Brunch and Shopping on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles

La Brea Avenue runs north to south across the middle of the city of Los Angeles.  This long, heavily trafficked artery connects the southern edges of the city near Inglewood to the hills of Hollywood in the north. The word “brea” means tar, which is appropriate as the street runs past a working oil field near Baldwin Park and passes quite near the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Boulevard.  Most of the avenue is commercial, but between Wilshire boulevard and Beverly Boulevard the stores become more expensive and the focus turns to home decor emporiums, antique stores, high-end vintage boutiques and elegant restaurants.  

Of all the places to eat along La Brea Campanile Restaurant has to be one of the most beautiful. It’s housed in a historic building originally designed for Charlie Chaplin. The place was derelict until Chef Mark Peel and Pasty Chef Nancy Silverton purchased it in the late 1980’s. They remodeled the structure and opened La Brea Bakery and Campanile in the space. The restaurant is still going strong, something to be said here in the land of fly-by-night successes, and La Brea Bakery bread is now for sale all over the California. Although the main bakery has since moved you can still buy fresh loaves at the little storefront next to the restaurant.

My husband and I stopped by this Saturday morning for brunch.  The award-winning food did not disappoint. Hugo ordered eggs on prosciutto and it was as delicious as it was pretty. The coffee was strong. I was happy.

La Brea Avenue is one of my favorite shopping streets in Los Angeles. A few blocks north of Campanile is another L.A. classic: American Rag. It sells a carefully curated mix of vintage and new clothing as well as French country decor. The cafe in the store isn’t nearly as expensive as the apparel and a great place to meet a friend for lunch. For museum-quality vintage attire look no further than The Way We Wore.  If $350 dresses are a bit beyond your budget, head up the street to Buffalo Exchange for inexpensive resale treasures. There are a lot of really great clothing stores on La Brea but the street is really known for interior design. There are dozens of stores selling furniture and home decor dotting the avenue from Wilshire all the way up to Santa Monica. Most seem to focus on vintage and imported treasures. Although the prices can be high I’ve gotten great things on sale. If you need fabric for curtains or upholstery and you want something that no one else has, head to Diamond Foam and Fabric on the west side of the street. Oh, and always be careful when parking.  Towing begins at 4:00 sharp to open up the third lane for rush hour traffic.

After brunch my husband and I wandered through the delightful Design Mix Furniture . It’s a good example of the kind of stores you’ll find on La Brea Avenue.


  • Beige cotton trench with no tags, purchased on consignment
  • Floral dress by Veronica M
  • Plastic tortoise-shell bracelet and earrings by Bellissima via
  • Clutch from Nordstroms
  • Orange sandals by Camper

Do you have a favorite place for brunch?  If you live in L.A., do you ever shop on La Brea?

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24 Responses to Brunch and Shopping on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles

  1. Marcos T. Rodrigues June 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Is it antique shop? I love your dress and the sandals compliments each other, the furniture looks classic! The statue an angel or Spanish soldier?

    • Heather Fonseca June 19, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      Hi Marcos. The shop sells new imports, but they all look old. Some of them might even be old, I’m not really sure. And I’m not totally sure what the statue is. Glad you liked my outfit.

  2. Sylvia
    June 19, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    Sounds like a great place to shop. Should remember for when I ever visit LA. Brunch seems the perfect occasion for a fun flower dress like this one. Great coat and shoes too!
    Sylvia recently posted..The ultimate guide of bags for Fall 2012My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca June 19, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Glad you like the outfit. La Brea is a nice area to shop, but it’s not on the tourist circuit at all and even the area where all the shops are is long. But there are some great places there. If ever you come to LA I’ll have to take you on a tour of my favorite areas!

  3. SACRAMENTO June 19, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Fantastic dress, place and food. Not to talk about the brilliant photography.
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..Fruit Scorpion & Flower Eating SpiderMy Profile

  4. DressCode:HighFashion
    June 19, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    OMG! Wonderful dress, wonderful place, wonderful woman!

