• Los Angeles Local Roundup

    There are so many great products that are locally made here in LA! I love discovering new companies and brands, espically ones that blow me away more than something that's mainstream! Here are a few favorite companies of mine found here in Los Angeles! (Note: A few are made outside of LA but still in California and the card in the center is made in Florida.) 

    1. Airplant by AirplantMan 2.Handmade Milk Vases by Robert Siegel Handmade 3. Hand Painted Ceramic Coasters by The Coastal 4. LA Juice by LA Juice Shop 5. Illustrated Los Angeles Art Print by Rifle Paper Co. 6. Los Angeles Market Bag by Apolis 7. Five Stripe Cutting Board by Would-Works

    Learn more about LA Juice Shop HERE! :)

  • Juice Shop: Kreation Juice

    Happy Friday everyone!

    I’m excited to share today’s juice shop with you all! I love a shop that is really aesthetically pleasing. This one is for sure pretty to look at but also has lots of juices, health shots and snacks to satisfy your hunger or thirst! And keep an eye out for their Juice truck and juice bike! They also offer home delivery with their "juice kars."

     

    Kreation Juice

    (This review and photos are from their North Beverly Hills location:)

    9609 S. Santa Monica Blvd

    Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    p. 310-777-3450

    www.KreationJuice.com

    Here is a list of all of their other locations:

     

    Abbot Kinney Kafe/Juicery

    1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

    Venice, CA 90291

    p. 310-314-7778

     

    Beverly Hills

    9465 Charleville Blvd.

    Beverly Hills, CA 90212

    p. 310-247-8110

     

    Brentwood

    151 S. Barrington Place

    Los Angeles, CA 90049

    El Segundo

    503 Main St.

    El Segundo, CA 90245

    p. 310-416-9766

     

    Manhattan Beach

    1300 Highland Ave. #110

    Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

     

    North Manhattan Beach

    3516 Highland Ave.

    Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

    p. 310-545-7040

     

    Santa Monica Kafe/Juicery

    1023 Montana Ave.

    Santa Monica, CA 90403

    p. 310-458-4880

     

    Toluca Lake

    10115 Riverside Drive.

    Los Angeles, CA 91602

    p. 818-761-1348

     

    First Impression: I’ve driven past this shop many times and some of their other locations. It’s always very recognizable because the outside is so strikingly beautiful and unique! It really drew me in! It just looks like a healthy place!

    Taste: Great! I love my green juices, so I always like to try those out wherever I go. I went with one that had a little more sweetness. The Green #1 which has Apple, Cucumber, Romaine, Kale and Pear. I thought it was a perfect balance of the leafy greens and the sweetness of the fruit. There are soo many juices to choose from though it was hard to decide and I would definitely come back to try more of them and some of their smoothies. They also have the option to “Kreate Your Own” juice by choosing your fruits and veggies from their servings station! I really liked that they offered this as well as the pre-bottled juice. What is also really cool that they have is a self serve juice machine out front. So you can order your juice like a walk up window and not even have to go inside! I had never seen that before -- neat idea! It's like redbox but for juices. ;)

    Décor: So pretty! I love the inside of this shop! It had a modern meets organic feel to it. Lots of light, colors and wood detail.

     

    Price: It’s about $8.00 for a juice. Some would consider that expensive but I feel like it’s reasonable.

     

    Service: Good, no complaints! The girl working while I was there was super sweet and helpful. Which I think is great when going to place like that especially if you’re someone who isn’t familiar with juices and what to order. Having someone who knows how to help you find something you’d like is essential!

     

    Ambiance: The shop has a really earthy inviting vibe to it. All the wood details make it feel cozy and homey. At the same time is also feels very modern and upscale. It’s a place you can definitely go to by yourself to just grab and go or enjoy your snack and juice outside or inside. It would be a great place to meet someone for a “drink” too.

    Overall Experience: Great! I really liked this juice shop! I’d definitely go back. I also loved that they sell other things such as snacks, t –shirts, books and DVDs. I want to point out that they sell the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead DVD. It’s an amazing documentary and I highly recommend it to everyone of you! Especially those of you are new to the juice world and/or are unsure of it’s benefits and why everyone is drinking juice! Haha! Anyway that’s more for another post! ;)

    Credits:

    Written, Reviewed and Photographed by: Kristen Tola Hettich

  • Restaurant Review: Natural Selection

    Happy Wednesday everyone!

