L'Atelier has a great selection of luxury yarns, knitting supplies, and knitting patterns. They carry Clover supplies, which are very good. If you buy yarn from them, you may receive help on your project until it is finished. All you have to do is bring your project to the store and pull up a chair at the worktable. The staff are all very knowledgeable and can make recommendations about any aspect of your project.
The yarn is expensive, but prices are average for that quality of yarn. The same goes for the supplies and patterns. You may need to park on the street, as the store only has two or three spaces assigned to them.
PROS: Free project help
CONS: Prices are average
I like this gym a lot. I was with L.A. Fitness for several years and Gold's is much better. The service is more professional, the equipment is more advanced and better maintained, and there are other perks: great classes, clean locker room and showers, complimentary towel service, complimentary shampoo and shower gel, steam room, sauna, lap pool, and jacuzzi.
One big plus is a small women-only workout room. There's also a boxing ring, smoothie bar, and three different channels on the TVs overhead. The interior is decorated with a nice, upscale look. The atmosphere is mellow, I think because the people there are serious about working out.
The spa next door to this gym gives discounts to the gym members.
Prices for Gold's are reasonable, but I would recommend signing up during a promotion or bargaining with the salespeople during sign-up.
PROS: Tons of perks
CONS: Not the most convenient unless you live in Downtown
Second Spin sells a wide range of used CDs and also sells certain new CDs for very good prices-- $12.99 or so. Their used selection is good in every genre. I find it better than Penny Lane. I've bought electronica, classical, country, and a soundtrack from them. They have a Web site, too.
The used prices are good. There are listening stations, and their staff is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about music. They buy CDs also.
PROS: Great selection
Clean Living has excellent dry cleaning, but I really go there for the alterations. Usually when you ask a dry cleaner to do alterations, you have to know exactly what you want, because the staff can't help you. They can only take your order.
At Clean Living, they hem my pants perfectly-- not too long and not too short. I've had bad experiences at other places, but now I trust Clean Living with all my alterations.
Their prices are average for the market, and very good for the quality you get.
PROS: Great alterations
I like the Soap Kitchen for soap which is herbal, with an astringent edge.
It has the name it does because their soap is made in the back of the store-- you can watch when it's being done. The kitchen is available for customers to make their own soaps, using their soap base and your choice of ingredients. They have a little lounge area and take bookings for soap-making parties, which sounds like it could be a good solution if you've been put in charge of a shower or a bachelorette party.
Their soaps feature ingredients such as lavender, rosemary, and passionfruit, and they make seasonal soaps like a cinnamon and pumpkin one for Halloween. They have a two great olive oil lip balms. They also have shampoo soaps for people and (even) dogs.
If you have been to the tea shop Relaxtation, this store is run by the same person and has a similar atmosphere.
Splash is one of a few soap stores I buy from. I go when I feel like soap that smells rich, sweet, or fresh. Their soaps remind me of candy.
Splash also has great facial products, especially a pink-colored French clay soap. People swear that it can do miracles with your skin, like remove pimples, scales, and blackheads. I do know that it's moisturizing and soothing. I recommend it, and I recommend their facial masks, also.
PROS: Miracle French clay facial soap!
CONS: Parking can be hard to find
If it's late at night (or early in the morning) and you're looking for a place to eat on the Westside, skip Jerry's and go to Izzy's. The prices are better, and the food is much, much better. They offer all the usual deli food, except that everything is named after somebody. You know you're at Izzy's when your order has a person's name. I like to get the corned beef hash breakfast there, but the sandwiches are supposed to be their best items-- especially the Reuben sandwiches.
PROS: Better than Jerry's Deli
Cafe Montana is a popular restaurant, especially for brunch. Their brunch is decent, but my favorites there are the portabella mushroom burgers and sweet potato fries. You can taste the portabella in the burger and that flavor isn't overwhelmed by a cheese that's too sharp or sauce that's too tangy, unlike at some restaurants. The sweet potato fries come with any burger, are fried to be a little crispy, and are lightly seasoned.
The prices are average: I spend $10 to $15 for lunch and $15 to $25 for dinner. It's a nice place for a sit-down meal. Parking is in the back or on the street.
CONS: Wish it were open all night
Sawtelle Kitchen is a cute establishment with an enclosed patio and a warm interior. The food is decent and you can bring your own wine, but I like it because it has a cozy neighborhood atmosphere. But watch out if you're claustrophobic, because cozy partly means that the tables are small and placed close to each other!
PROS: Cute vibe, can bring your own wine
CONS: Cozy interior can be claustrophobic to some
I found Du Japon after bouncing among hairstylists for several years. If you're Asian like I am, your hair will look best when specific techniques are used on it. These techniques aren't taught in the States, but are taught overseas. The trick is to find stylists who have that training. Every stylist at Du Japon has this training, and they're up on the latest trends. Their cuts are stylish but never uncomfortably edgy. I've been going there for a few years now.
Bonus: They also do excellent perms and coloring, also appropriate for Asian hair.
Their prices are very reasonable, and they give all-day validation for the Joe's Parking on the same block. They also have a location in the Sawtelle area.
PROS: Expert cuts, perms, and color for Asian hair.