We just got back from a fantastic week in Los Angeles. L.A. is truly one of my favorite places to visit. For years my mother, sister and brother lived there so I always feel at home when visiting. L.A. is also the last place I saw my brother before he passed unexpectedly so being there always makes me feel close to him. It's amazing how certain places hold very powerful and charged memories.
This past week was spent shopping, eating amazing food, exercising, seeing friends, and attending a dear friend's spectacular wedding. Here are some of my favorite moments from our trip!
As soon as we landed at LAX and got our rental car we headed to Santa Monica to one of our favorite spots, Plant Raw. Planet Raw is one of the original raw, vegan restaurants in the country and Chef Juliano is a true master. Their out of this world shakes are always the first thing I want upon arrival in LA.
One of our favorite meals in LA was dinner at Red Medicine, self described as "not a traditional Vietnamese restaurant." The vegetable dishes we had were amongst some of the most inventive and delicious I have ever had! We had Chinese Lion Peppers with almond skins, honey, soy, violet basil, and dates.
Heirloom Black Carrots with guava, purple kale, dulse, young walnut and tamarind.
And Brussels Sprouts with caramelized shallots, fish sauce and vermouth. These were my absolute favorite and the best brussels sprouts I have ever eaten. I am still craving them!Over the course of the week we made many visits to the WEHO SoulCycle. We had a blast trying out a new studio! SoulCycle is such an amazing community and we were welcomed with open arms by the teachers and staff as New York regulars. It is always great to be able to travel and still keep up my exercise routine!
Everyday after spinning we would stop at the West Hollywood branch of my favorite LA juice spot, Pressed Juicery. Pressed makes some of my favorite green juices and I am always excited to have one (or several) when I am in LA!
Ever since hearing that San Francisco vegan legend Cafe Gratitude was opening an outpost in Hollywood I knew we had to check it out on our visit. If you have never been to a Cafe Gratitude you are missing out on some of the tastiest vegan food around. Their menu items are named as affirmations such as "I Am Pure, I Am Strong or I Am Celebrating. " When your sever brings your dish they reaffirm " You are Pure, You Are Strong, You Are Celebrating." Food that is good for you and makes you feel good about yourself! There is also always a question of the day such as "what do you want to be acknowledged for today?" Talk about mindfull eating!
On our first (of three) lunches at Cafe Gratitude I ordered the I Am Pure a ginger-tahini kale salad with avocado, sea palm, nori, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, basil and green onions. I had mine topped with kim chee which was an amazing addition to this perfect kale salad! I proceeded to order it on all of our other visits! Our visit to LA ended with one of the most spectacular and special weddings I have ever attended. My girlfriend was a stunning bride and the love between her and her new husband was inspiring and beautiful. At the party, Doug and I danced until 3am! Pardon the blurry photo, it was dark and I didn't have my real camera with me!