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L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

A Spot For You Visionaries

September 23, 2007|Leslie Brenner

Tucked in a tiny storefront on Fairfax Avenue is an optical shop that's the place to know if you've got a thing for spectacles. Because Gennady "Gary" Bdil grinds the lenses himself, he can sell stylish frames with top-quality prescription lenses for about $60.

And if you've got a thing for designers -- Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs -- you can find their frames here at crazy-cool prices too (about $200 to $260, including single-vision lenses).

It's a busy little shop, often filled with older Ukranian customers from the neighborhood, and you'll have to wait your turn as Bdil answers their questions (speaking in his native Ukranian), asking after family, opining on the look of a frame on a face. But you'll be happy for the time to browse. You've got to dig a bit to find the good stuff -- mod aviator styles, tortoise rectangles, wraparound skater shades -- and the selection is better or worse depending on how recently Bdil has gone on a frame-shopping spree.

Meanwhile, Bdil's building up his vintage collection. He's got some chunky little round spectacles in red or butterscotch from French designer Harry Lary's, circa 1980s, along with vintage Lacroix and Dior. Bdil is closed Fridays and Saturdays, but turnaround is quick, and when you get the bill, you may not believe your eyes.

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Fairfax Optical Lab, 453 N. Fairfax Ave.; (323) 651-5976.

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