with ‘Less Lethal’ Firearm Receives $1.5 Million Settlement

Benjamin Montemayor had been protesting on Hollywood Boulevard for several hours on June 2, 2020, when at least 50 police officers descended upon his group and began firing munitions at the crowd, according to his civil rights lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court.

May 17, 2024

Westlake’s Oldest Gay Bar Set to be Demolished

Opened in the early 1960s, the Silver Platter has long been known as a safe space for immigrant gay and transgender communities in Westlake. The building dates back to the 1920s.

May 17, 2024

What To Eat This Weekend Around L.A.: Salvadoran Fried Chicken Sandwiches, 48-Hour Pho, and Tacos Placeros

Plus, a new Enrique Olvera-approved monthly "mercadito" in D.T.L.A., a new arepa spot with patacon burgers that use fried plaintains for buns, and more in this week's roundup.

May 17, 2024

The 13 Best Tacos In Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights is arguably the city’s most important local taco galaxy in the larger taco universe that is Los Angeles. Remember, this is Boyle Heights! It's not East L.A., and it is most definitely not just some vague place known as “the Eastside.”

May 16, 2024

Here Are All the Restaurants (and the One Taquería In the Entire Country That Got a Star) On Michelin’s First Ever Mexico Guide

Europe's Michelin Guide recognized both Baja Californias, Quintana Roo, Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Nuevo Léon. Most of the usual nice restaurants got stars, but there were some questionable omissions. Also, in a country teeming with life-changing street food, only one taquería in the entire country was awarded "1 star."

May 15, 2024
See all posts