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6 L.A. Botanicas That Will Sell You a Magic Spell

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Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 5:00 AM

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click to enlarge AMY NICHOLSON
  • Amy Nicholson
BOTANICA JUKILA

The candles in this welcoming, clinical shop are a couple bucks pricier than normal, but with good reason. Head clerk Pedro has been practicing spells for over 50 years. (He started when he was 10, hence his energy.) Explains Pedro, most candles carry no more magic than what the purchaser channels into it themselves. But he can dress them with extra magic for $5 more, which seems more than worth it to the people who file into his shop asking him to battle black magic curses. And Pedro alone insists on proper protocol, cautioning that his blessed candles must burn out on their own and the empty votive wrapped in a plastic bag before being disposed in the trash. 443 S. Atlantic Blvd.; East L.A.; (323) 261-0364.

FARMACIA Y BOTANICA MILLION DOLLAR

Talk about multipurpose. If you want to fight your haters, this corner shop in the thick of downtown carries more than just anti-envy candles -- it sells anti-envy bar soap and body wash. (And Pepto-Bismol if you also need a dose of that.) Too nervous to watch over your own candle? Light it and leave it in one of the crowded racks, where clerk Jesus is happy to keep an eye on the flames while taking tourists on a mini-tour of the shop. Be sure to visit the tucked-away altar where visitors leave tequila, Lindor truffles, photographs, earrings, and packages of cheese crackers. 301 S. Broadway, downtown; (213) 687-3688.

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