6.2 out of 10

Oakwood Pentagon

33.9955735900747 -118.466173038923
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Nightlife
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Safe & Sound
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Public Transport
  • Peace & Quiet
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Not a Square Neigbhorhood"

The Oakwood Pentagon, also called Ghost Town by the locals for reasons that are not altogether clear to me, is a mostly residential neighborhood, inland from the famous Venice beach boardwalk. It is bounded by Rose on the north (northwestish), by Main and Electric on the west, Calfornia on the south, and Lincoln on the east.

This is a wonderfully eclectic mixed race community that despite the forces of gentrification has managed to keep its identity. Much of the African American community that came here during the pre-War boom still survives as does the Latino community that moved in during the post War period. This creates for an interesting mix of ethnic families and Yuppies and everything in between—Venice at its residential best. Within the Pentagon, you find mostly single family homes—generally a mix of Ranch style homes and Mission revival, smallish by modern standards but common for the period in which they were built.

The southwest corner of the Pentagon has the accumulation of schools, including the local elementary, Broadway Elementary, a somewhat middling school in terms of test scores but well liked by local families.

There are some gang tensions still in the area, although they are only a shadow of what they once were in the late 80’s. Community outreach to the Crips and the Venice 13 gangs helped broker a truce between these rival gangs and this combined with an increased police presence has helped stabilize the community. Which is not to say that you don’t still get a heavy dose of property crime and some occasional violence. You just don’t get the regular gang violence that plagues other neighborhoods.

Lincoln Blvd., forms the inland border of Ghost Town. It has all the practical amenities you would like for a residential community--grocery stores (Ralphs and a Whole Foods at the corner with Rose) and a drug store (RiteAid) along with tire stores, etc. You also get a fair share of eateries here, such as Café 50’s, your typical post-war style diner, good for burgers, fries, and milkshakes and Baby Blue BarBQue for Memphis ribs.

Electric Avenue on the beachside of the Pentagon is just the opposite of Lincoln both in terms of geographical location and frame of mind. With a number of cafes such as the Hotline, and upper end restaurants and lounges, Electric Avenue is definitely not an average thoroughfare, despite having a joint named Joe’s—actually a great little place to get a French style breakfast. Joes is one of a number of bakeries and eateries along the sun-splashed Electric and the parallel Albert Kinney where you can get a pastry and a coffee and enjoy the seaside feel. Gjelina, the Axe, and the Tasting Kitchen are some of the other gastronomical attractions of Albert Kinney. As far an night life go, you can also check The Brig, a great local bar, while for live music, try the Otherroom.

All and all, the Pentagon is a great place to live if you are young and have the kind of job that lets you enjoy the nightlife. You can’t beat the weather and the entertainment here—and if you are open-minded enough to feel comfortable around the diverse spectrum of locals (from artists and drug addicts, to weight lifters and roller bladers) then you are sure to love living in the Pentagon.
Pros
  • Diverse
  • Great Restaurants and Watering Holes
  • Hip
  • Proximity to the beach
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Still dangerous at night
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
2yrs+

"I would live there -- as long as I had two pit bulls"

Oakwood Pentagon is a few blocks in from Venice beach. It is situated above Abbott Kinney. It has, largely, been a pretty dangerous area but that is starting to change pretty rapidly. This area was designated to the African American community back when there were blocks on where they could live. But, as freeways started to pop up connecting the city to the bay cities, a large Latino community rolled in. There has been a long history of some pretty severe gang violence in this stretch of land; and, there are definitely still some problems.

However, as Venice beach has become increasingly popular, Oakwood Pentagon is becoming really gentrified. The little bungalows and apartment complexes are still slightly cheaper than the Venice counterparts and the proximity to the beach for the price has drawn a lot of young people. Abbott Kinney is one of the coolest streets in the bay cities and is crawling with young professionals, beach types, and movie executives. Urth Caffe's outpost going in on Abbott Kinney is a pretty good sign that the gentrifying ship has sailed. The housing there is still a little run down but the streets are much safer than they were 10 years ago. And, for right now, there is so much diversity on the streets. So many different kinds of restaurants and shops are in this area -- every price point and every flavor.

And, the best part about this neighborhood is that it is a quick bike ride to Venice but doesn't have quite the beach price point. The only drawback is that it isn't quite cheap enough to justify how dangerous it still is.
Pros
  • Proximity to the beach
  • Hip
Cons
  • Still dangerous at night
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers

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Unranked Streets in Oakwood Pentagon

Electric Ave

3.5/5
"It's electric !!!"
33.9921700840818 -118.469792655071

Indiana Ave

2.5/5
"People are Strange When UR a Stranger"
33.9963487017597 -118.469022571678

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