110 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9001234.049296 -118.239636
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Civic Center / Little Tokyo, Central LA
Believe the hype: A store that actually lives up to its name, Little Tokyo's thrifty gem marries truly cool (read: nice) attitudes with affordably cutting-edge designs. – In Short
Auto mechanic Masato Miura and company have run this mellow operation in one of downtown's busiest ethnic shopping areas since 2004. The hood of a classic car emerging into the pedestrian square in front is an eye-catching ode to the decade-mixing-blur of wares popping up on mannequins and hanging on racks inside. Along with the thrift store-mandated Pac Man trucker hats and goggles, there are sweet finds like sheer Nesley '80s-flaired jackets in pale gold and gray silver for $34, fun black shift dresses, Three Dots tees and work by Black Market Art Company all hovering around $28. Vented sunglasses, RUN DMC-emblazoned business card holders and other assorted kitsch make for affordable, and yes, cool, gifts.
Hits: The staff is friendly, and the prices are beyond fair.
Misses: There are some overly trendy items that veer slightly into cheese, like trucker hats.
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