In Hollywood, no hype, just great shopping

Carolyn Ramsay

In the story of Hollywood's ongoing revival, scene-stealerslike the $650 million Hollywood and Highland development give riseto the tallest headlines. Farther east, however, cheap rents andsafe streets have nurtured a hip shopping district near thePantages Theatre, and it's growing without a whisper of hype.

What distinguishes this area is that restored historic buildingsare incubating trends in style and entertainment. On Yucca Street,a block north of Hollywood Boulevard, film director Sofia Coppolasells her own line of low-slung pants and skinny tops at Heaven 27,situated in a 1935 pink art deco building. Other tenants includeClaire Joseph, who designs custom-made women's dresses and daywear, and Lost & Found Etcetera, whose home furnishings evoke aneohippie look.

"So much of retailing has been taken over by chain stores," saidLost & Found Etcetera owner Jamie Rosenthal. "That's what's funabout this street. There's still room here for you to discover onyour own." Rosenthal also owns Lost & Found, which specializesin children's clothes.

On Hollywood Boulevard, there's more retro-cool retailing atStar Shoes, purveyor of vintage pumps and well-shaken martinis.Open from 8 p.m. to midnight, the '50s cocktail lounge displaysshelves full of dressy heels and purses. Next door, CineSpace isL.A.'s first movie theater-supper club. Located in a 1920s buildingfirst owned by the Schwab family, it's striving to become theHollywood community's center for independent films.

Two good restaurant choices are close at hand. The Hollywood& Vine Diner serves American fare in a restored art deco barand grill. Chao Praya is one of L.A.'s oldest Thai restaurants, andit now has an Asian import gift shop, Suva, on its secondfloor.

The trend to renovate and innovate started with the PantagesTheatre, which gave itself a $10 million face-lift before openingThe Lion King two years ago. Since then, the show has drawn 20,000people each week to Hollywood and Vine, setting the neighborhoodrevival in motion. The foot traffic is significant because, fiveyears ago, Hollywood Boulevard was a scary place.

"What you see now on the eastern end of the boulevard at nightis that a lot of people are out walking from club to club," saysKerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood EntertainmentDistrict. "I can't think of anywhere else in L.A. where you canreally do that."

New shops and nightclubs open weekly; the walking crowdsthicken. All of this, and not a mall in sight.

Dining

Hollywood & Vine Diner. 6263 Hollywood Blvd.; (323)461-2345.

Suva, in Chao Praya. 6307 Yucca St.; (323) 466-6704.

Shopping and entertainment

CineSpace. 6356 Hollywood; (323) 817-3456.

Claire Joseph. Closed Sun-Mon. 6318 Yucca; (323) 461-7911.

Heaven 27. Closed Sun. 6316 Yucca; (323) 871-9044.

Lost & Found. Closed Sun. 6314 Yucca; (323) 856-0921.

Lost & Found Etcetera. Closed Sun. 6320 Yucca; (323) 856-5872.

Pantages Theatre. 6233 Hollywood; (213) 480-3232.

Star Shoes. 6364 Hollywood; (323) 462-7827.

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