Melrose Avenue is one of Los Angeles' most famous shopping streets, and was at its height in the punk-driven 80s. But Melrose has undergone a resurgence, and this time, it's an upscale shopping experience.
The original thrift stores and trendy boutiques are still there, alongside tattoo and piercing shops, in the area between Fairfax and La Brea. But closer to La Cienega, and on Melrose Place (yes, this is a real street), are some of the city's most interesting designer boutiques. It's also the chicest few blocks in all of Los Angeles.
When Marc Jacobs opened his flagship store on Melrose Place, then a Marc store and then a men's store, it changed the dynamic of this once quiet stretch of Melrose Avenue. Soon to follow were Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenburg, Paul Smith (with it's shocking pink exterior) and Oscar de la Renta. Homes and furniture showrooms have been transformed into charming boutiques. Balenciaga has a beautiful shop seemingly brought here from the future, with its silver tile and silver leaf work, not to mention the LED lighting. The newly opened Vivianne Westwood store comes with big fanfare, and Decades is not to be missed for designer resale and vintage designer accessories and clothing.
If you're an Entourage fan, then you'll recognize the Urth Cafe's outdoor patio, a great place to stop for lunch. You'll also recognize Fred Segal's cafe, which is a little farther east on Melrose. A new addition to the area is Rick Bayless' Red O mexican restaurant, right across the street from Fred Segal. Other restaurants not to miss on Melrose are Lucques, Home of James Beard award winning chef Suzanne Goin, and also Comme Ca, a great french brasserie in the middle of busy Los Angeles.
If you're into shopping, then this area is a must.
- Lesley Bracker
[Photo Credit: Flickr/Ann Althouse]