recharging at mount washington

Self-Realization Fellowship 3880 San Rafael Ave. Los Angeles, CA (323) 225-2471

One of my favorite tranquil spots in Los Angeles is the Self-Realization Fellowship on Mt. Washington. The property and Mediterraean-style building of the Fellowship were part of an exclusive hotel over a century ago. During World War I, the building served as a convalescent hospital for solders, but it has been the home of a spiritual community since 1925. The grounds are free and open to the pubic, and despite the close proximity to and view of downtown Los Angeles, it feels like it is completely secluded. The beautifully cultivated gardens are lush and green, and offer many spots for quiet contemplation or meditation. It is a serene respite from the fast-pace of city living.

Images by Lauryl Lane.

relaxing at demitasse

Sometimes you enjoy lunch with a friend, but your need to converse lasts much longer than your need to occupy a table at a busy restaurant. On just such a recent occasion, Jane suggested that we try a new coffee shop in nearby Little Tokyo so that we could spend some time relaxing and getting caught up. Cafe Demitasse was the perfect place for such a plan. It was a warm and sunny day, so after procuring our own individual carafes of iced tea, we settled in on the patio to chat and people-watch. The patio was full of slatted wood furniture and surrounded by succulent sculptures, many of which were mounted on the walls of the building. It was a serene little spot in the midst of the busy city. The barista guided us to the best tea blends and his recommendations were spot-on!

Cafe Demitasse 135 S. San Pedro Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 613-9300

Images by Lauryl Lane.

the proof is in the baking

Although there are many excellent choices for a morning coffee in East Los Angeles, I find myself drawn to Proof Bakery over and over again. It's a short walk from my old home in Silver Lake, in an inauspicious shopping strip in Atwater Village. Proof is rather tiny, with seating for little more than a dozen people, but it's utterly charming with it's dark walls, light floors, and marble-topped tables. I love to grab a latte (delicious!) and split a delectable chocolate croissant and a slice of quiche (the flavors are constantly changing) with my husband, whilst sitting in the window, people-watching - and occasionally waving to neighbors also out for a morning stroll. Proof Bakery is one of the many reasons I love L.A.-living, it's yummy, cozy, and totally community-driven.

Proof Bakery 3156 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039 (323) 664-8633
Images | Styling by Lauryl Lane.

bottega louie

Goorin Bros Hat, striped hat, Bottega Louie, brunch My little sister Maggie had an extended stay/internship with me recently, and although we worked very hard and didn't have much time to play, I still endeavored to introduce her to all of my favorite Los Angeles haunts. One particular Saturday morning we had to awaken quite early to do the delivery and installation of an event for one of my celebrity clients, and afterwards we were famished. So we found ourselves at one of my all-time favorite brunch spots, Bottega Louie.

Goorin Bros Hat, striped hat, Bottega Louie, brunch

Maggie had purchased her hat at Goorin Bros. the night before (I'll leave hats for another post- but I'm obsessed!), and she looked darling and so cheerful despite the amount of work she had to do. I can, however, venture to say that it is highly unlikely she will be going into a career in floral design or the wedding industry. ;-)

Bottega Louie, bar, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie is a favorite of mine because it really does feel like stepping into a parisian restaurant. It's the closest experience I've had (stateside) to Laduree, -- and while it would be blasphemy to actually compare it to Laduree, it's still a charming spot with a very parisian vibe.

Bottega Louie, menu, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie, coffee, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie, pancakes, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

The coffee is always perfection, and the lemon ricotta pancakes or salmon benedict are just a few of the delicious menu choices for brunch.

Bottega Louie, eggs benedict, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie, bakery, macroons, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie, bakery, macroons, french macrons, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie, bakery, french macarons, macaroons, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

But of course, the crowning glory, the element you cannot leave with out.... French Macarons, of course! They melt in your month. They are utterly delicious. They are.... heaven.

Bottega Louie, bakery, macaroons, french macarons, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

Bottega Louie, bakery, macaroons, french macarons, gardenia, brunch, downtown Los Angeles

And bringing a pretty box of macarons to share with friends? Well, between Maggie & myself and our friends John & Paul, we managed to consume a dozen macarons with amazing speed, while still relishing every wonderful, unusual flavor.

Bottega Louie 700 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90017 213.802.1470 Hours: 10:30a-11p M-F, 9a-11p S-Su

Images | Styling by Lauryl Lane.

paradis ice cream

A new ice-cream shop has opened in my favorite neighborhood, Los Feliz Village. When I lived one block away from this little strip, I spent time every single day on Vermont- eating, watching movies, browsing the bookstore, and picking up my mail. I still maintain a post office box at the Los Feliz station, but now I only visit it every week or two. It was on a recent trip to the post office that I noticed the Paradis Ice Cream shop (where a Pinkberry used to be- hmmm?), and when my {lovah} and I had an ice cream craving shortly thereafter, we decided to drop by Paradis to give it a try!

While I'm usually partial to gelato, this ice cream was smooth and creamy and utterly delicious. There was a nice array of flavors, and I tried several of them before settling on Hazelnut. Mmmmmmm. Two thumbs up!

Paradis Fresh Ice Cream Made Daily 1726 N. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027 818-248-1004 Hours: 12-10 M-Th, 12-11 F-Sa, 12-10 Su

Images by Lauryl Lane.

broome st general

Just a couple weeks ago, a sweet new coffee shop popped up on my street, just three blocks away! My friend Bonnie alerted me to the opening of Broome St General, she never fails to know what's new and happening in L.A.! I've now been to Broome St at least half a dozen times, but here are a few photos from a recent birthday luncheon I shared there with my girls Bonnie, Summer and Megan...

Summer always looks so breezy and cool. She has the most impeccable style. And her styling obviously extends to gift wrapping, as well.

Broome St General Store is first and foremost a coffee shop. But they also have delicious sandwiches and salads and other yummy munchies, brought in from Heirloom L.A. and other local vendors. The first time I was there, I saw a Lavender Hot Chocolate made for a customer. So the next time I went in for a morning coffee, I asked if they could make me a Lavender Coffee (I am a lavender fiend!!!). Voila! Lavender Mocha. TO DIE FOR. They also have a darling collection of well-curated items for the home and kitchen.

Megan looks so posh in her bright pink lipstick. Hot stuff! And Bonnie is always so serene and lovely. I seriously love these ladies so much. They are incredible friends and tremendous "office-mates." We keep each other sane as small, creative business owners.

Broome St. General Store 2912 Rowena Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90039 323-570-0405 Hours: 8-8 M-Sa, 9-6 Su

Images | Styling by Lauryl Lane.