So how did we learn? Wikipedia gave us neighborhood histories and locations. Rentslicer let us compare housing costs. Bloggers generously advised. Census data, crime stats and Curbed LA didn't hurt. And we drove and walked around LA for nearly a week, visiting different neighborhoods at different times of day.
But we neglected one crucial metric - the Gossipy Fellow Diner at the 100+ Location Chain Restaurant test - used by this Atwater Village forum writer to break a tie between Eagle Rock and AV:
I was having breakfast at Mimi's, which btw is excellent food and service, when I had the pleasure of meeting two gentlemen that are the owners of an up and coming barbeque business. I was very impressed with the comments of their business and found it appaling that they found no support in their own community. Therefore they had to take their business to the kind people of Eagle Rock who were more than happy to welcome them into their Farmer's Market and local events. Therefore when I decide to purchase a new home, I will be looking in the Eagle Rock area because obviously Atwater does not support their local businesses.
See, we assumed relocation was all about economics, crime, access and aesthetics. Silly! It's all about the politics of BBQ sauce vendors and farmers' markets.