Amanda Chantal Bacon knew she belonged in California back in the early 1980s, when she was just three or four years old. All thanks to a kumquat that had made its way from a West Coast farm to a Manhattan market. “I’d never tasted or experienced anything like it before,” says the founder of Moon Juice, a juice shop and wellness line based out of Venice. “That was my Willy Wonka moment as a kid—‘Oh my god! You eat the skin? And it’s sour! This is crazy! Where is it from?’ I think that was the point where California became this fantasy place in my mind.” Now in her 13th year of living in Los Angeles, Bacon often hears that she has to be a born-and-raised Californian. Much of that has to do with her company, which specializes in organic cold-pressed juices, holistic medicines, and a plant-sourced “adaptogenic” line of beauty and health products. Here’s where she finds her inspiration in a state that has always been her muse.
Where to Eat
“Gjusta and Gjelina are sister restaurants in Venice. Gjusta is great during the day—breakfast or lunch, with fast-casual counter service—and Gjelina is a great place to go at night. I usually order the same thing at both: three different veggie sides, to share with the table. They get all of their vegetables from the farmers’ market, which makes a huge difference in flavor. Gjelina also has really great pizza. Get reservations as soon as you can, because it’s hard to get in sometimes.”
Where to Shop
“I feel like I’m the only person who ever said they moved to Hollywood for the fruits and vegetables. But it’s true. I really love the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. It’s every Wednesday and it has a lot of heirloom fruits and vegetables that are on par with the markets outside Paris or the stuff you’d see in small Italian towns. The farmers don’t just sell delicious fruits and vegetables, either; they’re actually shaping what the chefs are using and inspiring all of the great restaurants in town. They’re driving the culinary scene forward with things like finger limes, certain varieties of lettuce, or things that are now really common, like radicchio and arugula.
“The scene in Venice is so different now. When I lived there, it was this funky, seaside place—but now there are Adidas and MAC stores on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. When I do shop around there, I usually go to Pretties; it’s great for ’90s T-shirts and underwear. Heist is also good for clothing. And I really like Gjusta Goods, a home store attached to the restaurant. Look for ARCANE Space, a cool gallery that recently put on a show with the Edge’s photography. It still has that old Venice charm. Lincoln Boulevard isn’t too far away, either; that has great shops like General Store and Christy Dawn.
“Meanwhile, a lot of younger luxury brands and influencers have come into Melrose Place: Glossier has a store there; Outdoor Voices put a flagship in there. The Line, The Row, and Rachel Comey are there. It doesn’t have this old Hollywood Rodeo Drive vibe to it anymore; it”s super cool now.”
Where to Soak
“I love hot springs. Deep Creek in San Bernardino is a nice night trip from L.A. It’s a natural hot springs, so you hike out there and then you can just sit in nature. It’s maybe a half-hour walk. I’ve done it with a small child, so anyone can do it. The other thing I’d recommend is the tide pools at Newport Beach. They’re really beautiful. If you go around sunset, you can find starfish.”
The Perfect Getaways
“I love going to Malibu. I will sometimes pop into Little Beach House, which is part of Soho House. You have to find someone who is a member to go. I love the brunch there, because they do incredible salads. I’ll usually roll through three of them in a day and a matcha latte. My husband is a surfer, so a lot of times we’ll take a six-pack of Moon Juice and some snacks out there. I’ll bring work with me or a book, and he’ll surf.
“There’s a health food store I really like on the Pacific Coast Highway called PC Greens. We’ll stop in and load up on snacks. And then there’s Paradise Cove, which is really awesome. It’s a private beach, but if you go to its restaurant, you can just order french fries and pay to park there. The beach is incredible, and because it’s a cove, it’s protected—perfect for anybody who’d like to have a gentle swim with a Mediterranean feel. Surfwise, my husband likes Heaven’s Beach. Although we’d probably say that the real heaven is an island in Indonesia.”