Every time I visit Los Angeles, I make sure to find a new restaurant or cafe to visit. And there are plenty. I’ve been pretty fortunate with finding places that I have either returned to two or three times during the same trip or I’ve recommended to friends. The Alfred Tea Room in Melrose Place is no exception.
Bungee jumping was one of those bucket-list items that I desperately wanted to achieve. It’s not the same as skydiving, which I got to do while in Arizona four years later, but it’s still a rush. There was no better place to take that leap of faith than off the Bridge to Nowhere in the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains.
Established in 2007 in Santa Cruz, Verve Coffee Roasters is a trendy coffee shop with seven locations in California and one in Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. My visit to the Melrose Ave location was a delightful one; an open, yet quiet cafe, friendly baristas, and multiple options of not just coffee and pastries, but also fresh, cold-pressed juice.
National Donut Day was just a few days ago, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from getting a donut any other time of the year. I admit, I’m a Dunkin’ fan myself, but when it comes to specialty donuts, I’m all over it. And if it’s a one-of-a-kind cafe, even more so.
I read about Fōnuts in a book entitled Where Chef’s Eat, looking for some unique places to eat while visiting home for a week. In business for nearly four years, Fōnuts’ donuts are truly specialty and decadent, baked, never fried, with gluten free and vegan options. A mere ten minute drive from my mom’s house, twenty if you include the traffic, and free parking behind the store, Fōnuts is a small but welcoming little donut and coffee shop on the corner of West 3rd Street and South Crescent Heights Boulevard. Four or five stools provided seating against an empty wall and an old-school kitchen oven provided a countertop for cream and sugar. Freshly baked donuts cooled on a baking rack while I perused the many flavors.
You can order the donuts ahead of time, but I was glad the shop was empty so I could take my time. A half-dozen donuts seems like a lot, but I’m home so rarely, I had to try more than just one. $18 for a half-dozen ($36 for a baker’s dozen) isn’t bad considering they are specialty and not mass produced like Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme.
And they are delicious!
See the website here.
Clockwise from the top: Maple Bacon, Salted Caramel, Red Velvet, Blueberry Earl Grey, and Strawberry Buttermilk. Not pictured: Rosemary Olive Oil.
I passed by Shaky Alibi a couple days ago when I went to Scent Bar on Beverly Blvd and went in to grab a quick coffee. In business since 2010, this coffee bar and wafflerie serves traditional liege waffles that were worth the second visit.
Not your typical Belgium waffle, the waffles are made of yeast and coated with Belgium Pearl Sugar and dusted with powdered sugar and are sweet and crispy. They’re made to order and are piping hot when off the waffle maker. There was no need to add any syrup or embellishments and it was the perfect on-the-go snack along with a iced dirty almond chai.
Scent Bar is a tiny boutique for unique, high-end, hard to find perfumes. The store had originally opened near the Beverly Center and I remember driving past it multiple times in college on my way home. Currently located on Beverly Blvd near a corner coffee shop, Scent Bar’s storefront is simple with glass windows allowing you to peek inside at the hundreds of bottles lining the inside of the store. The shop itself is very small, a single room with two of its walls displaying the many perfume bottles, organized by fragrance notes, and a third wall displaying body and skincare products. A long table, covered in candles, additional scents, and small bowls of coffee beans, allows clients to sit and sample the perfumes with the help of two experts. I had browsed the the website (www.luckyscent.com) multiple times and had ordered a couple samples in the past but it’s a much different experience having experts recommend specific perfumes based on your preference. I personally prefer floral and citrusy notes and sampled about ten scents. Because I’m on a budget and didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, I was able to take home four samples and rose scented hand lotion.
Annick Goutal Petite Cherie – a light fruity and citrusy scent with pear and peach note
Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais – a floral scent with rose as the main note
Keiko Mecheri Les Nuits d’Izu – a slightly unisex scent with citrus notes
Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses – a more unisex scent with coconut and rose notes
Scent Bar is worth visiting if you enjoy unique perfumes and want the experience of sampling scents for both men and women without feeling pressured to purchase anything. It is so much different than going to a department store.