    I’m always on the hunt for new restaurants and obviously healthy ones. That’s one of the main reasons I started this blog. I wanted to have a place to put all the spots I love and have come to love and discover. I felt like it was something other people could appreciate as well. Enough back story though! Here is a restaurant I stumbled upon while out and about. They have two different locations one in LA and one in Arcadia. I went to the Arcadia one, so if you’ve been to the Los Angeles one don’t be thrown off by the pictures! ;)  Here is my review for Natural Selection, a restaurant committed to healthy eating by sourcing their produce locally and serving only organic and in season fruits and vegetables.

     

    Natural Selection

    305 N. Santa Anita Ave.

    Arcadia, CA 91006

    p. 626-294-0466

    Hours: Mon-Sat 7AM to 7PM Closed Sundays

     

    646 Main Street

    Los Angeles, CA 90014

    p. 213-265-7470

    www.eatnaturalselection.com

     

    First Impression: I thought it was very cute when I first got there. I really liked all the outdoor seating. I’m always sold on a place when they have that option!

    Taste: I liked my meal. Simple but tasty. I had the spinach quesadilla with black beans. The sauce they serve with it is so good! (They make all their own sauces!) I’d really like to try one of their bowls or wraps next time! I also had the Tropical Breeze smoothie, which had apple juice, strawberries and banana. It was definitely tropical tasting!

     

    Décor: The décor in here was very simple. Plenty of seating inside and outside and a few things hanging.

    Price: Very reasonable! Everything is pretty much under $10.00.

     

    Service: Good! No complaints here!

     

    Ambiance: It was very quiet in here. It probably had to do with the time I went. It wasn’t a place for a real romantic meal but perfect for lunch on the weekend with friends, by yourself or with coworkers for lunch.

     

    Overall Experience: Overall, I liked Natural Selection. I felt like they had a lot of options on the menu. I think it’s a great place if you want to grab something healthy but don’t have a lot of time to eat or maybe you do and just want to chat for a while with friends. A really laid back atmosphere with good food.

    Credits:

    Written, reviewed and photographed by: Kristen Tola Hettich

  • Restaurant Review: Square One Dining

    Happy Monday everyone!

    Here is a great restaurant to check out when in the Hollywood area! Square One Dining is a restaurant I discovered last year. The meal I had was memorable and delicious! The most important thing to me when deciding if I will go to a restaurant again is if it was memorable. And by memorable I mean the food was great! Atmosphere is important too and of course price but ultimately for me if I remember it and it sticks out in my mind even months or years later, I know it’s a favorite of mine! Square One Dining is consistently good and serve organic and locally grown food. Here is my review on this great restaurant!

    Square One Dining

    4854 Fountain Ave.

    Los Angeles, CA 90029

    p. 323-661-1109

    www.SquareOneDining.com

    First Impression: I remember the first time I went to Square One it was for Sunday Brunch and the line was out the door and tons of people were hanging out outside. It was clearly a hot spot for brunch and also must have had amazing food for so many people to be waiting! The crowd didn’t throw me off though it gave me the impression that I was at a place with some good food!

     

    Taste: Delicious! I love their breakfast! I’m a huge fan of omelettes and they have a great one here! I usually get the grilled asparagus, squash, basil and goat cheese omelette. It is so, so good! Bethany had the pressed egg sandwich with, argula, tomato and aioli. She really enjoyed her sandwich as well! Both are definitely worth trying!

    Décor: There’s really not much décor inside and most of the seating is outside on the patio.

    Price: Very reasonable, especially for local and organic!  The most expensive item on the menu is around $15, everything else ranges from about $8 - $13.

     

    Service: Great! Everyone one is super friendly and polite!

     

    Ambiance: This is one of my favorite parts about this restaurant, is the outdoor seating. It’s very relaxing and nice sitting outside. If you’re sitting inside it really just depends what time of day you come and what day because it can get very busy! Sitting outside on the patio any day or time though is great!

    Overall Experience: Awesome! I love the food here, the atmosphere and did I say food? ;)

    Credits:

    Written, reviewed and photographed by: Kristen Tola Hettich

  • Restaurant Review: Fred Segal Mauro Cafe

    Happy Wednesday everyone!

