On any day, Valley Thrift offers better-than-bargain-basement shopping. But Saturday is fiesta time, when locals make a day of it. If you're not from the 'hood, you'll be eyed suspiciously, so come early and park in the lot. If you arrive after 10, you'll have to park on side streets and make your way past scores of independent vendors hawking balloons, churros, fruit-freezes and whatnot. It's easy to spend your wad before you get in, but hold onto some cash for the goods inside: thousands of DVDs and books, furniture, appliances, piles of clothing that put Nordstrom Rack to shame, more kiddie items than Toys R Us and the coolest classics this side of Aaardvark's. If you insist on a dressing room, it'll cost a buck. But after you've nabbed that $5 Yellow Submarine lamp, or those $3 Anne Klein heels, smile as you walk out, or you may find that a neighborhood kid has gifted the hood of your car with a puncture hole — made with his Bic pen — as you exit. 9007 Lankershim Blvd., Sun Valley. (818) 768-8338.

—Heidi Dvorak

LA Weekly