“Juicing” is something that gets certain professional athletes in hot water, but for a long time the verb has had a very different meaning in Los Angeles, where words like “cold pressed,” “organic” and “market driven” have helped to revitalize the healthy genre in the past two years.
This organic, vegan chain, which started in 2004 in the Bay Area, began their L.A. expansion in 2011, with second generation proprietors Cary Mosier and Ryland Engelhart spearheading SoCal efforts. Step inside the glass-fronted, industrial-chic Larchmont location and receive a lesson in empowerment. Every menu item begins with the words “I Am.” I Am Healthy is a pulpy blend of kale, celery, cucumber and lemon juice, complete with a lemon wedge garnish. Customers looking for a different sensation can opt for an effervescent I Am Rejuvenated with wheatgrass, apple, ginger, lemon juice and sparkling water.
Sarah Eaves and Danielle Charboneau provide home delivery juice cleanses that last up to 10 days, and their stylish beverages are also available at Intelligentsia coffee bars. Their cold-pressed, raw juices appear in a variety of colors and flavor combos. Mason jars sport paper labels with Enjoy By dates and encourages people to “Please Shake Vigorously.” The maids have three primary categories of juices – Greens, Veggie and Sweets - many named for rock songs. Since they’re seasonal, not every variety is available all the time. For example, Black Betty translates as blackberry, peach and orange. Green River features cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, ginger and greens. Our choice, Spirit in the Sky, incorporated cantaloupe, orange, basil, lemon and light acidity.
Marjan Sarshar’s three-link chainlet sources produce from the Santa Monica farmers market in an effort to “flood the body’s cells with vitamins, minerals and enzymes that cleanse, heal and nourish.” At the tiny, glass fronted Beverly Hills café, they have a case for grab-and-go bottles and a custom juice bar behind the counter. Kreation’s color-coded juices have specific purposes, including Brain, a blend of carrot, kale, apple, parsley, ginger and “vital green.” Hangover leverages lemon against ginger, tomato, cayenne and cucumber. Could this be the juice equivalent to menudo? We agreed to "Drink the Full Spectrum With One Bottle" a "Complete Body Refresh" called Unity 12 that included “antimicrobial” ginger and beets for “heart health.”
This organic juice bar amidst West Hollywood’s trendy boutiques features a glass front, blaring pop music, a sleek bamboo bar and a colorful handwritten menu. Owners Adam Dumas and wife Amanda lean heavily on apple juice as a sweetener, but they also sell smoothies with ingredients like almond milk, maca root and goat yogurt, wellness shots and açaí bowls. We opted for something spicy, a blood red blend that goes by Fire Me Up!! and contains carrot, beet, orange, lime, jalapeno and garlic.
Was it written in the stars? That seems to be the implication at this trippy Venice organic shop with a succulent garden out front and concentric hexagonal tiles inside. Amanda Bacon packs the countertops with snacks like “trail mix” of cacao nibs, dried mulberries and crushed hazelnuts, or dried bananas to dip in walnut butter. Overhead shelves tout jars of super foods like lucuma, bee pollen and mesquite. Moon Juice offers two primary categories of cold pressed juices, which contain at least three pounds of produce per bottle and get hydraulically pressed every morning to maintain integrity of enzymes, vitamins and minerals, minus oxidation. For instance, Ms. Bacon designed Spiced Yam for "hormone balancing, brain powering, heart protecting, mineralizing" and also utilizes carrot, red apple, cinnamon and spicy ginger. In an open-air fridge, customers can find containers of Coconut Yogurt and Chia Pudding with raw seeds, unpasteurized almond milk, vanilla bean and coconut water.
Hayden Slater, Hedi Gores and Carly Brien partnered on this juicy venture, including three citywide locations, a Pressed Juicery truck, and a Studio City branch on the way. According to their mission statement, “Our bodies require vital nutrients to function at their optimal levels. Pressed Juicery provides a convenient way to meet those requirements.” The West Hollywood location sports reclaimed wood walls and dispenses bottles of juice from dual windows, along with the promise they’re “pressed to perfection.” Staffers encourage sampling, and we tried tastes from the Greens, Roots and Citrus categories, but ultimately settled on Seasonal Peach Melon, a sweet orange slurry.
Walk downstairs and before arriving at a Metro stop, Pure Juicery announces its presence with a yin-yang style logo complete with a ridged leaf and water droplet. The establishment opened in May and balances the sound of whirring blenders with chill lounge music. They sell 9 different recipes of cold pressed juice, including 1. Greens (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, ginger); 5. Summer (watermelon, mint); and 9. Detox (lemon, water, cayenne, agave). They also offer the option to create your own custom juice, allowing a choice of up to four ingredients. We selected orange, banana, pineapple, and cayenne for kick, which they shook with ice to cool the temperature.
Local personality Baba Ji, who owns the nearby Cowboys & Turbans restaurant and a freshly minted sushi and oyster bar, opened this sprawling ode to produce in 2011. Vintage doors and statuary give way to mix-and-match tables and open sky. In the small structure, a blackboard menu lists all sorts of supplements in colorful chalk, including hand harvested sundried wild dulse flakes and 1/2 whole aloe vera leaf, a $6 oxymoron. However, the blackboard also tells us, "Love is still free." Organic juices include the unfortunately named J-Biebs with kale, orange, carrot, apple and ginger; and Superfood Raw Orange Julius with banana, orange, vanilla bean, maca and tocotrienals. The Signature Baba Ji provides green relief with a mildly spicy, completely un-sweet mix of dandelion, cucumber, lemon, ginger, not sweet at all, mildly spicy. They also have shots of wheatgrass, mint julep lemonade, kombucha and more.
Brian Lee opened Sustain in 2011, bringing a mixology approach to his shop’s twin counters. Blackboard menus hang overhead, and wood crates of fruits like limes, Peruvian ginger (spicy) and Chinese ginger (less spicy) rest on shelves to the right. Cleavers and knives shine from hooks on the wall. Each juice costs $7 and is made to order. They include no dairy or nuts, even in smoothies. The Emerald is a green juice constructed with kale, dandelion, cucumber, pineapple, mint, lime and ginger. We also tried Green Monkey, a dairy free smoothie blended with ice, kale, pineapple, spirulina, banana and orange juice. They also have elixirs and wellness shots. As juicetender Brittany Berry said, "It doesn't have to taste bitter and green to get a lot of nutrients."
639 N. Larchmont Blvd., Larchmont Village, 323.580.6383
512 Rose Ave., Venice, 424.231.8000
Juice Maids (available at Intelligentsia Coffee)
55 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
3922 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 213.308.4888
The Kreation Juicery
9465 Charleville Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.247.8110
1023 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 310.458.4880
2903 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey
Liquid Juice Bar
8180 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323.300.8070
507 Rose Ave., Venice, 310.399.2929
13050 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, 310.451.1010
860 S. Los Angeles St., Downtown, 213.688.9700
8714 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.854.4407
655 S. Hope St., Downtown, 213.221.7520
Silver Lake Juice and Tea
2813 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
548 S. Spring St., Downtown, 213.488.1989