I absolutely LOVE exploring cities that we go to, we got to be in LA for two whole weeks and I was able to find the best food and also beauty spots around town. Being plant-based I obviously have some restrictions so finding restaurants that suit non-vegans & also myself is awesome. LA is a good place to be vegan, thats for sure.
This is a super cute casual quick stop for breakfast for the absolute BEST açai bowl I have ever tried, in my life. My husband doesn't even like açai bowls and we went 3 days in a row as per his request.
My favourites are the island bowl (sans honey, its already sweet enough for me) and also the power bowl (sans peanut butter because I don't eat PB)
One of my husbands favourites and now I understand why, it's more of a chic place and we went at least four times for breakfast. I loved the atmosphere and the fact that it had so much natural light in there so you feel like you're outdoors basking in the sunlight.
My favourites are the avocado toast, banana toast, açai bowl, fruit plate, chia basil pudding & the banana smoothie - Omar preferred the Berry Glow.
Jon & Vinnys
This also applies to my lunch list because I fell in love with this place. Even though it doesn't have that many plant-based options, I still loved it for the vibe/atmosphere.
My favourites are the Kenter Canyon porridge for breakfast & the Jersey Marinara for lunch. They don't do any kind of substitutions of additions to any dishes on the menu, beware before you go.
Crossroads Kitchen on Melrose Av
Now this has to be first on my list because...I had a life changing, mind blowing experience here. I ate a plant-based burger which didn't make me sick to my stomach. It tasted like a normal, meaty, delicious burger.
It's called the Impossible burger and they only serve it from Monday-Friday on their lunch menu. I swap the fries for their baby potatoes and they're delicious, if you like salads get their Kale Cesar. This is a fully plant based restaurant.
GJELINA Venice Beach
I loved the vibe in Venice beach, it was my first time there on this trip, super laid back by the beach feel. This spot is so cute for lunch or dinner, we did lunch in their outdoor area and I ordered every single vegetable dish on their menu. It was the bomb.
My favourites are the Marinated olives, Heirloom tomato salad, Roasted eggplant, Roasted sweet potato, Roasted summer squash, Charred okra, Grilled shishito peppers, Wood roasted cauliflower, Mixed mushroom & Rosemary pizza.
Rooftop by Jean George (Waldorf Astoria)
Not to be confused with Jean George, also in the Waldorf on the ground floor. The rooftop is incredible. Remember that beautiful view I took a photo in front of wearing a green romper? It was there. Super laid back and chilled out with yummy food.
My favourites are the Guacamole & Sautéed mushroom tacos.
Last year we went to this one way more, I felt this trip it had gone a little down hill? But maybe it was just a bad day so I'll keep it on my list and be optimistic.
*This restaurant is fully plant-based.
My favourite item on their menu is the Blackened Tempeh Cesar wrap
This is a must if you're in LA. The most incredible Nobu I've ever been to in the world, the food is great but I mean the outdoor seating and sound of the waves is what makes this one special.
My favourites are the Edamame, Crispy Okra, Grilled Shishito peppers, Vegetable tacos, Roasted corn (no butter), Seaweed salad, Spicy miso eggplant, Roasted cauliflower & Avocado maki
You could do this for lunch or dinner, I personally prefer lunch. It's so flowery and the music is good & they give you a glass of champagne to say welcome, who doesn't love that?
My favourite dish is the vegetable tacos, make sure you say you're vegan so they don't add any sour cream or cheese. They're delicious and incredibly filling.
This one was an absolute nightmare to a) get a reservation b) even though we had a reservation we still had to wait 30 minutes to be seated. Wine helped me forget about how hungry I was but if you're annoyed by this, go on an off-peak day. I must say, the pasta is worth the wait.
My favourite was my customised dish: Gluten free spaghetti with a tomato basil garlic sauce. Oh boy, it was gone in 60 seconds. Pasta lovers... I highly recommend this one.
On my top 3. This. Was. A. Game. Changer. I had read about this place, it seemed everyone who's anyone in Hollywood has been seen at this place so I thought, whats all the hype? We booked a week in advance, which is rare in LA, I've never eaten a plant-based pasta dish quite like this before. It is a regular place with a short vegan section.
Book in advance, only open for dinner. Be prepared to wait a while for your table. The atmosphere is amazing, sort of like a sports bar on one side while you wait and a really chic Italian restaurant on the other.
My favourites were the Grilled artichoke (with mustard vinaigrette instead of aioli), Vegan sausage pizza & the MIND BLOWING Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese.
I'm not big on Mexican food? But this place is fun & has good food. Good music great service.
My favourites were the Guacamole, Coconut ceviche & Taquitos al Gusto.
Another Mexican spot, but this is a fully plant-based menu. I love the atmosphere in here, they have a massive outdoor area which is nice for lunch or dinner.
My favourites are Enchiladas Verdes & Tacos
Also on my top 3 list. I'm obsessed with this place. You feel like you're entering another world, no photos allowed. It feels so exclusive and secluded from the outside world. Amazing music, the lights are dim, this is more of a fun dinner.
