Fancy Hotspots

Category
  • Olive & June

    Nail polish is one of the most toxic things we can put on our body. The chemicals can cause birth defects & hormone disruption, not to mention set off allergic reactions we wouldn't even think to link to, what some see as, an essential beauty product.

    But what if we don't want to give up our perfectly manicured nails? That's where we can be grateful for the wonderful 5-free & organic lines that are springing up lately. If you live in Los Angeles you can be even more grateful for Olive & June, a brand new salon in Beverly Hills, that not only does a fabulous job but carries a variety of these better-for-you polishes. I fell in love with the Kure polish in "Boyfriend" that they carry. It's an edgy gunmetal grey that people notice & compliment right away AND it's organic!

    A destination for the stars, Olive & June will be sure to keep you pampered like you deserve. Upon checking in for your first appointment they have you fill out a form describing your preferences. (i.e. What's your favorite part of a manicure? What massage pressure do you prefer? and so on...) They then keep this on file to make sure your experience is always a positive one. Talk about looking out for the customer! The salon is delightfully girly with an inviting hint of warmth. It's the perfect place to have a fun date with your girlfriends or to just treat yourself for being YOU!

    Do yourself a favor. Throw out all of those toxic polishes that may be laying around & start restocking with ones that work well & treat you well. I've listed a few great ones below. And if you live in the LA area or are even just visiting be sure to check out Olive & June. You won't want to go anywhere else once you do.

    Better-for-you polishes: KureDeborah LipmanZoyaMintRBG, & Scotch Naturals.

  • My Search For The Best Organic Coffee

    I was recently put on a special diet by my doctor & part of it included the coffee I drank. I was only allowed to drink organic coffee because there would be less chance of pesticides. That seemed like a fair request, who really wants to be drinking pesticides, right?

    I spent the first week going to some local coffee shops I love, like Akasha in Culver City, & then I was off to NYC for a weekend where I knew finding organic beans would also be a cinch!

    When I got there though, I was horrified to realize I actually didn’t know where the great organic coffee was! How could this be?! The truth is, & I’m a bit ashamed to confess, every time I’m there since I moved 5 years ago, I just grab an iced soy latte from the Starbucks across the street from the place I stay! I know, c’est horrible! A quick slap on the wrist & I was on my mission to find my new favorite NYC cup of joe! Here are my new top 2!:

    Gimme Coffee

    Everyone, or at least mostly everyone, loves Soho. It’s cute, has great shopping & restaurants & it also has Gimme Coffee. Gimme originally started in Ithaca, NY keeping college kids and locals consciously caffeinated for several years & has now expanded into 2 Brooklyn locations and one on Mott Street in NYC (close to the Clare Vivier store too!). I excitedly went in & asked the barista if she had organic coffee. She did (hooray!) but on top of that she was so knowledgable. I walked in just looking for some caffeine I could drink and I walked out with a bunch of cool facts! Like did you know that there is a dry and wet process when creating coffee? And that the wet process allows for different molds to grow in it? Yuck! Right?! She also informed me that they had certified organic beans but also had some organic coffee that wasn’t certified, not that it was any less than then its certified friend, but that it was from a region where they couldn’t afford the rather expensive organic certification. Since the coffee was so good, and their practices sound, Gimme supported the little guys anyway! Pretty cool. Now sure all of this do-good and really awesome baristas stuff is great but what about the coffee? YUM!!!!! I totally get why Gimme has such a devoted following. I was so sad when I reached my last sip! 

    Birch Coffee

    Have you ever had hemp milk? It sounds really hippie dippy but it’s actually really good. Not many coffee shops carry it, but Birch does & it’s quite delicious. They have an adorable little hole-in-the-wall shop on 62nd just off Lexington & a few other locations around the city.

    The best part, besides the coffee, was the shelf they have with free books you can take or for you to leave books you’re done reading & want to give away! Pretty groovy, huh? Not feeling coffee? They serve beer & wine too. The environment here is really chill & really takes it back to what a coffee shop used to be - more of a community vibe & a passion for great quality.

