A connoisseur by birth, Mark Ukra comes from a family of Middle Eastern tea merchants dating back 400 years. Mark, who was dubbed the Tea Doctor by a pair of brew-sipping toddlers, continues in his forebears' footsteps by searching teahouses and stalking wild teapots around the world. He and his wife, Julie, bought the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium to educate patrons about tea’s health benefits and share its subtle taste in the outdoor zen garden. The venture was a success, and the business has popped up in all sorts of media—The View, The New York Times, and Los Angeles Confidential magazine, to name just a few.
Dr. Tea’s library of more than 50 varieties of loose-leaf teas and more than 60 varieties of Chinese herbs includes award-winning CapaTeano drinks and Chinese herbal tonics. Its earthy blends range from standard Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and jasmine teas to tempting flavors including herbal caramel dream and black-label teas such as the rare Huo Shan Huang Ya tea. During monthly tea tastings, patrons can sip from samples of white, green, oolong, and black teas, followed by discussions of the four tea groups.
Rockpaper Coffee Co. and Grind House Coffee roast premium, single-origin arabica coffees to fuel auspicious morning starts and day-brightening afternoon pick-me-ups. Rockpaper Coffee Co. immerses java sippers in a modern café setting, complete with exposed-brick walls and natural light pouring in from the storefront windows. Lofted at wooden high-top tables, customers can admire the frothy art whipped into their libations or request that baristas draft police sketches of thieving cookie monsters in their latte foam. Other edibles include breakfast sandwiches and fruit smoothies. Occasional open-mic nights and free comedy shows keep laughs pouring liberally.
Food + Lab is run by mad scientists Esther and Nino Linsmayer, a mother-and-son team with a simple strategy for galactic domination: using only the freshest possible nitrate-free, hormone-free, organic ingredients. Food + Lab's lunch menu runs the gamut from an organic curried-chicken sandwich ($8) to a buffalo-mozzarella organic salad bedazzled with cherry tomato, zucchini, pesto, tapenade, and sunflower seeds ($13), with stops in between at organic oases and healthy havens in the guises of bowls of soup ($5.50) and cheese platters with fruits, nuts, and bread baskets ($15).
All The Healthy Bean’s coffee comes fully charged with five antioxidants—acai berry, green tea, pomegranate, grape seed, and blueberry—as well as five grams of protein per 12-ounce cup. If iced coffee ($2.40 for 16 ounces) isn't your cup of tea, order green, black, white, odong, and chai teas on the rocks ($3.50 for 16 ounces), which are, much like their bean-brewed equals, certified fair trade and USDA organic. Hot beans go for $1.90 for 12 ounces, and warm steeped leaves are $2.75 for 12 ounces.
Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome, natural ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. In addition to their extensive juice menu, their commitment to simplifying healthy eating can be found throughout the Jamba Juice menu, from its Fruit and Veggie smoothies to its Artisan Flatbreads. Customers can also kick-start their days with six varieties of Energy Bowls?antioxidant-packed blends of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt or soy milk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits like acai berries and strawberries?all made to order and packaged in a convenient portable bowl.
In addition to providing healthy options to customers, Jamba Juice sponsors Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative is focused on improving childhood nutrition and fitness by encouraging fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to helping the nation stay fit?which you can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
With nearly 600 stores serving Energy Bowls, Jamba Juice is the perfect way to blend in the good.
Venezuelan cuisine combines influences from European, African, and Native American culinary traditions into one cohesively tongue-punching package. After absorbing the content of the menu through your hands, begin sampling the tradition-steeped fare with a pasapalos starter like the marachuchitos (cheese wrapped in sweet fried plantains, $7) before an order of traditional Venezuelan arepas, such as the reina pepiada (a traditional chicken salad with avocado; $8). Heartier entrees, like the vegan delight panini (sautéed cucumbers, olives, red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach; $10), flat-iron steak ($21), and prosciutto pizza ($14) help make the menu more round and complete than a circle drawn with a crooked compass.