    Last week I had lunch at Fred Segal Mauro Café on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Fred Segal is one of the quintessential shopping destinations in LA to tourists and a hot spot for celebrity sightings. So when you’re done shopping for some designer threads, you can walk right over to Mauro Café and enjoy a delicious meal.

    Mauro Café is connected to the Fred Segal store and offers an array of options for breakfast, lunch and brunch. The Italian café caters not only to meat eaters but is also vegetarian friendly. While the food is filling and flavorful, it is not heavy. I was really impressed with Mauro Café and loved the food! I would definitely recommend adding this to your list of restaurants to try!

    Fred Segal Mauro Cafe

    8112 Melrose Ave.

    Los Angeles, CA 90046

    p. 323-653-7970

    www.mauroscafe.com

     

    First Impression: Open and welcoming! There is a lot of outdoor seating, the doors to the restaurant are both open and the restaurant is full with people. Being a destination for celebrities and the “beautiful people” of Los Angeles, it never felt stuffy or pretentious to me. It felt warm and inviting.

    Taste: Amazing! I loved the food there so much! Everything had lots of flavor and also had great presentation. Bethany and I came here for lunch. I had the Quinoa Salad, which consisted of spinach, cucumbers, peas, avocado and quinoa tossed in balsamic vinaigrette. Bethany had the Caprese Sandwich with added pesto. To drink I had the Pina Colada which had pineapple and coconut. I also tried a create your own juice. I picked kale, green apple and ginger. Bethany had the Minty Hawaiian, which had pineapple, coconut and mint. We both really loved our meals! My salad was full of flavor and very fresh. Bethany’s sandwich was also very fresh and tasty! Our drinks were amazing! Our meals were really great!

     

    Décor: Inside there is lots of artwork hanging. The floor is all brick and there are white string lights covering the ceilng. Inside towards the back of the restaurant there is a bar made of all dark wood. In the far far back of the restaurant there is more seating and also a quick service counter for pastries and juices/smoothies, etc. Back in this area of the café also has artwork lining the wall above the seating area.

    Price: Very reasonable! Especially for such a trendy spot! Juices will run you from $4.00 to $8.00. Smoothies are $8.00. Entrees range roughly from $12.00 - $23.00.

    Service: Great! Everyone that worked there is very nice! The owner, Evelyne, is also super sweet! Great service always makes for a pleasant experience!

     

    Ambiance: Outside the seating is very casual, with wooden tabletops and plastic bright colored chairs. Inside has a more up scale feel, with white tablecloths and flowers on the tables. The inside is also a lot darker and intimate feeling. But because of how the vibe is outside that transitions into the inside as well, so it’s not stuffy or uptight feeling. It feels really “homey” here.

     

    Overall Experience: Really great! I enjoyed the food and drinks, the atmosphere and service!

    Credits:

    Written and Reviewed by: Kristen Tola Hettich

    Photographed by: Bethany Nauert

    (Big thank you to Evelyne Joan and Rachel Johnson for having us!) 

  • Local Business: Kiel Pollitt of LA Juice

    Hey friends!

    I’m really excited to share this interview with you all today! LA Juice is a new juice shop on the happening and fashionable, Melrose Ave. Surrounded by high fashion shops, LA Juice fits in quite nicely in the neighborhood! I was in love with the décor and most importantly their juice! I tried a few different samples of juice but I really loved their Malibu Greens, Sunset Greens and the Berry Banana Protein Shake! Honestly, some of the best juices I’ve had and very high up on my list of favorite juices!

    I met with Kiel Pollitt, who is the founder of LA Juice, and we talked juice, astrology (He writes monthly horoscopes on his personal site, www.astro-health.com, and also for a wellness site in Sweden called www.thedailygood.se and metrosource.com) and how he used feng shui to create the perfect atmosphere for his new business! I found that part of my wonderful experience of going to LA Juice was not only how beautiful of a shop he had created (No joke! He did not miss a beat with creating LA Juice, every detail is on point!) as well as amazing tasting juice but was meeting Kiel and how down to Earth he was! I also really loved that the juice was made in house, behind the counter but pre bottled so you can still grab and go.

     

    Check out my interview with Kiel Pollitt and definitely check out LA Juice! ;)

    8360 Melrose Ave

    Suite 104

    West Hollywood, CA 90069

    p: 323-951-0765

    www.lajuiceshop.com

    Was opening a juice shop something you always wanted to do?

