Column: LA lifestyle — where food and social scenes mix deliciously


Photo credit: Grace Wilson

Avocado on toast and chai green tea at Cafe Gratitude. When spending time with friends in Los Angeles, we realize that the theme of our hangouts rely on the type of LA food hotspot we are eating at.

“I’ll have an Effervescent,” you may hear someone say while ordering at the trendy, plant-based restaurant by the name of Cafe Gratitude. Venice, the heart of veganism, is home to this fashionable café known for its vegan delicacies. To top off its healthy, self-care aesthetic, the cafe lists its menu items as inspiring terms such as “effervescent” for its culinarily enlightened — and quite honestly, extra — customers. From “Beautiful” salads to “Vivid” juices, Cafe Gratitude has got it all. LA natives flock to acquire even a taste of the vegan ingredients in their organic salads.

This buzzing cafe isn’t the only oh-so-LA food venue, however. The LA food scene is different from any other. From homey mom-and-pop restaurants to extravagant chains, it is less common to find a conventional menu in Los Angeles than an exciting one. There are multiple restaurant characterizations, each somewhat resembling a typical LA character: the healthy yoga guru, the “I dress like I’m in the 90’s” kid who reads a book at Swingers late at night, the classic hipster who claims to be a cold brew connoisseur — you name it.

We have been doing some reflecting and came to the realization that 99 percent (maybe even 99.9 percent) of our hangouts revolve around the food scene in LA. At this point, it is instinct to assume when making plans, eating will be the focal point of our hangout. Sure, Los Angeles has some pretty cool shops, streets and neighborhoods; but let’s be real; food is the center of our social lives.

Photo credit: Grace Wilson
The many food receipts or better yet, food memories, pasted to a door. LA is all about the trendiest of the trendy when it comes to dining out. You will always find yourself eating with friends rather than talking in Los Angeles.

Our bank accounts are being slowly (or not so slowly) drained by Kreation acai bowls and IHOP pancakes. In fact, we collect receipts to paste on our door, tracking every meal, purchase and memory made. Almost every single receipt belongs to a different restaurant or market. They practically mock us for being so food-obsessed. 

We aren’t the only ones who are obsessed, though. Whether we realize it or not, to be an Angelino is to be a food-lover. It’s practically unavoidable considering the options available.

The heart of LA, quite simply, is food; it represents small pockets of interests, personalities and cultures. Each person has a series of go-to restaurants which mirror one’s personality or common LA stereotype, as listed before. The countless bobas from CoCo on Sawtelle we drink, ramen noodles from Ramen Jinya we slurp and greek salads we consumeshow that we like to change it up from time to time and like a little adventure in our food journeys. Los Angeles’s one-of-a-kind food destinations not only provide an adventure on a plate but also map out one’s individual adventure. Whether that be your classic hipster or your vegan health goddess, the LA food scene serves as a microcosm for all people and personalities.