Neighborhood Watch: Magda Berliner

Though many are seduced by the eternal sunshine of this So-Cal mecca, Los Angeles isn't exactly a town known for its street-wise surprises. So, when one of our favorite locals, designer Magda Berliner, offered to share a handful of her best-kept secrets along Venice Boulevard, we were all ears. No surprise, her picks are as eclectic as her beautifully radical women's garb, and just as timeless. "Technically, the area I chose is Culver City, though it borders on the territory of Palms, west of Robertson along Venice Boulevard," she says. And the best reason for visiting this stretch, aside from the fact that you can walk it? "Its complete lack of over-exposure."
The Museum of Jurassic Technology, 9341 Venice Boulevard, 310-836-6131;
"Eccentric and varied offerings from a history of miniature porcelains to the evolution of the Air Stream. There's also a lovely Russian Tea Room, Tula, located on the second floor adjacent to a tiny screening room, which is used for book readings. The bookstore offers a unique selection of titles, from Anatomy of Melancholy to Dulac's Fairy Tale. I always walk out with a few gifts that suit friends with varied interests, including children."
India Sweets and Spices, 9409 Venice Boulevard, 310-837-5286
"Delicacies for the uninhibited and adventurous."
Danny's Warehouse, 9443 Venice Boulevard, 800-552-5385;
"A warehouse filled with everything you could ever need for dance! Ballet slippers, tap shoes, leotards, unitards, tights, and all for $10! Digging required on occasion, but worth the effort."
Govinda Natural Foods and Boutique at the Hare Krishna Center, 3764 Watseka Avenue (just off Venice Boulevard), 310-836-1269;
"There's a yummy vegetarian buffet daily; I highly recommend the veggie burrito. The boutique stocks a wide selection of lightweight cotton and silk tunics and sari sets for all sizes; men's sizes as well. A must-stop for spring shopping! These tunics are available in various lengths and prints; I always pack them for traveling to use as a cover-up and to sleep in.
Elsewhere in Los Angeles: Laurel Canyon
"I believe I live in the best neighborhood in Los Angeles, Laurel Canyon. I love the peace and nature, yet [it's] less than five minutes from the hub of Hollywood. I would [only] consider relocating to the Left Bank in the fair city of Paris!"
Magda Berliner's collection is available in New York at Dernier Cri, 869 Washington Street, 212-242-6061 and in Los Angeles at Satine, 8117 West Third Street, 323-655-2142.
Portrait by Piera Gelardi
This L.A. designer is no stranger to unconventionality. So, when it came to getting a fresh glimpse of Tinseltown, we knew exactly who to go to.