I just came back from Venice Beach and already miss my daily pool time and healthy food options. I stayed with one of my best friends who lives in a hotel-like community called Lincoln Place, right in the heart of Venice. The pool was decked out with cabanas, fire places and lounge chairs. Needless to say, lots of time was spent poolside relaxing + reading.
I used to live in LA for a few years, and one thing I miss dearly from those days is hiking. Nothing in the NY area comes close to the trails on the west coast. Temescal Canyon in Malibu was an old time fav, so it was nice to be back.
Once hiking was done, it was time to find my perfect yoga studio in Venice. Luckily I found it on my first try. Love Yoga was just a 5 minute walk from where I was staying and had the relaxing and bohemian vibe that I wanted. I recommend taking a class with Kyle Miller who was very easy to follow. Her best advice? “You are the center of your own universe.” She said this at pretty much every class and it was a good reminder that I control my own destiny. How cute are the little gems on their front desk?
Bestia was in downtown LA but worth a mention because it was SO dam good! I love Italian food, and this place did not disappoint. My vegetarian pappardelle pasta was a pleasant surprise on the menu as nearly every pappardelle dish is meaty. The chocolate tart dessert was equally amazing and finished off the dinner well.
But now back to Venice – and a vegan restaurant that could give any meat establishment a run for it’s money. I had the absolute BEST lunch at Cafe Gratitude. Every menu item is listed as an affirmation. Ordering was a fun start, and the food was even better. The Rose Lemonade was refreshing and a beverage that I will try to recreate some day. Very unique and tangy. I had a samosa and vegan BLT with coconut “bacon” – 2 very tasty options.
Another amazing food find was Salt & Straw. I saw long lines outside of this ice cream shop for a few days before I finally gave it a try and it was heavenly. I’m not even sure how I will ever have a basic pint again. Each flavor was fresh with thoughtful ingredients, and I was lucky enough to try about 10 flavors. I started with their well known Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, and ended up ordering a waffle cone with Honey Lavender and Wildflower Honey with Ricotta Walnut Lace Cookies. YUM! Jackie gave an amazing overview of the flavors, so I had to make sure to get a shot with her. We were all smiles except Diesel the Frenchie who wanted to join the fun as well lol. Sorry Diesel!
My favorite bar find was The Lincoln. I got to chat with one of the passionate founders Cameron, who described the authentic decor and curated drink menu. This is a bar that stays true to it’s vision, and has a great cocktail list. The Mezcal cocktail with a watermelon twist was my favorite. This bar is great for groups with really spacious indoor and outdoor areas.
Beyond eating, I loved my random walks in Venice. Pretty flowers and street art could be found around almost every corner.
My 2 weeks quickly came to and end, and it was time to say bye to Venice. And the best way to do this was at High Lounge at Hotel Erwin. Rooftops are scarce in the area, but High is perfectly positioned to give sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and LA skyline. Do yourself a favor and order the crab dip. It has huge chunks of jumbo crab and unfortunately was finished before I was able to snap a shot.
Such a relaxing and fun trip exploring a new area of California and I can’t wait to return!