Being hip, of course, isn't just about what you wear, it's about lifestyle. And no store in L.A. encompasses the culture like De La Barracuda. The 5,000-square-foot space offers unique street wear and T-shirts (its L.A.-logo shirts have become staples for skaters and ravers alike). But it's Barracuda's raging parties that put the shop — and Melrose itself — back on the map. Barbecues, DJ sets, beauty bashes (there's a full salon in back), group bike rides, art events (check out its façade, the big wall across from Fairfax High, for displays by local artists) make for nonstop expression and excitement. The sporty cool clothes sold here don't hurt, either.

—Lina Lecaro

LA Weekly