Los Angeles, the place where millions of people go to get a taste of America and pursue their dreams. We visit this area a couple of times a year and always stay in Santa Monica but this time was different. Since we went for business they booked our stay at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills. The hotel was gorgeous and super comfy and I loved seeing that they are making a lot of effort to reduce the amount of detergent and water they use for laundry and cleaning… A little step that can have a huge impact on our planet!
I was not very familiarized with the area but got to explore some. I loved walking through Robertson Blvd., found a great store in Melrose called Reformation where they sell recycle and repurpose clothes, went to SoulCycle a few times and also got to tried Barry’s Bootcamp for the first time.
Since L.A. is soooo big and I could write about it forever. This time I just want to give you some tips on the vegan-friendly restaurants and juice bars I visited and tell you about a cool shopping area that I didn’t even know existed!
But first, if you happen to need a cake for whatever reason while in southern California you have to contact Stephen MacCarty. This guy is a true artist who makes the most delicious and magical vegan/gluten-free/refined sugar-free cheesecakes really capturing the essence of the person who will be receiving the cake. I got one for Bobby for his birthday while out there and it really made his day even more special.
- Gracias Madre: 100% organic and vegan Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood. A super cute spot with a beautiful outdoor patio that transports you to some sort of South American paradise. We ate delicious food but the highlight was the cauliflower with cashew nacho cheese.
- Café Gratitude: own by the same people as Gracias Madre. This is an all-vegan café serving burgers, tacos, pasta, raw pizzas, and desserts. They also have grab-n-go cold press juices, smoothies and snacks.
- Sage Vegan Bistro: another café full of plant-based yumminess. They have a large menu and the highlight was their buffalo cauliflower wings. They have a few locations around the city.
- Plant Food + Wine: amazing restaurant in Venice by chef Matthew Kinney. This is the place below Matthew Kenny Culinary where I took the Powered by Plants: Sports Nutrition class. I recommend you eating at their beautiful patio and ordering the avocado spread and homemade kombucha.
- Crossroads Kitchen: a high-end vegan restaurant that’s very popular among celebrities. Delicious food and great atmosphere (we were sitting across from Russell Simmons!)
Other places that we ate at and were very accommodating veganizing their dishes where Nobu and Boxwood. I also wanted to visit Little Pine (Moby’s restaurant) and Donut Friend but we didn’t have time… Hopefully next time!
- Earth Bar: there are so many juice bars in SoCal that it can get overwhelming. This place surprised me with their delicious and unusual smoothie combinations that were full of flavor! They also offer snacks and organic cold-pressed juices.
- Moon Juice: my favorite juice bar. I’m a huge fan of the owner Amanda and her philosophy. Their snacks are to die for, especially the geranium rose strawberry bars.
- L.A. Juice: best almond chocolate milk I’ve ever had, that’s all I need to say!
Shopping in L.A. is fun. From the high-end boutiques in Rodeo Drive and Melrose Place to the most popular stores at The Grove there’s something for every taste! But here’s the deal: when out of town and shopping I want to find unique stuff that I can only get in that specific place. I like finding local artisans and designers and that’s where Abbot Kinney Blvd. came into play… I didn’t even know this street existed! Most of the stores in Abbot Kinney are very open, have coffee shops as part of their retail space and a patio where you can bring your computer and work. I especially loved a place called IDV and another one that’s not exactly on the boulevard but very close on main street called Vegan Scene.
If you are looking for fresh produce, flowers and cute jewelry make sure to check out the Hollywood Farmer’s Market on Sundays. This market is huge and has a wide variety of vendors. You can get delicious food, have breakfast or lunch, listen to live music and find beautiful jewelry and handcrafts made by local artisans.