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Strip malls of L.A.

Strip malls dot the Southern California urban landscape. If you think they’re blight, look closer: There are gems hiding in that clunky architecture. (Catherine Opie, Regen Projects, Los Angeles)
“Sandy”, which is her stage name, performs for customers at the Jumbo’s Clown Room at 5153 Hollywood. Strip malls are generally considered to be places devoid of cultural interest, but more and more often they are housing unexpected gems: great restaurants, art galleries, small theaters, nightclubs, trendy shops. (Barbara Davidson/ Los Angeles Times)
Jumbo’s Clown Room at 5153 Hollywood. Fans of déclassé burlesque and reasonably priced draft beer find comfort in the raucous, misty-moisty-air atmosphere of this kitschy grandmother of L.A. strip clubs. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Darren King sits at the computer at Pehrspace, 325 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park. This gallery and performance space in the Glen Village strip mall (yes, some have names) welcomes the experimental and avant-garde. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Brittinny Allen, assistant manager at Solutions Denim, looks through the selection at their “denim bar.” Solutions Denim is located in a Newport Beach strip mall at 2043 Westcliff Drive. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
This strip mall at 2043 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach houses Solutions Denim and Pomme Bebe, an organic baby food store. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Tucked amid a laundromat and a fried chicken joint in a strip mall at 724 N. Vine St., Hollywood, is Lou Amdur’s tapas and wine bar. The knowledgeable and friendly staff have a real genius for pairing tastes with sips, and the unpretentiously groovy décor showcases casual L.A. chic at its best. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Patrons at Lou wine bar, located in a strip mall on Vine Street in Hollywood. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)