Funeral Planning in Central Los Angeles - Guru Guide

Overview: Central Los Angeles, CA   

Los Angeles is the second most-populous city in America, making it exceedingly diverse. With all the big studios located here, it’s no surprise that LA is often called the “Creative Capital of the World” and offers tons of different options for all walks of life and death.

Funeral Homes

If you plan to have a traditional funeral service with the body present (regardless of whether you choose burial or cremation) you must work with a funeral home to make your arrangements. Note: in this area, we were particularly impressed by the funeral homes that were attached to cemeteries.

Name

Rating

Price Level

Religion(s)

Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuaries

Highly recommended

Medium/High

All Faiths

Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary

Highly recommended

Medium/High

Jewish

Hollywood Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery

Highly recommended

Medium

All Faiths

Holy Cross Cemetery

Recommended

Medium

Catholic

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary

Recommended

Medium

All Faith

 


View Los Angeles (Greater Hollywood Area) Funeral Homes in a larger map

Crematories

The choices below are direct cremation companies and tend to be less expensive than working with a funeral home.  Most of the funeral homes mentioned, however, offer very reasonably priced cremations.

Name

Typical Price

All California Cremation

Low

Cremation Society of LA

Low


Cemeteries

You will work directly with the cemetery to arrange for a plot and the burial, but many of the details like buying a casket and body transportation will be coordinated by the funeral home you choose. Note: Some of these cemeteries have funeral homes on the premises.

Name

Rating

Price

Religion(s)

Location

Hillside Memorial Park

Highly recommended

Medium/High

Jewish

Culver City

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Highly recommended

Medium/High

Catholic

Hollywood

Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Recommended

Medium/High

Jewish

Glendale

 

Funeral Homes and Cemeteries- Complete List

Recommended Highly

(Note: Since many of the funeral homes are connected with cemeteries we combined them for this guide)


Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuaries
6300 Forrest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 254-7251
www.forestlawn.com
This is a well-known, beautifully maintained and superbly designed funeral home and cemetery. The cemetery is hilly and has breathtaking views of Los Angeles. The funeral home looks more like a country club than a mortuary. Although the Tutor-style building is very nice, it does have a somewhat dark feel inside and smells like lilies and mildew. There are statues, mausoleums, niches and a special place for burying ashes. They also offer plenty of handouts and information available.


Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary
6001 West Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(800) 576-1994
www.hillsidememorial.org
This is an absolutely gorgeous combination Jewish cemetery and funeral home. It’s an exceedingly well maintained cemetery featuring different sections from the typical in-ground to niches. There were also beautiful areas with streams, sitting areas and even waterfalls. We were welcomed at the funeral home by a very nice, compassionate, and efficient receptionist named Vaughn. Then Leonard went beyond the call of duty and took the time to explain all the options available at Hillside; he gave a wonderful education and was very considerate. He did ask if we were looking to bury someone Jewish, noting that was necessary at Hillside; however, they happily bury significant others of Jewish people because they think it’s more important to keep families together than to be selective. Lots and lots of VIP burials.


Hollywood Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 469-6349
www.hollywoodforever.com
It’s not surprising that Hollywood’s A-list chooses to make this cemetery, which is a national historic landmark, their final resting place. The website has a movie of the cemetery that’s done in a way that’s pure Hollywood. The entire premise is outstandingly beautiful. A full service funeral home is located on the grounds and the staff is exceedingly forward thinking and helpful. Unlike other offices in this industry, each of the directors brought their personal charm to the space. We were calmed not only by Noelle’s knowledge and compassion, but also by the Buddhist statues and pictures of her pets in the office. She willingly gave her time, told us about the cemetery, and even gave us a genuine hug when we left her. The cemetery shows movies certain nights and was unbelievably gorgeous. There were peacocks, ducks, lots of vegetation and water and different types of interment options to suit all tastes and religions. This is easily one of the most gorgeous cemeteries ever. Diane Keaton got it right when she said there is “strong positive energy there!”

Recommended
 

Holy Cross Cemetery
5835 West Slauson Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 836-5500
www.holycrossmortuary.com
Located within the Holy Cross Cemetery this facility offers over 21,500 square feet of space, two large visitation rooms (that can be subdivided into smaller ones), six arrangement rooms, after service reception area (with kitchen amenities to accommodate 88 people), large chapel that can hold up to 288, flower shop, mortuary, cemetery and a lush green courtyard.


Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary
1218 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 474-1579
www.pbwvmemorialpark.com
This SCI funeral home is located in the very middle of an urban section of Los Angeles. Our GPS got us lost -- the funeral home and cemetery are almost hidden inside a bunch of buildings. The cemetery is quite small, well maintained and home to many notable people.  Carol, an extremely kind staff member, greeted us.  Although we were bothered by the fact that there was nobody available to help us, the location was very nice, clean and a pleasant place to be. It was much smaller than other locations but there was an ample size chapel, a nice arrangement office and a sitting area with not only tea and coffee but also snacks and sweets.

