Hey friends! I’m finally here to recap my fabulous trip to LA for the FounderMade Consumer Discovery Show 2018. My friend Sari (@eatwellwithsari) and I had the BEST trip and I can’t wait to share all of the amazing food and fun we had. Let’s just say if Metro Detroit had eats like LA, everyone except my bank account would be happy. [Only kidding, but whenever Pressed Juicery decides to open up in the area, I’ll be completely satisfied]
As someone who has only ever explored north and south of LA, I can now officially say that Los Angeles is just as worth traveling to. An incredible amount of healthy eats, the people are just fabulous, and the palm trees aren’t so bad either ;)
We stayed in an Air B&B in Venice with the sweetest family (if you follow me on IG, you saw they had the CUTEST dogs – does it get any better than that?). It was the perfect distance away from the CDS conference as well as shopping and eats on Abbott Kinney Blvd. Once you’re through with this list, you’ll probably wonder how 2 girls managed to eat at THAT many places in a matter of days, but what can I say? We’re EXCEPTIONAL foodies.
Great White - Venice. I ordered the harvest bowl which had ancient grains, turmeric roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and this fabulous miso vinaigrette. I topped it with a poached egg for extra protein. Sari got the salmon mezze bowl, which was equally as incredible. The aesthetic in the restaurant was 12/10, I mean look at these tables.
Café Demitasse - Santa Monica. They read my mind with these coffee cups and this cold brew with almond milk was fabulous. They also had a cute little patio outdoors
Gjelina - Venice. A MUST, but definitely make a reservation. The place is typically packed – and for very good reason. Sari and I met up with a couple other blogger friends, Hannah (@hannah.guthman) and Jordan (@dancing.for.donuts). The restaurant is small plates that you can share perfectly family style. We ordered beets, cauliflower, Japanese sweet potato, vegan pozole, the organic half chicken, and a pizza with caramelized onion, arugula, and goat cheese. The chicken was, without a doubt, the best chicken I’ve ever eaten.
Pressed Freeze - Venice. Y’all. I had my VERY FIRST Pressed experience. And yes, it’s worth the hype and met every single expectation I had. If you’re not familiar, it’s a plant-based soft serve. I had the coffee and chocolate flavor (because who can pick one) topped with coconut shreds, fresh strawberries, and slivered almonds.
Blue Bottle - Culver City was the BEST pour over coffee I’ve ever had and Sao Acai some amazing smoothie bowls. These were both in The Platform (where we went to SoulCycle), which also has a VanLeeuwen ice cream shop, Sweet Green, and Boba… if only we had unlimited time and room in our stomachs. The acai bowl was great and I loved that you could order with unsweetened acai, but we did have to wait a while (it was busy and not very well staffed). But I mean, look at it…
Plant Food + Wine - Venice. We had an INCREDIBLE dinner here hosted by Daiya. Here’s a look at the menu… Hands down my favorite thing was the heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagna. The macadamia ricotta ACTUALLY tasted like ricotta. I’m not sure how they did it, but bravo. The coconut cream pie was also outstanding.
The Rose Café - Venice. Y’all – you know when a restaurant does even a simple salad well, you’re in good hands. It’s definitely $$, but if you’re looking to splurge on quality food and service, this is your scene. Did I mention it had the CUTEST little courtyard? It was the same small plates style so we shared the burrata (this was my favorite), brussels sprouts, cauliflower, the lettuces, and the charred octopus. I had never even considered octopus, but Sari talked me into it, and it was SO tasty. We also enjoyed dessert (because duh) and they were both so light and refreshing and perfectly done.
Kreation Kafe - Venice. They have a plethora of juices and health on-the-go eats, anyone could find something to enjoy here. We went here twice for coffee (the almond milk latte was fab) and also enjoyed a create-your-own smoothie and avo toast.
Salt & Straw - Venice. As a self-proclaimed ice cream aficionado, I can without doubt say this was the BEST ice cream I’ve ever had. My three favorite flavors I tried were: almond brittle w/ salted ganache, avocado and oaxacan fudge, and honey lavender. I’ll keep dreaming about it until I go back.
True Food Kitchen - Santa Monica. Well-deserving of every good word you hear about it. The cauliflower with harissa sauce was to die for, the Tuscan kale salad was perfect, and the butternut squash should definitely be converted from a seasonal item to a full-time member. Best pizza I think I’ve ever had AND it was vegan and gluten free (again, with the vegan ricotta… these people are truly magicians in the kitchen).
Malibu Farm Café - Malibu. A quick drive down the coast and also WELL worth it. Fabulous views, great hikes nearby, and I had a delicious egg scramble with smoked salmon. Next time I find myself in Southern CA, I’ll definitely be here for dinner.
OKAY so now that you think we didn’t have time for anything but eating… you’re pretty much correct. We stayed PLENTY active, though, I promise. The great thing about where we stayed was that we were able to walk nearly everywhere.
Corral Canyon - Malibu. It’s not a super challenging hike, but you definitely work up a sweat and I was 100% sore the next day. The views from the top were breathtaking and I instantly felt at peace.
SoulCycle - Culver City. This is just a must for me any time I find myself in a city with a studio. If you’ve never been to s SoulCycle class, I cannot recommend it enough. I’ve never experienced a workout like it. It’s indescribable.
Erewhon Market (can I get an AMEN). This place is not underrated and it is just as beautiful as I imagined. The breakfast bar and pre-packaged food sections were full of healthy, delicious, and also beautiful option (LOOK AT THESE TOASTS). Had to stop in and get some Hu Kitchen chocolate, a power salad, wild caught salmon, and even some GF + vegan chocolate cake, that we ate for breakfast with zero shame.
I think that’s enough for now. It’s crazy because I still feel like I only scratched the surface with places to explore and things to eat.
Did you guys enjoy reading about my experience in LA? What are some of your favorite places to explore in the area?
Let me know in the comments!