My husband and I were looking for some new-to-us furniture today, and we went to the South Fairfax neighborhood, also known as “SOFAX” or “Little Ethiopia.” Along Fairfax here in L.A., for a few blocks between Whitworth and Olympic, you’ll find a charming neighborhood with four thrift/vintage stores, the original location of Hansen’s Cakes, and a slew of restaurants and shops that cater to the local Ethiopian-American community. It’s a fun place to park (or bike), stroll and shop if you want to hit several shops back-to-back.

The Helping Hand Thrift Shop had a lot of furniture (both inexpensive and more heirloom style) and clothing, but also nifty candlesticks (and other Judaic items), hats galore (a wall full!), and other assorted bric-a-brac.

NCJW has many locations, and it operates a thrift store in SOFAX. It’s actually two store fronts; one area focuses on clothing (plentiful and in good shape) and another on furniture and books. Lots of books. Several pieces of furniture were very cute (not what I needed, though).

45 Three Modern Vintage Home was all furniture and home accessories. Gorgeous stuff (if you like vintage, and I DO!) laid out attractively with groovy Bebel Gilberto music in the background, not too loud. Prices are vintage-y, not super thrifty, but better than new (even Ikea, in some cases) with much more personality. (I’m not knocking Ikea. Ikea has its place in the cheapskate universe…)

Casa Victoria Furniture was right next door to Helping Hand. No clothes here, but plentiful furniture and a great selection of costume jewelry and knicknacks. A lot of it was very cute, and it was all very organized. I was impressed in that there were a lot more matching pieces there than at other shops, like desks with the original coordinating chair, and matching sets of dining chairs. Again, the prices were not Goodwill, but great if you want to spend a little cash to get a lot of personality.

Even if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for (I didn’t today), you’ll have a great time bargain hunting in SOFAX.

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About beccakinla

Freelance writer and unrepentant homemaker. Writer of many genres and author of "A Dozen Daisies for Raizy," "Sliding Doors and Other Stories," and "Mazal's Luck Runs Out."

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