The quake's magnitude was 4.4 and it was centered 15 miles west-northwest of the downtown civic center, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Los Angeles police and fire officials said there were no immediate reports of damage.
"It felt like a bomb going off underneath our house," said George McQuade, a West Hills resident. "Nothing was damaged, but it sure woke everyone up. It was an eye-opener."
The 6:25 a.m. quake occurred at a depth of about 5 miles.
The epicenter was 6 miles from Beverly Hills, 7 miles from Universal City and 7 miles from Santa Monica, the USGS said.