3 Almost Hidden Gems in Northest L.A. That will Transport You Out of the City

By Jorge Lopez | Venues

Apr 26

In a city that was a haven for artists and intellectuals who led the Arts and Crafts movement in the 40’s and has now once again built a reputation as a mecca for artists, with trendy shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.

​A place getting more and more popular among young people who value the walkable urban lifestyle the city can provide.

​Below you will find three amazing venues that will transport you to another plane! Where the flourishing earth has entwined aesthetically into the celebrated architecture, providing a pleasant space.

The Fig House

The Fig House Los angeles highland park, ca

source: fighousela.com

This modern glamoured venue with amazing landscaping and rich bold colors sits nicely in highland park with it’s outdoor garden and it’s spacious area for ceremonies, dinners, and cocktail parties. A place that accommodates parties of up to 250 for seated dinners, 450 for standing cocktail parties and can be transformed specifically by you to meet your aesthetics.

​Rented for 12 hours includes tables and chairs for 200 guests, staffed security guards, a bathroom attendant, site manager, heating and air - (which on the unlucky heat wave days of summer you’re guest will thank you for). A PA system, indoor lounge furniture, a bridal and mancave suite plus a vendor prep area.

​And prepare your tastebuds to have a meal better than what some of LA’s best restaurants could serve you.

Having trouble visualizing the location? Not to compare here, but... Have you heard of the Smogshoppe or Millwick, type of spots? Think, well designed. Trendy. Hipster. Fashionable.​ This is fun, this is good.

​Though due to the noise ordinances at this location, speakers can’t be placed outside during dinner, so if someone is planning to get creative with the mic and entertain, the folks outside might miss out.

​Back to the good stuff. Inside your going to find yourselves in a longe with semi-circular sofas, tugged chairs, a bar, and a gorgeous stained-glass windowOutside the wedding area is concrete, with greenery, and abstract paintings. The bathroom is staffed and has available; band-aids, safety pins, and needle & tread for those “oppises!”

I think you’ll agree when you see this place... “Whimsical. Eclectic. Unique. I like it.”

Huron SubStation

Huron Sub Station los angeles highland park

credit: luluphoto

Listed as Historic Cultural Monument #404 by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission and built in 1906 making it the second oldest surviving substation in the city is the Huron Substation also in Highland Park.

​This venue has been used for commercials, film shoots, and the like, including corporate and private events. With an outdoor garden, art-deco style fountain and a 45’ ceiling with skylights it does a phenomenal job of transporting you to a whole other place.

The looks are of brick walls, arched windows, and steel beams. This spot can be best visualized as a NY or Downtown LA loft, a gallery, design studio, or even an evil lair.

How creative is your theme?

​Hosting an event here allows access to the screen projection system with ceiling mounted surround sound a modest but very cool plexiglass bar, and this 8’ wide circular chandelier on an adjustable winch that you’re going to want to experience for yourself.

There is a small front courtyard with an oddly placed chicken coop, and yes, there are chickens just hangin’ out, chillin! But they’re adorable, in a-way, so it’s cool.

​And what are you thinking for music? Small band maybe? Well then the back courtyard will be perfect. This is a beautiful place for those having a small wedding and definitely for the artisty and “Out of the box thinking” type.

A few things to consider, the neighborhood isn’t the best area, but it isn’t the worst either. Only 2 bathrooms, one of which is difficult to find. But really, for these size venues, two always seems to be enough. Only thing is they are a bit on the small side. So stay away from those big puffy gowns. No air conditioning here, so on a hot summers day, best of luck if you want those guys to keep those blazers and neck ties on.

Also expect some street noise. Buses, maybe some honking during your ceremony. It can be distracting, but only if you let it.

The Sophistication of the Huron Substation is incredibly apparent from the inside and their attention to detail is surpassed by few. There is truly a charm about this location that you will not soon forget.

Pictures taken here will all come out beautifully if you have a taste for urban and outdoors. At its value it is a great location with an available kitchen and gorgeous tables and chairs that are above average for wedding rentals.

Los Angeles River Center & Gardens

Los Angeles River Center & Gardens

source: lamountains.com

Sequested behind thinck, ivy covered walls sits the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens. With its wide circular brick driveway, multitude of fountans and flowers, long carved wooden doors and its multi-level patio.

It’s a Mission style building with a very small “History of the River” museum as you walk inside to the atrium. Though this could be a bit off-putting depending on your event and may hinder the “getting away feel”, it does make for an interesting read as guest arrive.

If you love outdoors, nature and all its greenery, this space will make you fall in love… again. Here you will get ample space for dining and dancing. Large areas that are very well separated from each other. With a raised circular tiled dance floor. Loads of free on-site parking, outdoor lighting, nine restrooms, a bridal suite, park ranger, and access to a prep only kitchen., built-in bars, lush grassy areas and those beautiful fountains you and your photographs will use to get some amazing shots.

There is the California Building for indoor celebrations and large meetings with Mexican tile floors, huge arched windows and extra seating available on the second floor.

As far as capacity for ceremonies goes…
The California Building gets you 250 seated
The Main Courtyard: 300
San Fernando Courtyard: (Patio) 300
San Fernando Courtyard: (Lawn) 250

While for meetings…
The California Building: (Theater Style) 250
Los Feliz Room: (Theater Style) 40

Here your going to find relatively low rental fees. Know that you won't be able to request your own catering service. And you/your vendors will have to bring in everything (e.g. electrical equipment, chairs, etc.) Not a whole lot of wiggle-room for flexibility because basically there isn’t a whole lot.

Hire a good team and make sure if your guest smoke they stay in the designated area, else a hefty fee will insue. Booking in the off season and on some fridays and sundays can land you some discounts, so make sure to ask. Do make sure to lock down your guest list because the price can go up. 

But most importantly, stay as late as 2 a.m. And Enjoy The Heck Out of Your Day. You deserve it!

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