Los Angeles is not all malls and chain stores. There are great little niche stores and eateries all over town. The stretch of Sawtelle between Olympic and about Missouri is packed with Japanese restaurants, markets, and shops.
Let’s start with the Nijaya Market (2130 Sawtelle). The Frugal Diva loves going to new grocery stores-products with labels in other languages, different spices, interesting fruits and vegetables, new types of grinders and cookware, speciality prepared foods. I could spend a day here just perusing tea pots while taking a lunch break of prepared sushi, dumplings, and seaweed salad. This is one of the great deals for take out or take home meals. Nijaya also has amazing selections for items that are popular with their customer base - mochi ice cream, miso dressing, sake, and organic rice.
Satsuma Imports, 2029 Sawtelle Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025, is a delightful overcrowded store filled with ceramics, sake sets, fans, kimonos, and all manners of Japanese cookware. While some items are pricey, there is a vast selection of affordable and adorable items.
Giant Robot (2015 Sawtelle) started life as a magazine and has expanded to bring Los Angeles all that is hip and new in books, hipster T shirts, and accessories. This is the place to shop for your nephewwho is into comics and anime. Peruse and enjoy, this is not bargain shopping.
Hide Sushi (2040 Sawtelle) for a wonderful sit down lunch or dinner. The word is out on this place. Great food, reasonable prices, and nice servers means a wait of about an hour in the evening unless you get there when it opens. And they take only cash. And they don’t have a website so check them out on yelp.
Explore the many markets and shops in this fun area and let me know your favorites.
And if you feel the need for a chain store, there is a Marshall’s on the corner of Olympic and Sawtelle. What’s a day out without a bargain!