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Latest Best of LA

Insider’s Guide To Melrose Ave.

July 1, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

credit: Sofia Wolfson)

credit: Sofia Wolfson)


Melrose Avenue, in the heart of Los Angeles, is a popular shopping district for just about everything. Shoppers who want a little bit of this and a little of that seek out Melrose for not only its chic designer name retailers, but also for its unusual and eclectic nature. Rockers and Hollywood babes reside in the area along with an original crew of Cali natives. Before taking the Melrose Avenue shopping plunge (see hot spots below), stop at Urth Caffé on Melrose for one of the café’s specialty drinks (Caffe Bebero or Spanish Latte Granita).
(credit: Sweet Lady Jane)

(credit: Sweet Lady Jane)


Sweet Lady Jane
8360 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 653-7145
www.sweetladyjane.com

For desserts, there’s no place better to go than Sweet Lady Jane. Located on Melrose Ave, just off of La Cienega Blvd., this specialized bakery makes everything you can dream of. From cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, tarts, treats,
and more to specialty items like a chocolate mousse taco, each dessert is made with care and is simply delicious. Brides and grooms flock here as well to get custom wedding cakes for their beauty and quality. With the ability to handle almost any request, the specialists here will build cakes for other occasions as well including birthdays, baby showers, graduations, movie premiers, corporate events, holidays and more.

(credit: Ed Anderson)

(credit: Ed Anderson)


Ink. Sack
8360 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 655-7225
www.mvink.com

Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio is the brain child of this hot eatery on Melrose Ave. Featuring delicious sandwiches along with with a school playground atmosphere, sandwiches are even given to customers in black paper sandwich bags. All sandwiches are around 4×2 inches and cost between $4-$6 each. Choose between the veggie banh mi with tofu to the spic ymiso cured albacore tuna with Sriracha. For bites with your sandwich, the eatery offers house-made snacks, chips, cookies and more.

(credit: Alex Murralles)

(credit: Alex Murralles)


Duff’s Cakemix
8302 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 650-5555
www.duffscakemix.com

With an in house cake decorating studio, Duff’s Cakemix is one of LA’s most unique bakeries. Unlike other bakeries where you simply go in and order what you want, Duff’s Cakemix dreamt up a space where people could decorate their own cake and eat it too. As the first interactive design bakery of its kind in LA, the customer becomes the artist and the canvas is open to create whatever your heart desires. The process is simple as well. Start by selecting the size of your cake, a cake flavor and your filling choice. Once done, choose your canvas and frosting colors and finish up with decorations and extras. The bakery features a 6″ cake, 9″ cake, cupcakes as well as individual slices as well.

(credit: Dawson S./Yelp)

(credit: Dawson S./Yelp)


Urban Outfitters
7650 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 653-3231
www.urbanoutfitters.com

Urban Outfitters, located on the grungier part of Melrose Ave., is a haven for hipsters and regulars alike. Featuring some of today’s trendiest looks as well as vinyl records, and other accessories, it has become a staple of the city. The retailer, with locations throughout the world, is a favorite haunt season after season for both men and women. From tee’s, shorts, pants and sunglasses to beauty products for women and more, it’s truly a destination any local or visitor must check out.

(credit: Joan S./Yelp)

(credit: Joan S./Yelp)


RRL Ralph Lauren
8150 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 944-0301
www.ralphlauren.com

When one thinks of Ralph Lauren, they often imagine the classic and preppy looks that have been championed by the brand for decades. RRL however is something of an anomaly in the Ralph Lauren brand collection. With clothes inspired by the old American west and its workwear, you’ll walk out of here with an edgy but classic look that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Whether you’re looking for mens or women’s clothes, it’s the perfect spot to grab top quality dry goods, selvedge denim jeans and more.


Decades
8214 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 655-1960
www.decadesinc.com

If your fashion taste is opulent and distinguished, but you prefer vintage wear over modern clothing, Decades, Inc. is the perfect retailer on Melrose Ave. for you. As a high-end consignment retailer, this is a favorite among celebrities, fashionistas and collectors for its wide collection of designer clothing and vintage pieces. With vintage merchandise dating back to the 1920’s from top designers such as Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin and a myriad of others, it’s no wonder why the world’s elite stop by to look for special finds.

(credit: villageidiotla.com)

(credit: villageidiotla.com)


The Village Idiot
7383 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 655-3331
www.villageidiotla.com

With just a hint of being a British pub, The Village Idiot tops our insiders guide as the best bar on Melrose Avenue. The restaurant/bar, which offers food throughout the day and for ‘supper’, opened in 2007 and has continued to grow and shape itself throughout the neighborhood. Many call this spot their local bar, however, flocks of Angelenos come to drink up night after night from throughout the city. And, while it is the perfect place for large groups, parties or events (it has a private back room), it’s also a great spot to meet your new special someone.

(credit: Blu Jam Cafe)

(credit: Blu Jam Cafe)


Blu Jam Cafe
7371 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 951-9191
www.blujamcafe.com

With some of the best breakfast anywhere in the city, there’s a reason why everyone in the city keeps coming back to Blu Jam Cafe. The Cafe offers breakfast all day including their signature Crunchy French Toast which is made of egg brioche dipped in batter and rolled in crunchy corn flakes. Grilled to perfection and topped with fresh fruit and vanilla bean sauce, it is simply mouthwatering. Other favorites include their Health and Fitness selections for those looking for a great post workout brunch or lunch as well as pretty much everything on their menu.

Related: Best Food Destinations In LA Locals Love

Charm City Cakes
8302 Melrose Ave., Suite A
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 642-7234
www.charmcitycakeswest.com

Cake visionary Duff Goldman, of Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes, opened a West Coast location on Melrose, which is right next door to Duff’s interactive retail business, Duff’s Cakemix Bakery & DIY Cake Decorating Studio. At Charm City, clients are invited in to share their loftiest of ideas and wishes with artists and cake maker extraordinaires, and voila, masterpieces are created. It is fun to cruise in and check out what is on the pedestal before heading into Cakemix, where people can create their very own.

Liquid Juice Bar
8180 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 300-8070
www.liquidjuicebar.com

Every chic street in L.A. seems to have a juice bar, and Melrose Avenue is definitely chic these days. Liquid Juice Bar specializes in organic juices and creates unique elixirs with high-quality produce and supplements. It is serving fresh juices made from everything imaginable including apples, beets, carrots, limes, strawberries, celery, romaine lettuce, grapefruit, ginger, pineapple and so much more, Liquid Juice Bar’s menu also encompasses smoothies, acai bowls and wellness shots.

Related: Best Healthy Spots To Refuel After A Workout In LA

JOIE
8414 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 330-1255
www.joie.com

Among lots of great shopping options for women, JOIE is one of today’s So Cal girls’ go-to spots for inspirational wardrobe updates and makeovers. A lifestyle concept that parallels casual, comfortable and luxurious, JOIE is a boutique with all ready-to-wear items. Women will find elegance from head to toe with soft goods, shoes and accessories.

MOGUL
8262 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 658-5130
www.mogullife.com

MOGUL is a brilliant interior design retail store for L.A.’s modern and high-fashion home lifestyle. Thomas Piscitello and Neal Wagner, the owners and designers behind MOGUL, share their unique and dramatic take on home design. MOGUL’s showroom features everything from vintage home accessories to classical furniture, Piscitello’s original chandeliers, Wagner’s original artwork and design consultation. Angelenos and visitors alike definitely visit MOGUL specifically for the design house’s signature bed linens (made in Italy), 750 thread count and luxurious in all their glory. Custom sizing is available.

Related: LA’s Best Spots For Stylish Used Furniture

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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