    Gimme Coffee: 228 Mott St. NYC www.gimmecoffee.com

    Birch Coffee: www.birchcoffee.com

  • The Butcher's Daughter

    The Butcher’s daughter isn’t at all what it sounds like. Unless of course you think it means the Butcher’s rebellious daughter who couldn’t understand how her dad could kill animals for food & renounced his ways to decide to live life as a vegetarian. Then you’re on the right track. Whether or not that was this owners story, this adorable establishment is definitely worth a stop by. Their menu features creative & healthy, mostly vegan, fare that will please even those most laden with food restrictions. The ambience is peaceful & whimsical with a burst of sunshine. Even their bathrooms fit the bill which is often an overlooked element in healthy restaurants. Seriously, what is with all the cute restaurants with ugly bathrooms?! They offer boozy popsicles to allow your inner child to come out & play as well as a list of biodynamic wines & beers. Not drinking? Ask for a raw hot chocolate & feel the chocolatey warmth of gratitude wash over you. Save room, because the desserts are all sweetened with natural ingredients so not indulging would be the only crime here. This is the perfect spot to lunch or brunch with girlfriends, eat some healthy food, order a bottle of wine & chat about your own rebellions.

    The Butcher's Daughter- 19 Kenmare Street (corner of Elizabeth) NYC

  • Cafe Vida

    Organic, Delicious & Healthy Oh My! Anyone who’s been to Cafe Vida will know, you just can’t get enough. Every dish is carefully thought out for optimal flavor & everything is as fresh & healthy as it can be. Their new location in Culver City even serves wine so if you want a more formal night out but still want to eat as healthy as possible, Vida is your spot. There are, of course, plenty of gluten free & vegetarian options to choose from. I recommend the tacos or the balance bowl (a perfect blend of brown rice, egg whites, vegetables & a chipotle sauce.) However, if you’re coming here for breakfast or brunch don’t miss out on the 2 + 2 + 2. That’s 2 Pancakes (The GF Brown Rice pancakes are mind-blowing, I often day-dream about them), 2 eggs any way you like em’ & 2 pieces of meat (if you’re vegetarian you can request a side salad instead). Online ordering is available for takeout if you’re in the neighborhood. Once you go you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been this whole time!

    www.cafevida.net

    9755 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 

    15317 Antioch Street, Pacific Palisades, CA

  • Cafe Gratitude Venice

    There are infinite amount of things in life to be grateful for. The water we drink, the people we love, our fingers, our toes, the list goes on & on. However sometimes we forget all these things to be grateful for. We tend to never forget that we’re hungry though, so thankfully Cafe Gratitude combines the two so not only can we be fed but be grateful for being fed & open up the floodgates for acknowledging all that other stuff in our lives that is pretty cool.

    When you walk in you’ll be greeted by a beautifully designed interior. Crisp white, neutrals, plants, clean lines & an overall feeling of peace & whimsy. Everything here is vegan & a whole lot of it is gluten free as well. Oh yea, it’s also all organic, environmentally friendly & they support local agriculture. AND the food is amazing & inventive. Come on, guys stop being so perfect. Just kidding, just kidding, please continue. They serve everything on these super awesome plates that are also available to buy in store, as is a variety of other home & health goods:

    When your server greets you they’ll ask if you want to know the question of the day. It’s always a thought provoking question to allow you to initiate some gratitude in your life. This is especially fun if you’re dining with someone else. It allows your conversation to dive a bit deeper & for you to get to learn more about the person sitting across (or beside) you.

    To keep your high going, all of their menu items begin with the words I AM, followed by something positive. Since “I AM” is such a powerful statement they’re guiding you to say nice things about yourself just by ordering your food. They also always say it back to you when they deliver your meal. My favorite things here to order are the “I AM fortified” (quinoa with roasted vegetables & a choice of some amazing sauces) & the “I AM transformed” (seasonal tacos). Unlike some hippy-ish places, Cafe Gratitude offers a full list of biodynamic & organic wine & champagne, yet another thing to be grateful for. Their desserts are also next level. Grab a tirimisu when you’re in there. You’ll thank me.

    Take out is also available. 

