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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.
The Galleria Shopping Center is a thriving mall at the heart of Little Tokyo. At the Galleria you can indulge in a little retail therapy at one the many boutiques and shops spread across three levels or knock down a few pins at the bowling alley. The mall is best known for its excellent market, located at the ground level. The market offers a selection of Japanese and Korean products, a fresh seafood counter, produce and even a sushi and sashimi bar. The Galleria also boasts a variety of restaurants, cafes and bakeries that have come to be a regular lunch destination for many.
Harper is a fashion store in Downtown Los Angeles that specializes in women's fashion. Collections include a wide range of designer outfits that can be used for both formal and casual purposes. In addition to clothes, they also sell leather bags, jewelry and fashion accessories that add style to your overall personality.
Part deli, part grocery store, The Little Jewel of New Orleans offers authentic and delicious Southern culinary classics, right in the center of Chinatown. Behind the green and white striped awning, hungry patrons and food enthusiasts can expect to find everyday essentials as well as obscure items exclusive to Louisiana. Primarily focused on their renowned Po'Boy sandwiches, the menu does offer muffulettas, gumbo, jambalaya, sugary desserts and many more. With its good food, friendly service and lively music, this laid-back gem of a place is one of the best delicatessens and markets in the city.
Locals know the California Jewelry Mart as the showcase for all that glitters. Hundreds of retail shops occupy the two main buildings and offer gold and silver, precious and semi-precious stones, as well as watches and jewelry repairs. Much of the merchandise comes from the Middle East, Europe, Israel and South Africa. You can also find jewelers here who will custom create that special piece that you've always dreamed of. So get your bling on by purchasing from one of their fine collections.
Another great stop only a half-block off Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, this shop has become one of the city's most popular destinations for artists and architects alike. Inside you will find an impressive selection of new and hard-to-find books on art and architecture. A friendly and knowledgeable staff is also worth mentioning.