My favourites include the Roasted Brussel sprouts (w/o feta), Fusili Pasta with impossible meat bolognese.
This is more of a wine bar, the interior is incredible it makes you want to taste 17 types of wine before choosing which one you want. It's always busy and the room is filled, in a nice way. They do have great food too!
My favourites are the Avocado-Mango, Oven roasted vegetables, Smashed fingerling potatoes. Non-vegans, Omar's favourite here is the Cacio Pepe.
Nobu Los Angeles La Cienega Blvd
I loved this Nobu! I had no idea it existed. It opened in 2008, not to be confused with Chef Nobu's first restaurant Matsuhisa in LA, we didn't get a change to try that one out but everyone raves about it! This Nobu has a similar style to others around the world but the food was spectacular.
My favourites were the Edamame, Shishito peppers, Hearts of Palm Salad, Mushroom Tobanyaki, Avocado maki.
Olive & June Beverly Hills
I really needed to get a quick manicure before heading to Vegas, I am very high maintenance with my nails. This was a referral by a friend and they were wonderful! Quick, the lady listened to everything I asked & they had lots of Essie colours to choose from. Also the place is super cute and clean, you don't get a strong smell of acetone when you walk in like alot of salons.
Dry Bar Beverly Hills
I never do my hair on holiday. I can never be bothered, whats the point anyway? Omar knows what I look like. But, I just wanted a quick blow dry, my hair gets frizzy in the heat and it was such a mess. I love the concept of Dry bars, they're fairly priced and get the job done in 30 minutes. The lady was great and really gave me the beach waves I wanted, it lasted a good 3 days!
The only problem was because I didn't have a US credit card they couldn't take the payment from me over the phone (which is necessary) so I had to go there to book my appointment which seems a little ridiculous. It wasn't too far from my hotel, but I hope they've figured that out by now!
Now, I discovered this while I was in LA. I had heard so much about Cryotherapy in the past but I didn't have any interest in it for some reason. I follow a health blogger on IG and she swears by it for everything including getting over jet lag. The first 3 days in LA were torture I was in bed by 8PM and up by 4AM ready to start the day. So I decided to do my research and give it a go. Here are the studios I went to and my experience:
Cryohealthcare on Fairfax Av
This was the nearest one to me according to Google maps so I jumped in the car and drove there instantly. They don't take appointments you just walk in. I didn't know what I was in for so they showed me the ropes and told me exactly what to do, no clothes, robe, knee high socks, gloves, face mask and ear muffs and slippers. Once I was ready I sat in the waiting area for my turn.
Before I went in the woman explained that this is a Cryo Chamber so it's a room instead of that machine where your head sticks out, I had never heard of this one before. She told me it would be -140 Celsius and the more I moved around the colder I would feel, so I should hold specific stretches for 30 seconds each and take long breaths.
She asked me to pick a song I wanted to hear, told me to go in the chamber remove my robe and close the door. The first time, I was in there for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I came out and honestly felt like I had just drank 4 cups of coffee. So. Much. Energy. I knew this was something I was going to continue.
I went back again 3 days in a row.
Cryo Cafe on Melrose Av
We just happened to be having lunch in the area and I saw this place, so I thought why don't I just go in quickly for a Cryo session. Omar was on a work call and was just following me aimlessly not having a clue where we were.
I ran in and they were free for a session, their machine was the one with your head sticking out and the temperature only went to -110. They explained that every first-time client has to start there and then get colder each session, so I didn't really feel any benefits from this one... But the staff were wonderful and the studio is charming!
Next Health in Century City Mall
This was the day before leaving back to London, we were in the mall because Omar wanted to run into Adidas. I was in a foul mood that day just so snappy, I get like this before travelling for some reason. We go up the escalator and I just hear ANGELS singing from above, I see the words CRYOTHERAPY in big bold letters right in front of me. Even though I had been to this mall 3 or 4 times, I never knew this existed!
I ran in very excited and asked the guy at the desk if they could fit me in for a session. It was already 6:30PM and we had dinner reservations at 8. He said yes, asked me to fill out 100 forms and sign my life away, you know, the usual, then asked me to wait. While I was waiting I picked up their treatment list and saw that they offer B complex or B12 shots. I wanted one.
I filled out a few more forms, went to get my B Complex shot in my bum and then proceeded into the Cryo Chamber.
This chamber was totally different to the first. They infuse it with Oxygen and the temperature goes to -140 C also. It isn't as foggy inside the chamber and they give you beats headphones to listen to music while you're in there for the full 3 minutes. I loved it! Your first session is free for whoever wants to try it!
I felt instantly better. Omar was shocked and went on to make a joke about how we should have one of these machines at home so he could stick me in it whenever I'm in a bad mood. It's not a bad idea.
THERE YOU HAVE IT! My full LA guide. Leave any questions you have below and tag me in any IG posts if you check out any of these places.
Don't forget to follow me on IG @layla.alnaif
Thank you for reading