Los Angeles City Safari w/ Jonathan Lo
For the final stop on his #makeyousmilestyle book tour, Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar headed to Los Angeles.
Read on for Will’s round up of 11 must-visit shops + foodie destinations for a stylish afternoon exploring this sun-soaked corner of SoCal!
Lemonade | 1661 Abbot Kinney Blvd., at Abbot Kinney and Venice
“Jon and I kicked off our Venice adventure with a healthy (and colorful!) lunch at Lemonade. This local SoCal chain felt vibrant and cozy thanks to a cafeteria-style setting that served tasty and healthy food, such as grain salads from around the world and stewed short ribs falling off the bone. Of course, it would have been amiss of us not to try one of their seven famous Lemonades – the Blueberry Mint was divine!”
The Piece Collective | 1629 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
“Fed and watered, we hit up our first design stop of the day. Tempted in by the striking yellow painted store front, we headed inside to find a stylish edit of both homeware and apparel. From graphic pillows to delicate vases and tactile tees, each piece feels like something you would cherish for many years.”
Chariots on Fire | 1342 ½ Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
“As dog lovers the cute pooch outside Chariots of Fire worked as an excellent catalyst to get Jon and I inside! With our dog petting duties completed, we discovered a fascinating series of handmade pieces. The store is designed to tell a story of travel, design, history, and craftsmanship via the product assortment of jewelry, apothecary items, homeware and art. A display of cacti, each potted in beautiful ceramic vessels and accompanied by an age marker and background info, made for captivating reading.”
Intelligentsia | 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
“This coffee chain started in Chicago back in 1995 when the founders, Doug Zell and Emily Mange left San Francisco to open the first branch. They also have locations in New York City, but it wasn’t until my final city safari in Los Angeles that I tried their coffee for the first time. I was impressed by the effortlessly industrial interior, and liked how the frenetic barista ‘hub’ at the center of the space created a buzzy vibe; my silky smooth macchiato slipped down a treat.”
Tortoise | 1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
“The intriguing and streamlined pieces that graced the window display of Tortoise piqued mine and Jon’s attention, so we headed inside. Since the store opened in 2003 it has been dedicated to introducing and exhibiting works by Japanese artists, or artists using traditional Japanese techniques. I was captivated by the ceramic work of Nobuhito Nishigawara, who fuses the tradition of Japanese artisan ceramic production with his work as a contemporary artist. He now handcrafts all of his pieces in a studio in Orange County, California. The graphic and bright mobiles by Shigeki Fujishiro also caught my color-loving eye. I discovered that the mobiles were influenced by the work of artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Alexander Calder who used motion to express space and time.”
A+R | 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
“More color awaited us inside the four walls of A+R, a design store that curates product from both local designers and those further afield. Innovative and streamlined designs were abundant – from clocks to carafes and baubles to bright lights the store was brilliantly merchandised and well edited. I loved how the owners explained that they never sell anything they haven’t personally handed; the passion for their products was infectious!”
Tradesmen | 1807 Lincoln Blvd., Venice
“With your design cravings satisfied for the day, we switched gear as Jon introduced me to men’s fashion store, Tradesmen. The store felt light, airy and spacious, with collections of casual and well-crafted clothing and accessories. The concept behind the shop is a mix of military and industrial fixtures with a nod to the beach and the desert. The name of the store reflects the store’s clothing edit, which aims to be able to fold into any man’s lifestyle regardless of his trade.”
Superba | 533 Rose Ave., Venice
“Having walked and talked our hearts out, we decided to take a quick pit stop at Superba, a neighborhood snack bar with a typical indoor-outdoor SoCal vibe. Although tempted by their menu of home made pastas and small plate snacks, we decided on a round of refreshing drinks to toast the day. The interior was a story of stylish contrasts with walls clad in bare wood planks and steel internal windows spray painted in emerald green.”
Gjelina | 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
“Known for being a ‘hot spot’ on Abbot Kinney Blvd., this restaurant was a great spot to enjoy a relaxing dinner. Arriving early to ensure we could get a table meant we were able to sit outside on the patio, surrounded by lush greenery and an eclectic mix of dinners. We shared a shaved asparagus pizza with a side of lemon and chili broccoli – delicious!”
N’ice Cream | 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
“Back out on the street, we walked a few blocks up the Blvd. to N’iceCream for dessert. Laura Nielsen and Christian Toxboe moved to LA from Denmark in 2008 with the sole purpose of opening up a gelato and sorbet store in LA. They decided that Abbot Kinney Blvd., with its many grassroots organizations and love for individualism and quirkiness, would be the perfect spot. As I licked my pistachio-topped cone, I thought to myself that this perfectly summed up the vibe of Venice that I had experienced earlier in the day.”
Venice Beach | 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice
“We decided to walk off dinner with a stroll along Venice Beach as the sunset across the ocean and mountains beyond. The beach was quiet apart from the rhythmic crash of the waves and cry of seagulls above. It was the ideal way to round out what was a perfect SoCal day!”
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Bright Bazaar is a daily blog from Will Taylor, a guy hooked on hue who can’t get enough of color. ‘Bright Bazaar – Embracing Color for a Make You Smile Style’ is Will’s first book. Give him a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook + Pinterest.