Instead of Nature Aquarium, I would go closer to A+ in Temple City. A+ has a large planted tank enthusiast community that hangs out there. You can nab all the plants you want and order the ones they don't have (same goes for fish typically found in planted tanks).
I would also join SCAPE (the local planted tank group) which is recognized by A+ (you get a discount for being a SCAPE member) and whose members frequent A+. http://scapeclub.org/
This also means that you can grab stuff from SCAPE members in the area for particulars in flora and fana that a single fish store isn't likely to keep.
I'd say TPT, SCAPE and that store together played the largest part in getting me set up in the hobby.
It allows you to get pretty much everything you need without driving all the way to Santa Monica. I did go out there for chili rasboras once and despite being a fantastic store, it's simply too far.