    Gosh I`m SO coming over to steal your dress! It`s EXACTLY the summer dress I want (it has the perfect (non-kitsch) floral print (without pink!) and the always classic & flattering cut of the wrap-dress. *envy*

    I love how you look classic but also a little vulnerable (through the (edited??) paleness).

    Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    Hugs, Jen
    DressCode:HighFashion recently posted..Prints Overview S/S 12My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca June 19, 2012 at 9:03 am #

      So glad you approve! I found the dress on sale last year. The print is great. I too like the punchy colors. The photos are altered with color filters and it does give me a very pale look, but the shots were taken in natural light, and I am pretty pale naturally. I never sun bathe and I wear sunblock every day to keep those harmful rays at bay!

  5. Pam
    June 19, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    I love your pictures so much! They are fabulous! Looks like a fun outing….

    • Heather Fonseca June 19, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks Pam! It was a fun outing. We usually go to less expensive places, but felt like a change. It was nice.

  6. Alexis Grace June 19, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    What a beautiful dress! And a great setting…. makes me miss LA!
    Alexis Grace recently posted..New Place: The ProofMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca June 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

      I’m sure there will be great shopping in Chicago too!

  7. Kendyl Leuck June 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    I am obsessed with your trench! It’s amazing the treasure that can be found when consignment shopping.

    • Heather Fonseca June 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      I love consignment and resale stores and I’ve found many treasures at such places. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Haute Frugalista June 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Orange me glad I found you! This outfit is beyond chic and classic! I love how you added extra pop with the lipstick, very fresh!

    • Heather Fonseca June 21, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Thank you so much! So glad you stopped by and I hope to see you here again soon. Next time please leave your web address too so I can check out your blog.

  9. mary jo
    June 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Love La Brea and you look so cute Heather, of course loving the orange lipstick too–I’m a recent addict to that color!

    xo Mary Jo

    • Heather Fonseca June 21, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      Thanks Mary Jo! We should meet on La Brea one day when you have some time. The lipstick will be featured in an upcoming lipstick article soon. (Sneak peek: It’s by Rimmel, #12 in the Kate Moss Collection)

  10. A Brit Greek (
    June 21, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    Loving the printed dress & gorgeous shoes – the sunnies are a perfect touch too. Such lovely images and it’s nice to hear about the places you’ve been to recently! That interiors shop…. sigh!
    A Brit Greek ( recently posted..Because it’s Monday…My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca June 21, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      So glad you like the outfit! That store did have fabulous things. I hope to move soon and have a new home to decorate, but in the meantime we’re rather done with this house. Still, I saw a couple of chairs that I would love to have.

  11. Donna
    June 21, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    Great post! It was like a mini history of La Brea, which was very interesting. A unique way to post fashion photos but write about something more. I love the dress, too – it looks great on you.
    I lived in the OC for almost 5 years but didn’t get to L.A. as often as I wish. My friends were all long time Californians and weren’t excited about going there like I was. But at least they took me a few times and showed me around. I ate at a Mexican restaurant on La Brea once but can’t remember the name. I went to the Bodhi Tree on Melrose and a few other shops near there. I absolutely loved living in SoCal except for the cost of living. I never did get used to that. I moved back to my hometown because it’s cheaper here, but I miss California terribly! I plan to move back as soon as I can afford to. There are so many things there that I miss. Perhaps your blog will be a way for me to keep a link to the area.
    Donna recently posted..How to accessorize your summer outfitsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca June 21, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      I think the restaurant was called “Sonora Cafe”. I went there once. It was a lot of fun but sadly it closed a while back. Too bad you didn’t get into LA very often. There’s a lot to do here and I try to feature some of my favorite places on the blog. California is pricey, but I was born here and all my family is nearby so I’ve never considered moving. I hope you can visit sometime soon!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment too.

  12. Jamillah June 23, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Love the images of you in the furniture shop. The flower print is stunning on you! So super pretty, Heather.
    Jamillah recently posted..Guest Post: Eco-Chic at the Beach by Susan of Instyle SwimwearMy Profile