I just recently returned from a fantastic week long vacation in beautiful Los Angeles. While there, I stayed in Santa Monica, visited downtown LA and little tokyo, went to Disneyland, and of course visited some anime stores!
In Santa Monica I had the opportunity to visit Ofuda Imports! They are a strictly online store but I was able to visit their business and see their stock. I have to say they have some exciting things that they have yet to put on their website! They have a lot of anime merchandise including pencil cases, stationary, cell phone straps, and keychains. They also have a lot of trading figures, nendoroids, chibi-arts, and scaled figures! While there, I was able to purchase the Saber maid petite nendoroid. All of the items are one hundred percent legitimate. While I have my preferred sites to order from, they do have a lot of older figures and figures that are now hard to find! So keep an eye out on the website!
I also ran across a figure store called Anime Jungle while in downtown LA. They had a ton of figures! I think the last time I saw that many figures was at A-kon (the Dallas anime convention) a few years ago. It made me wish that I had so much more money. All the beautiful figures I had to leave behind makes me want to cry a little! The most surprising find was that they carried Queen’s Blade nendoroids and some of the limited color variants. I wanted them all but chose the Cattleya 2p color variant. They also had the Play Arts kai Cloud and Squall that I missed out on…but alas, there was only enough money to buy one figure. If you are in LA looking for figure shop, definitely check out Anime Jungles store front in little tokyo!
I also had some delicious food! I had ramen noodles in little tokyo from the same place that was featured in a Man vs Food episode! I didn’t eat the spicy stuff though. My big food recommendation for Santa Monica is the Sushi King! Its a little sushi bar that has been owned and operated by the same Japanese guy for thirty years. It was the first time that I ever tried the market price items at a sushi bar. I must say toro (fatty tuna) lives up to the hype! It was delicious. I also tried Spanish mackerel sushi which I highly recommend. The most expensive item that I tried was fresh sea urchin sushi! Sea urchin literally melts in your mouth, and I mean liquifies!
I also bought my first Japanese doll at a store called Puzzle Zoo at the 3rd street promenade of Santa Monica. I bought a little pullip doll! I was really surprised to find that the store carried some pullips and some tayeng dolls despite being a regular toy store. All in all it was a pretty magical vacation with more loot than I’ve gotten in a while.