Glad you have found your place. I love SLO. My family has been in the same part of NE L.A. (Highland Park) for six generations. We are certainly glad any time someone moves OUT of L.A! One less car in my way.
L.A. is the place to live if you want to be private, for sure, but it is plenty social and friendly if you seek it out. I never lock my car, and rarely even roll the windows up. I talk to strangers every day. The social behavior does not just happen here; you have to put some effort into it. It won't hit you in the face every day like other big cities, but if you want it, it is there. This all comes down to geography, which I believe does more than anything else to shape a culture. This sort of social interaction is not as necessary as it is in tighter cities. Another thing is that skin is very thin here, so it often backfires when you are social or emotive. Weird place, but by far the best place I've been. The diversity of the people and geography can't be beat. I have lived in white America, and it made me love L.A. even more.
IMO, the worst thing about L.A. BY FAR is how early everything closes, and the low number of decent vegetarian restaurants. I am a night owl and a vegetarian, so this makes it rough to spend my free evenings anywhere but at home!