If i were you i'd look at manhattan beach or one of the south bay areas (hermosa, redondo, PV, etc). It's got such a chill vibe and everyone there is awesome. The towns are perfect beach towns.
if you really wanna stay in la i'd say that:
-westwood is damn tight with the village and ucla
-brentwood is even better (but much more expensive)
-marina del rey is pretty sweet, definitely some nice apartments out there with great restaurants around it.
If i were you i just wouldn't go north of mulholland drive. the valley is alright late fall->spring but once summer comes around it is so shitty.