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Uptown Whittier restaurants, shops offer unique experience

March 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's a hidden gem of a neighborhood known as Uptown Whittier just about 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

It was an original Quaker town in the late 1800s. It's one of the oldest and most charming little destinations in Southern California.

Time seems to slow down when you visit Uptown, with plenty of places to dine, shop and spend some quality time with loved ones.

Stroll or roll into Seta and feast on contemporary dining in style. Around the block is Phlight, a Spanish/Mediteranean restaurant and wine bar, specializing in small plates meant to be shared.

"It just makes for a really great dining experience, just the conversations that arise while you're eating. It's a very social dining experience," said Nikomi Arroyo, co-owner of Phlight.

The bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with Spanish cheese are addictive. Or dig into the flat skirt steak drizzled with cheese and chimichurri sauce.

Around the block is Fenix 5-4, known as the "healthy deli." Try "The Big Larry," a sandwich made with roasted, carved chicken and turkey, topped with tasty guacamole.

Tasty raw juice drinks draw the crowds, and the revolving artwork and live music nights keep them coming back.

"It's a very dynamic environment and the menu is dynamic and really, really healthy. A lot of people are now getting into juicing," said Kyle Koestner, owner of Fenix 5-4.

After you eat, it's time to play and shop! Pick up trendy and vintage attire at the Basement or Melrose. You'll find handmade cigars at the well-known Havana House Cigars & Lounge. And there's The Wishing Well toy shop and Lovell's Records & Tapes for vinyl collectors.

"We have so much diversity, not only in shops and unique little retail places. We have beautiful aesthetics here," said Yolanda Garcia, owner of Casita Del Pueblo.

Casita Del Pueblo is a vibrant Latin-American inspired shop, stocked with handmade folk art, jewelry, clothing and trinkets. Plus, there's a gallery that supports local artists.

"I think it's important to support the family, and also to promote education through the arts here at Casita," said Garcia.

There's also a popular weekly farmers market, classic car shows and antique fairs.

Lovell's Records & Tapes
6719 Greenleaf Ave Whittier, CA 90601
(562) 696-7616

The Wishing Well
6723 Greenleaf Ave Whittier, CA 90601
(562) 464-9474

See photos of shops and restaurants in Uptown Whittier.


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