When Ariel Kaye, Parachute’s Founder and CEO, moved home to Los Angeles to start her business, she had a vision of a beachfront office and showroom. That dream became a reality when we moved into a picturesque Venice bungalow that we proudly call the Parachute HQ. (Fun fact: The neighborhood’s laid back vibe and purist sensibility inspired our signature bedding set!)
To welcome the team – and Parachute visitors – to the neighborhood, Ariel put together an insider’s guide to the best eateries, boutiques and watering holes nearby. Here’s how to do the west side like a local, in her words…
You can’t beat the location in Venice. I love living by the beach and in a community that’s so accessible by foot and bike. There’s a sensibility here that I find so refreshing — there are great people, a laid back energy and lots of delicious and healthy food options. Sometimes the overload of kale smoothies, surf boards and yoga mats can feel cliché, but it’s a cliché I can get behind 100 percent!
Some of my favorites on Abbot Kinney include:
Tortoise General Store: The owners have pulled together an amazing selection of traditionally crafted goods that are sleek and modern. It’s very easy to convince yourself that you need everything here.
A+R: This eclectic store carries design objects from around the world. There is always something new and awesome to discover.
Mona Moore: This place has the best shoes and bags for the days when you feel like shopping without a budget.
Satine Boutique: Small but perfectly curated, I’ve picked up some of my favorite standout pieces here.
rag & bone: Hardly unique to Venice, but hands down one of my top 3 favorite designers. Recently opened on Abbot Kinney, this shop is a dangerous addition to the neighborhood.
Axe: For brunch, I can’t get enough of their signature 9 Grain Pancake and Basic Bowl. [Ed. note: This restaurant closed on December 21, 2014 – and you better believe Ariel was there for a farewell meal!]
GTA (a.k.a. Gjelina Take Away): Perfect for a quick lunch or afternoon snack. With so many delicious mains and sides, you can pack an amazing picnic lunch for the beach or a get-together at home. In Fall 2014, an offshoot of this eatery called Gjusta opened around the corner from our office, and it is our new mainstay. Cookies, croissants, cakes, scones, pies, cured meats and a dozen varieties of warm fresh baked breads…I think we might need a tab.
Oscar’s Cerveteca: This is my go-to spot for a lively Friday night meal, and it’s conveniently located across the street from The Parachute Hotel.
Poke-Poke: I find myself craving this Hawaiian style tuna tar-tar constantly. If you love sushi, you’ll love this place. Place an order over the phone to avoid long lines, as it’s famous among local and tourists alike.
Moon Juice: Nutrient rich cold pressed organic juices. Their first outpost is located a block away, making it a delicious and healthy breakfast option.
Blue Bottle: I’ve been waiting for this coffee company to arrive in LA, and now that it’s blocks from my Venice home, I have a hard time not making this part of my daily routine!
The Tasting Kitchen: It’s loud, full of beautiful people, and it’s also got the the best cocktails in Venice. Getting a table here usually requires a reservation a couple weeks in advance, so locals opt to saddle up in the bar area instead.
Venice Beach Wines: If it’s more of a wine and beer night, I’ll come here. Don’t be afraid to stop by hungry, they have excellent light bites.
Wurstküche: Stopping by for an after work beer or snack is a good bet. They serve tasty German sausages and drinks later than most Venice locales.
Best Hidden Gem
Everyone knows to stop by the beach, but when I need a stroll away from the crowds, I visit the Venice Canals. They’re only a 10 minute walk from my home, and meandering through the bridges and walk streets really feels like you’ve escaped to another world.