It is no small feat for an independent bookstore to stay in business during the times when even giant chains have caved in. It is a downright marvel when a brand-new bookstore emerges and proceeds to forge upstream against the general trend of brick-and-mortar decline. One such miracle occurred in the midst of the Downtown Arts District in 2011 when The Last Bookstore opened its doors, dazzling eager bibliophiles and inquisitive passers-by with its spacious, beautifully laid-out interior packed full of new and used editions of every genre. With its affordable prices, friendly staff and a massive, continuously changing collection, the bookstore quickly claimed for itself a permanent place among the most popular destination of Downtown LA.
Located in the downtown Long Beach Harbor, Shoreline Village shopping center features some great shops and restaurants. From here you can also take boat tours of the Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors. Restaurants include The Yard House, Tequila Jack's, Tugboat Pete's and Parkers' Lighthouse. At sunset, an excursion along the Long Beach Harbor Marina is perfect and at night, both The Yard House and Tequila Jack's are hopping bars that serve several beers and tequilas.
Some of the funkiest folks in town do all of their gift and holiday shopping at Wacko, also known as Soap Plant. One of the most notorious and eclectic shops in Los Angeles, it's a sure bet that you'll find things that you never knew existed. From Sumo wrestler lunch boxes to patchouli soaps and kiss "Psycho Circus" dolls, expect the unexpected. It's the perfect place if you want to take home a little bit of Hollywood hipster heaven.
The oldest open air market in the city, the Grand Central Market is located in the bustling downtown area of Los Angeles. This has been a one stop shopping destination for everyday wants since 1917. From fresh produce to fresh meats, perfumes to liquor and jewelry to grains, you will find all you need. This huge market even has several restaurants on-site and is known as a foodie's paradise. Come and experience the flavors and sights of this market; a favorite with locals!
Overlooking South Western Avenue in Los Angeles, Koreatown Plaza is a family-friendly shopping mall. Spread across three floors, this shopping center is home to several Asian stores, boutiques and eateries. Opened in the year 1988, customers can find a variety of products here under one roof. It includes items like groceries, clothing, footwear, jewelry, accessories, cosmetics, books and a lot more.
Whether you are in Pasadena for that New Year's Day bash, known as the Rose Bowl or checking out the Jet Propulsion Lab and Cal Tech, make sure you head to Colorado Avenue - Pasadena's main shopping district. Known as "Old Town," it offers bars, restaurants, bookstores, clothing stores (one of the first J. Crew stores opened in this old-money bastion), clubs, movie theaters and more. Credit cards accepted vary by store.
This is the store to come to for information about Japan. It carries an enormous inventory of English language books about Japan, as well as books in the Japanese language. You can also find Japanese magazines, CDs, computer software and videos in Japanese with English subtitles.
The place is a paradise found for any hipsterette or eccentric fashionista. In short, the store carries some of the most striking and eye-catching t-shirts and tunics in town. But that's not all; there are denims, leggings, frocks and mounds of trendy accessories, all original and with a twist. Sourced directly from select Japanese artists and designers, Popkiller's assortment is unique, edgy and plain unruly in its rampant variety. Furthermore, it spans through mind-boggling miscellany, from fashion eyewear to post cards, stickers and magnets, to weird toys and puzzling gadgets. Grab a two hour parking spot on the street, or in a nearby cheap lot and dive in. You owe it to yourself to experience Popkiller first-hand.
DTLA Cheese, as its name suggests, sells a wide variety of cheese sourced from all over the globe, from Italy and France to the individual states of America. It is a charming shop nestled in Downtown Los Angeles. If you get intimidated by the sheer varieties and names of the cheese, its helpful staff will guide you through the bewildering maze. This shop is replete with Habenero Cheddar, Humboldt Fog and Hook's Cheddar among other kinds of cheese. It also serves as a restaurant and offers light snacks such as Ham and Cheese Melt, Brussel Sprouts Salad, Pork Loin and Salami Sandwich.
Belcampo Meat Co. has on sale organic, grass-fed meats meanwhile also doubling up as a burger joint. You can choose between their burgers, stews and sandwiches among other goodies and wash down the dishes with a glass of beer or wine. The Belcampo Burger prepared with caramelized onions, white cheddar, house sauce, lettuce and bread bar brioche bun as well as the Beef Tallow Fries are particularly delightful. If you find yourself impressed by the quality of the meat in the food served, certainly take a pound of ground beef home to delight other friends and family members too.
Located in Grand Central Market the Little Tokyo neighborhood, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market is a unique store that offers up homemade pasta. Sold by the pound and made fresh throughout the day, a variety of pastas including fusili, penne, spaghetti and spaghettini is available here. Drop by to try some of their pasta tossed up with a variety of delicious fresh ingredients and flavor-packed sauces.