Interesting Shopping Areas with Good Food?


If anyone has recommendations for interesting shopping areas with good restaurants nearby, please let me know.

Obvious example is Melrose with its alt fashion and the slew of restaurants along the same street, like Chef Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese shop and Mare. Smoke.Oil.Salt is there. Pizzeria Mozza / Chi Spacca is down the street a bit.

Any other areas for interesting shopping experiences with good food around L.A.? Doesn’t have to be clothes / fashion only. Interesting to explore / walk / shop.


Abbot Kinney in Venice

Main Street in Santa Monica (south end of Main crosses into Venice by all the Rose Ave restaurants)

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Abbott Kinney, Downtown Culver City, Sawtelle.


Great list! Also Grand Central Market Downtown & Broadway, The Original Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax and the Wednesday & Saturday Santa Monica Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Arizona & the 3rd Street Promenade…


Arts District (DTLA)

Little Tokyo (DTLA)

Focus Plaza (San Gabriel)

Focus Plaza, along with the stretch of Valley Blvd from New Ave. to Del Mar. (San Gabriel)

Eagle Rock (from Colorado Blvd to Eagle Rock Blvd to about York, and don’t forget Occidental College)

South Pasadena (between Fair Oaks and Meridian)

Laguna Beach (bounded by Broadway, Hwy 1, and Forest Ave.) (bonus: Farmers Market every Sat 8-12)

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Thanks @cookiemonster. For Main Street, you mean over by Chaya Venice? I just realize I usually drive by all that stuff to get to Gjusta, LOL. But are there interesting shops there? Thanks.

Little Osaka a.k.a. Little Japantown a.k.a Sawtelle. More food than retail but some interesting stores are sprinkled in there.

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Thanks @Bigmouth.

Thanks @wienermobile. :slightly_smiling: Definitely a good pick with the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and all the 3rd Street shopping nearby.

For Grand Central Market, did you mean just GCM, or are there some interesting shopping to be had outside GCM in the nearby blocks? (I don’t recall any.) Thanks.

There are some funky shops outside on Broadway…

Both the Jewelry District, as well as the Fashion District are nearby (the former closer than the latter). A bit further south you have the Toy District. Then if you have really good waking shoes you can go hang out with the crates of fish at IMP, Pacific, LAFC, etc.)

But at GCM, if you climb up the hill with the now defunct Angel’s Flight you can hit up MOCA, The Broad, Disney Concert Hall, etc.

Or you can come hang out with me; I’ll give you a tour of Roybal and the Spring St. courthouses. But only if you bring me an Egg Slut or two (the food, not the other kind).


Third Street east of La Cienega has a ton of interesting shops and cafes.

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Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks for the great list! :slightly_smiling:

For Arts District, I know of the little shops on Traction near 3rd (near Wurstkuche, Blacktop Coffee, and depending on the day, Guerilla Tacos). But are there more shops you’d recommend besides the ones on Traction?

Focus Plaza (SGV): Totally forgot about that gigantic strip mall. :slight_smile: For the section you said outside of Focus Plaza (between New & Del Mar), what are the interesting shops you’d recommend checking out? (I have no idea about that area.)

Also if I’m out there, what restaurants would you recommend over there?

For South Pasadena, is the area you’re talking about near that old time-y Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain? Like on Mission? I passed through there a few years ago, and I also got a chance to try Crossings once.

Great call on Laguna Beach! Loved going there a while back; totally forgot about it. :slightly_smiling: Any recs on Parking and any specific Shops & Restaurants to hit there? I thought there was one place that served Moules Frites in an authentic Belgium style preparation years ago?

Yes, basically heading north/west up Main Street from Chaya Venice. Lots of shops for clothing, jewelry, furniture, gifts, a couple galleries. Not quite as hip, or expensive, as Abbot Kinney.

Besides the nearby museums, The Last Bookstore is very close and definitely worth the short walk. Across the street from there is a decent beer selection at a store called Buzz.

[quote=“Chowseeker1999, post:12, topic:2445, full:true”]

Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks for the great list! :slightly_smiling:

For Arts District, I know of the little shops on Traction near 3rd (near Wurstkuche, Blacktop Coffee, and depending on the day, Guerilla Tacos). But are there more shops you’d recommend besides the ones on Traction?[/quote]

There’s Bestia, Church & State, Everson Royce Bar, The Pie Hole, Cerveteca and Urban Radish for grub, and for shopping there’s Apolis (the Whole Foods of World Market) and other weird places like Lot, Stock & Barrel and Alchemy Works.

Wait, is this a trick question? You ask because you think the SGV does not get enough coverage here on FTC, right? Or, I’m just totally being played here?

Anyway, some restaurants to consider in/around Focus and that stretch of Valley. Shanghai No. 1 Seafood, Chang’an, Vege Paradise, Mei Long Village, Xiang Wei Lou, Flavor Garden, Beijing Tasty House, the (new congee place) Huo Zhou Wang, Omar’s, and Bambu and Blackball for dessert. But that’s just 2 seconds worth of thinking about it. There’s probably another dozen or two or 50 more places one could try.

Oh, and while you’re at it, pick me up a Patek or two while you’re strolling around Focus Plaza.

