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Spotlight on Sawtelle

close up of a bowl of meticulously prepared fresh vegetables and sushi / sashimi

Modern new luxury apartments at Linea are just a half mile from all of the amazing restaurants, local shops, and cultural atractions of Sawtelle / Japantown. Learn more about this special neighborhood and explore some of our our favorite spots.

Where is Sawtelle?

Located on the Westside of LA (which itself includes more then 23 different small neighborhoods), Sawtelle is located in the area where Sawtelle Boulevard meets Santa Monica and West Olympic Bouldvards. It's bordered by other neighboorhoods of Brentwood, Westwood, Santa Monica, West LA, and Rancho Park.

The LA Times Maps Project has a nice outline of the specific boundaries of Sawtelle here.

What's the History?

Early History
In 1888, the Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers opened in the vicinity. In 1896, the Pacific Land Company purchased a 225-acre tract just south of the veterans home and developed a new town named Barrett, later changed to Sawtelle in 1899 after W.E. Sawtelle, the company's manager.

Japenese Immigrants Arrive
Japanese immigrants, known as Issei, began settling in Sawtelle in the early 1900s, establishing a thriving, self-sufficient district with businesses and boarding houses catering to the Japanese American community. Demand for gardeners, nurserymen and domestic workers in affluent nearby neighborhoods like Brentwood and Bel Air helped Sawtelle thrive. By its peak in 1941, Sawtelle had 26 Japanese nurseries/florists, 8 boarding houses, 4 churches, 3 grocery stores, and a Japanese language school.

During World War II, many Japanese Americans in Sawtelle were displaced by Japanese-American internment. After the war, many Japanese Americans returned to rebuild their community. By the 1950s, Sawtelle had a small-town feel with mom-and-pop businesses like Ketchie's stand, Safe & Save Market ), and Yamaguchi Store (now all closed) serving the community.

Post-War Growth / Japantown
Over time, Sawtelle evolved into an eclectic neighborhood attracting hipsters and Pan-Asian food enthusiasts. In 2015, the city officially recognized Sawtelle as "Sawtelle Japantown" to acknowledge its unique Japanese American heritage and history.

Today, organizations such as the Sawtelle Japantown Association (SJA) are focused on the preservation and support of the neighborhood's Japanese-American community as it continues to grow and evolve. In the meantime, people come from all around LA and beyond to appreciate some of the best Japanese food to be found in the country, fun spots like the Giant Robot store, and more.

Who Lives in Sawtelle Today?

According to,, the population of Sawtelle today is around 39,757 people. Here's some more info about demographics:

  • White: 50%; Asian: 22-25%; Hispanic/Latino: 17-20%; Two or more races: 5-6%; African American: 3%; Other races: 1%
  • Median age: 34.27 years old
  • Average household size: 2.03 people
  • Median household income: $99,629
  • 24% have a master's degree or higher (vs 13% nationally)
  • 41% have a bachelor's degree (vs 21% nationally)

What Are Some Good Things to Do?

1. Eat Some Incredible Japanese Food
A must-visit for any foodie, Sawtelle offers a wide range of authentic Japanese cuisine, from ramen and sushi to yakiniku and shabu-shabu, as well as Filipino fare and other international options.

2. Explore Shops & Museums
After you've eaten your fill, be sure to also visit some of these popular stores, pop-culture boutiques, museums, and other interesting attractions.

Some of our personal favorites include:

Live near Sawtelle at Linea

Located near the heart of Little Tokyo, modern apartments at Linea offer amenities like huge windows, spacious floor plans, balcony views, a rooftop deck with pool, wellness spaces for spin and yoga, outdoor green spaces for grilling, a dog run for your furry friends, and so much more. Contact us today - we look forward to showing you around.