    "Not exactly, I first discovered the powerful healing benefits of juicing 8 years ago when I cured my cystic acne through juicing on a daily basis. Over the passing years I became more involved in the juicing world by working for different Juice Companies. Then the right moment lined up and the idea of L.A. Juice was born."

    How has your background in holistic health and nutrition helped you with starting LA Juice?

    "In so many ways, from creating the juice recipes and understanding different body types and their own unique needs to delivering a product that’s truly superior in quality."

     

    What has been the most rewarding part of owning your own juice shop?

    "I love creating things so much from designing the space to bottles, logos and the actual recipes. It has allowed me to enjoy merging my creative needs with my desire to spread a product that can heal the body."

    With juice shops/companies popping up everywhere nowadays and especially in LA, did you ever worry or have doubts that you were entering an over saturated market? If so, what led you to continue pursing opening one?

    "Never, in fact the Natural Health world is currently the fastest growing industry. Coffee is on every corner, why can’t juice be? L.A. Juice is unique in its’ design & standards that sets it apart."

    What was the most important thing for LA juice to have that you felt would set it apart from the rest of the juice stores?

    "I never wanted the shop to feel commercial in anyway. I wanted it to feel upscale and customers to have an experience that reflected the beauty and quality of the juice itself. Pressing the juice directly behind our sales area is a huge difference from other competitors that use a central kitchen or hpp their juices. Moreover, we only use Organic Produce and Glass bottles. All of our produce is thoroughly washed in alkaline water system. Every last detail has been taken to deliver a supreme product."

    What is the most popular juice ordered at your shop? Which is your favorite?

    "The Sunset Greens is our best seller. It’s great because people get their daily intake of Greens with it still tasting outstanding. My personal favorite is the Golden Glow because its’ ingredients + flavor are so unique."

    Do you have plans of expanding?

    "Yes, we hope to open a westside location eventually but nothing confirmed as of yet."

    Credits:

    Written, Interviewed and Photographed by: Kristen Tola Hettich

  • Local Business: Erin Gomez + Scott Walker of Juice Ranch

    Happy Friday everyone!

    If you’re ever in the Santa Barbara area and are looking for some tasty fresh bottled juice, head over to Juice Ranch! Their juices are 100% Organic and 90% of the produce is sourced locally! I had the opportunity to talk with Juice Ranch co-owner, Erin Gomez, about how she and her boyfriend, Scott Walker, got into the juice business. Erin definitely has a passion for cooking and obviously juicing. During her interview she mentioned how her idea of a fun night was having “detox night” at her home making juices and doing fun detoxing things with her friends. Scott suggested they move the detoxing to a different location and here they are about to have three Juice Ranch locations!

    Have you both always been involved in the food industry?

    Yes, I was working at restaurants, I then moved to Guatemala and worked a sous chef with some girlfriends. Every week I would try new recipes. When I moved back to the states I wanted to continue a similar lifestyle to what I was living over seas and worked on a charter boat as the chef. I cooked and planned all the meals. It was a great job! Scott’s background is originally in film and films for an environmental film company. He is on the business side of things and more behind the scenes. He films all of our videos and does the marketing.

     

    Was opening a juice shop always something you wanted to do?

    Yes and no. I always told myself I didn’t want to run a restaurant but always went towards the food industry direction but it was actually my boyfriend Scott’s idea. There wasn’t anything like it in the area and I loved making juice concoctions at home so we went for it!

    Do either of you follow a specific diet? (Vegan, Vegetarian, etc..)

    Not strictly, we try different diets all throughout the year. We try to see what works. I’m big into whole and organic foods always.

     

    What is your best selling juice? What is your favorite?

    The Greens N’ Ginger is the most popular. My personal favorite is the Johnny 5 Alive. It’s sweet, tangy and spicy. It wakes you right up! Scott’s favorite is our new flavor, Coco La Ti Dah.

    How did you come up with all of the flavors of juices at your shop?

    I’ve been juicing for a really long time. I find a lot of joy in mixing flavors. I’m always curious if I can make something into a juice.

    What’s the most rewarding part of owning your own juice shop?

    The community! The people it has brought into my life. People with cancer come in and get addicted to juice and it makes them feel better. Also, working with my partner and it feels really good to be your own boss!

    Do you have plans of expanding?

    Yes! We just opened up a location in Isla Vista and we will be opening a shop in Westlake Village in less than a month!

