Sweet Rose Creamery
4377 Tujunga Ave., Studio City
As far as we’re concerned, Josh and Zoe Loeb can do no wrong—their adorable ice cream shop, which is a partnership with Shiho Yoshikawa (she used to work with Zoe at Tartine), only strengthens their case. Shiho picks up ingredients for her inventive flavors at the Santa Monica farmers market, and her milk and eggs are from local purveyors as well. Favorites include matcha, fig, and goat cheese, and the old-fashioned strawberry, which tastes fresh off the vine. This is LA, so there are also some dairy-free options: If that’s your vibe, definitely try the horchata. The original is at the Brentwood Country Mart, but now they have locations all over the city: Studio City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and the Palisades.
Tracy Anderson Method
12345 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
We're long-time fans of the Tracy Anderson Method for a million reasons: It's a lifestyle approach to fitness, meaning that you never peak; it's fun (and hard); and it works. The studios in Studio City and now in Brentwood make following the method easy, as everyone's in it together. Membership is more expensive than your average gym but includes unlimited classes, and depending on the tier, semi-private training sessions. The trainers are kind, but tough—you will sweat (and melt inches). Both locations offer a pay-per-class option as well.
Juice Served Here (Closed)
12186 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
In addition to being incredibly convenient for satiating juice cravings (there are locations sprouting up all over the city) this the perfect juice gateway drug for cleanse newbies: Beyond their most popular drink, Green Milk, which is like having dessert for dinner, the Charcoal Lemonade is delicious, despite the suspiciousness of drinking montmorillonite clay and activated charcoal (in contrast, the jalapeño-laced beet juice is tough to swallow). You can also add in extras to ease the process: We opted for the raw soup (a carrot-based gazpacho) and the coconut superfood bar (nice when you miss the sensation of chewing). Bonus points for the DO ME (FIRST, 02, 03, 04, 05, LAST) directions on the caps and the recent addition of lifestyle-y giftables at most outposts. There are additional locations in West Hollywood, Pasadena, Venice, Downtown, Silver Lake, Hollywood, and Santa Monica.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
12073 Ventura Pl., Studio City
These purveyors of ultra-creamy ice cream got their start in Santa Barbara in 1948, and the heritage of their brand is hugely important to them. Their dairy is sourced from grass-fed cows which are raised just north of LA on the central coast, and they've been working with the same creamery since they got their start (eggs are cage-free, too). This is the kind of place where classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and the not-so-classic chocolate-covered strawberry reign supreme, and it probably goes without saying that kids can't get enough of it. You can buy this creamy goodness at many upscale grocery stores, but we prefer to have it scooped for us at either their Grand Central Market or Studio City locations.
11118 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
Though it admittedly rarely rains in LA, this indoor playground still beckons. There's a big slide, ball pit, light-up floor, and more. The best part, though, is that the grown-ups can sip coffee at the cappuccino bar while the kids play. However, even adults have to remove their shoes, so if you'd like to join your kids in the bouncy castle, go right ahead.
Hand Car Wash
11514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
From the giant hand sign and sculpture at the entrance to the massage chairs in the waiting area, this place is dripping with good old-fashioned car wash character. The washes are great, down to the final wax, as the staff really cares. They also regularly hold events here to raise money for schools in the community.
Color Me Mine
12080 Ventura Pl., Studio City
First, pick a ceramic item to paint: it's not just cups and plates here, they also have figurines of dinosaurs, mermaids and pets. The helpful staff is on hand to supply paints, stencils and sponges to make the plain white ceramics your own, no matter your painting skill. When you're done, they take your work, glaze it, and fire it for you to collect a few days later. For parties, you can also get them to come to your home. There's another location in Beverly Hills.
11262 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
This place is a welcome refuge for an awesome burger in a cool and clean environment. It's also great to sit outside during the day and enjoy any of their creative beef (ground in-house daily), chicken (the one with smoked mozzarella and artichoke spread is amazing,) or veggie burgers with a cold artisanal draft. The original is in Hollywood, and there's also a location in Santa Monica.
12053 Ventura Pl., Studio City
Since 1995, Jill Roberts' mini-chainlet of boutiques have been holding strong, offering that specifically LA-buy: Plenty of denim and t-shirts, plus a few stand-out pieces from designers like Rag & Bone, Alexander Wang, and Kelly Wearstler. There are two other LA locations: Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
Joan’s on Third
12059 Ventura Pl., Studio City
A coffee bar with pastries, a counter for prepared salads and sandwiches to go (or linger over), and a mini-grocery's worth of delicious cheeses, wines, snacks, and frozen treats. Though there are a million tables, they're generally always full; and parking in the area is scarce. That said, it's great for a mid-week breakfast or lunch. (The original Joan's is in West Hollywood.)
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