Yesterday my mom suggested that maybe we go down to Disneyland for the day, but I recommended that maybe we go shop around Santa Monica’s Abbot Kinney and Main Street instead….a.k.a. Grown Up Disneyland.
I love the Venice/Santa Monica area because even though it’s a mere 25 minute drive from where I live, the vibe is quite different. Trendy, beach-going hipsters populate this area of Los Angeles with kitschy boutiques, beach cruiser bikes, pilates studios, gourmet cafes, avant garde condos, and uplifting street art.
My dad stood in the infamous line to get a table at Gjelina, while we shopped at some of the adorable stores that dot the street. When we were finally seated the sophisticated, yet casual attitude of all of the waiters and restaurant patrons amazed me like it always does. The building itself is incredibly alluring with a giant eye on the facade of the upper level,and various utilitarian details.
The food was as good as the out-the-door line suggested. We started off with the most delicious Blueberry Brown Sugar Scones I’ve ever eaten. Flecks of lemon zest, plump blueberries (even in the middle of winter…this is Southern California after all), and a crumbly brown sugar surface made these delicious. These are a must-order; I will try to imitate them on my blog soon! For our meal, my mom and I shared Moroccan Baked Eggs (a.k.a. shakshuka). It was yummy, but not as good as the shakshuka at Momed on Beverly Drive. For those of you who don’t know, shakshuka is baked eggs atop tomatoes, peppers, and onions, with spicy seasonings.
If you want to try Gjelina’s tasty fare, but aren’t willing to wait in the long line, no worries, just head next door to their take-out cafe.
After brunch, we shopped around Abbot Kinney and saw some great stores with unique items. These stores are great for cards, gifts, or buying for yourself because you know how awesome you are. Here are some stores you may want to check out next time you’re in the neighborhood:
- Ananda: fun vintage-esque women’s clothing
- G2 Gallery: art, photography, and other unique goods sold to promote appreciation of nature
- Zingara: Its name meaning “Gypsy,” this tent-like store has an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories with a global feel, a beautiful porch in the back, and a great lending library in the front
- Firefly: The harmonic mix of clothes, books, cards, jewelry, and other goods keep this store brimming with hidden treasures
- Urban Paper Boutique: This store is a more card-oriented version of paper source with beautiful, quirky cards for every occasion
- Mona Moore: This beautiful space hold a plethora of runway-ready purses and shoes; it’s a must-see for any accessory aficionado
- Very Venice: Another shop that sells arts produced by local artisans from this bungalow-esque galley
- Undrest: This store epitomizes the beachy-feel with its year-round collection of bathing suits and cover ups
- Bountiful:This may very well be my favorite store on Abbot Kinney with its blast-from-the-past collection of homewares and embellishments
- Ten Women: A store of various goods curated by 22 women who are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit while helping up-and coming local artists
- Tumbleweed & Dandelion: This store has an extensive collection of white-washed, Cape Cod-style homewares that would sparkle in any beach home
I highly recommend that any of you come check out Abbot Kinney when you get a chance!