Block Party: LA’s West 3rd Street

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There are some blocks in Los Angeles that a New Yorker can truly appreciate. These are the one-stop shop streets, where you can get everything you need in one place, where you can–dare we say it–walk freely and for a fair distance, no car required. With excellent food and shopping options, West 3rd Street, running through West Hollywood like an artery, has all you could possibly want, from the fun, to the frivolous, to the downright delicious.

OK

If you ever find yourself gift shopping for the person who has everything and come up empty-handed, head to OK, which is filled to the brim with delightfully curated nicknacks and curiosities to please just about everyone. Every item in the store feels personal and bespoke. There, you’ll find perfectly misshapen hand-thrown ceramics, wooden toys for children, a slew of kitchen accoutrement, and a variety of tastefully subtle jewelry pieces to compliment any collection. Whether you’re in the market for a custom-made sponge or an $80 brass spoon, OK always makes you feel the expense is wholly justified.

8303 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Traveler’s Bookcase

There’s a scene in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail, when Meg Ryan’s character defends the merits of the small, mom-and-pop bookstore she runs: It might be more expensive than the chain bookstore they just built down the street, but her little store had the benefit of knowing everything about every book that sat on its shelves. Could the chain store do that? Not really. Traveler’s Bookcase is a niche bookstore that harkens back to the more specialized days of yore, where you can find every travel book for every country out there, not to mention the well-traveled, knowledgeable staff to point you in the right direction and send you on your way, wherever your destination may be.

8375 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Joan’s on Third

When Joan’s on Third expanded in 2007, twelve years after its 1995 opening, it was like watching your own kid grow into an upstanding, impressive adult. It had done well, proven itself, and exceeded all expectations. The specialty food and marketplace continues to serve some of the best gourmet food to stay or to go, with a savory station, plenty of sweets, and a mountain of artisanal cheeses to choose from. So get yourself a healthful serving of golden beets, add a side of burrata with prosciutto, and head outside, where you can snack al fresco, pretty much every day of the year. Thank you, Los Angeles.

8350 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Clover Juice

These days, cold press juice joints seem to open with the pace fro-yo spots once did. Clover Juice has a few locations around the city, though the 3rd Street outpost is their tiniest and most space efficient. Served out of small wooden window, it’s like a modern day (and incredibly healthy) snack shack, where you can grab a bottle of their landmark juice, The Clover, packed full of pear, lime, cilantro, mint, and kale. Take a seat on their bar stools on the sidewalk or, hell, commandeer the adjacent bus stop bench and watch traffic pass, thanking your lucky stars you’re not in a car.

2 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Son of a Gun

The opening of seafood spot Son of a Gun in 2011 marked the beginning of a new era in LA’s culinary scene, and an unofficial shift in the title of “Restaurant Row” from La Cienega to 3rd Street. Opened by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the boys responsible for meat-centric Animal on Fairfax, Son of a Gun serves up beach-shack worthy fare, where diners snack on lobster rolls and tuna tataki under a flea market finds. (Marlin sculpture, anyone?)

8370 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

El Carmen

Coved ceilings and colorful lights define this tequila and taco bar, where you can dine on tamales and sip on margaritas in what is essentially an incredibly festive booze bunker… and one of our favorites, at that.

8138 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Magnolia Bakery

New York’s Magnolia Bakery in the West Village rose to fame after some very well placed cupcake cameos in HBO’s Sex and the City, much to the chagrin of everyone living nearby who has since had to endure the parade of fans on their SITC location pilgrimage tour. Magnolia’s Los Angeles location certainly doesn’t have lines wrapping around the door, but that only means you’ll get a forkful of their outstanding banana pudding into your hungry mug sooner.

8389 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Illustration by Max Wittert.

Jenny Bahn

Jenny Bahn

Jenny Bahn is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, specializing in music, fashion, the arts, and culture, both high and low. Her work has been featured in Cereal, Lenny Letter, and more.

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