Located south of downtown Los Angeles, Volks USA is open to the public on weekends from 11:00am to 6:00pm. In addition to the sale of dolls, clothing, tools, and accessories they will also perform minor maintenance on dolls such as kips insertion and restringing. During the week they fill on-line orders and respond to customer inquiries and questions.
Due to liability issues Volks staff will not be able to answer any questions about the maintenance of non-Volks dolls. As a courtesy, it is not encouraged to bring non-Volks dolls into the store.
SD Kurumi and Dollfie Dream Saber in the photo space. Dollfie Dream Saber belongs to Mr Postman
Torrance, the Los Angeles neighborhood where Volks is located offers many diversions. Traditionally an area where many of Japanese descent have congregated, today the area is home to the American operations of many Japanese companies and corporations. Thus, there are a variety of Japanese eateries and shops to stop by after a visit to Volks.
Cho Dang Tofu 22549 Hawthorne Boulevard
Torrance, CA 90505
Cho Dang Tofu serves Korean style tofu soup.
An inexpensive All You Can Eat (AYCE) Korean BBQ that can accommodate large groups. They offer 3 tiers of AYCE: $11.99 (sliced beef brisket, black pork belly), $13.99 (sliced beef brisket, black pork belly, marinated beef rib, beef tongue), and $15.99 (sliced beef brisket, black pork belly, marinated beef rib, beef tongue, marinated beef, mt. tripe, spicy marinated pork, marinated chicken). All the tiers come with ample sides.
The meat and sides never stop coming at Furusato!
2383 Lomita Blvd#102
Lomita, CA 90717
Saturday 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5:30pm to 12:00am
Sunday 5:00pm to 11:00am
Specializing in the famous Japanese dish okonomiyaki, this is a wonderful place where you can sit down with your friends and enjoy a relaxing meal. Translated as "As You Like It," Okonomiyaki is made of batter and cabbage cooked over a flat grill served with a variety of toppings from kimchi to meat to cheese and garnished with a sweet sauce and Japanese mayonaisse. Gaja Moc is one of the few restaurants in the Los Angeles area that serve this specialty. What makes this place so fun is that the tables are equipped with an iron grill, called a "Teppan" grill, that allows you to cook the Okonomiyaki yourself. The staff will help you if you have questions or need help. However, if you do not wish to, you can have the chef cook your meal for you. Most okonomiyaki is $15 and can be shared between 2 to 4 people.
Cook your own meal at Gaja Moc!
I wrote a detailed review on my Livejournal blog .
Save room for dessert. Their parfaits are wonderful!
Pudding parfait from Gaja Moc
The Mitsuwa Marketplace has an extensive food court with most of the restaurants specializing in Japanese food. Italian Tomato, an Italian restaurant, actually has its flagship store in Japan!
A group of dolls on the low table in the Pagoda in the middle of the food court. If you are lucky to grab this spot, remember to remove your shoes so you don't damage the tatami mat.
2383 Lomita Blvd#104
Lomita, CA 90717
Saturday 11:00am to 7:30pm
Sunday 11:00am to 7:30pm
A French bakery with a bit of a Japanese influence, this pastry shop is reminiscent of similar shops I enjoyed on my visit to Japan. They also serve coffee and tea. My favorite pastry here is the Caramel Macchiato, which looks like the coffee drink!
Desserts from Pasisserie Chantilly
Shin Sen Gumi
1695 W. Artesia Blvd
Gardena, CA 90427
A favorite of the Volks staff, the Gardena location is nearby and serves shabu shabu plus a variety of other dishes. They also have other locations in Gardena and Southern California as well as Japan that serve yakitori and ramen.
1610 W. Redondo Beach Blvd #E8
Gardena, CA 90247
10:00am to 8:00pm 7 days a week
A second hand bookstore originally from Japan, this is a great place to get used manga at a great price. They also sell Japanese books and magazines, English books and magazines, DVDs and CDs.
23840 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
There are actually three notable Marukai stores near each other. The Marukai 98 Cent Plus store on 1360 West Artesia Boulevard is a non-membership store that sells a variety of items for $1.50 (These items used to be 98 cents before inflation changed all that!) including cooking supplies, bento boxes and supplies, beauty producs, stationary, and sometimes traditional Japanese garments like kimono and geta sandals. The traditional Japanese garments will usually sell for a higher price.
The Marukai Supermarket on 1740 West Artesia Boulevard is a membership store that sells groceries, cooking appliances, home health products, books and stationary. You do not need to be a member to shop here as one day passes can be purchased for $1. Upstairs is the Waraku home furnishings store which sell kimono and accessories, furniture, home furnishings, and futon. This section is non-Membership.
The staff at Marukai is used to doll owners bringing their dolls into the store.
1323 Prado Ave
Torrance, CA 90501
Retailer specializing in modern and traditional Japanese fabrics as well as unusual prints and sewing accessories. momen+ also offers sewing classes and assistance on sewing projects. This is a great place to look for lolita prints. They sell squares of fabrics for $2 each which is more than enough to make a dress for a large sized doll. Periodically they will have sales which will be announced on their facebook page.
Left, store front, and right, folded squares of fabric that retail for $2 a piece.
23702535 W. 237th St., Suite 127 Torrance, CA 90505 (Enter the lot at the sign marked "Marble Park III" (310)784-0500 A full service kimono shop, Kyoei Treasures helpful staff will help you complete a kimono ensemble and offer suggestions to help you wear kimono more elegantly. Not only do they sell kimono and obi, the also sell the accessories required to dress in a kimono properly (which can also be used in cosplay) as well as various gift items. Call before you visit.
1630 W. Redondo Beach Blvd