Off-season and off-the-clock in SoCal. Thank you to our incredible staff for holding down the fort while we played. In Los Angeles, we came, we saw, we feasted. At these hotspots:
Nabbing a seat at this tiny Silver Lake spot make take patience (our stint in line lasted 20 minutes), but the wait is worth it with re-imagined classics and market-fresh specials. The jams are to die: we swooned the house-made ricotta and strawberry-rose-geranium jam atop (oh-so-perfectly) burnt brioche. Breakfasts and lunches are both beautiful with daily rotations of morning rice bowls, eggs and toasts and afternoon sandwiches and salads. We could have spent all day at Sqirl.
The most beautiful space we’ve stepped foot in in years. No wonder: Gjusta is the bakery offshoot of nearby knockout Gjelina. We loved both places so much, we ate two meals at each in three days. Not to mention the fact that stars seemed to like Gjusta just as much as we did.
With cues from NY-style delis like Russ and Daughters, Gjusta takes the model up a notch through its immaculate preparation. The toasts are incredible – we tried smoked salmon with pickles and whipped burrata on sprouted rye – and a spectacular egg sandwich of collards, bacon, gruyere and hot sauce from their all-day breakfast menu, all of which we washed down with Sightglass coffee. The next day, we sampled a piece of cornbread topped with fruit and a glass of fresh mint lemonade; the mint was juiced, making the drink earthy and green.
Everything about Gjusta inspired us, from the vintage pewter used as plates to the antique number counter doling out tickets. A truly incredible café experience, where no detail went unnoticed.
A Santa Monica mainstay, Huckleberry Bakery envelopes diners in its sunny, buoyant vibe and innovative pastries. My kouign amann was filled with pastry cream and quince – out of this world. The fired brioche donuts and house-made English muffins also wowed us. A must-stop in spite of the crowds. For a preview, check out the Huckleberry Bakery cookbook that we carry in the café.
Equal parts bakery, café and park, Superba lives and breathes community, an ethos expressed in its cool yet welcoming design (everybody loves a 10-foot-tall image of a Fleetwood Mac album cover?!) My piece of toast was topped with maple custard and pork belly, and the Verve coffee they carry complements all that savoriness with fruity notes.
For pick-me-up espressos, we stopped at these nearly-neighbors on Abbot Kinney in Venice. It was fun to stop by and see these artisanal roasters in action.
The perfect afternoon pit-stop to carry you through to your 9 o’clock dinner reservation. Conveniently located on Abbot Kinney (close to the aforementioned coffee roosts), the twin establishments bake their own German-style pretzels in all sorts of sizes and shapes from big to buns, minis to muffins. Yum.
Beyond our bellies, we fed our spirits at Palihouse, a truly transporting hotel in Santa Monica. Conceived as a residence for world travelers in 1927, the aesthetic is beyond impeccable with chesterfield sofas in its romantic lobby, lush gardens encircling the Moorish patio and white cruisers with wicker baskets at the ready for urban adventuring. We found ourselves migrating with our books to different luxurious nooks throughout the gracious grounds. A portal on timeless style and sophistication with a sister location in West Hollywood.
Oh LA, we love you.