Shopping in Universal City

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Jody Maroni, founder of Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom, started linking gourmet sausages in 1979 and now rules over a royal court of meat artisans who assemble more than 20 all-natural varieties. Many of the homemade recipes renounce nitrates and MSG and instead fill the natural pork casings with meat that is naturally low in sodium and fat. Chicken-mole sausages blend chocolate, cumin, and chilies, and the louisiana hot links steep in duck stock and smolder with Boudin-style spices. Like Iowa's delightful airspace, the meaty morsels have drawn bicoastal praise—Splash! Los Angeles argues that they "might just top the Dodger Dog," and Time Out New York thanks the eatery for bringing "rays of sunshine to the food wasteland of Times Square."

1000 Universal Studios Blvd
North Hollywood,
CA
US

For shoppers feeling anxious over deciding among the many wines that line Flask Fine Wines' shelves, just wait a few days. On Thursday and Saturday evenings, the shop hosts a tasting bar that lets patrons sample a vast array of varietals. After sipping a few samples, guests can narrow it down to select a favorite or two, and purchase a full bottle to take home. Those more interested in fine spirits will also find an impressive selection of bourbons, tequilas, and both single-malt and kind-of-dating-someone-malt whiskies.

12194 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City,
CA
US

Traces of Californian sunshine emanate from breakfast plates and lunch sandwiches crafted with seasonal, organic, and free-range ingredients by the artisanal chefs at Charlie's Pantry. An all-day breakfast menu treats early birds and late risers to gourmet dishes such as Tuscan-style eggs dappled with organic spinach and roasted garlic. The panoply of lunchtime options includes 19 signature sandwiches that compile ingredients such as marinated chicken, Italian-style cold cuts, and heirloom tomatoes in edible monuments to organic farming. An unassuming interior features white walls, polished concrete floors, and a simple picnic table at which patrons can dine with friends or challenge nemeses to salad speed-eating contests.

12265 Ventura Blvd
Studio City,
CA
US

Thousands of styles of shoes from cobblers such as Nike, Jordan, Converse, Skechers, Adidas, and Puma reside at WSS Footwear. A 62-store Southern California footwear chain, WSS allows customers to browse their extensive shoe selection online and find a store nearby. New styles, such as Nike Running shoes, arrive daily alongside classic Vans Authentics, which come in sizes to accommodate the feet of both adults and future adults. Women's fashion shoes ready feet for holidays parties, weddings, or walks in the park, and WSS also offers trendy clothing and accessories such as hats, backpacks, and sports balls.

7111 Vineland Ave
North Hollywood,
CA
US

At Hollywood Academy of Music, youthful exuberance mingles with experienced instruction by university-trained teachers during private and group lessons, camps, and clinics. Individual lessons in more than a dozen instruments teach students to strum a guitar's strings, tickle a piano's keys, or pur?e beats with a kitchen blender. In group classes such as the School of Rock Band 101, teachers help groups of kids or adults grasp band basics, and in the Recording Artist program students learn to create and release their own self-produced CD on software they can use at home. Hollywood Academy of Music also helps students and the general public to hone their tune tutelage at free monthly clinics that range from songwriting to wailing the ran-out-of-matching-socks blues on a guitar.

Sessions take place in air-conditioned studios equipped with observation windows and high-quality pianos, guitar amps, and drums. Instructors also work with aspiring entertainers to help them put together a vocal repertoire, with some students advancing to compete on shows such as American Idol and The Voice.

11367 Riverside Dr
North Hollywood,
CA
US

Staffed by seasoned Hollywood vets with professional credits, Advanced Media & Mail, LLC prides itself on preserving precious moments, converting outdated cassettes to reliable digital formats with swift turnaround. By swapping the grainy flickers and fickle magnetic tape of audio and VHS tapes for the more durable quality of CD and DVD, parents can permanently dodge kids' questions about whether they're allowed to feed those old-timey machines anything but tape. The team specializes in transferring 8mm silent film to HD digital files, DVD, or Bluray. Adept at adapting multiple formats, the video wizards can also transfer MiniDV, Beta, DigiBeta, Hi8, and PAL to DVDs and digital files. Those in need of editing services can submit rough cuts to Advanced Media for a seamless finished product that may be uploaded to YouTube or other video-streaming sites.

723 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US