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How To Spend A Day On Sawtelle, Los Angeles

How To Spend A Day On Sawtelle, Los Angeles

Picture of Mary Pettas
Updated: 22 March 2016
Sawtelle is a hidden gem of a neighborhood on the Westside, almost close enough to the beach to be considered Santa Monica but still part of the city that boasts such diverse cultures and communities. It’s also called ‘Little Japantown’ or ‘Little Osaka’ for the plethora of Japanese and other Asian-inspired shops and cuisines available in the area. There is so much to do and see here, so make sure to spend more than just one day.

Western Bagel

This must be the best bagel shop on the Westside – they have a breakfast bagel with egg, cheese, and ham or sausage on a bagel of your choice for only $5. They also have lots of variety with bagels and cream cheeses, all of which they make in-house. And they’ll carve some fresh turkey for a lunch bagel to eat over your laptop while using their free wifi.

Western Bagel, 11628 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 826 0570

The Traditional | Courtesy of Western Bagel

The Traditional | Courtesy of Western Bagel

Laemmle Theater

This small family-owned theater is one of many examples of the renaissance theaters that make LA great. It’s survived through the ages and offers $8 matinee shows along with a rewards program that offers free popcorn with every visit. While they do show recently released blockbusters, they also opt for avant-garde options like foreign and indie flicks. Bravo.

Laemmle Theater, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 478 3836



This LA staple is right on Sawtelle and has à la carte snacks that are all quite different and delicious. They serve up portions of your choice deli style so customers can choose to try as many dishes as they please. Don’t miss the mac and cheese and one of their signature icy cold lemonade flavors.

Lemonade, 2047 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 478 0900

King’s Discount Furniture

There are lots of great resale shops around here. This store in particular is a pretty large warehouse filled with all kinds of furniture like antique lamps, wood tables, and more. Take a look around and find a unique piece for the home at a great price.

King’s Discount Furniture, 11961 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 575 4243


En Sushi

Little Japantown is, of course, stacked with unsurpassed sushi joints. En is a favorite because of their upscale atmosphere and good deals on lunch specials. Opt for traditional special sushi rolls like the crunchy tiger or go for the tuna poke bowl with rice and avocado.

En Sushi, 11651 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 477 1551


This is a Japanese department-style superstore where everything is $1.50 unless otherwise marked. It’s fun to come in here and look around out of curiosity, if not necessity. Their products are well made and cheap, and customers always leave with something they didn’t know they needed before they came in. It’s always a surprise.

Daiso, 2130 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 424 276 2882

Churros Calientes

This is an incredible little hole-in-the-wall dim-lit restaurant that is not just for dessert – although come here for the churros and you will leave completely satisfied. The affable owners serve authentic cuisine including Spanish hot chocolate, which is more like chocolate syrup, with their crispy and cinnamony deep-fried dough sticks.

Churros Calientes, 11521 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 424 248 3890



The happy hour at this little Mexican restaurant is unbeatable with $3 margaritas. They also bring complimentary chips covered in their homemade mole sauce and rim their beer glasses with chili powder for an extra kick.

Juquila, 11619 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 312 1079


© Mary Pettas


A dive bar through and through, this intimate space, complete with a fireplace, is sure not to disappoint. Every first Friday of the month is 90’s night, with a packed dance floor and a DJ spinning, and their craft cocktails are some of the cheapest and tastiest around.

Mom’s, 12238 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 820 6667


By Mary Pettas