In Spanish, Encino means oak tree, a protected species in this neighborhood of 42,500 in the San Fernando Valley.
The Valley, an arrangement of suburbs north of downtown Los Angeles, is still part of the city, though 20 miles out.
The ranch-style homes of Encino catch the attention of those in search of wider streets, newer housing stock and a suburban atmosphere.
Hollywood entertainers such as Smokey Robinson, the Jackson family, Kirstie Alley, Tom Petty, Cybill Shepherd, John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson have all called Encino home at one time or another.
Cost of Housing
Housing stock ranges from small Encino Park homes built for returning veterans of World War II to elaborate mansions tucked into the hills.
The standard home price in Encino has risen to $650,000.
South of Ventura Boulevard, the prominent area reaching into the Santa Monica Mountains, substantial homes with views start in the $1.25 million dollar range and go up from there.
Rentals in Encino are plentiful, with a variety of apartment buildings north of Ventura Boulevard.
Prices range from $750 for a studio apartment to about $2,500 for a single family home.
Los Angeles Unified School District assists the community.
Valley Alternative High School in adjacent Van Nuys gets top rankings as do renowned private schools such as Crespi High School.
UCLA, California State Northridge and two community colleges, Los Angeles Valley and Pierce, are within commuting distance.
The 2,000-acre Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area with Lake Balboa and the Balboa Sports Center provides jogging trails, kayaking lessons, pedal-boat rentals, picnicking, fishing and three golf courses.
Three Encino country clubs are also made up of courses.
Additional attractions include the 5-acre restored Los Encinos State Historical Park and the 6½-acre Japanese Gardens, cultivated by reclaimed water.
Catering to Encino's Persian, Israeli, Asian and Russian residents, restaurants line Ventura Boulevard.
Chic shopping plazas and boutiques, also along the boulevard, make Encino a shopper's paradise.
At the crossroads of two major freeways — the 405/San Diego and 101/Ventura — Encino sits 10 miles from Hollywood and 20 from downtown Los Angeles.
However, commutes can be vicious, up to an hour for those short distances.