Our list of the best places to shop and things to buy in L.A. this year includes an eco-friendly nail salon, a hub for L.A.-made fashion, and a shop where you can craft your own roller skates.
836 S. Los Angeles St., Downtown
Resale sneakers often go for about a third of their original retail price, and it has become a huge online business. But wouldn’t you rather pick out your “lightly worn” kicks by Adidas, Air Jordan, and Nike in person? Holy Grail offers hundreds of coveted preworn styles (and 2,000 brand-new ones) in multiple sizes for men, women, and kids. Sure, used shoes will still run you about 200 to 300 bucks, but they cost 600 to 800 new. And talk about a treasure trove: Holy Grail has a healthy selection of Air Jordan 1s—streetwear’s definitive sneaker.
7040 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
Modern Bathroom stocks six types of claw-foot tubs (with names like Shropshire and Wessex) designed by London-based Victoria + Albert. Each is made with a unique material called Englishcast, which has high heat insulation, and comes with a multitude of foot options (white metal, polished chrome, polished brass, polished nickel, brushed nickel) and a variety of drain finishes (chrome, polished brass, oil-rubbed bronze). You can also dip a toe into its selection of modern, sleek, freestanding tubs like the award-winning rimless Napoli.
Move over, Norma Desmond, we can all get read for our close-ups now! Turbans are back, and the old-Hollywood head wraps are available everywhere from Neiman Marcus to Nordstrom. But L.A.’s chicest turbans are full-on designer in silk, chartreuse, velour, and tasseled versions, courtesy of Brit expat and all-round glam girl Julia Clancey. They boast fab color combos like fuchsia and jade in twisted pleated patterns and have monikers like Miss Edie. Clancey herself never leaves home without one. Prices range from $195 to $795. You can purchase them from her online store or email a custom order.
Antique Rug Co.
928 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood
Rare vintage rugs are one-of-a-kind antiques—and Persian, Oriental, and Turkish derivations are often worth a lot more than their contemporaries. Experienced appraisers Barry and Dina Amiri of Antique Rug Co. have been in the business for more than 20 years. In addition to housing an excellent supply at their studio, they offer cleaning, repair, and restoration services. These people know their way around a weave.
»Trendy Beauty Treatments
7918 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, and 320 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
It’s not hard to find a place to get your brows shaped or hair lengthened in Los Angeles, but where do you turn when you want to try out a trend that’s a little more experimental—say, tattooed freckles? Have no fear, GBY beauty (aka Go Blush Yourself) is here for all your avant beauty needs. With a list of services that includes everything from tooth gems to brightly colored “Tokyo-style” lash extensions, the cutting-edge offerings at the cult-favorite salon have earned the support of influencers from Kylie Jenner to Wolftyla. And if you’re not feeling especially bold, its locations in Silver Lake and West Hollywood also offer a full complement of more traditional treatments.
9700 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
Raindrops were falling on our heads much more steadily this winter and spring than years past, and meteorologists are predicting more wet winters to come. Looks like umbrellas are going to be a future wardrobe staple. For the largest selection under one roof, head to Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, where you can get a handle on a plethora of options—jungle camo, Dada ones with mustaches, or coverings decked out with constellations. You’ll also find brand names like Burberry, Versace, and MacKenzie-Childs. Want to match your look? Colors include lipstick red, neon green, bright yellow, cadet blue, and if you want to channel your inner David Bowie—gold glitter.
»Chic Party Supplies
12336 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
If you’re looking for Disney princess paper goods, move along. Belle is nowhere to be found at Bonjour Fête, Party City’s sophisticated cousin. Rest assured, there’s cute aplenty: unicorn-shaped candles, multicolored dino plates, custom balloon garlands ($35 per foot), all aimed at putting the happy in birthday. Grown-ups get theirs, too. Striped “WHERE’S MY CABANA BOY?” napkins and hors d’oeuvre picks topped with tiny shells had us planning a seaside soiree at our nonexistent beach house. For those who get stressed at the mere thought of entertaining, party concierge services—from hand-holding to organizing the whole shebang so you can simply show up to your shindig—are available.
L.A. Urban Fitness Nutrition
3015 Main St., Santa Monica
Pure aloe juice for digestion? Mastic gum to chase infection? Coral calcium for balancing your pH with alkaline versus acid? Not only does L.A. Urban Fitness Nutrition stock them all—and every other kind of vitamin, supplement, fat-burner, protein bar, fish oil, mineral, and herb—but you can tell the staff about your issue, and they will make careful and clear suggestions that many regulars rely on.
Top of the Park
Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Ave., Elysian Park
Matchy-matchy types will find Dodger caps in every hue, even, regrettably, mauve—make that mauve suede—at Top of the Park, the store perched high above home plate at Chavez Ravine. Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner jerseys are as hot as their bats. But there’s no limit to what you can purchase to proclaim your love of the Blue Crew to the world, from luggage-strap covers to wine glasses. Indoctrinate the kids with Lego-knockoff Corey Seager figures. The newly renovated shop is open every day, save holidays and special events, though hours are irregular during baseball season. Just follow the blue line from the Vin Scully Avenue-Stadium Way entrance. You can even picnic in the vacant stands.
