East Los Angeles, home to the famous "Skid Row" area, is still one of the least popular living areas in L.A. Real estate prices are low, but neighborhoods are generally very rough. Houses and apartment buildings are old, many somewhat shaky from a lifetime of weathering earthquakes. Crime rates are usually high, jobs are few and diminishing every day. Many businesses and factories in the city of East Los Angeles are closing and laying off workers. Weather is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, and traffic is horrendous. Quality shopping and grocery stores are scarce. I would not argue with someone if they labeled East Los Angeles as a slum.
People visiting East Los Angeles must make a stop at the Chinatown area. Vendors and small shops line the streets, offering anything imaginable for a low price. Visitors should bring cash, as most vendors and stores only accept cash. Chinatown is rich in history and sights, fun shops and oddities galore. Almost every restaurant offers delicious food, but the most outstanding restaurant I've found is Sam Woo on Broadway. Prices are low and the food is absolutely the best Chinese food I've ever eaten.