Also should you need monkey testicles, there’s a sale going on right now at Sai Fong (herbal shop). But don’t tell the FDA; in fact, don’t tell anyone. And don’t tell anyone that Wing Hop can source you nageoire de requin

Yes, exactly. And make sure to check out Fiore Market Cafe as well as Nicole’s.

Hmm, not sure. But I’m usually there for the roasted, marinated garlic cloves from the Farmers Market, and then a stroll along Hwy 1, some gelato at Gelato Paradiso, and then some grub at Watermarc, and then more gelato to end the day.

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[quote=“ipsedixit, post:15, topic:2445”]
There’s Bestia, Church & State, Everson Royce Bar, The Pie Hole, Cerveteca and Urban Radish for grub, and for shopping there’s Apolis (the Whole Foods of World Market) and other weird places like Lot, Stock & Barrel and Alchemy Works.[/quote]

Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks for the clarification on Arts District. Got it.

@ipsedixit, no no! LOL. I wanted to ask you for your recommendations for restaurants in that stretch near Focus. I don’t reference the old board anymore, and I don’t really explore much out there, so I wanted to hear it from one of the experts on what might still be good to eat (afraid of downhill alerts, etc.). :smile: OK, that’s a big list of restaurants to try out (I tried out Mei Long Village a while ago). Thanks for the recs!

Also for non-food shopping, I’ve never really explored much (glanced around a few shops in Focus years ago), but that was it. So since you recommended that area, are there any noteworthy shops to check out? Thank you! :slightly_smiling:

For Sai Fong… ! That sounds like something out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, LOL. Good to know if I ever know anyone who wants that stuff.

Laguna Beach: Wow, Watermarc sounds awesome. Duck Confit with Eggs and Tater Tot Poutine?! :open_mouth:

Thanks again. :slightly_smiling:

Hi @Thor,

Thanks for the recommendation. I always mentally ignore that stretch of 3rd Street because parking is so awful. :frowning: LOL. You’re right, lots of shops there. And Son of Gun, Little Door… wait, when did they open up Belcampo Meat Co. on 3rd Street?! :open_mouth: Sheesh, it felt like yesterday that their big expansion from GCM was over to the West Side.

How’s Pistola? I’ve heard mixed reviews about the place.

Also any tips of decent parking in the area? I remember spending like 15 minutes trying to find parking on my last visit to Son of Gun.

The long stretch of La Brea between Wilshire and Sunset(ish)

Sunset Junction

La Cienega from Venice to Washington, and then Washington westward towards Helms Bakery

The area around Leimert Park where Crenshaw mets Vernon

Cesar Chevez/Breed Street/Evergreen Cemetary

Pioneer Blvd in Artesia

Bolsa around the Asian Garden Mall in Garden Grove (actually, Westminster, I think)

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Ok, now that I’m not trying to multi-task, here’s what I would do eating wise in/around that stretch of Valley Blvd., anchored by Focus Plaza.

Flavor Garden - try the pickled pig ears, pig stomach, some shrimp/tofu or fish dumplings, and then wash it all down with some chicken soup (or if you’re mama ipsedixit, order the millet congee and then yell at them cuz it’s not cooked down enough and then demand your money back, because no one can really spare a $1 in subpar food, right?)

Then hit up Hou Zhou Wang while our chilly SoCal winter days are still conducive enough to make a meal out of congee. Because how often can you get abalone congee along with some kimchi. Then finish off your meal with some of their pretty decent 滷味 in the form of duck feet.

After that, swing on over to Chang’an for drinks and maybe some apps. Food is sort of meh, but I swear the clientele is like something out of an Abbot and Costello skit, if the creators of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills were writing the script. So many Chinese adolescents afflicted with affluenza, if you didn’t have your shots already, the CDC might quarantine you after your visit.

For dessert, I would try Blackball. I’m a sucker for their tofu pudding and yam balls, but then I’m easily amused so take that for what it’s worth. And a night cap? Egg tarts, of course, at Kee Wah a bit down the street.

Well, because I am a WIS I always start (and end up) at Chong Hing in the Focus Plaza, where if you straggle long enough and appear just slightly interested, they’ll serve you snacks like biscotti or wafer crackers along with green or black tea of your choice.

There’s also a bunch of other interesting shops to browse (aside from herbal shops like Sai Fong and Wing Hop) in/around or adjacent to the Plaza, like Daiso, Shibuyala (the Asian Victoria’s Secret) and enough cosmetics boutiques to moisturize all of the inhabitants of the Gobi desert. Twice. And enough SK-II products to make your credit card cry uncle. And probably enough fake SK-II products to make the FBI cry uncle.

Of course. Even if I am being played …


Hi @ipsedixit,

omg! I’m not playing you. :cry: LOL.

Thanks for the detailed recommendations. I remember reading @secretasianman recommending Flavor Garden before, but your detailed recs include pig ears / stomach and chicken soup (I would’ve never known to order that there). :slightly_smiling:

For Kee Wah, do they make fresh egg tarts throughout the day?

Thanks for the non-food recs! I didn’t even know Daiso Japan opened up a branch in Focus Plaza. And thanks for the recs on Shibuyala, etc. Wait, if you’re saying these shops sell fake SK-II products, uhm, which stores are safe / selling real stuff? :slightly_smiling: (I remember the Hawaii supermarket thread with the fake liquor being sold, but wow…).