Thunderbolt Spiritual Books
512 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica
Filled to the brim with divinity texts, homeopathic supplements, and Buddha sculptures, Thunderbolt Spiritual Books is the go-to for all of your home and health essential oil needs. A five-minute drive from the Santa Monica Pier, this shop offers a breadth of oils nestled between stacks of intricately adorned books and rough-cut crystals. Whether you want the healing properties of tea tree for ill-timed skin blemishes or the diffused aroma of lavender wafting through your dining room, a product for every use can be found in this nook-and-cranny storefront.
Jojo Design Studio
1499 S. Robertson Blvd., Pico-Robertson
Any search for affordable, high-quality wallpaper is bound to take you across Los Angeles, rummaging through stores with limited range or trope patterns. But a trip to Jojo Design Studio, with its crisp-white-and-grayscale décor, accompanied by a lingering scent of vanilla, eases the often time-consuming ordeal. While surrounded by stacks of patterned tile and a corner coffee bar, you can sift through shelves of wallpaper look books to home in on your vision. Owner Jojo Velazquez offers personal guidance and helps streamline your hunt for, say, a metallic chevron print that suits a steam-filled bathroom or a bright paisley to finish a renovated sun room.
617 N. La Brea Ave., Fairfax District
Running out of space in the refrigerator or just want to turn your wine habit
into a certified hobby? Absolute Appliances can help you chill out. Its Hollywood showroom boasts a wide selection of under-counter and full-size wine coolers that will help you organize and preserve your growing (or shrinking) collection. If it doesn’t have what you need in stock, the website offers an even larger variety of wine fridges with free in-store pickup. Priding themselves on customer service, the knowledgeable employees will work with your budget and help you choose the right fridge to match your needs. Delivery and installation are available for a fee.
»Trump-Era Slogan Tees
1768 N. Vermont Ave, Los Feliz
The Future Is Female. Gender Is a Drag. The Patriarchy Is a Pyramid Scheme. These are some of the slogans you’ll find on tank tops, T-shirts, and sweatshirts at Otherwild, a queer-owned shop in Los Feliz. Dedicated to “showcasing goods made with care by individuals,” the inventory varies from apparel and accessories to apothecary and home goods. Its slogan tees are also available online, with most styles labeled unisex. Great for her, him, they/them.
»Custom Roller-Skate Shop
14037 Garfield Ave., Ste. H, Paramount
Ever wished you could chuck those stiff classic roller skates and just slap some wheels on your favorite shoes? Sk8 Fanatics, a skate shop in Paramount, will help you do just that. Founded by Printle “Pete” Russell, who has been making the rounds at L.A. rinks since the tender age of two, the store has made custom wheels for everyone from Tyga to WNBA star Cynthia Cooper. To get your own setup (prices start at around $165), just bring in your kicks (or choose a boot or shoe from the Sk8 Fanatics collection), and Russell and his team will assemble some smooth-sliding skates that will be ready to roll in just two to five days.
»Local Fashion Hub
943 N. Broadway, Chinatown
Sonya Sombreuil earned a name for herself as the creative force behind Come Tees, a graphic staple of L.A.’s underground scene that’s made fans of Rihanna and Kanye. Now she’s opened Classic Hits, a brick-and-mortar operation where she’s showcasing her clothes alongside the work of other essential up-and-coming local designers. Something between a showroom and a shop, the tiny, thoughtfully curated Chinatown space features limited-edition and one-of-a-kind garments from movers and shakers like No Sesso and Justin Cole Smith. While Sombreuil described the future of the store as “indefinite” to Vogue, we sure hope it sticks around.
H. Savinar Luggage Co.
4625 W. Washington Blvd., Mid City, and 6931 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park
Baggage fees. Pickpockets. Wrinkled suits. The 103-year-old H. Savinar Luggage Co. and the know-all-the-rules experts who work there help you avoid these and other travel perils. They’ll hook you up with a compact luggage scale, hidden wallet belt, and packing cubes in every size. For those who have never used the life-changing cubes, the decidedly unfancy shop offers free how-to classes. Do come with a shopping list or otherwise a visit for an adapter for that upcoming Argentina trip can easily turn into a shopping spree yielding a Dopp kit, a “NOT YOURS” luggage tag, and a shiny-red and rugged Eagle Creek duffel. H. Savinar also offers in-house luggage repairs.
»Rent a Dress
Rent the Runway
1427 4th St., 2nd Floor (inside West Elm), Santa Monica
Whether it’s a wedding, prom, engagement party, or just an average awards season cocktail frock you’re looking for, the OG e-commerce rent-a-dress site Rent the Runway now has a brick-and-mortar shop in the Valley. You’ve got your choice of work clothes, accessories, LBDs, and gowns—even bags and sunglasses. Since R-the-R’s usual rental period is four days, this physical outpost saves shipping time, and, of course, you can actually try things on so there are no sizing issues as the clock counts down. Brands include Monique Lhuillier, Marchesa Notte, Sachin & Babi, Christian Siriano, Halston Heritage, and Derek Lam.
