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THE GUIDE / NEIGHBORHOODS: TUJUNGA VILLAGE : THE GUIDE

A little bohemia hidden in the Valley

December 02, 2008|Rachel B. Levin | Levin is a freelance writer.

Tucked into the tree-lined flats of Studio City, Tujunga Village is a foil to the neighborhood's main commercial artery, Ventura Boulevard. Occupying the stretch of Tujunga Avenue between Woodbridge and Moorpark streets, Tujunga Village is a throwback to one-stoplight main streets, with ample parking and charming mom-and-pop boutiques and eateries. But its simplicity doesn't mean it lacks sophistication. On the contrary, the Village is a gourmet grotto of sorts, with stores that please even the most discerning visitors.

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Well caffeinated

The village's central gathering spot can be found at Aroma Cafe (4360 Tujunga Ave., [818] 508-0677, www.aromacoffee andtea.com), housed in a charming bungalow. The line frequently snakes out the door as regulars queue for enormous salads and coffee drinks. Enjoy them while perusing the books at Portrait of a Bookstore (4369 Tujunga Ave., [818] 769-3853, www.portraitofabook store.com), which is under the same roof. Bean aficionados will be in heaven at Jennifer's Coffee Connection (4397-D Tujunga Ave., [818] 769-3622, www.jenniferscoffeeconnect ion.com), which boasts 100 different coffees including Oreo cookie and tiramisu.

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Music, theater, art

Two Roads Theatre (4348 Tujunga Ave., [818] 762-2272) pairs contemporary performances with a gallery of contemporary art. Vitello's (4349 Tujunga Ave., [818] 769-0905, www.vitellosrestaurant.com), a local favorite for authentic Sicilian cuisine, features live opera, show tunes, and jazz in its upstairs lounge.

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For the foodie

Follow up your BLT (that's brie, lettuce and tomato) sandwich at the Village Gourmet (4357 Tujunga Ave., [818] 487-3807, www.villagegourmet cheeseandwine.com) with a scoop of artisanal gelato from Gelato Bar (4342 Tujunga Ave., [818] 487-1717, www.gelato bar-la.com).

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