By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
BEST MOBILE DJ
In our quest to find a mobile DJ who could go above and beyond the standard wedding-reception tunes, we found DJ THC Electra. The local party starter, who you can catch spinning most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at downtown restaurant Wurstküche, comes equipped with Serato Scratch Live 3.0 and 420 Gb of music in addition to the usual tools of the trade. THC Electra caters to a variety of musical tastes, with sets ranging from the latest club hits to sophisticated electronic grooves and indie rock sounds to old school hip-hop and classic rock. For private parties, THC Electra can work with the hosts to create the perfect playlist for the event. Frequently, though, people tend to trust his instincts and it seems to work. He’s played a slew of high profile events, including film parties and museum soirees. The DJ works with clients to settle on a fair rate based on the specifics of the event. You can find THC Electra at exxxplosivo.com.
BEST BULLDOG BEAUTY
Muttropolitan is an owner-operated pet groomer, and while not the fanciest place around, its prices for the complete makeover really can’t be beat: pad- and ear-trimming, wash, clipping, blow dry, basically the works, at the following rates: small dogs $45 and up; medium dogs $50; large dogs $55 and up; cats $70 (naturally). There’s also a 25 percent discount for a multiple-wash card, and a DIY station, if your pooch is a fraidy cat and you’d rather not create a big mess in your kitchen sink. Head groomer Grace has a magic touch with nervous pets, and even the most jumbled of mixed breeds emerges looking like Best in Show winners. More importantly, they aren’t traumatized! If you’ve taken a pet to an assembly-line groomer at a big chain store, you know the signs. Last-minute walk-ins are welcome if you can’t stand the sound of claws on a wood floor one more minute. 408 E. Second St., L.A. (213) 626-8887, muttropolitanla.com.
BEST NEW BULK BIN ON THE BLOCK
Conveniently located two doors down from the vegan joint with a rock & roll waitstaff, and a block up from local raw favorite, Cru, Silver Lake’s new juice bar, smoothie stop and whole-foods bulk bin, cinches it: Hipsters have gone health-crazy. Naturewell’s pristine bulk bin is well-stocked with whole grains, dried fruits, granola, nuts and seeds, and offers a rockin’ selection of loose teas, refrigerated kombuchas, superfood staples and packaged snacks, but it’s really all about the juice bar. The menu features a dazzling selection of fruit and vegetable juices, along with exotic ingredients like mangosteen and açai, as well as kale, broccoli, ginger and berries. While some offerings lean toward the spendy, there are a couple steals that’ll keep you going all day: Purificane, a biodegradable cup of fresh coconut meat, coconut water, wheatgrass and cane juice, detoxes your system and fills you up fast. Eastside yerba-mate addicts may flood the aisle waiting for their fix of freshly brewed life juice, but try a yerba-mate smoothie: blended with coconut meat, coco water and agave, it’s like a cosmic orgasm in your mouth, only better and cheaper. Plus, they serve homemade vegan bakery goods, wash all produce in clustered alkali water and play Radiohead. How can you not heart Naturewell? 3824 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323) 664-5894.
BEST NEWSSTAND THAT WILL BE GONE IN A YEAR
Although newsstands have taken a hit during the Internet age, the legendary Centerfold International Newsstand on Fairfax Avenue is a cut above those that have survived, maintaining its high standards, with an extensive selection of fresh, undamaged papers from all over the world every day. You’ll even find International Herald Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and scores of out-of-state and international papers. Walk a little farther inside, and you’re greeted by a wide selection of trashy and sophisticated movie magazines, local and international music mags, English-langauge and foreign-language glossy fashion mags, car and truck mags, sports magazines, and, if you’re into that kind of thing, gay and straight porn. Pick up a lottery ticket, some smokes, or a pack of gum. 716 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. (323) 651-4822.
BEST BOUTIQUE CHIC WITHOUT ATTITUDE
Don’t be intimidated by the uber-chicness of avant-garde fashionista favorite Opening Ceremony. The sales associates, while impossibly hip, are friendly and will mostly leave you alone to browse if that’s what you desire. The store — actually several stores within a store — is a surprisingly inviting place, sprawling but not scarily minimalist, with unusual jewelry in tiny glass vitrines and clothes, shoes and bags displayed in cozy warrens designed for wandering. It’s as if some It Couple’s very stylish, very cutting-edge wardrobe got out of control and took over their entire apartment building. That wardrobe consists of dresses by Tsumori Chisato, tiny little Acne jeans, Alexander Wang cardigans, Comme des Garçons leather wallets, Boy by Band of Outsiders blazers, drapey Hussein Chalayan contraptions, and hand-knit Rodarte skirts. Opening Ceremony caters to all levels of fashion forwardness — novice, intermediate, and supersnob — and is a requisite stop on your way to true label whoredom. 451 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. (310) 652-1120, openingceremony.us.