Traces of Californian sunshine emanate from breakfast plates and lunch sandwiches crafted with seasonal, organic, and free-range ingredients by the artisanal chefs at Charlie's Pantry. An all-day breakfast menu treats early birds and late risers to gourmet dishes such as Tuscan-style eggs dappled with organic spinach and roasted garlic. The panoply of lunchtime options includes 19 signature sandwiches that compile ingredients such as marinated chicken, Italian-style cold cuts, and heirloom tomatoes in edible monuments to organic farming. An unassuming interior features white walls, polished concrete floors, and a simple picnic table at which patrons can dine with friends or challenge nemeses to salad speed-eating contests.
Flip Flop Shops adorns soles with stylish flip-flops from reputable brands such as Rainbow, Reef, Sanuk, and O'Neill. An array of women's footwear eases the barking of weary dogs, with comfortable offerings such as the Sanuk Yoga Mat women's sandal available in multiple colors ($28). Men's sandals protect feet during walks across hot sand or mild sand inhabited by angry seashells, with trendy items such as the Sanuk Avenue men's sandal ($30).
The son of a San Fernando Valley butcher, Jody Maroni grew up enchanted by the meat trade. He made his first solo foray into the business in 1979, selling unorthodox sausages made by hand and then smoked or grilled on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. More than 30 years later, Jody continues handcrafting gourmet sausages with all-natural meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, wines, and beers. Created from personal recipes, his 24 nitrate- and preservative-free cased meats include garlic-infused pork sausages and tequila chicken sausages with brined jalapeños and corn. They exhibit the versatility of the seemingly simple meal, ranging from the hot links popular in Louisiana to the bratwurst that would make a Midwesterner feel at home and the traditional hot dogs robots eat to fit in on the Fourth of July.
For shoppers feeling anxious over deciding among the many wines that line Flask Fine Wines' shelves, just wait a few days. On Thursday and Saturday evenings, the shop hosts a tasting bar that lets patrons sample a vast array of varietals. After sipping a few samples, guests can narrow it down to select a favorite or two, and purchase a full bottle to take home. Those more interested in fine spirits will also find an impressive selection of bourbons, tequilas, and both single-malt and kind-of-dating-someone-malt whiskies.