You won’t find supermarket-level wines at this boutique bottle shop – just quality, well-sourced vintages from California and beyond. The open, wood-heavy shop carries a surprising amount of bottles, despite its diminutive size along Glendale Boulevard in its trendy namesake Silver Lake neighborhood, though the space never feels cramped. Beyond wine, the shop also sells an interesting selection of spirits, craft beers and sake. Sliverlake Wine also offers three different tastings each week, including a $20 per person Sunday specials that lets guests taste four wines, each paired with hors d’oeuvres. On Monday nights, three distinct wines are served with farmhouse cheese, olives, and bread for $12 per person, and The Heirloom LA food truck swings by for heartier fare. They even offer three Wines of the Month clubs that start at $25 per month, and free local delivery is offered on orders of $50 or more.
The Fretted Frog Acoustic Guitar Store, in Echo Park, is a one-stop shop for acoustic instruments. Guitars, ukuleles, mandolins and banjos inhabit every inch of the shop, and the store services them all too. Fretted Frog is the black-framed window front store on the bottom of a beautiful brick building on Alvarado. Brick continues throughout the store’s interior as a fitting backdrop for their wall of guitars. The rest of the store is painted natural browns and ambers, and the floor is hardwood, which all perfectly complements the wooden instruments’ shapes and color tones. Tucked inside the store is a separate space for professional instrument repairs, while guitar lessons are also offered inside.
Nick's Cafe plated its first ham and eggs in 1948—a fact that isn't surprising when one considers the restaurant's vintage elements, such as a bar-style service counter and tented outdoor patio. A throwback that retains strong connections to LA's diner heyday, Nick's continues to do things the old-fashioned way. That's not to say the menu hasn't evolved. Chef Luis Flores draws on local influences to complement the traditional burgers, hot dogs, and omelets with Mexican staples such as breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, and sombreros filled with steamy coffee.
The name Bird Pick Tea & Herb comes from a legend told by the grandfather of one of the shop’s founders: long ago, tea cultivators would follow birds known to choose the best leaves for themselves. Although the staff doesn’t actually employ birds to select each leaf, the spirit of the legend lives on in Bird Pick’s careful selection of teas, which come from misty estates in the mountains of China. Seasonal varieties of black, white, and green teas release earthy aromas from bins of loose leaves and tea bags, and oolong teas display the smoky colors left by a harvesting process that involves crushing and fermenting the buds. An inventory of elegant accessories includes receptacles for storing tea, glass infusers for brewing, bowls for whisking matcha tea, and air horns for letting guests know a tea party is over. Bird Pick even sells straw-hued honeys from New Zealand to accent complex brews served in pots decorated with sprays of blue flowers and Chinese characters.
Specializing in elaborately decorated special occasion cakes, Westlake’s Cake Studio is a cute, little space located on Glendale Boulevard. There is a pink and white banner with the shop’s name over the door that adds a nice, quaint touch. For the amount of detail and work that goes into creating each custom cake, Cake Studio is reasonably priced and complimentary consultations and tastings are available to potential patrons by appointment. The studio is willing to make custom cakes for any occasion, whether it’s a wedding, baby shower or birthday, and makes their own fondant. The Cake Studio is only open by appointment and only a does a small number of cakes per week, so it is best to book in advance.
Papaya salad. Spicy mint. Pad see ewe. These colorful dishes, tossed with fresh vegetables and contained within noodle bowls and wraps, decorate plates at Vegan House. The Thai-influenced menu satisfies appetites of all stripes with inventive offerings that include pancakes heaped with tropical fruits. Patrons can stop in for dinner, order up a lunch combination, or start their days by chowing down on a flavorful breakfast instead of by airing a list of grievances against their alarm clock.