With twenty foot high murals of esoteric symbols and technicolor heraldry, Wacko Soap Plant beckons fans of the bizarre, the kitsch and the psychedelic to its corner of Hollywood Blvd.
Wacko is, yes, a maker of soap, a store and an art gallery, but mostly, it’s a colossal head trip. Try to stop your mind from boggling as you peruse endless shelves of books, toys, clothes, votive candles, Dia de los Muertos skulls, tiki mugs, knick knacks, bric-a-brac, and of course, soap. Looking for the latest in pin-ups, children’s books, conspiracy theory, 50’s retro, vegan recipes and L.A. noir? Wacko has you covered. Need an assortment of science fiction and Simpsons figurines? Check and check. Running low on breakfast floss in bacon and coffee flavors? They have it in stock, along with Nihilist toothpaste.
Be sure to go into the back room to check out the La Luz de Jesus art gallery, which usually features a deviant array of paintings and figurines. New exhibits debut with a reception on the first Friday of every month.
The store has established itself as a neighborhood favorite to snag a unusual gift, start a night out on town, or just while away a few hours. It has a little something for everyone, and that’s the mad genius of Wacko.
The Details: 4633 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90027. Open 7 days a week, usually 11-7, later some days of the week.
Getting There: By car: Take the 5 freeway to Los Feliz Blvd, then south on Vermont, or take the 101 freeway to Santa Monica Blvd, then north on Vermont. By metro: From the Sunset/Vermont station (Red Line) walk up Vermont to Hollywood, make a right, and walk halfway down the block.
Parking: Weekdays, metered street parking is easy. Weekends and nights, the streets are packed. Your best bet is the side streets south of Hollywood or east of Hillhurst.