Cannot Recommend Yet
 

Chevra Kadisha Mortuary
7832 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-8415
www.chevrakadisha.com


Sholom Chapels Mortuaries
8629 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 659-3055
www.sholomchapels.com
 

Direct Cremation Companies


All California Cremations
(800) 575-0551
www.allcaliforniacremation.com
It’s rare to see reviews of cremation companies online; it’s even rarer to see multiple people say that they wish they could give it more than five stars! It seems that although they are one of the most reasonably priced cremation companies we have come across, they are very professional. We spoke to a few staff members and all were kind and knowledgeable, especially Pauline. Although their facility is in Palm Desert, you can pick up the ashes after the cremation at one of their two locations in Los Angeles at no additional charge.


Cremation Society of LA
(800) 615-5501
www.creamtionlosangeles.to
This is a reputable company that seems professional. We appreciated that they weren’t pushy and were pleased to hear that they cremains could be returned in only 5-7 working days. Again, this is one of the most inexpensive services that we found.

 

Hotels

Tens of millions of tourist visit Los Angeles each year; needless to say, there are plenty of hotels to accommodate all. Here you can find a hotel to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. Here are just a few in the area:

$                up to 150
$$             151 to 250
$$$           251 to 350
$$$$        351 and up


Elan Hotel
8435 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 658-666
www.elanhotel.com
This modern luxury boutique hotel is extremely well located. They offer not only complimentary breakfast, but they also offer wine and cheese receptions each weekday afternoon. Guests can also take advantage of their free Wi-Fi. $$


The Peninsula Beverly Hills
9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 551-2888
www.peninsula.com
This is one of the most sophisticated luxury Beverly Hills hotels. If you are looking for the exclusive pampering, this is the hotel for you. As a guest you can enjoy their fabulous location exceedingly comfortable rooms, renowned restaurants, gorgeous pool area and a myriad of other perks. $$$$


Ramada Plaza West Hollywood Hotel and Suites
8585 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 652-6400
www.ramadaweho.com
This very reasonably priced hotel is great for those looking for a deal but not wanting a stuffy worn-out hotel. All the rooms have been done in a funky art-deco style that blends in with WeHo. Guest can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and take advantage of the fun restaurants and fitness options that are onsite.  $-$$


SLS Beverly Hills
465 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA90048
(310) 247-0400
www.slshotels.com/beverlyhills
For those looking for a trendy modern hotel, this is an ideal option. This Phillipe Starck designed hotel is conveniently located right near the Beverly Center. If you have some free time, you can enjoy one of their excellent restaurants, bars or pool areas. $$$$


Restaurants

Needless to say there are numerous restaurants in Los Angeles. Here are just a few recommended options for venues close to the funeral homes that can accommodate a group. If you opt for another restaurant, just be sure to call ahead and ask if they can hold crowd your size; the restaurant might have a special event private room and/or menu. Also, you might want to consider a favorite local restaurant or a deli such as Redemption Foods or Grub to cater a Shiva or lunch at your home.
 

Fig and Olive
8490 Melrose Place
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 360-9100
www.figandolive.com
Here you can enjoy simple and delicious French-inspired food in a beautiful modern setting. They have catering and multiple different size rooms for private gatherings.


Osteria Mamma
5732 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 284-7060
www.osteriamamma.com
This tiny cozy restaurant can provide the necessary (delicious) Italian comfort food that those in mourning might need. The staff is very family-oriented, warm and happy to accommodate their clients’ needs. There are two rooms and they are happy to create private areas for your group.


Providence
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170
www.providencela.com
This two Michelin star restaurant would be a lovely spot for those looking for a very upscale venue. They have a private room and also offer catering.


The Hungry Cat
1535 North Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 462-2155
www.thehungrycat.com
This venue is more casual, relaxed and upbeat than our other recommendations. If fish is your comfort food, you can enjoy plenty of shellfish in this New England-feeling restaurant right on Vine Street. They have private rooms and an outdoor seating area.


Other Helpful Local Resources

Ampersand
658 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles 90004
(323) 466-3300
www.ampersandboutique.com
This is an upscale women’s consignment shop that focuses on selling by season. You don’t need to make an appointment to come in, but note that some clothing may not be sold right away.


Crossroads Trading Co.
‪7409 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 782-8152
www.crossroadstrading.com
This chain of vintage shops allows you to buy, sell and trade. It’s a favorite among Californians.


Goodwill
1200 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 469-2357
www.goodwillsocal.org


Jet Rag
‪825 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 939-0528
This large vintage store is known for its very popular dollar sales on Sundays.


Out of the Closet
6210 West Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 467-6811
www.outofthecloset.com
This non-profit chain of thrift stores donates its proceeds directly to providing medical care for those living with AIDS. It’s operated by the AIDS Healthcare foundation and they also provide free rapid STD and HIV testing and counseling another location.