Quite often Los Angeles gets a bad wrap as a touristy, dirty and violent city - oh and not to forget the terrible traffic! Yes, this over-populated mecca does have plenty of aspects which are difficult to deal with, but underneath the superficial layer the city and endless stars on the Hollywood walk of fame, there is an emerging health and wellbeing scene that is nothing short of world class.
Recently Bondi Yoga House took a trip to Los Angeles to see what all the fuss is about. Here’s our guide to eating healthy and keeping active in LA.
Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa - Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica
SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa, with multiple locations in Los Angeles, is a different kind of sushi dining experience. The restaurants serve only traditional sushi of the highest quality based on Chef Nozawa’s style of sushi. Their passion is to carry forward his great tradition and style of food – which many believe is the best sushi there is outside of Japan.
Gracis Madre, Plant based Mexican - 8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood
When you arrive at this classy Melrose Ave venue on the western tip of WeHo, you probably wouldn’t have thought, Vegan Mexican. Gracias Madre offers organic Mexican food to the communities they serve as well as honouring the mothers who work tirelessly in the kitchens of Mexico and often live without their husbands and children while they work side by side with them in California. Inspired by some of the recipes of these families and the love of their mothers, Gracias Madre serves organic, farm fresh, locally sourced food, full of flavour and love.
Erewhon Market, Organic Food Store - 585 Venice Blvd, Venice
Step aside Whole Foods, there’s a new kid on the block! Opening their second store in Los Angeles, Erewhon Market recently launched in the shopping precinct of Venice Beach. Probably one of the most incredible food markets in recent times, this Organic only store has a world-class cafe, to-go selection which is almost over the top and the best selection of health foods i’ve seen in a long time. This place is a must see if you are in the SoCal area.
Plant Food Wine, Vegan Food - 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
If you haven’t noticed the boost in Vegan restaurants across LA yet, you surely will stepping into this absolute gem. Walking in, the space has an intimate restaurant feel, outdoor dining area and even their own masterclass cooking school upstairs. The tasting menu is a 6-course selection of the chefs best and it can also be paired with wine if you fancy some of their organic wine selection.
The Butchers Daughter - 1204 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
Self-labelled as a Juice bar, cafe and "Vegetable Slaughter House". With restaurants in New York, LA and even a food truck, these guys are redefining the way vegetarians eat breakfast. Hectic on weekends with lines out the door, I recommend going during the week or getting there early to snap up a table.
Cafe Gratitude, Rose St, Venice
Believe it or not, you can’t order anything here unless you start your sentence with I AM… Cafe Gratitude is an institution in LA and over the past few years this chain has spread across the city to multiple locations. The Vegan cafe is most popular among the locals who pack out the place 7 days a week. It’s a must try for any visitor and a very decent place to get a double espresso!
Dogtown Coffee, Main St, Venice
This hipster coffee house is arguably the best amongst the beachside spots. Park your skateboard in the rack on the way in!
TOMS, Abbot Kinney, Venice
Coffee is quite decent here and they have free wifi. You will see the cafe buzzing with local freelancers and travellers from opening to closing. The store itself has some awesome kicks and tees which support the one for one cause.
If you are planning a trip to LA, you will quickly find out it’s one of the more expensive cities in the world to stay. Whether you are in West Hollywood or Santa Monica, it’s hard to find a decent place under $300 USD a night. On a mission to find the perfect place in Venice, we stumbled across this absolute gem on Airbnb! Starting at around $130 per night for a private Queen room, Jenny’s house is the quintessential Venice beach pad with a homely feel.
If you’re looking to keep active during your visit to LA, you are in the right place. West Hollywood has plenty of options like Yoga, Spin and Bootcamps to name a few. Here’s our pick of the best in WeHo.
Best known for their summer Yoga festivals across the USA and Australia, Wanderlust has opened a Yoga studio/cafe/meditation space right in the heart of Hollywood. They have classes all day every day and cater for different levels of experience.
SoulCycle, West Hollywood
This much loved spin chain in a must try if you’ve never experienced it before. Some say it’s cult-like approach gets you seriously hooked, i agree! They also have a studio in Santa Monica if you find yourself beachside.
The Barry’s franchise is going nuts across the US and the UK right now. This indoor bootcamp is a functional training session mixed between floor work and treadmills. The only difference is, you get the feeling you are in a Las Vegas nightclub. Check it out!
If you are looking for your Zen, then head north to Venice Beach. Here’s our hot picks for workouts in Venice:
Yoga Collective, Rose St, Venice
Having visited this studio on a few occasions, I absolutely love the place. It’s simplistic nature, the warmth of the studio (literally) and it’s impressive lineup of teachers always makes me feel at home. After yoga, pop next door to Cafe Gratitude and get your morning fix!
YogaWorks, Main Street, Santa Monica
This studio is an institution among yoga practitioners in LA. Classes run all day, bookings not required, but I recommend getting there early to grab a spot.
Yoga Nest, Venice Beach
Don’t be mistaken by the back-ally entrance and graffiti which surrounds this hidden little gem. Even fellow yogis we met hadn’t even heard of this place. When you step into this traditional shala, you really have no idea what to expect. Designed to fit only 14 mats or so, the tight space has nothing more than the basics to practice yoga. It’s a must see if you want something a little less glam.