/ The Los Angeles Guide
Los Angeles — By Joannaline C. Young on February 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm
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Visit That Village (Westwood in a Glance)

Broxton Avenue in Westwood Village

If you’re looking for a unique experience with variety, look to Westwood Village near the luxurious mansions of Bel-Air. Even though its close proximity to UCLA’s campus, most of the people that go to Westwood aren’t students at all but those looking to shop and dine at some of the best places in Los Angeles. In fact, I would often have sightings of celebrities trying to disguise themselves from the general public. Westwood is a great place to visit for a quick getaway from work, studying, or just life.

Bright Lights Entertainment

One of the great things about Westwood Village is it’s appreciation for theater. You can view both independent and more mainstream entertainment at their different theaters. You can also find the annual LA Film Festival in Westwood Village because of the presence of these acclaimed theaters. For example, the Mann’s Village Theater is the historical high-towered “Fox” theater which is the setting for many movie premieres like the “Matrix” series. For live production, go to the Geffen Playhouse where you can view plays by celebrities and upcoming actors. In the mood for a little comedy? See true talent with these quick-witted performers at Ultimate Improv, caution audience participation may be involved.

Food of All Countries:

Asian cuisine and drinks are served all over Westwood, including the Iso Cafe on Gayley Avenue. Here, you can taste the food from the countries of Japan, Korean, and China. Don’t like Asian food? Travel a little further east to the Gypsey Café. This mediterannean restaurant rivals the across the street’s Habibi Café and features the cultural and social practice of smoking hookah. They have many flavors for you to enjoy like mint/apple. Or stay in the good ‘ole US of A with Lamonica’s NY Pizza Company. If you don’t feel like going all the way to New York for their pizza, try some of the best pizzas I’ve personally ever tasted.

Desserts That Make You Go Nuts:

You can’t leave Westwood without visiting Diddy Riese Cookies. This special shop offers ice cream sandwiches at about $1 each! You’ll know you’re there when you see a long line of people even on a cold night. If you have a more refined palate for desserts, try Elysee cafe. This bakery features stunning desserts displayed in their glass case. Try their almond cookies, they’re my favorite!

For The Everyday:

Bel Air Camera & Video has all the latest technologies for professional photographers or filmmakers. UCLA is home to one of the best film schools, so this store is well located. The staff is very knowledgeable and will recommend equipment based on your needs. They told me what was the best value and I ended up buying their Nikon d90. Another great place to go to in Westwood is their classic Newsstand which has a large collection of publications for every reader.

I recently came to Westwood Village and it has drastically expanded. It was in constructions for years and now it has finally opened up to the public to reveal new high rise condos and even more stores. Don’t think Westwood is just full of unknown shops. You will also find your favorites like Starbucks, Whole Foods, California Pizza Kitchen, and anything else you can think of. I often come here for their coffee and teashops for their free wifi and soothing atmospheres.

Photo courtesy of Luna, Ink.

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