Los Angeles Specialty
9229 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
The pandemic has completely upended the traditional restaurant industry, and yet there is something so optimistic and heartwarming about the entrepreneurial pivots we see coming out of this period. Carla Cafe is one such example. Initially, former tech worker Avi Ahdoot assembled his now-famous chicken aioli sandwiches at home and took orders via Instagram DM. Then, suddenly, LA’s appetite for chicken aioli exploded. Ahdoot hired a small team that now operates Carla Cafe out of the Bootsy Bellows kitchen. How does it work? Preorder your sandwich (there’s just one option per day) via DM, pick your time slot and wait in delicious anticipation to chow down on the city’s best sandwiches.
1613 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Given that the first half of the pandemic was marked by our consumption of copious amounts of comfort foods (nightly cheeseburgers from Win~Dow anyone? And no, we’re not sorry), the second half merits a reset. OWL Venice is our go-to when we need to show the gut a little extra love. The Reset cleanse is built around nourishing bone broths (vegan alternatives are available) and mylkshakes that taste pure and flavorsome yet feel light on the digestive system. But OWL isn’t all about cleansing; pick up a jar of the bone broth to have on hand to hydrate a risotto, boil veggies for a last-minute minestrone, or simply sip on while answering emails.
8336 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
A hidden gem when it comes to quality groceries—and significantly less busy than the average store—Pantry LA curates tasty boxes of local-to-the-area and international artisanal ingredients. The risotto and pasta sachets with dried herbs, spices, and zests already mixed in are heaven-sent for an easy one-pot supper, while the fresh veggie boxes are just waiting to be seasoned with French salt, tough-to-find-in-LA spices like Urfa pepper, and olive oils straight from Italy. Pantry LA’s curater Brandie Rossi is super knowledgeable about her stock and goes above and beyond to find the best-ofs (keto bread, OWL Venice broths, healthy tonics) from local kitchens and bakers.
Jyan Isaac Bread
1622 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica
The bread scene in Los Angeles has never been better or more competitive than now. Nineteen-year-old Jyan Isaac Horwitz cut his baking teeth in the Gjusta kitchen. Cut to the pandemic, when he started baking loaves at home to sell to family and friends. But word spread, and within weeks everyone wanted a taste of Horwitz’s long-fermented artisanal sourdough. Though a bakery space is in the works to open on the Westside, right now, all orders are online via the young baker’s site. Order your French baguette, Danish rye, sourdough boule, cultured butter, and never-too-sweet jam at least four days in advance for delivery or pickup in person at Stella Barra or Hollywood’s Harvey Easton Cafe.
1511 Montana Ave., Santa Monica CA, 90403
The most beloved gluten-free bakery of LA’s farmers’ market scene, Breadblok, now has a brick-and-mortar location in Santa Monica. Both the space and menu feel very Cali–meets–the South of France, with classic French patisserie and boulangerie fare like sourdough boules, croissants, and brioche doughnuts—all completely free of gluten, gums, soy, and refined sugar. And you can trust that you’re not sacrificing any flavor either—owner Chloé Charlier’s family has been gluten-free for three generations, so she knows what she’s doing. Another thing that adds to her bread-cred: she’s originally from Provence, home to some of the world’s most delicious breads. You can enjoy the baked goods or a full breakfast and lunch menu along with a variety of coffees and teas. If you can’t make it to LA, you can still order their bread online: They’re currently shipping nationwide.
616 N Hoover St., Silver Lake
There’s something seriously appealing about a store with a point of view. Vinovore focuses its lens on female winemakers, a rare breed in an industry heavily dominated by men. Curbside pickup and delivery to several Los Angeles zip codes are available from the location on Hoover, in that patch of East LA that’s not quite Silver Lake but not East Hollywood proper. When stores reopen, we strongly recommend stopping by for wine, as well as quality tinned fish, charcuterie, and artisanal chocolate. In the interim, we’re deep in the thrall of Vinovore’s wine club, the Wolfpack. Owner and sommelier Coly Den Haan selects two to four female-made natural wines monthly, and tasting notes and pairing suggestions are included in the box.
6801 Melrose Ave., Hollywood
With a heavy focus on natural and low-intervention bottles, Domaine LA is one of the city’s most revered wine shops—and now it’s delivering. We like to pick up the phone, roughly describe our preferences and budget, and savor the selection pulled together for us. You can, of course, specify specific bottles or stick to that drinkable Montepulciano you’ve been pouring since 2008, but trusting the selection to the more-than-capable Domaine staffers feels like having your own personal sommelier.
Venice Beach Wines
529 Rose Ave., Venice
While Venice is awash in good food options (hello, Gran Blanco), wine stores offering delivery are oddly absent. Venice Beach Wines on Rose is our usual wine bar of choice, and now, it’s (thankfully) delivering its full range of organic and natural wines. Take a look at the detailed tasting notes, choose a bottle, and while you’re at it, order a cheese box to accompany a perfect glass.
Compartès Hollywood Chocolate Factory & Store
516 North La Brea Ave.
Before there were disruptors and influencers, there was: chocolate. Compartès has been at the forefront of the chocolate scene—yes, there is a chocolate scene—since Elvis, Sinatra, and the Kennedys were fans. And now the Los Angeles brand offers people who love chocolate and food and chocolate with food a peek behind the cocoa.
9800 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
You grew up enamored with Eloise’s life at the Plaza. Your dream interior design brief includes a washroom inspired by the Peninsula Hotel. Office lighting offends you. Sounds like you’re a candidate for Spring Place, a coworking space disguised as a 5-star hotel (including a concierge). Different working areas come with their own ambience: the executive boardrooms are all light wood and sepia-tinted glass, while the shared workspaces feature custom-designed communal desks. But the overall design shares a midcentury-meets-eclectic luxury energy that suits its upbeat, on-the-move clientele. Along with desks and meeting rooms, options for getting the job done at Spring Place include a conservatory, library, and outdoor terrace—a layout that sounds more like a mansion in Clue than a coworking space. Spring Place is members only—but if you’re looking for a nontraditional (and bicoastal!) office environment (all membership tiers include access to their NYC location) with five-star dining, like B12 shots, massages, and complimentary Pilates classes, then look no further.