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 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.
It isn't exaggerating to say that Rodeo Drive contains some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. Remember Julia Roberts' shopping spree in Pretty Woman? Rodeo Drive is where she went. The place boasts of a great mixture of clothing, restaurants, unique shops and celebrity spotting. Be warned, however, some of the stores are so exclusive, shopping is by appointment only.
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.
With harder-to-find upscale boutiques as well as the usual mall fare, the Beverly Center is one of the more popular shopping destinations in the city of Los Angeles. The structure itself is certainly unique for a mall, with two floors of shops and a third of food court and cinemas atop five-levels of parking, filling an entire city block. Among the more unique stores found here are Belgravia Collection, Betsey Johnson, Cabochon Fine Jewelry, Alexio, Club Monaco, Politix, Vertex, The Icing and Shauna Stein.
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.
Marukai Market is fittingly located in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles as this supermarket specializes in Japanese groceries. Here, you can shop for everything associated with Japan, from sushi party platters to kimonos in a range of styles and patterns. It also stocks pottery and ceramics printed with beautiful Asian designs, hibachi grill, which is a heating apparatus for cooking East Asian food, packaged curries, green tea packets, electronics, cosmetics and personal care products. Whether you are looking for Japanese furniture to infuse tranquility into your home, or the perfect ingredients to cook Japanese meals, this supermarket won't disappoint.
At this lovely store, you will surely find anything or everything that is 'Made in Japan'. The racks are brimming with cool and cute stuff, and those who like trinkets will end up buying more than what they had decided. Toys, bento boxes, fans, incense, kitchen tools, tea sets, bath supplies and so forth is up for sale here. So visit this outlet for a fun-filled treasure hunting spree.
Nestled in Little Tokyo, the Japanese district of Los Angeles, this branch of Nijiya Market sells East Asian groceries and produce. Browse through this supermarket to search for ingredients to prepare Japanese meals, where you will find seaweed packets to make sushi, organic sweet rice, flour, dried grains and beans, organic herbs and vegetables, matcha (green tea) and confectioneries such as Green Tea Kit Kats. One can also shop for boxed lunches, fresh seafood and meat, liquors including sake, rice balls and rice cakes.
This cute store is all about selecting the perfect present for your little ones, especially if they love Hello Kitty. Here, you can browse through endless racks brimming with colorful stuff. Stationery, school supplies, fancy wallets, jewelry, accessories, cute toys and many other trinkets bring an instant smile to your face. Sanrio with its cool merchandise and unlimited options is surely a lovely place to shop at.
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!
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.