7456 Beverly Blvd. bet. N. Vista and N. Gardner Street

Two years ago, on a short visit to L.A, my boyfriend and I had a tug-of-war on where to go for breakfast. I wanted the soft boiled egg and crispy bacon from Joan's On Third; he wanted the ricotta blueberry pancakes from BLD. No dice.

"Joan's On Third has pancakes! BLD doesn't have soft boiled eggs!" I pointed out.

"Yes, but they're not ricotta blueberry ones!"

"Keep it classic," I said, persuasively, "Can't beat classic buttermilk pancakes."

"I promise, you'll love these pancakes. They're the best pancakes in town."

"I don't like ricotta in my pancakes, though," I sighed, "OK, how about we go to Joan's on Third first for my egg and then we can go to BLD for your pancakes?"

Yeah, it was getting ridiculous.

Eventually, I gave into his insistence. We parked the car and were walking toward BLD when he stopped at a shop window and said, "You need these boots." I turned around and saw a pair of beautiful black leather riding boots. We pushed through the door. 

"Hi, can I try on these boots?" I asked the owner.

Turns out, they were Balenciaga boots, in nearly new condition, and at only a fraction of the retail price. I ended up wearing them out of the store that very day. 

What's cool about Espionage is that, not only is there a treasure trove of designer and vintage consignment items in the back, but it's filled with all sorts of great gifts at every price point. I've found unique greeting cards, delicious scented candles and even a bottle opener fashioned from a real bullet. I visited this store every time I made it to L.A. and eventually became friends with its gorgeous and charming owner Taylor. 

It's really amazing how much I got out of giving up on a soft boiled egg!