In an effort to support local businesses, especially those of our AAPI community, below is a growing list of favorite businesses that you can patronize, knowing that our community is better and stronger the more inclusive and diverse it is.MoreLess
This Highland Park newcomer specializes in rare and exotic plants. Expect to find plants like Lachenalia viridiflora, Monstera siltepecana, and Philodendron Mamei. And if you don't know how to take care of these babies, don't worry, the staff is super knowledgeable and will make sure you know how to make your plant thrive. Insider Tip: Follow them on Instagram for in-the-know plant drops, plant sale pop-ups, and other fun events.
This inventive shop showcases "design-conscious goods to cultivate a creative lifestyle" which sounds fancy but what it translates to are colorful, modern, and happy objects—from household items like mugs and candles all the way to hats and socks. For kids, we can't get enough of the animal-shaped wooden plates or the reusable tiger zipper bags for snacks on-the-go. We dare you to visit and try to leave without a little something-something.
This iconic LA brick-and-mortar destination offers before-it-is-a-trend housewares, gifts, apparel, toys, and more along with a creative and innovative gallery space, called GR2 Gallery, a couple of doors down that showcases noteworthy art installations you won't find anywhere else. Take the kids for the plush toys and comics but pick up some Giant Robot-made merch for yourself that will automatically move you to the cool parent column.
When you support local businesses, you get a gift shop like this in return—located in DTLA since 1946–Bunkado is a treasure trove of fantastic finds like traditional Furoshiki cloth (a centuries-old practice of using a single piece of cloth for various uses like wrapping gifts or carrying items), Darumas, favorite Japanese children's books, stationery, and more.
Consider this a warning—once you see all of the goods (toys, baby gear, clothing, accessories, furniture, and decor) this shop carries, it will be incredibly hard to shop anywhere else. Inspired during a trip to Paris where they had wandered into a toy store, the founders decided to set up a similar shop here in LA. Merci Milo carries handmade unique toys and accessories for children from local artisans, traditional toy makers, creative mamas, and global brands.
San-So is derived from the word "oxygen" in Korean and this shop offers a breath of fresh air with exotic plants and handmade ceramic vessels all made in Los Angeles that look like they belong in an art gallery. While the shop is currently closed, they are offering delivery as well as the option for curbside pick-up Wed.-Fri. from 1-5 p.m. Insider Tip: For the best chance at your very own object d'art, they restock the website every two weeks on Sat. at noon.
This made-from-scratch soft-serve ice cream has three locations (Tarzana, Silver Lake & Highland Park) to fulfill all your ice cream dessert needs and then some. The beauty of these dream creams? Interesting and creative flavors that will have you coming back for more. Pictured: Pistachio Baklava and German Chocolate Cake. Need we say more? Check out the website for daily flavors (including a ton of vegan options).
Go for the coffee but stay for the pretzels. This West LA spot has developed a cult following and for good reason—the coffees are drip-tastic but it's not every cafe that you can get fresh, made-to-order gourmet pretzels. Order the sweet potato cheese pretzel for the kids—one review claimed it "changed her life," and order the red bean and cheese or the jalapeño and cheese pretzel for yourself. Oh and get a honey toast for the table.
Sticky rice and mango. Ube malted crunch. These are just some of the mouth-watering flavors that this ice cream shop carries inspired by far-flung destinations. Thankfully with six locations (Atwater Village, Fairfax, Venice, Tarzana, Pasadena, SmorgasburgDTLA), you won't have to travel that far to swing and land a cone that will transport you back to your favorite exotic vacation—no passport required. And with seasonal flavors rotating in regularly, there's always a new reason to travel back.