The thing to remember about Abbot Kinney Boulevard is that most of the designers who own stores here work primarily as wholesalers, opening to the public for only a few hours each day. So they encourage shoppers to call ahead for the day's schedule.
Kevin Simon is among the newest on the street. Several others have opened in the past year or two, as have a number of beachy coffee shops and restaurants. Three old-timers are still in place. Look for Tantau Smith, for vintage-feeling accessories and clothing; the Tea Garden Herbal Emporium, for health treatments and herbal drinks; Ohio, where Mission-style antiques mix with Space Age metal goblets, and Hal's, the neighborhood cafe with that hip, rusted-steel look.
Because most of the shops were once beach bungalows, they have that individual, mismatched charm. For a look at some of the newer additions, walk east on Abbot Kinney from Broadway to Venice Boulevard, then walk back on the other side of the street.
Z Time, Monday-Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to dusk; (310) 450-6923. Vintage watches shown in old-fashioned vitrines, plus grandfather clocks and sculptures made of oversize clock works.
Chronic Design, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call for weekend hours; (310) 450-8186. "Mo' Bros" T-shirts, knit caps and other hip-hop gear for the urban outfitted.
Abbot's Habit, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; (310) 399-1171. Coffee lovers can buy beans by the pound or sip some brew in the shop, a laid-back locale with African-inspired fabrics on the tables.
Matter, by appointment only; (310) 399-1250. Slatted wood rockers and beds that recall the handiwork of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the early 20th-Century Scottish craftsman.
Barabas and Covey, unpredictable hours; (310) 450-9395. Hand-loomed rayon and linen sweaters in warm pastel colors for a very feminine feeling.