    Cafe Gratitude Venice: 512 Rose Ave Venice, CA 90291 424.231.8000

    Other locations: http://cafegratitude.com/category/locations/

  • Wags & Walks

     

    It’s no secret that dogs are some of the most lovable creatures on the planet. But the sad truth is, in just Los Angeles alone nearly 30,000 dogs are euthanized each year. Thankfully organizations like Wags + Walks are making it their mission to drastically reduce that number. With their unique adoption process finding your perfect pet & more importantly saving a precious life is easier than ever.

    www.WagsAndWalks.org

  • Akasha - Culver City

    Culver City is LA’s best kept secret. The main street in downtown Culver seems as if it was ripped right out of a scene in a movie. In fact, it was actually built to be a movie set so in a way it was! The street is line with incredible restaurants and coffee shops but one of my favorites is Akasha cafe. There is a restaurant attached but the cafe, in my opinion, is where it’s at. They serve Intelligencia coffee, which is good if not a bit overrated, but what takes it to the next level is their homemade almond milk. It’s so creamy with this perfect hint of sweetness that makes an ordinary latte extraordinary. For breakfast they have lots of GF options. Any breakfast sandwich or burrito can be substituted with a remarkable GF brioche bun, GF tortilla or GF bagel (including an everything one, which are clearly the best:)). Their in-house bakery makes some pretty solid (but not in texture:)) GF & vegan pastries as well. The cafe is equipped with lots of outlets in case you want to get some work done on your laptop during your meal (several Fancy Hippie posts have been created this way). To top it off their staff is incredibly friendly and there’s a total neighborhoody vibe to the place that makes you want to come back for more.

    Akasha Cafe: 9543 CULVER BOULEVARD, CULVER CITY CA 90232 www.akasharestaurant.com

  • The Coffee Conservatory - Culver City

    You know that place that people keep telling you is awesome but you keep forgetting to go to? That for me is the Coffee Conservatory in Culver City. Really I have no excuse, seeing as it is within walking distance of where I live, but somehow I kept going about my daily coffee routine never thinking twice. Today is the day I broke that monotony of caffeine fulfillment & as I sit in this adorable cafe that feels almost out of place in Los Angeles & I sip what may be one of the BEST Americanos I have ever delightfully consumed, I feel pretty certain a new routine is being established.

    From the outside, The Coffee Conservatory looks like a rundown coffee shop that no one would think twice about but the long (speedily moving) line inside would tell you otherwise. Many in here are regulars, a place where everyone knows your name type joint, & that can’t help but make me smile. And it’s no wonder people keep coming back! They roast all their coffee in small batches in house & discard any brewed coffee that has sat for more than an hour because let’s face it- who wants stale, burned coffee? As for coffee pairings, they have a display case filled with pastries including GF muffins AND coffee cake! (This Fancy Hippie LOVES coffee cake) Their tea list is wildly extensive & rumor has it their cocoa will leave you begging for more. But what may be my favorite part of the shop, is the storybook looking tree in the the corner of the cafe. I imagine it’s there to evoke feelings of leisurely sitting under a tree lost in a good book and if so it’s working. So if you’re  in LA, don’t be like me & keep putting it off. Set up a coffee date with a friend or if you’re nearby stumble on in tomorrow morning. I know that’s what I’ll be doing & earning my “everyone knows your name” status.

    10117 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

    http://www.conservatorycoffeeandtea.com

  • Sage Bistro

    When I first heard of Sage Bistro opening in Culver City I was over the moon with excitement. I'm such a healthy food nerd I couldn't wait to go. My verdict then was that it was good but hadn't quite hit the mark. There were other places that ranked higher on my list so I hadn't been back. After a friend mentioning it to me & seeing some posts from others of some yummy looking food from there, I decided to give it another shot today. WOW am I so glad I did. First off, the atmosphere here is ideal. It feels as if you're dining in a magical garden. Then their menu will just make your head spin (in a good way). I went with the Goatless Greek Quinoa Salad with a side of german potato salad. It was all beautifully delivered and oh so delicious. There was nothing in that kale salad that lacked purpose. All the flavors played beautifully together. Sage also is home to a Kind Kreme so I couldn't leave without ice cream. I left with a pint of "superfood" icecream that an enthusiastic employee decsribed as tasting like rocky road & then listed basically every superfood I had ever heard of. The best part- it actually DOES taste like rocky road! Of course, I picked up a fluffy waffle to go with it with some raw caramel sauce. Heavenly. Way to do it right Sage Bistro!

    Culver City

    Culver Crossroads
    4130 Sepulveda Blvd
    Culver City, CA 90230
    Tel. 424-228-5835