I absolutely love Mittel's Art Store. I have frequented most of the art stores in Santa Monica and West LA over the past four years, but none compare to the service I get here. They always go the extra step to help you find what you need or get it if they don't have it. The other day, for example, I was looking for a certain size of d-rings (used for hanging pictures). All of the other stores I visited did not carry them and made no effort to help me in my search. But I had an excellent experience with the guy at Mittel's. I think he might be one of the owners, he's in charge of their custom framing department. He stepped in to help when the high school employee couldn't locate what I was looking for. He knew exactly what I was talking about when I described what I needed, and even though they did not sell them off the shelf, he searched through boxes of his own supplies and sold me some right there on the spot. He also talked to me for a while about the various types of d-rings, screw eyes, etc. they use, telling me how he's been framing for 40 years. I appreciated that he took a lot of time with me and treated me like a serious customer, even though my purchase was like three bucks.
And even though their general art supplies are probably a little higher-priced because of their Santa Monica location, I'll willingly pay more for such good service AND for getting what I want without spending copious amounts of time driving around or searching online. Local stores like this are very much worth supporting.