The Fashion District sprawls over 90 blocks of downtown Los Angeles, and is just the place to be if you are looking for bargains or wholesale material. This section of the city is absolutely crammed with stores selling designer clothing, shoes, accessories, textiles and even flowers at unbeatable rates. Other bric-a-brac on display includes toys, lingerie, CDs, prom gowns and kids wear. Over 1,000 such retailers show off their wares at a flea market, which always dons a festive appearance. Weekends are particularly busy, with great discounts of up to 30 percent. Hours of operation and credit cards may vary by store.
Natives in-the-know refer to this outdoor bazaar as The Alley and here is where you will find a quarter mile of goods of every description and wall-to-wall people in search of the perfect bargain. Here in Santee Alley you will find casual and chic day wear and evening wear. There are all kinds of jewelry concessions as well as menswear, children's clothing, lingerie and toys. If you like the idea of searching through piles and piles of merchandise for the best bargains, among throngs of other people who are doing the same thing, you won't want to miss cruising The Alley.
Blast From The Past is the place to go to find to look through their comic book selection and find that rare action figure or movie memorabilia. The store has more than 5,000 action figures and 2,000 movie posters. The staff is very helpful, knowledgeable and you can debate the merits of a comic book for an entire day. If you love TV, movies, and comic books then this store can't be missed!
Considered the best Italian source on the Westside, this place has long been a favorite of all Angelenos. Its homemade fresh pasta might be a good enough reason to travel to Santa Monica, but there are innumerable reasons to go to the deli itself. Featuring terrific cold cuts, extra large Italian subs, sensational cheeses, imported cooking oils and tasty olives, Bay Cities is a place any Italian connoisseur will appreciate. Don't miss the Greek and Middle Eastern specialties as well.
Touted to be one of the best places to savor Indian food, the Samosa House is a must-visit for lovers of Indian cuisine. Relish the delicious Indian delights like Samosas, Pakoras, curries as well as tasty drinks like Lassi, Chair or Indian Beers. Devotees of Indian cooking will be delighted with the selection and helpful hands available at the interesting shop attached near the restaurant. Shelves are packed with jars of chutneys, sauces, spices and a huge selection of flours including gram and chickpeas, as well as everything you'll ever need to make a curry from scratch. Don't leave without sampling the homemade pickles or baked goods, and feel free to get some wonderful advice from the engaging owner; who is happy to share cooking tips and recipes.
Years ago, one of the summer rituals for L.A. children was a new pair of huaraches from Olvera Street and maybe some Mexican jumping beans. Nowadays those rituals are a year-round treat on this cobblestone street, which is a block-long cornucopia of traditional Mexican clothing, artwork, gifts, leather goods, novelties and restaurants. There is also a Visitors Center where tourists can appreciate the complimentary screening of a film which depicts early life in Los Angeles. Olvera Street was created in the 1930s and comprises the area known as the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, which is the site of the city's beginnings. Free tours are given to the public by the Las Angelinas, a non-profit organization.
This cigar shop has been in business since the 1940s. It started out selling only its own line of cigars which were simple but high in quality and flavor.These days, the owners sell 25-30 other brands in addition to their own line, which has evolved into a premium cigar over the decades. The owners sell their cigars in boxes with bands. Cigar lovers should definitely give the house brand a try as it is aromatic and delightful. Call for open hours.
Fugetso-Do, a small Japanese sweet shop, open since 1903, is the oldest business in the Little Tokyo area. They sell candies, sweet bean paste, rice crackers and taffy, cake and other confections. The decor of this store is old fashioned but welcoming. You will surely be amazed by the wide variety at this sweet store. The specialty here is the Mochi, Japenese confection made out of steamed glutinous rice. Fugetsu-Do founder, Seiichi Kito is the one who originally created the popular fortune cookie concept. And yes, they are freshly made every morning!
Discover the science behind baking bread at Clark Street Bread, a popular local bakery. The owner Zack Hall started this little venture out of the love of baking. One can see the wizard at his craft in the shop on the South Broadway Street. A few of the bread variations listed on the menu are Danish Rye, Raisin Walnut and French Baguette, all made from organic ingredients. The bread is sold to a number of well known restaurants in the vicinity.
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.
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.