Little ones swing beneath palm trees and skip on the grass. Regardless of the weather outside, this is the scene on the bright indoor playground at Twinkle Twinkle Kids' Caf?. Kids climb up to the ceiling on the play structure and careen down the colorful slide, and the education toys across the way keep their minds sharp. Children can break up play time with hands-on classes and activities, such as craft projects and face painting. And when they need to refuel, both parents and kids can enjoy selections from a healthy, Asian-inspired menu.
Whether perching underneath an umbrella on the patio, or admiring the eatery’s display case of freshly crafted treats, visitors at Western City Bagel can bask in the comforting scent of baked goods and deli sandwiches. Unlike firecracker sushi rigged with live pyrotechnics, the shop’s bagel sandwiches are a culinary experiment gone right, making the traditional sandwich even better with stacks of turkey, tomato, albacore tuna, and bacon between two halves of a toasty, chewy bagel. The bagels themselves come in a variety of flavors, such as everything, poppy seed, and sprouted wheat. The shop opens at 6 a.m., filling quickly with steam from an espresso machine as early risers dine on open-face bagel feasts smeared with cream cheese and topped with lox.
Stop by Neighborhood Grinds and sample a variety of menu selections that include rejuvenating coffees and rib-sticking paninis. Sip on a tantalizing medium-sized Single Origin blend ($1.70) prepared with a siphon brewer, or opt for a dark chocolate mocha ($3.75, medium). Nosh on convenient eats like a grizzly bear ransacking a supermarket sampling stand with a mitt-fitting turkey cranberry sandwich ($7.95) or a palate-percolating prosciutto panini ($7.25). Munch on a selection of daily-baked goods and wash them down with a mango-plus-passion-fruit smoothie ($3.75, medium). Or cool off with an iced latte ($3.50, medium) instead of disturbing penguins at the zoo by cannonballing into their arctic habitat.
Eating healthy can be a challenge, but when a truck playing catchy tunes pulls up with fresh fruit smoothies, neon-pink snapdragon smoothies, acai and pitaya bowls, and fruit-heaped parfaits, it's easy to make the right choice. The mixologists aboard the Rockberry Acai Bowls & Smoothies truck ?known for their creative foods, designs, and street appeal? whip up smoothies with a top-secret "shaka" recipe when they're not packing berry bowls with energy-revving fruits. They also serve up a few extras, like chicken salad sliders served on Hawaiian sweet rolls. Goods are gluten free, and they happen to be as pretty and delicious as they are good for the body. As if this combo of positivity wasn't enough, Rockberry is also socially conscious, dedicated to employing community members and partnering with local charities. A dish from the truck, therefore, is good for the heart in more ways than one?plus it's easy on the eyes and tongue.
Sacks on the Beach serves up fresh breakfast and lunch dishes mere blocks from the Pacific Ocean, inviting diners to savor meals as they smell the ocean breeze. Visitors can lounge on the outdoor patio or inside the cozy café, where they can chew through sandwiches that teem with crisp veggies and fresh cheeses, or simply sip a cup of fragrant coffee.
Faced with an array of plump armchairs, antique tables and couches, and shelves lined with old books under glowing chandeliers, visitors may think they’ve mistakenly wandered into a 19th-century study. That’s when the open laptops, rotating gallery of local artwork, and smell of rich, foamy lattes bring them into the present.
Such is the scene at The Library A Coffee House, one of ABC7’s Top 7 Coffee Houses of 2011 in LA. Here, baristas prepare a menu of drip coffee and espresso drinks. Though americanas and cappuccinos keep eyes wide open to peruse the used books on sale, the Vanilla Goddess is by far the local favorite, featuring a swirl of white chocolate, vanilla, and espresso diluted with steamed milk and served on ice, hot, or in the acoustic guitar of the local bands that play each Friday night. Open from 6 a.m. to midnight regularly, the café's food menus fit the bill at any hour of the day, whole bean coffees leave the store by the half or full pound.