»Nontoxic Nail Salon
Base Coat Nail Salon
704 Mateo St., Arts District, and 830 N. Fairfax Ave., Ste. 3, Fairfax District
If you’ve ever felt lightheaded from the fumes at your local mani-pedi joint, you may have wondered if there’s a way to have perfect tips without the scary chemicals. Base Coat Nail Salon comes to the rescue with plant-based, toxin-free treatments. The custom-blended polishes and products are all billed as clean, cruelty free, and made in the USA. Should you opt for gels, they’ll set your polish with a lamp that eschews skin-aging UV rays. Even the emery boards get an upgrade; Base Coat only uses supersmooth glass files that feel fantastic and reduce waste. If only going green were always so becoming.
La Cañada Pool & Patio
514 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge
Flamboyant pool floats have been the rage since Taylor Swift made them popular in 2015, but La Cañada Pool & Patio has been featuring vivacious inflatables since 1985. Whether you’re looking for an emoji beach ball, a chocolate doughnut inner tube, or giant swan float, this family-owned business, located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, has you covered. If you’re in need of a pool float on a whim, the store’s expansive in-stock selection is hard to beat and well worth the scenic drive that you’ll take to get there.
Skin care has followed in the footsteps of blowout bars, with a wave of shops offering great facial treatments without all the Terry-cloth-robe-and-Enya trappings of a traditional spa. Pop into any of five Face Haus locations across the Southland, and you’ll be greeted with a cheery open space with multiple stations. It’s not for those seeking privacy, but all that not-getting-naked stuff translates to major time (and money) savings for you. Select from a menu that includes the Dr. Lancer microdermabrasion treatment, United We Smooth, or sit back and let your technician craft a custom facial.
555 Norwich Dr., West Hollywood
Even if it’s a regift, a present swaddled in one of the rare and unique papers from Wanda Wen’s Soolip—or wrapped by the aesthetically blessed employees—will be more than welcome. Of course, the paper might cost more than the gift, but you can’t put a value on mink-colored iridescence topped with stems of lotus seedpods. There’s cork and flax linen, Japanese silk-screened papers, stripes, animal prints, and more. The ribbons and add-ons are just as exotic: double-face ribbon with wire-wrapped crystals, skinny gold twine accented with vintage red glass beads. The store will also create custom wrapping and toppers for your really special occasion.
The Case Shop
3250 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, and 833 S. Western Ave., Hollywood
Korean anime has replaced the Japanese variety in picky pop culture circles—and the Case Shop, with two locales, carries cases for iPhone 6 to 10X. The store offers a wide selection of cell protectors sporting colorful and cute cartoon characters that look like 3D emojis. But with over 100 options in stock, it also has every solid color on hand, as well as cases in wallet and personalized styles, stripes and various textures, plus blinged-out ones and some with safety rings (which also serve as stands) for a firm grip on the back.
Palisades Barber Shop
15322 Antioch St., Pacific Palisades
While the lion’s share of Palisades Village has turned into a spotless, glittery tribute to Rick Caruso-style capitalism, the family-owned and -operated Palisades Barber Shop reminds you that somewhere along the line this was a sleepy beach town. In business since 1940, little about the place has changed. Head barber Jose Almaraz holds court in the window and keeps the local gilded youth looking neat and tidy. When that black, tinted-window SUV pulls up, it may well be an A-lister like Elon Musk or Chris Pratt. And, yes, that kid choosing candy out of the tub by the door is probably in the latest edition of Us Weekly. Cuts are $40 for adults; $35 for children under 12—but the people watching is priceless.
»Used Sports Equipment
Play It Again Sports
5832 Sepulveda Blvd., Sherman Oaks
Why drop $100 or more on brand-new ice skates for your seven-year-old who, let’s be frank, may decide tomorrow that she’s more Mia Hamm than Michelle Kwan, when you can get a barely used pair from a top brand for less than $30 at Play It Again Sports? This place carries some new merch, the shop’s used hockey, lacrosse, golf, tennis, and baseball gear (lots of baseball, from gloves to bats to bags)—are the real draws. And it’s not just kid stuff. A mint Scotty Cameron mallet-style putter complete with original cover—the very same one going for $399 everywhere else—is $249 here. Put a bow on it, and someone’s going to end up very happy.
3039 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
When it’s time to upgrade your shower curtain from a durable yet drab plastic sheet, the newly opened Candid Home offers an array of eye-catching options. The curtains from the Quiet Town collection range from color-blocked vinyl to midcentury-style geometric-patterned canvas. You can turn this often-overlooked bathroom accessory into a statement piece all its own.
RELATED: The Best of L.A. 2019