The Health-Conscious Los Angeles Guide

March 25th, 2019

It can be easy to scoff at LA’s devotion to sweat lodges, juice cleanses, and cryotherapy, but there’s something about living in a sunny metropolis that makes us want to look and feel our best—all the time. Luckily, the metropolis makes it easy. Not only are there miles of hiking trails and countless waves to surf, virtually every zip code in the city has an incredible farmer’s market (or two), restaurants that cater to every quirky dietary restriction, and more yoga and Pilates studios than you could possibly try in a year. Welcome to the world capital of wellness.

EAT

Zinc Café & Market

580 Mateo St., Downtown | 323.825.5381

Zinc got its start down in Orange County (there are similar outposts in Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar, and Solano Beach), before branching out to the Arts District downtown in the summer of 2014. The airy, bright space is marked by an open kitchen and a smattering of tables and chairs for low-key breakfast and lunch meetings, though many carry out. Baked goods, really delicious salads, and wood-fired pizzas round out the mix.

Café Gratitude

639 N. Larchmont Blvd., Hancock Park | 323.580.6383

Everything on the menu is an affirmation, so if you can stifle the giggles at names like “I Am Connected”—which is actually an amazing zucchini cilantro hummus—you’ll find that the vegan food here is delicious, even for those who normally refuse to go meat- and dairy-free. There are picks for every sensibility, from coffee milkshakes (made with almond milk) to cashew-cheese-topped corn tacos to Indian curried lentils. There are three locations—Hancock Park, Venice, and the Arts District—and the Café Gratitude team just opened Gracias Madre, a Mexican iteration, in Hollywood.

Malibu Farm

23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu | 310.456.1112

Malibu Farm is our go-to restaurant for impressing out-of-towners, thanks to its sweeping views of the ocean in both directions (and even of Catalina Island on a clear day). You can watch surfers and stand-up paddleboarders on iconic Surfrider Beach, plus the white sangria is perfectly refreshing on a hot day. Enjoying a zucchini pizza on the porch while you watch the sun set is pretty much as California as it gets.

Forage

3823 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.663.6885

Local, sustainable, and fresh ingredients are the focus at this rustic-meets-modern spot, so much so that if you bring your own home-grown produce, they’ll exchange it for credit. And the credit is worth it: The roasted salmon bowl is particularly excellent, though there are very few misses on Forage’s constantly changing chalkboard menu.

SHOP

The General Store

4035 Judah St., Sunset District | 415.682.0600

There are two locations of this beloved shop, and the original is here. Set in a big, lofty space that could theoretically hold hundreds of items, the impeccably curated store is an exercise in restraint: You’ll find hand-made ceramics, brass trivets, thread-wrapped bows and arrows, and rare, vintage books. The second location is in Venice.

The General Store

4035 Judah St., Sunset District | 415.682.0600

There are two locations of this beloved shop, and the original is here. Set in a big, lofty space that could theoretically hold hundreds of items, the impeccably curated store is an exercise in restraint: You’ll find hand-made ceramics, brass trivets, thread-wrapped bows and arrows, and rare, vintage books. The second location is in Venice.

Dream Collective

1404 Micheltorena St., Silver Lake | 323.660.2000

This jewelry line has garnered a bit of a cult following in LA. And we get why: The subtly organic pieces—inset with semiprecious stones—feel unique and slightly imperfect.

CAP Beauty

8500 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood | 310.432.0560

New York wellness mecca CAP Beauty finally has a home on the West Coast at Fred Segal on Sunset. The tightly curated, quality-obsessed company—CAP stands for clean and natural—is one of our most-trusted resources for natural (and we actually mean natural—no synthetics, parabens, or other nasties) beauty. You’ll find all the wellness industry’s best players, like Moon Juice and Sun Potion, alongside beauty mavens Tata Harper, May Lindstrom, and Shiva Rose on the shelves. In the clean beauty space, it doesn’t get much better than this one-stop shop.

ACTIVITIES

Paseo Miramar

This five-mile round-trip hike offers epic views of the ocean—the trailhead is at Paseo Miramar just off Sunset, making it easy to get to, as well (just park on the street). Then end your trip with gluten-free pancakes at Café Vida.

Hollywood Farmers Market

1600 Ivar Ave., Hollywood

See and taste the best of organic California produce here. There are coffee carts and tamales, in addition to great people-watching.

Sunset Ranch

3400 N. Beachwood Dr., Hollywood | 323.469.5450

Sure, you can drive to the base of the Hollywood sign, but why not horseback-ride around it instead? Located in Griffith Park, Sunset Ranch leads one- or two-hour trail rides, offering unparalleled vistas of Hollywood (and the sign). Kids, in particular, love this adventure.

Venice Canal Walk

Court A to Court E, Venice

In the early 1900s, Abbot Kinney resolved to make a “Venice of America” and decided to turn modern-day Venice into a system of canals. While many of the waterways have been filled in during the intervening years, a small patch remains—though they had fallen into disrepair, they were restored in the ’90s and are now lined with some of Venice’s fanciest homes. It’s a totally random yet awesome enclave, and worth a stroll on a nice day.

BEAUTY AND WELLNESS

Tracy Anderson Method

11918 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles | 310.207.8751

We’re longtime 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, semiprivate training sessions. The trainers are kind but tough—you will sweat (and melt inches).

Shani Darden

Beverly Hills, Los Angeles | booking@shanidarden.com

Shani Darden, one of the most talented aestheticians around, may work out of a beautifully appointed guest house in her backyard, but the niceties end there. Darden, who happens to be hilarious (and have poreless, perfect skin) is all business when it comes to results-driven facials. Her touch is magic, and the peels, extractions, microdermabrasion, and infrared-light treatments are excellent.

Alexandra Wagner

1636 Abbot Kinney, Venice, Los Angeles | 310.399.0123

Perched up above Abbot Kinney, this whitewashed space feels more like a tree house than a spa. Wagner, who also moonlights as a painter, is chill and wonderful, meaning that an hour spent with her skilled hands is kind of like hanging with a friend. A recovering tanning junkie herself, Wagner is nothing short of a magician when it comes to banishing sun spots and UV damage. Product-wise, the focus here is on holistic and organic lines, supplemented by Wagner’s own turmeric and plant stem cell serum.

Face Place LA

8701 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, Los Angeles | 310.855.1150

Don’t expect soft music and gentle massage protocols here. Face Place, whose minimalist aesthetic fits its no-nonsense treatment approach, takes a more clinical approach to skin care. The signature facial combines a round of extractions with oxygen therapy and pore-tightening galvanic current. Our other favorites: The Vitamin C Peel is excellent for softening hyperpigmentation, and the Enzyme Peel is superbly brightening.