Occupying the heart of the West San Fernando Valley, Reseda has sat modestly as a protypical suburb of Los Angeles for over 100 years. Like most valley neighborhoods, its growth stemmed from the post World War II boom and the proliferation of the car, bringing a culture of strip malls and wide boulevards.
Reseda Boulevard acts as the neighborhood's thoroughfare, running north-south with a seven minutes drive to the Ventura Freeway. Formerly a pathway for railroad tracks elemental to Reseda's origin, Sherman Way intersects as the other major arterial. Downtown Los Angeles sits 23 miles southeast by freeway, and the 405 interchange lies only 6 miles east, a major link to the westside.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Vinh Loi Tofu consistantly ranks as one of the best vegan Vietnamese restaurants in the San Fernando Valley. Angelenos travel for the House Special Soup, loaded with flat rice noodles in a spicy peanut broth or the VL Vegan Sub filled with chicken, beef and tofu. All items cost around $10 and has a large family-friendly dining area.
Las Fuentes is a valley institution serving authentic Mexican food since 1982. Their large two item combos come with rice and beans and costs around $11. Plan accordingly because seating during lunch and dinner hours is difficult and doesn't take reservations.
Locals have limited options when it comes to the nightlife. Dive bars lead Reseda's late night activity, while many head to Ventura Boulevard or Woodland Hills for a more vibrant scene.
The Bunker on Lindley Avenue represents Reseda's nightlife as a standard bar. This typical lounge features inexpensive drinks, electronic darts and an old-school atmosphere. Karaoke starts every Friday night at 9 p.m. with $3 shots and $1 tacos.
C Frenz provides nightly dancing as the neighborhood's main gay bar. Patrons come to escape the hassle in West Hollywood enjoying cheap alcohol, available parking and no cover charge.
History & Culture
Originally part of the San Fernando Mission's expansive land holdings, Reseda formed as a town in 1912 along the route of the Southern Pacific Railroad. After World War II, orange groves and ranches were rapidly subdivided making it one of the San Fernando Valley's fastest growing suburbs. The population of 4,147 residents in 1940 grew to over 16,000 a decade later.
The 1950s was the greatest era of growth, as 8,068 new homes were built, twice more than any other decade. During that time, infrastructure changes in the San Fernando Valley altered the neighborhood's fabric. In 1952, the Pacific Electric Railway ended service to Reseda and the Ventura Freeway's completion in 1960 isolated residents further. Middle-class families began moving to Thousand Oaks or the Santa Clarita Valley.
Reseda's footprint makes the neighborhood dependant on motor transportation. Major streets lay on half-mile gridded intervals so you probably won't want to walk to your destination.
Metro provides bus transportation for $1.75. The Rapid Bus on Reseda Boulevard supplies express service north to Cal State Northridge and south down to Ventura Boulevard. It also connects to the vital Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit, the fastest east-west route across the San Fernando Valley. The low density around businesses makes finding street parking easy. Taxis rarely look for fares in the neighborhood, but Uber services the area.
Cycling lacks sufficient infrastructure, with dedicated lanes only on portions of White Oak Avenue and Reseda Boulevard. Many cyclists head south to connect with the separate bike lane that follows the Orange Line.
Living in Reseda will save you money at 7.3 percent lower than the Los Angeles cost of living. The average rental rate is $1,073 a month, slightly less than a typical residence in Los Angeles. With its proximity to Cal State Northridge, many college students find Reseda affordable.
Reaching Downtown Los Angeles only costs $1.75 with transfers, but will take almost two hours for the 23 mile trip. Gas prices average around 15 percent higher than the national average and slightly higher than the Californian average.
Shopping in Reseda lacks the exotic element with most stores catering to basic needs. The neighborhood consists primarily of small businesses and a high number of vacancies.
The Hobby House holds the interest of all ages with a large selection of radio controlled helicopters, planes, cars, and boats. Bring the kids for free slot racing or the micro heli flying demos.
Ramy's Nursery's wide selection attracts people from across the San Fernando Valley. Most of the plants are grown on the premises and its prices are competitive.
The major supermarkets lay just outside of Reseda's limits. Jon's Marketplace serves as the largest grocery store while many choose Valley Produce Market for their selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. The closest farmers market happens nearby at Balboa Park. It occurs every Sunday, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with plenty of free parking.
A couple of parks serve Reseda, but kids will often play around the house instead as most homes have large yards sitting on side streets protected from traffic.
Reseda Park functions as the main recreation facility. Always bustling with activity, the park features a swimming pool, tennis courts and fields for baseball and soccer. The lake attracts many walkers, and fishing is allowed with a permit. At a quarter the size, West Valley Park serves as Reseda's other open space with limited amenities.
Just off the southeastern corner of Reseda lies Balboa Park, the largest recreation area in the San Fernando Valley. It presents the widest variety of athletic activities, including a skate park, velodrome, kayaking and three golf courses. Take the family to see the remote controlled airfield or Japanese Garden. The park also hosts one of the few dog recreation areas in the city.