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{ THE MALL ISSUE } : Westfield Century City |

An air of sophistication

November 20, 2011|Melissa Magsaysay
  • Century City shopping mall.
Century City shopping mall. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Location: 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, at the intersection of Avenue of the Stars and Santa Monica Boulevard. From the 405 Freeway, take the Santa Monica Boulevard exit and go east.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon to 7 p.m. Sun.

Known for: The AMC/Imax Century City 15 Movie Theater is a big draw for anyone who wants to see the latest action flick or sci-fi film in 3-D Imax. Located next to the theater is the mall's impressive dining area and food court in a modern, somewhat stark gray-and-white motif. The clean decor makes even a Panda Express stand look gourmet. The Juicy Bird kiosk serves wine and beer and is so cool you hardly know you were in a food court.

What you'll find: Nestled next to high-rise buildings and powerhouse talent agencies, the mall is sleek and airy. It draws an older, sophisticated crowd mostly from Westwood and Century City. The major attractions include the many restaurants, an Imax movie theater and an inviting mix of stores such as Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton.

Vibe: The atmosphere at the outdoor space is laid-back and relaxed. This is a place where people come by themselves to do serious shopping or with one or two other people for a leisurely lunch and stroll. The walkways between shops are wide and open, peppered with only a few kiosks selling beauty products and accessories. The layout can be a bit confusing; you may be able to see something appealing in the distance or on the second level and find getting there to be be a challenge. Escalators take you up to the second level, where the movie theaters and most restaurants are located. The first floor is more or less situated around Bloomingdale's, with stores including high-end tea shops, Zara, H&M and 7 for All Mankind. Macy's is at the far end.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, November 22, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Shopping malls: In the Nov. 20 Image section, an article about Westfield Century City said the mall has a Neiman Marcus department store. There is a Neiman Marcus Cusp boutique, but not a Neiman Marcus department store.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, November 27, 2011 Home Edition Image Part P Page 2 Features Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
Shopping malls: A Nov. 20 article about Westfield Century City said the mall has a Neiman Marcus department store. There is a Neiman Marcus Cusp boutique, but not a Neiman Marcus department store.

Survival strategies: As much as the mall's vibe is open, airy and relaxed, the underground parking garage can be claustrophobic and frustrating. It's hard to tell where to park to be close to an entrance, and remembering where you parked is challenging because there's not much to distinguish each parking area. Sure, certain areas are painted a color and marked with a letter and number (B38, for example) but they are the same on both sides when you come off the escalators, meaning that you have to note which way you entered from before getting on an escalator. (This may sound easy, but it's not.) I make it a point to remember the ads plastered to the wall at the bottom of the escalator. If my car was on the side closest to the Skechers ad, I just remember (or text myself) "B38, turn left at Skechers sign."

Holiday cheer: Santa will be in residence beginning Wednesday. Check the mall's website for holiday deals.

For kids: This mall is more of an adult hangout, with upscale stores and Rock Sugar, Bloomingdale's 59th and Lex and Pink Taco among the more popular dining destinations. But for the kids, there is a Toys R Us on the second floor next to the Container Store.

Impressions: Crowds and harried shoppers are to be expected with any mall, but the atmosphere at Westfield Century City remains generally relaxed, even on a busy weekend day (though the parking is a different story). The number of shops is not overwhelming, and the mix of department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus and Macy's with specialty favorites like J. Crew, Madewell, Zara and H&M makes this a good place to score both basic and trendy garb.

--Melissa Magsaysay

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