The allure of Atwater Village lies not in the many restaurants and specialty stores that line Glendale Boulevard, but in its abundant small-town charm.
Despite recent changes — a new suspension bridge will connect Griffith Park with Atwater Village next year — many things remain the same. There’s always a line at Tacos Villa Corona, one of many family-run businesses that strike a chord beyond the commercial strip. The tables outside Dune and Kaldi Coffee are invariably filled with people enjoying Mediterranean food, a caffeine fix and people-watching. The pastries at Proof Bakery are considered among L.A.’s best, and the Sunday farmers market is a popular gathering place for the community.
It would be impossible to tackle everything on Glendale Boulevard in one afternoon, so we offer some shopping highlights, starting on Larga and heading on a loop of Glendale Boulevard.
11 a.m. Start your day at Individual Medley at 3176 Glendale Blvd., Monica Navarro Boyes and Justin Boyes’ independent boutique devoted to unique goods by local artists. On a recent visit, the store was jam-packed for the holidays with candles by Sydney Hale and P.F. Candle Co., Sqirl jams, books and apothecary items as well as Moroccan rugs, clothing and ceramics by Kat & Roger and Pauline Wolstencroft. The small showroom offers occasional in-store events, including a recent wreath-making pop-up with floral designer Yasmine Mei .
11:30 a.m. You can’t walk past Proof Bakery at 3156 Glendale without stopping in. Treat yourself to one of pastry chef Na Young Ma’s chocolate chip cookies or croissants, or perhaps something for a dinner party or brunch. (If you are planning ahead, you might even want to have a cooler in your car.) Then, head across the street to Grain, a small showroom selling new and vintage furnishings and accessories. There’s always something interesting at Grain, (a blue-glazed ceramic lamp by Brent J. Bennett spotted a few years ago comes to mind) including Truth Bells by Beachwood Ceramics, Danish modern sideboards and chairs, vintage lighting and outdoor furnishings by Brown Jordan.
Noon There are many places in the area for java, but we like Kaldi Coffee at 3147 Glendale Blvd. It’s a neighborhood favorite and a refuge for many Hollywood screenwriters. From there, head to Goodies at 3189 Glendale, a new showroom that promises “Unique goods. Nothing over $25.” Budget gifts include wooden bowls, cutting boards, kitchen utensils, ceramics and notebooks.
12:30 p.m. Next door, at 3191 Glendale Blvd., is deKor, designer Isabelle Dahlin’s hygge-centric showroom filled with an eclectic mix of rugs, accessories, and vintage and custom furnishings. New inventory for the holidays includes palo santo kindling bundles, pet items, pottery, Swedish holiday gnomes, handmade wreaths and Nepalese scarves in addition to fragrances, jewelry and candles.
1 p.m. Stop for lunch at Hail Mary Pizza, at 3219 Glendale, chef David Wilcox’s casual eatery, which was previously Journeymen. Place your order at the counter, take a seat and enjoy the view of the boulevard while waiting for your pie (we can recommend the meatball-za ($16) the chard, radicchio, spinach, mozzarella and garlic pizza ($16) as well as chicken wings with carrots and blood-orange glaze ($12). All bread and dough is made on site as are the tempting stacks of chocolate rye brownies and salted chocolate chip cookies that line the counter.
2 p.m. After all that walking, shopping and noshing, end the day with a reiki class ($22) at Cultivate Meditation + Wellness, a new studio offering classes on mindfulness, yoga nidra and kundalini, among others. Curl up with a blanket and pillows on one of the cushions inside the elegant studio, and enjoy 45 minutes of guided meditation and healing energy. “Imagine your loved ones bathed in green light,” co-owner Jen Stavitsky says before placing her hands on each participant and sharing “universal life force energy.” Even if you’re skeptical of the practice, you’ll leave the studio with your mind and body at rest. And that’s a good thing.