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STREET LEVEL

Along Sawtelle, a taste of the future

March 18, 2007|Deborah Netburn

TECHNICALLY Little Tokyo is downtown, but as Westsiders, Japanese toy collectors and adventure eaters all know, the strip of Sawtelle Boulevard between Olympic and Pico boulevards may as well inherit the name. It's hidden among a tricky-to-navigate swirl of highways, but once you're there it's a one-stop shop for the Japanese imports that are increasingly woven into the fabric of daily L.A. life: cream puffs at Beard Papa's; limited-edition, artist-designed tees at Giant Robot; milky soft drinks at the Nijiya market; and more noodle joints than you can shake a chopstick at.

Think of it as a preview of the Los Angeles of the future, where there will be a Famima!! on every third corner, with a Pinkberry or a Lollicup next door. Steamed pork buns will take their rightful place alongside soft pretzels and tacos as go-to snacks. Restaurant wait staffs will shout out enthusiastic greetings each time you enter or leave, and chain stores will have to provide a consistent product and also be cleverly and cheerfully designed in sherbet hues of pink, peach and green.

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-- Deborah Netburn

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday March 22, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Japanese shops: An item in the Street Level column in Sunday's Calendar section about Japanese shops on Sawtelle Boulevard said they were between Olympic and Pico boulevards. They are on Sawtelle between Olympic and Santa Monica boulevards.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday March 25, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 39 words Type of Material: Correction
Japanese shops: An item in the Street Level column in the March 18 Calendar section about Japanese shops on Sawtelle Boulevard said they were between Olympic and Pico boulevards. They are on Sawtelle between Olympic and Santa Monica boulevards.

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