For hamburgers that simply taste better than In-N-Out, a better selection of condiments (plus the coveted wheat bun option), a way better menu--including healthy alternatives, and fast and friendly service, The Habit is fantastic! When in Glendale, make this your lunch stop.
PROS: delicious burgers and other food, great service, comfy seating
CONS: parking can be problematic
A fantastic selection of pencils, paints, brushes, canvas (pre-stretched, raw, etc.), sketchpads, art books, much more. They even have easels and drafting tables! The staff is professional and quite knowledgeable. Substantial discounts to Art Center students.
PROS: great selection, knowledgeable staff
CONS: special discount only applies to Art Center students
My alma mater. Founded by Walt Disney himself, this college has it all: Schools of Art, Film/Video, Music, Theater, Dance, and Critical Studies--all make for a cool educational experience. With weekly art shows and recitals, check them out. For the money, though, if I had to do it all over again I'd go to Art Center.
PROS: one of the top leading art schools on the planet, diverse academic program
CONS: expensive, left-leaning philosophy leaves no room for dissent, location
Tucked away between mom and pop coffee houses and vintage shops is this thrift store. With gigantic savings passed down to you depending what day--and what TIME of day you go there, you can make out like a pirate (for example: early bird savings of 40% and more off their already low prices!). Clothes, books, electronics, furniture--it's all here... and for the most part, it's all good!
PROS: low, LOW prices, broad range of merchandise, easy parking
CONS: poorly maintained and organized, dirty, short hours
Located on the main drag of Highland Park, Galco's is a taste of the old country. Yeah, it's an Italian deli, but it's all really a front for the real goods: a virtual storehouse of the world's finest sodas. Just a sampling: Hank's, Red Rock, A & W, Frostie, Dad's, NEHI, Moxie, etc. Even the Dr. Peppers and Cokes here are from the original recipe!
PROS: massive soda inventory, helpful staff, online ordering
CONS: short hours, some sodas expensive, location not the safest
The best 9 hole mini in L.A. Built decades ago and immaculately maintained, this course is the coolest! At $2 a game (yeah, you heard me--2 BUCKS!), this place is insane! With an adjacent coffee/pro shop and adult course, this is a great destination.
PROS: out of the way, quiet location, cheap, historical landmark (it should be!)
CONS: no baby-changing facilities
For a cup of joe or a free wi-fi connection, Psychobabble will serve you well. With a choice of lived in couches to rest your dogs or tables and chairs for the business-minded, this place does the job.
PROS: Los Feliz-convenient, varied menu selection, free wi-fi
CONS: coffee serviceable (better than Starbucks), nightmare parking
By far one of the best train stores in the Greater L.A. area, the Whistle Stop has an incredible display of various-sized trains running continuously. From the Marklin minis, all the way up to the "garden" variety, this place is your one-stop destination! They even have books, videos, and layout plans!
PROS: super selection, mind-blowing displays, professional staff
CONS: relatively short hours (but aren't all hobby stores that way?)
For a tiny, nondescript shack of a store, it's incredibly well stocked with many different types of hobby-merchandise. From simple, sci-fi model kits to diecast cars to complete train sets, this place has it all--or they'll order it for you.
PROS: cool, varied selection, laid-back but helpful staff
CONS: short hours, not the biggest selection
This place has it all for the home railroad enthusiast: new AND used trains and accessories--from mini and N-scale, all the way up to backyard garden-sized! The staff are not only super-helpful, they're super-friendly as well! These train guys sure know how to "conduct" business!
PROS: fantastic selection of trains/components, knowledgeable, friendly staff
CONS: relatively short hours, can't always tell if they're open (when driving by)