Small businesses contribute to the character and feel of a neighborhood and during the holiday season, small businesses are at their prime. When I think about my favorite memories from the holiday seasons past in my hometown, I remember epic window displays at the indie toy store, great buys at small boutiques, and special holiday menus at my favorite neighborhood hangouts.
To kick start the holiday season and Small Business Saturday, the Westside Patch editors (from Culver City, Westwood-Century City, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey and Pacific Palisades) are sharing their favorite places to shop small in the neighborhoods they cover. We all live in these communities, and shop there too. We hope you enjoy our picks, and please tell us your local favorites in the comments below.
Sara Fay (Associate Regional Editor for the Westside, former Westwood-Century City editor): Some of my favorite small business haunts are within walking distance of my Westwood apartment—dangerous, I know. I love shopping in Westwood Village and on Westwood Boulevard and Pico. Some of my favorite places are Flax Pen To Paper (so many unique gift ideas and I'll never send a boring greeting card again), Wally's Wines and The Apple Pan and Junior's for gift certificates. Classic Westwood.
Kelly Hartog (Editor Culver City Patch). Love downtown Culver City for all its great eateries (and drinkeries - is that a word?). Where to start??? Lentil burger at Rush Street, EVERYTHING at Native Foods, Pasta Pesto at Ugo and a cocktail at the Culver Hotel - and that's just to start with. I'm also partial to the shops along Washington just past Overland. Samosa House anyone? Essential Chocolate Desserts? What are your favorite small businesses in Culver City?
Matthew Sanderson (Editor of Pacific Palisades Patch and Brentwood Patch): It doesn't take long to discover the heart of Pacific Palisades thrives in the Village District along Sunset Boulevard at Via de la Paz, Antioch Street and Swarthmore Avenue, where you can find a variety of food options, such as the new Matthew's Garden Cafe, Cafe Vida and Modo Mio. Check out some great gift ideas at Palisades Playthings, The Prince's Table or Gift Garden Antiques, and don't forget to grab a frozen yogurt at Toppings or The Yogurt Shoppe.
In Brentwood, I especially like the three bustling districts of Brentwood Village, the San Vicente corridor and the strong vibes from the Brentwood County Mart at 26th and San Vicente. Each district has an array of cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops, high-end fashions and aparrel and athletic and exercise specialty stores. Where are your favorite small businesses in Pacific Palisades and Brentwood?