From Koreatown to Palos Verdes, 10 Things to Do on Crenshaw Boulevard

Crenshaw Boulevard will take you from the middle of the city to a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Crenshaw Boulevard will take you from the middle of the city to a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Liz Ohanesian

Running from Koreatown to Palos Verdes, Crenshaw Boulevard spans 23 miles of L.A. County turf. It is a diverse drive — urban and suburban, residential and industrial — taking you through the southern end of the city and the South Bay until you finally land at a bluff overlooking the coast.

Google Maps estimates that it will take just under an hour to travel Crenshaw without traffic, but if you're driving from start to finish, you should anticipate traffic. From Exposition Boulevard down through South L.A., Crenshaw is in the throes of heavy construction. The end result will be a new Metro Line intended to take locals down the boulevard, into Inglewood and closer to the airport. At the moment, though, it's a headache. If you're heading to Leimert Park, the western edge of which is Crenshaw Boulevard, take an alternate route.

Even without Metro construction, this can be a fairly congested street. You might speed through the Inglewood stretch of Crenshaw, which is heavily residential, but you'll slow down again in Torrance, where this is a major thoroughfare lined with shopping centers. 

Stop for a boost and some productivity at Prism Coffee.
Stop for a boost and some productivity at Prism Coffee.
Liz Ohanesian


1. Fuel up on caffeine and get some work done at Prism Coffee.
 
If you're looking for a good place to be productive, Prism Coffee is a good stop. Located on the edge of Arlington Heights near Koreatown, the coffeehouse is situated inside a mini mall. That said, parking probably won't be a problem. It's a quiet space — there were only a couple of other people inside when I stopped by on a recent weekday afternoon — and the design is conducive to setting up your laptop for a bit of work time. Prism Coffee, 1032 Crenshaw Blvd., Arlington Heights. (213) 700-8110, instagram.com/prism.coffee.

"The Creative World of Synthia Saint James" at the Museum of African American Art
"The Creative World of Synthia Saint James" at the Museum of African American Art
Liz Ohanesian

2. Tour the exhibits at the Museum of African American Art.  
If you aren't looking for the Museum of African American Art, you might miss it. It's tucked into the third floor of Macy's at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza behind a bed display. Once you find it, though, you'll be delighted by what's inside. The 40-year-old museum is home to a collection of works from Palmer Hayden and includes his series of paintings telling the story of John Henry. The museum also hosts exhibitions, most recently "The Creative World of Synthia Saint James," and is open Thursday through Sunday. The Museum of African American Art, 4005 Crenshaw Blvd. (inside Macy's), Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw. (323) 294-7071, maaala.org

One of many fun dining options
One of many fun dining options
Liz Ohanesian

3. Grab a bite to eat. 
Your food options are plentiful on Crenshaw Boulevard, from Southern to Korean cuisine. Just keep driving until you see something that makes your stomach growl. That's how I ended up at Mar's Caribbean Garden in Gardena. The restaurant serves up Belizean cuisine and terrific ambiance thanks to the Caribbean-centric music choices. If you're looking for a retro L.A. feel, head to the Brolly Hut in Inglewood. The burger-and-burrito joint is shaped like an umbrella and keeps the theme going inside, where even the light fixtures look as if they could protect you from the rain. Down in Torrance, my go-to spot is CoCo Ichibanya, part of a chain of Japanese curry restaurants. It's on the Sepulveda side of a shopping center at the Crenshaw intersection. Mar's Caribbean Garden, 14008 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena. (310) 323-5000, marscaribbean.com. Brolly Hut, 11205 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood. (310) 674-2344, brollyhut.com. CoCo Ichibanya, 2455 Sepulveda Blvd., Suite C, Torrance. (310) 294-5315, ichibanyausa.com.

From Koreatown to Palos Verdes, 10 Things to Do on Crenshaw Boulevard
Liz Ohanesian

4. Stock up on reading material at Geoffrey's Comics. 
Talk to your comic book–reading South Bay pals and Geoffrey's is likely to be name-dropped. This Gardena shop, mentioned on our comic book store list, has been around since 1978 and continues to draw new generations of readers. The love for superheroes extends to the decor of the store, and the collection includes both classic and contemporary tales. Stop by when you need to stock up on issues. The store also buys vintage comics. Geoffrey's Comics, 15900 Crenshaw Blvd., Suite B, Gardena. (310) 538-3198, geoffreyscomics.com.

A small garden outside El Camino College's art gallery
A small garden outside El Camino College's art gallery
Liz Ohanesian

5. Check out community programs at El Camino College. 
Like other learning institutions, El Camino College offers programs that benefit more than just current students. The South Bay school's amenities include a gym and a library that are available for public use. Plus, it has a planetarium that hosts monthly gatherings, an art gallery and an anthropology museum. Art shows coincide with the school year, so the next exhibition, "Thread," won't be opening until late August. This summer, it's offering a Kid's College with classes in everything from guitar to game design. El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance. (310) 532-3760, elcamino.edu



Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >