New year, new me. By now you’ve probably already given in to a gluten and dairy dessert. But no worries at all, the beauty of LA is that you can recreate yourself every other week.
For all its reputation of being a fad-obsessed health-freak city, LA is a great place to be for those of us who appreciate food. There’s something for everyone, and you never have to look far to satisfy a craving. Whether you’re vegan or gluten-free or on a juice cleanse or ready to eat your feelings, LA has exactly what you’re looking for. Which brings me to this new series that I’d like to call Eat Your Feelings. Because let’s be real, food is emotional, and if you don’t think so, clearly you aren’t eating right. With this series we’ll celebrate the high’s and the low’s, the detoxes and the binges, and prove that you can eat your way to a better day, no matter how your day’s going.
And where better to start than…fresh? (That didn’t work out quite the way I wanted to). Anyways, I present to you the first Eat Your Feelings series:
NEW YEARS EDITION
DRINK YOUR RESOLUTIONS
No, no, not what you're thinking. Juice, not alcohol. The green stuff. Or perhaps every color of the rainbow. The meal replacement. Or supplement, depending on how disciplined you are. Of course this is an evergreen practice here in LA (Monday detox, anyone?), but juice places capitalize on post-holiday guilt and we all buy into it.
Because we could all use a juice cleanse in freeze form.
Because actually it would be nice to have some solid food with that juice cleanse too.
Because our real New Years goal is to gain the approval of Gwyneth Paltrow, and this is as close as we'll get.
For when $6.50 pressed juicery juices just don't cut it. (But srsly, $12 a pop?! wtf LA!)
For when you need fresh-pressed rejuvenation circa 2012. Aka their font choice is not aesthetic, but definitely has that first "organic" movement look to it.
Literally just for when you're in Malibu and want to embrace the whole lifestyle, not just the smoothie.
For leisurely mornings when you're feeling like a local and pretending you're not smack dab in the middle of the second biggest city in the country.
For what many agree are the best acai bowls. Or pitaya, if you're all about that #pink insta feed.
For when you want to eat your smoothie in a bowl, but also with a side of an empanada. Told you we've got it all.
Basically, they have food too. And juice is good, but food is good too. Plus it's raw vegan and all so basically just solid juice, right?
For when you want your turmeric latte with a side of yoga.
EAT YOUR RESOLUTIONS
Sometimes chewing is good. I mean, you probably burn calories chewing right? So post juice cleanse, treat yourself to some real food. But still keep up those health goals. Good thing LA has everything vegan, raw vegan, macrobiotic, etc etc.
Yeah yeah, this ones is bicoastal, but they do a damn good job at tossing a custom salad for a workday lunch.
Um so this one is like a less popular SF version of sweetgreen, but like, they have potatoes in their salad so I'm here for it and in moments of desperation you would be too.
[M is] for macrobiotic. For when you feel like eating plants.
Ok I'm not even gonna tee this one up. Just take it from the website: "It’s the NEW sandwich, without the bread! A handheld bowl or salad..." So basically, for when you are extra tolerant of LA vocabulary.
For when you’re feeling like an LA blogger, and are ok with your cake kind of tasting like bird food.
For when you really want to go to a taco truck but, like, have discipline so you get healthy Mexican food instead.
For when you're at LAX and want gourmet prepared salads for the flight instead of greasy McDonald's. Because it might be a chain, but it's the most LA chain ever. And their harissa cauliflower is just so damn good.
For when you're feeling like an old school Santa Monica native. I mean, you know you're in Santa Monica when a 24 year old café accomodates every imaginable dietary restriction. Because as we all know, the farther west you go, the more things you don't eat.
Because real LA comfort food is vegan and Mediterranean.
California Chicken Cafe
For a secret cheat day, because the California chicken salad has pasta in it but it’s still a salad!
I mean, what even is the point in making resolutions if not to give up on them a few weeks later? We all need a reality check, right? And reality checks that you can eat are the best kinds.
For days when it’s cold and miserable in the office and you are willing to convince yourself that if the soup is vegan it must be good for you, but also olive bread.
Olive & Thyme
For when you work that studio life and eat the same thing all year anyways; but fattoush salad aside, it can be dangerous because must. resist. pastries.
For when you’re feeling bougie and wanting to embrace your most basic self at happy hour. For when you're feeling like someone in the crowd, but like, that crowd.
The Cabana Cafe
For when you're feeling rich and ready to drop $40 on LA's most famous salad and $21 for juice.
For when you’re starting to falter, but like, fries are vegan so basically don't sugarcoat it, it's cheat day
Hopefully none of your resolutions included cutting down on that weekend brunch budget, because Botanica's salads are the perfect post-work out treat.
For when your meat-loving brother is in town and you're determined to make him enjoy a vegan meal. But again, repeat after me: just because it's vegan does not mean it's healthy. Cheat day again.
Joan's on Third
Because Joan's is "literally" the official lunch cafe of Los Angeles. And because they are v generous with the "crunchies" on their Chinese chicken salad. To the point where we're pushing it on the health rating.
Ok. I have a lot to say about this one, but I'll save it for another time. So I guess it's for days when you want a damn good gourmet meal from a grocery store...but also are ok with paying like $25 for it.
For when you want your vegan lunch with a side of east side hipsters people watching.
For when you're feeling aesthetic and want photographic proof of your meal.
Because basically, if you're wondering what LA would taste like epitomized as a bowl, it would be Sqirl's Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl. But like, also with a side of stuff on toast which is pushing it...
Because their kale salad is almost good enough for you to forget about the pizza…but also do yourself a favor and just get the green eggs and ham pizza.
Because it's about as healthy as it can get but c'mon, it's still a damn donut.
for when you give up and decide to eat your failure in the form of garlic knots while singing, that’s amoreeeeee!