A comprehensively updated late 1920s Spanish villa in L.A’s Los Feliz neighborhood, designed by little lauded architect J. Cecil Strawn, who at one point worked for celebrated architect Paul Revere Williams, has been sold by alt-rock musician Mark Oliver Everett — better and more succinctly known as E, the multi-instrumentalist bandleader of the alt-rock band EELS, to actor John Cho, best known to stoner comedy movie lovers as Harold in the “Harold & Kumar” franchise and to Trekkies as Sulu in the “Star Trek” reboot film series.
The $3.6 million sale price is a considerable amount below the in-hindsight much too optimistic initial asking price of $4.4 million, but it’s nonetheless a healthy profit on the not quite $2.3 million Everett paid nearly 11 years ago and $105,000 over the final ask of $3.495 million, suggesting there were multiple offers for the property. Measuring in an ample but well short of conspicuously big 4,300 square feet arranged over three floors, the home sits on just under one-fifth of an acre along a leafy street that winds its way through the foothills of the thickly celebrified neighborhood.
Entered through an imposing arched wood door, the house is arranged for maximum privacy around a lushly planted sunken courtyard with an octagonal, tile-accented plunge pool as its central focal point. Preserved architectural details include a stained glass window that bathes the elegantly curved stone staircase and entrance hall in golden light, and a massive leaded glass window with stained glass inserts in the step-down living room that additionally showcases refinished medium-brown wood floors, painted beams across the ceiling and a baronial fireplace.
Elsewhere, there’s a cozy study, a spacious dining room and an up-to-date eat-in kitchen where turquoise tile back splashes complement a mix of lightly veined white marble and dark-stained wood countertops. French doors open the breakfast room to the serene central courtyard that, in addition to the pool, offers an arched colonnade and an outdoor fireplace.
The main part of the house has four bedrooms and 3.5 vintage-tiled bathrooms, including a staff suite off the kitchen and a top-floor homeowners’ hideaway with a sun porch-style sitting room with a tree-framed view. There are two bonus spaces, both with exterior entrances. An unfinished space tucked up under the street-level garage sports French doors to the courtyard, concrete floors and exposed ceiling joists, while the other, suitable as guest quarters, a screening room and/or a quiet home office, is nipped away underneath the main part of the house with a living room, sleeping area and bath. It opens to a small grassy yard at the back the house.
The first Asian-American actor to be case as a romantic lead, in the short-lived 2014 sitcom “Selfie,” the first Asian-American actor to anchor a Hollywood thriller, “Searching” in 2018, and the lead character of Spike Spiegel in Netflix’s upcoming and much-anticipated live-action adaptation of the cult Japanese sci-fi anime series “Cowboy Bepop,” Cho has long owned a fairly inconspicuous 1920s Spanish home in the fashionable Silver Lake neighborhood that he scooped up more than 14 years ago for $1.3 million.