If you’re a local looking to explore a little further than your usual stomping grounds or visiting Los Angeles for a few days, check out the second part of our quick and dirty guide to one of my favorite pockets of Santa Monica — Main Street.
Spanning from Pico to Rose Avenue, Main Street is a hodgepodge of restaurants, bars, and shops, sprinkled with tech companies, massage parlors, and coffee shops. It’s incredibly walkable, bikeable or bird-able (if that’s your style). See below for some avenues of exploration:
Rainy Day Treat: Jinya + Ben & Jerry’s
On the rare day that it does rain in LA, there’s nothing better than a big bowl of ramen to feed your soul. Jinya is a Main Street staple and usually has a hefty wait depending on the time of day and level of downpour. The best thing about Jinya’s location is that it’s located right across the street from an iconic ice cream parlor. So convenient!
Jinya Ramen Bar ($$)
-Food: Spicy Chicken Ramen, Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen (my personal favorite), and Jinya Tonkotsu Black.
-Reservations: Walk-in only.
Ben & Jerry’s ($$)
-Food: This one is self explanatory right? I see you Phish Food lovers!
Retail Therapy: Muji + Buffalo Exchange + Reformation
Main Street proper spans about a mile but contains a pretty decent lineup of shops if you’re looking to buy a new outfit or gift for a friend. Here’s a lineup of our favorites:
Muji is your inner minimalist’s dream come true. With locations all over the world, Muji originated in Japan in the 80s and is best described as a combo of Ikea and Uniqlo… but better. You can find home goods, clothes, skin care items, stationery, and even aesthetically pleasing cleaning products. The list goes on and it’s only a matter of time before Muji becomes your go-to shop for… everything.
Buffalo Exchange ($)
For those of you trying to purge your closet or look for recycled fashion, look no further. Buffalo Exchange is the place that welcomes plastic bags filled with the unwanted clothes of your past. While they don’t take everything and have very selective taste, depending on the season and current trends, it’s an easy way to make a little cash and contribute to sustainable fashion. Watch this documentary to get inspired.
If you haven’t already heard, Reformation is the environmentally friendly cool girl brand that sells pretty wrap dresses, sustainable denim, and other accessories like sunglasses and handbags. Their pieces are timeless and have the potential to be your new favorite wardrobe staples.