This charming little spot tucked away on Melrose Place is the ultimate trendy, LA coffee shop. This magical brewery of all things caffeine-y and magical is the birthplace of "But first, coffee." So yes, you'll definitely need to take a few shots for the 'gram before you leave.
Located on the Venice's most beloved street Abbot Kinney, Intelligentsia Coffee is the home of true coffee engineers. Anyone from high-brow espresso hipsters to coffee commoners will find something skillfully crafted to their liking here. Rhea Recommendation: The Angeleno. Quad shot, simple syrup, milk, ice, shaken. Enough said.
Venice is truly a coffee hotspot. Blue Bottle Coffee is located just a few shops down from Intelligentsia and brings its authentic, San Francisco vibes to the heart of Abbot Kinney. The minimalist shop offers just enough options for the inquisitive coffee drinker, but keeps things simple and straightforward (as they should be).
Groundwork Coffee is one of the many buzzing businesses that line Rose Avenue in Venice. This lovely shop is the type to make you smile the moment you walk through its rustic doors. The friendly baristas and (what I like to call) comfort coffee is sure to warm your heart and belly.
Another San Francisco native, Philz Coffee is notorious for its carefully brewed pour-over coffee. Walking into the Santa Monica location is like walking right into your neighborhood coffee shop, pulling you in with its homelike atmosphere. Philz is living proof that a simple cup of coffee can be extraordinarily crafted and authentically special.
Easygoing and personable, Hershy tells us that it's the people part of the business that's got him hooked. People come to the restaurant to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or to grab a few drinks after a long day at work. They come around looking for a good time.
This isn't Hershy's first restaurant in Venice. He previously worked at an upscale restaurant on Abbot Kinney, so we asked him what makes the food culture in Venice so special.
"I believe our food culture on the West Side is driven by our clientele. They’re young, hip and they’ve got a lot of money. If the food is locally sourced, ethically harvested and socially responsible, they’re willing to pay more for it."
The world of food and food culture speaks a lot about the people and the place from which it blossoms, and LEONA is product of that. The team behind LEONA stays current with the style and trends of Venice while also aligning with the needs and wants of the community.
Hershy describes the clientele at LEONA as connected to and invested in their community. Hershy's team integrates this into the restaurant by hosting events such as beach cleanup days, participating in a local inter-restaurant soccer league, and #HashtagLunchbag (where they made and distributed lunchbags to local homeless people on the beach and pier).
The interconnectedness of LEONA and its community is reflected in the lively atmosphere of the restaurant on a busy night. Locals and neighbors excitedly return to share the weekly special with a new friend, to stop in and chat with Chef Nyesha, or to just have a glass of wine at the bar. Hershy makes it his duty to make everyone, visitors and locals alike, feel right at home once they step through the doors.
"I treat every table like they're a guest at my party. Pretend like it's a wedding; as you move around, every table must feel your presence and know that you want them there."
Just a block from the beach, LEONA is an exciting place to be. Hershy prides himself in reflecting the feel of the restaurant in his choice of attire every shift. While it's his job to pay attention and guide the guests' experiences, he notes that they're also paying attention.
"They appreciate the shirt you got from Scotch and Soda, or a haircut you got at Rudy’s Barbershop on Main Street. It’s a way to feel good about yourself while also showcasing the other businesses in your community."
While staying on top of the latest trends is an exciting and crucial part of the job, it's just as important for his style of dress to be practical and supportive. Hershy claims that shoes are everything in the restaurant industry. Without proper footwear to support 10-12 hour days, it's impossible to work efficiently. He admits that shoes are usually the hardest part of the outfit because they must have a balance between comfort, durability and utility.
The ideal restaurant shoe not is not only supportive and durable, but also must have premium non slip features to prevent dangerous slip and fall accidents. As a manager, Hershy has witnessed many accidents due to inappropriate footwear and actually requires his team to wear closed toed, non slip shoes. We asked if Hershy believed that a shoe could be both reliable and safe, while also meeting his style standards.
"Not since a good friend of mine shared Rhea Footwear shoes with me, did I think I could wear something as elegant and elevated in fashion and also serve me in both front and back of house duties. I don’t have to worry when walking back and forth out of the kitchen; I know I’m going to be safe and look good."
So the verdict is in and Hershy more than approves of our NeverSlip technology that is so brilliantly paired with a stylish and elegant design. In the heart of Venice, Hershy Petty and the team at LEONA push food culture forward by connecting people, sharing food and going above and beyond style standards.
This is no traditional hike, or flight of stairs for that matter. However, the Culver City stairs workout will leave you sweaty, sore and probably sun burnt. This outdoor workout is perfect if you're looking to get active outside of your regular gym. The view going up may look daunting, but the view from the top is well worth the sweat.
