Ah, the Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses parade. Each year, Pasadena opens her arms to men, women and children from surrounding areas, as well as travelers from all over the world who wish to witness these events firsthand. But after all the hype dies down, sometimes it’s nice to just kick back and enjoy the city.

However, that can’t be done if you don’t know what’s out there. We’ve rounded up the best Los Angeles has to offer in food, fun and economic stimulation (that’s shopping to you and me).


Depending on whom you ask, Los Angeles is the greatest fashion mecca this country has to offer. Sure, it may be the designers tucked away in their New York City lofts who are creating the looks that will adorn the public’s backs, but it’s the celebrities and media personalities who take fashions and make them legendary.

One shop that has been on the lips of the rich and the famous for years is Intuition (10581 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles). This boutique may be miles from Robertson Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, but it has managed to remain an all-important landmark for ladies who want that special piece for their wardrobes that no one else has. Intuition is even a favorite of Hollywood wife, Pauletta Washington (who is married to a certain heartthrob named Denzel).

Another great place to do some retail therapy is Kitson (115 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles). Anyone who’s picked up a tabloid or a celebrity zine in the past few years has either witnessed party girls like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan leaving the shop or seen its playful merch spotlighted with major enthusiasm. Kitson has been featured time and time again on shows like “Access Hollywood” and “Extra” and is as important to the L.A. landscape as the Hollywood sign.

Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade is also highly touted. Not only is this center clean and outdoorsy, but it is home to names you know and love like Bebe, Old Navy and Kira Plastinina.

Of course, no city would be complete without a great mall. Los Angeles has several. Both the Beverly Center (8500 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles) and Westside Pavilion (10800 W. Pico Blvd # 312, Los Angeles) contain old favorites like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as well as younger offerings like Forever 21.

But there are also some immensely unique clothing locations that have yet to be plucked from obscurity. That is, until now.

Life/Style (2727 Main St., Santa Monica) Need gorgeous designer duds for your home and body? Get the hookup at Life/Style. This boutique sits in the heart of Santa Monica’s Main Street. It’s brimming with crave-worthy and coveted vintage tees for him, or beautiful and colorful dresses for her. And for the couple that has everything, grab great items like distressed leather ottomans to accent any apartment or hillside bungalow.

Regeneration (1649 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock) If Eagle Rock is the new Los Feliz, then Regeneration is the upgraded Urban Outfitters. Eco-friendly fashions, items for home and other assorted tchotchkes are sold onsite and also online. This quaint little shop is ripe with great gift ideas at reasonable prices and is nowhere near as loud and populated as other lifestyle stores.

California Surplus Mart (6263 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles) Spend all the money in your piggy bank on high-priced designer originals. But when it comes to your accessories, pick those up here. California Surplus Mart is a treasure trove of fun items like peacoats and berets that add a little kick to even the simplest black dress or jeans and T-shirt combo. Each piece is priced to move, so you won’t find yourself in the uncomfortable position of spending hundreds on something like a belt buckle.

Space 15 Twenty (1520 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles) It may have started as a dubious way to further exploit the Urban Outfitters brand. However, this self-professed “retail experiment” has added a David Lynch-type mystique to the Hollywood streets. Get interesting gear for your bod or your abode while taking in the fantastic and inspired architecture.

Lady Studio Exotic Shoes (6500 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles) If there’s one thing a girl can’t have enough of, it’s stripper heels. OK, so maybe that’s going a bit far. Luckily, Lady Studio carries all kinds of fun and fashionable footwear. Hey, it would be a perfect world if we could all afford Manolos and Jimmy Choos. But in this economy, sexy footwear at bargain prices is a much smarter way to go.

Ashley Paige (1616 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood) Got a little junk in that trunk? No worries. Designer Ashley Paige knows how to construct summer’s favorite uniform (the bikini) around any body. Whether you’re supermodel skinny or have Kardashian curves, Paige’s custom made designs with decadent and colorful accents will flatter any taste and price point.

X-Large (1768 N. Vermont, Los Angeles) Trick out your inner homeboy with gear from this cool, urban shop. You’ll find T-shirts, sneaks and other skateboard-friendly styles that have been rocked by celebrities like the Beastie Boys and director Spike Jonze.

Paris 1900 (2703 Main St., Santa Monica) For the classy and discerning gal who doesn’t want to look like everyone else at that upcoming formal event, try Paris 1900. Just as the name indicates, the merch here is straight out of a D.H. Lawrence novel with a sinfully European flair. Don’t settle for an ordinary prom dress or wedding gown; dare to be different.

Squaresville (1800 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles) Silver Lake/Los Feliz’s best kept secret! Find one-of-a-kind vintage tees, boho dresses, to die for shades, designer kicks and jackets at this quirky second hand shop. Just bring plenty of cash because the selection is always on point.

Tarina Tarantino (7957 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles) As seen on “America’s Next Top Model” as well as on divas like Katy Perry, these accessories are outrageous and sexy. Tarantino’s line features headbands, barrettes and other goodies that will take you from wallflower to Blair Waldorf in seconds. What’s more, you can shop this designer’s chic Melrose boutique, or buy these adorable trinkets online.

Fashion Expo Family (1100 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles) Latina stylistas have known about Fashion Expo for years. Now you too can get in on this long-held secret. The Expo has all the current and up to the moment fashions at a fraction of the cost of some of the higher-end stores. It’s so stylish, in fact, that even the window displays scream, “Wear me! I’m gorgeous!”