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Best of 2001: Best European Department Store Ambience

Saks Fifth Avenue
7047 Friars Road, Fashion Valley
619-260-0030

The weighty swoosh of Saks Fifth Avenue's bronze and glass entry doors transports you from the bustling mall promenade into a shopping haven. A mood pervades Saks, reminiscent of the best department stores in London and Paris. The sales staff is courteous and nonintrusive; they neither ignore you nor fawn over you. Nor is there the sense that credit limits are sized up by the purse you carry. Private dressing rooms (not stalls) make you feel like money; mirrors are forgiving of blemishes and cellulite. The building itself has a pedigreed past. When Fashion Valley opened in 1969, the original tenant was Buffum's, as in Dorothy Buffum Chandler of Los Angeles Times fame. Ladies who lunched will recall the Ballast Room, a posh, cocktail-powered restaurant on Buffum's second floor, where models strolled around the room in furs and haute couture fashions. Buffum's and the Ballast Room were closed in the 1980s. Nevertheless, Saks carries on the elegance.

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Saks Fifth Avenue
7047 Friars Road, Fashion Valley
619-260-0030

The weighty swoosh of Saks Fifth Avenue's bronze and glass entry doors transports you from the bustling mall promenade into a shopping haven. A mood pervades Saks, reminiscent of the best department stores in London and Paris. The sales staff is courteous and nonintrusive; they neither ignore you nor fawn over you. Nor is there the sense that credit limits are sized up by the purse you carry. Private dressing rooms (not stalls) make you feel like money; mirrors are forgiving of blemishes and cellulite. The building itself has a pedigreed past. When Fashion Valley opened in 1969, the original tenant was Buffum's, as in Dorothy Buffum Chandler of Los Angeles Times fame. Ladies who lunched will recall the Ballast Room, a posh, cocktail-powered restaurant on Buffum's second floor, where models strolled around the room in furs and haute couture fashions. Buffum's and the Ballast Room were closed in the 1980s. Nevertheless, Saks carries on the elegance.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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