     

    Locations:

    Santa Barbara

    33 Parker Way

    Santa Barbara, CA 93101

    805-845-4657

     

    Isla Vista

    6533 Trigo Road

    at The Loop

    Isla Vista, CA 93117

     

    Westlake Village

    2847 Agoura Road

    Westlake Village, CA 91361

    805-230-2444

     

    www.JuiceRanch.com

    Credits:

    Written, Interviewed and Photographed by:  Kristen Tola Hettich

  • Local Business: Melina Davies of Olive & Thyme

    Happy Tuesday friends!

    I had the opportunity to sit down with Olive & Thyme owner, Melina Davies, having never worked in the food/restaurant industry in her life she has managed to take her dream and make it a successful reality.  Originally, Melina worked as a producer for the studios. “I took a complete gamble with opening this restaurant. I had no prior experience with opening a restaurant. I had never even worked in one! All of my chef friends said don’t do it, which of course made me want to do it even more! I had put so much into this venture that I couldn’t fail. I can’t fail.” Melina’s drive, dedication and passion for following her dreams of having a restaurant are truly inspiring. Check out my interview with Melina as she talks about the inspiration behind the interior of her restaurant and her favorite dish!

    Have you always been involved in the food industry?

    No, I worked as a producer in the film industry. I never had worked in a restaurant before.  I loved my job a producer but I also loved throwing dinner parties and found joy and happiness in cooking.

     

    What inspired you when creating the interior of your restaurant, Olive & Thyme?

    The South of France, European culture. The kitchen in Nancy Meyers’ filim, It’s Complicated, was a perfect example that I could show to our architect of what I had been envisioning.

    Do you follow any specific diet? (Vegan, Vegetarian, etc.)

    No, I eat everything.

     

    What is the most popular dish at Olive & Thyme? Which is your favorite?

    For meat lovers it would be the Short Rib Sandwich, for vegetarians it would be the Fattoush Salad. My personal favorite is the Egg Salad Sandwich. I also really like the raw Brussel Sprout salad.

      

    At home, what is your favorite meal to cook?

    Bucatini pasta with lemon, peppers and prosciutto.

     

    Do you have plans of expanding?

    We are! We haven’t commited to the second location yet but we are very close to deciding!

    Credits:

    Written, Interviewed & Photographed by: Kristen Tola Hettich

     

  • Restaurant Review: Olive & Thyme // Gourmet Cafe & Marketplace

    Happy Thursday friends!

    Today I’m sharing a restaurant that is not only beautiful but they have amazing food! Not to mention all the other goodies they sell such as, chocolates, pastries, juices, books, olive oils, the list goes on! Olive & Thyme offers dishes for everyone! There are vegetarian friendly options as well as meat options! Check out my review on this super cute cafe!

     

    Olive & Thyme

    4013 Riverside Drive

    Burbank, CA 91505

     

    818-557-1560

    www.OliveandThyme.com

     

    First Impression: Immediately when I walked in I thought, “what a beautiful and cute restaurant!” Olive & Thyme really has a unique vibe and great menu!

     

    Taste: Amazing! I tried the Grilled Vegetable Panini with goat cheese, salad and their secret sauce! (Which tastes incredible!) Definitely one of the best panini’s I’ve had!

    Décor: So beautiful! I really love the interior of this café/market! I love the mix of rustic, the wooden chairs and table, with a touch of modern/clean look with lots of white and subway tiles.

     

    Price: Very reasonable for great tasting and quality food!

     

    Service: Great! All the staff at Olive & Thyme is extremely nice and helpful! Makes for a real pleasant dining experience!

    Ambiance: Cozy and relaxing! I can see this café getting extremely busy during the week for lunch and also on the weekends. It’s located right near all the studios in Burbank, so I assume they get a big lunch crowd. They have lots of seating indoor and outdoor as well so I feel even when it does get busy it doesn’t feel crowded or overwhelming. Definitely during a lower traffic time it can be a place where you could read a book and enjoy a glass of wine or sip on some coffee.  

     

    Overall Experience: Great! I highly recommend trying this restaurant! They have great food, great ambiance and a beautiful space! Would be great spot for a date, casual lunch or even just to go have a drink and yummy meal by yourself at their bar.

    Credits:

    Written, Reviewed & Photographed by:  Kristen Tola Hettich