On a sunny day, the Hollywood sign hike is the ultimate summer outing. With medium and small inclines all the way, the hike is widely accessible and leads you to a full view of the city. Helpful tip: Go early in the morning or right before sunset to get the best view of the skyline!
Every Thursday starting on July 7 at 7 pm. The concerts feature a wide range of musical genres including indie rock, dance, classic, reggae, disco, latin + many more. Mark your calendar because this is LA's favorite summer tradition!
Find Yoga Works studios all over Los Angeles in Brentwood, Hollywood, Koreatown, Playa Vista, Santa Monica, and El Segundo. Yoga Works has classes every hour for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. If you're not already convinced, you and your friends get your first week free! Find more information on the Yoga Works website.
Blue Bottle Coffee is a San Francisco coffee roaster and has a convenient location for Angelenos on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Their menu features a specialty drink that they call "New Orleans Iced Coffee," which is cold brewed with chicory root, mixed with your cream of choice and a dash of sweetener.
On the first Friday of each month, food trucks line the one mile stretch of Abbot Kinney and small shops and boutiques on the street host special events. The new-age food trucks display an array of global influences and flavors, and surely never disappoint!
The Broad is located in downtown LA and offers free general admission. The postwar and contemporary art collection is an eclectic, provocative and vibrant representation of LA culture. If you mind waiting a few hours in line to get in, be sure to book tickets in advance. More information on The Broad can be found on the website.
Playa Vista's farmer's market opens at 9 am every Saturday morning and showcases locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the most beautiful flowers. The farmer's market also offers live music, local artists and vendors and the BEST breakfast burritos in town. Start your Saturday off on the right foot and pay a visit to the Playa Vista farmer's market.
Whether you're looking for some greenery to spruce up your home or just coming along for the ride, the LA Flower District is truly a summer's dream. 6 blocks of flower heaven and nearly 200 wholesale flower vendors, the marketplace seems to never end.
With the end of the semester around the corner and summer calling my name, my life tends to go into overdrive around this time every year. Between planning the rest of the year out, planning the rest of my life out, and staying afloat in work and school, it's easy to get stuck in the weeds of STRESS during the most beautiful time of the year. Over the past few years, I've learned to get a handle on stress so that I can be my best self and not let stress take over my life.
Stay in the NOW! Last summer, a friend lent me Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" and it changed my life. The message of the book is simple: living in the present moment will transform your life for the better. This amazing read has reminded me on countless occasions to get out of my head and just be grateful for that moment. In the hustle and bustle of planning, take a break to appreciate what's going on right now.
Get enough sleep. It seems counterintuitive that when you're caught up in an endless to do list, you should drop everything for a cat nap. Sleep is essential for a person's health and well-being and is a huge part of limiting your stress. Often times, when your body doesn't seem to be functioning at optimum level, you may just need to get some Z's to regenerate and rest.
Take time to check in. Every six months or so, I take a couple hours to sit down to write down my short and long term goals (personal, health, and career-wise). When you're starting to feel overwhelmed by your tasks, check in with these goals to make sure the things you're doing every day are in line with your long term vision. Be a person of your own design.
Surround yourself with people that support you and want to see you do well. As much as I think of myself as a one-woman show, there are countless individuals in my life that I owe all of my success to. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you, who will remind you of the bigger picture and push you every day to be great.
Take time everyday to regroup, get grounded and retreat. Everyone has different ways of doing this. Some let off steam at the gym. Some like to meditate and focus on their breath. I have found that my happy place to re-center myself is through yoga. I started my practice a few years ago and since then it has been a crucial part of my life. I encourage everyone to take the time to try out a class at your local yoga studio.
Don't know where to start? Here are a list of my favorite studios on the West Side!
Yoga Salt. Of all the studios I've tried in the area, Yoga Salt is by far my favorite. The classes are mostly all levels, which makes it easy to bring some of my friends that haven't had much experience doing yoga. The studio is simple, bright and welcoming. Located at 11955 Washington Blvd. in Culver City.
YogaWorks. One piece of advice: Bring a towel. YogaWorks is no joke and will leave you feeling sore, sweaty, and like a true yogi. With locations in Santa Monica, Playa Vista and El Segundo, finding the right class for my schedule is always easy.
Yoga Vista. Located right in Playa Vista, this small vinyasa studio provides a variety of classes that are accessible for all levels and are taught by truly incredible teachers. Being located right by Whole Foods is also a plus.
Hot 8. Right next to the Promenade in Santa Monica, you can easily get your sweat on after a long day of shopping. Hot 8 will leave you feeling refreshed, detoxed and slightly euphoric. Hot yoga isn't for everyone, but is worth working up a sweat for. Also located right next to Nekter juice bar, another plus.
Please pass along your favorite ways to de-stress in the comments! Also, let us know any of your favorite yoga studios if we've missed any. Namaste, yogis.