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Underrated / Overrated

June 19, 2008

VIDEO JOURNEYS

The age of the neighborhood video store may be passing, but this Silver Lake staple (2730 Griffith Park Blvd.) still draws cinephiles with its knowledgeable staff and selection of more than 20,000 DVDs.

TOMATOES

Now that you've disappeared from several of our favorite restaurants' menus due to potential salmonella contamination, we've realized just how much we heart you, tomatoes. Please come back soon.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY DISCOUNTS

Shopping isn't that fun right now with the economic slump and all, so we appreciate major retailers such as Kiehl's, MAC cosmetics and H&M handing out 15% to 25% "friends and family" discounts via e-mail and websites for use at stores or online. In the end, we're all one big, broke family, right?

SHIKI

This Studio City sushi joint (12745 1/2 Ventura Blvd.) serves up huge portions at reasonable prices. Try the diced octopus roll or eel special roll. Mm-mm-mm!

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EDENDALE GRILL

The restored 1925 firehouse that houses this posh eatery (2838 Rowena Ave., L.A.) is lovely, but the service can be slow and attitudinal and the prices are inflated for what you get.

SAN ANTONIO WINERY RESTAURANT

This cafeteria-style restaurant located north of Chinatown (737 Lamar St.) has all the ambience and food quality of an Olive Garden, but prices that are twice as expensive.

SMOKING AT THE UPSTAIRS BAR AT SPACELAND

Smoking indoors in California? It's all fun and games until somebody chokes on the dust cloud of several packs' worth lighting up simultaneously the minute a band goes offstage at the plexiglass- encased upstairs bar at this Silver Lake music club (1717 Silver Lake Blvd.).

TURNING OFF THE A.C. TO SAVE GAS

OK, but now it's hot as an oven in your car. Roll down your windows for a bit of nature's air conditioning? Sorry, the increased wind resistance will likely gobble up any savings. You just can't win.

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