My uncle introduced me to Larchmont Photo when I needed to develop some rolls of film for my portfolio. He's a pretty serious photographer, and he always takes his color film to Larchmont to be developed. They really do an outstanding job, and the pictures come out looking much more vibrant and vivid than they do when the average photo tech runs the film through at your local supermarket/drugstore counter. You pay quite a bit more for the extra attention to detail, but if you're developing something important, the cost is 100% worth it.
After developing a serious case of plantar fasciitis, I decided to bite the bullet and get myself some serious running shoes. The salesperson I had at Top to Top really knew his stuff, and presented me with a couple of options that he knew would work for my feet. I found a pair of shoes and a pair of inserts that fit great and offered almost instant relief for my heels. They were worth every dollar I paid, and I will be going back in a few months once this pair is worn out!
I stopped in at Peter Norman to get a watch resized, and they happily did it for me (free of charge, even!). While I waited, I browsed around and was truly enchanted by most of their designs. Their pieces range from very extravagant and jewel-encrusted to simple, almost antique-like settings. If I ever have the cash saved up to pick out some jewelry for myself, I would come back here in a second.
Studio Depot is one-stop shopping at its best for the entertainment industry. They have everything, and if they don't have it, they can order it for you. You'll never see a bigger selection of tape in your life, and they carry specialty paints, bags and cases for all types of equipment, camera accessories... the list goes on forever. The sales people are great, and the managers are super nice and helpful. You won't be disappointed by what you find here.
When you're stuck without a Party City and you need helium balloons in a hurry, Vine American is the place to go. Unfortunately, their stock is somewhat limited, their prices are high, and the people who work there can be somewhat gruff. If I had a choice, I'd go elsewhere, but Vine American is pretty much all Hollywood has to offer for basic party supplies.
Jackalope Pottery is an incredibly cool place full of pottery and other decorative items. I couldn't even begin to list everything they have, but it ranges from giant stone fountains to colorful Mexican tin ornaments. I stopped in randomly because I was looking for a pair of antlers for a costume piece, and amazingly enough, they had them, and in two different sizes! Their eclectic pieces would work very well in just about any decor--they have something for everyone.
When we lived in Mar Vista, we started going to Movies and More because Blockbuster and Hollywood were killing us with late fees. Movies and More, despite being a smaller store, has a really good selection, and unlike Blockbuster, they often have the movie you want in stock! One piece of advice, though: check your DVD before you leave with it to make sure it's not damaged. We had some serious problems with discs skipping and often had to return/exchange them.
I've stopped at B & B on occasion when Home Depot didn't have the special piece of hardware I was looking for (it's happened a few times), and they do have a great selection of obscure items hidden in that store. I've found the staff to be a bit surly at times--they haven't generally been as friendly to me as the rest of the reviews would suggest. I also wouldn't come here for tools on a regular basis, since their prices are a bit higher than I'm used to for average hand tools and power tools.
Florentine Art Studio has the biggest selection of plaster sculptures I've ever seen. I have purchased numerous items from them in the last couple years, and I am always impressed by their helpful staff and the quality and price of their merchandise. Every time I look at their catalog, I want to buy everything in it! It's a great place to go if you're planning an event like a wedding or party and need centerpieces or decorative elements.
When the director gave us the task of creating a freestanding twelve-foot chain-link cage in the middle of an open field for a dodgeball game, every place I called told me it was impossible. C and C Fence listened to the crazy request and said "Sure, no problem." They were patient with all of the many changes we made to our order, and in the end, everything went off without a hitch. I would recommend them without hesitation to anyone.