1 Year of Cigar Aficionado for $10 PLUS a Free Gift!

Where to Smoke

Where To Smoke: Cigar Warehouse, Sherman Oaks, California

Jan 28, 2016 | By Alejandro Benes
Where To Smoke: Cigar Warehouse, Sherman Oaks, California

Get lost, pal. I mean get lost in the immense humidor that you see when you enter this legacy cigar store and lounge in California's San Fernando Valley. Go past the pipe display case and try your best to pick a smoke from more than 100 different choices.

"The major brands sell really well," explained owner Saiid Karroum. "We're not heavily into the boutique stuff."

Maybe choose an Illusione Epernay? Sort of boutique-y. The humidor offers pretty much every Ashton brand as well as a lot of the Fuente and Padrón labels, including the newer Padrón Dámaso and the Family Reserve 50 Years. There was even one humidor full of the 50 Years awaiting pickup. Cigar Aficionado's 2015 Cigar of the Year, the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Torpedo Box-Pressed, was readily available.

"Our customers don't rush in to buy based on reviews," Karroum explained. "They know what they like, and they will try different cigars."

Perhaps a Camacho American Barrel-Aged Robusto? Or a Crowned Heads Jericho Hill? Maybe a Gran Habano Imperial? Or Los Angeles's own Tatuaje?

After choosing your smoke, take a seat in a plush leather club chair and zone out to whatever game is on television.

Cigar Warehouse, a store that has been serving the greater Los Angeles cigar community for more than 35 years, does not have what real estate types call "great curb appeal." The old and worn sign faces a section of Ventura Boulevard, not generally known for selective zoning, which is densely populated with retail stores and restaurants. Fortunately, right across the street from Cigar Warehouse is a very good pizza parlor whose pies can be brought in for dinner while you're lounging. There's also a well-known coffee place nearby.

Cigar Warehouse

On this afternoon, everyone is joking with Karroum about making coffee. He said he made coffee in the morning. Everyone complains it's not good.

"How much coffee are you supposed to put in?" asks Karroum, who does not drink coffee, as he scoops the fresh grind.

Karroum and his brother bought the store in 2012, the fourth shop in their company, and proceeded to remodel in a deliberate fashion. The job was finished at the end of 2015. Almost. There are still a couple of rooms in the 3,600-square-foot space that await assignment. What has been beautifully redone is the main room. The painted walls were sandblasted to reveal red brick, now adorned with cigar posters and three televisions.

The room offers a chess board on one of the tables. Two guests are playing, enjoying large cigars. During a regular-season football game, there are usually 30 to 40 people inside watching. For big occasions like the Super Bowl, it's standing room only. Tickets will be sold, and the price includes food and "a cigar or two." Cigar Warehouse is also a great room for private events.

I like to map out the different places in and around Los Angeles where I can stop to take a break from the incessant traffic. Cigar Warehouse rests just off the intersection of arguably the worst road congestion in the nation, the crossroads of Interstate 405 and the 101 freeway. It's hell. Cigar Warehouse is now on the list of cigar oases.

Put on the hockey game and get my pepperoni pizza ready. And find me a smoke.

Cigar Warehouse
15141 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 784-1391
Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"Great, my daughter lives less than 10 minutes away. Another superb reason to visit from Texas!" —March 7, 2016 16:08 PM
"Abel Fernandez Van Nuys, CA This place is super nice, the owner and employees are all great people. Said really taken this place to the next level since he's taken ownership. I'm glad to see the Cigar Warehouse get recognized! " —February 9, 2016 23:24 PM
"I hope OASES is a typo. The place sounds great. " —February 1, 2016 11:48 AM

More in Where to Smoke

See all
Review: End of the Trail Wine Bar, Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, MO

Review: End of the Trail Wine Bar, Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, MO

Known as “America’s Premier Wilderness Resort,” Big Cedar features just about every imaginable …

Oct 16, 2020
The Ritz-Carlton Cigar Club of St. Louis Gets a Revamp

The Ritz-Carlton Cigar Club of St. Louis Gets a Revamp

The last remaining Ritz-Carlton Cigar Club, located in St. Louis, Missouri, is getting a swanky …

Oct 8, 2020
A Cigar-Friendly Steakhouse Opens in Frisco, Texas

A Cigar-Friendly Steakhouse Opens in Frisco, Texas

After two years of back-and-forth negotiation, Frisco, Texas, now has a cigar-friendly steakhouse …

Sep 30, 2020
Cigars International Opens Second Texas Location

Cigars International Opens Second Texas Location

Retail giant Cigars International has opened a new superstore in Fort Worth, Texas, making this the …

Sep 15, 2020
And The #MyCigarSpace Winner Is….

And The #MyCigarSpace Winner Is….

Our #MyCigarSpace Contest revealed an impressive array of great places to smoke cigars. After …

May 26, 2020
Voting Opens For #MyCigarSpace Reader Contest

Voting Opens For #MyCigarSpace Reader Contest

After receiving hundreds of submissions, the editors have selected the finalists and now it’s your …

May 11, 2020