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LA for Hippies

I'm giving a self proclaimed Hippie a tour of LA next week. He's real laid back, 30 something, and likes to eat. I'm looking for suggestions for some real laid back, hippie like places for lunches and dinner. It may be more of a vibe thing but the food is important too.

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  1. In Topanga Canyon, there's Inn of the Seventh Ray. Would that qualify?

    7 Replies
    1. re: SauceSupreme

      Plus Froggy's and Abuelitas, both in the middle of the canyon. Time warp for all Hippies.


      Froggy's Topanga Fish Markets
      1105 N Topanga Canyon Blvd
      Topanga, CA 90290
      (310) 455-1728

      1. re: Servorg

        I drove through Topanga on the way to Malibu recently. The area where Abuelita's is could be fun. There's a store in that area that sells windchimes, flags and possibly incense, too.

      2. re: SauceSupreme

        Yes, he might enjoy Inn of the Seventh Ray, although even though it has a new-age menu, it's a little upscale in feel - sort of like rich-hippie-wedding. He (and you!) would definately enjoy browsing at the shops in the Pine Tree Circle near the restaurant, and within the shopping center is a little cafe with sandwiches and such that's much more laid back. He should visit The Man Store and Lobal Orning in that same center - very hippie-esque!

        Further south on Topanga is the Bhutan Store and a natural foods store.

        On PCH, just north of Topanga Canyon Blvd., is a great Thai restaurant. The food is great and the dining room is nice, but they also have an outdoor dining garden at the back that's kind of evocative of the laid back days when Lower Topanga (now sadly vacated by the State Parks) was an artist/hippie colony.

        You might also enjoy in Santa Monica the Urth Caffe on Main Street - and Main Street in general, with its many Yoga studios and aromatherapy joints.

        Or you could go to Cha Cha Chicken, Pico and Ocean in Santa Monica, for a funky, outdoor place to enjoy Caribbean food. This location was a famed surfing and skateboarding area in the 60's and 70's, long gone without a trace. You can muse of this and contemplate, in ironic contrast, the celebrity cachet of the Viceroy Hotel and Shutters on the Beach just a half block away.

        If you go to Topanga, check the schedule at the Theatricum Botanicum, and go see some live theatre outdoors at Will Geer's old place. Or check the calendar at the Community House - maybe there's a fiddle contest, chili cook-off, or blues festival. This would be the perfect outing - he'd be in hippe heaven!

        1. re: SauceSupreme

          Bob Mack - Yah - There's the Inn - it's been there nearly 30 years. Food and prices ain't worth the canyon scene. Abuelita's is ok. The owners just sold. New owner will take over in Sept. No guarantees. I was there a couple of weeks ago. Food was worth the $, woodsy scene and Sunday's musician. Sit outside and stay away from the tamales.

          I would definitely go to Malibu Seafood. Foods' good, next to the beach and full of funk. Just watch WHERE you park so you don't get ticketed.

          Not a food place but, make sure you also go to Bodhi Tree Bookstore www.bodhitree.com
          Urth Cafe is right next to Bodhi Tree. Go for a great coffee, or a sammy then for a soulful of great books.

          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            Or go accross the street from Bodhi to Elixir and sip the tea of your choice in the zen garden!

            1. re: Diana

              i recently read that Elixir's Melrose retail store is closed (and has been for about 2 months now):

              very sad, indeed.

        2. I suggest some of the cafes in the Venice Beach area.

          4 Replies
          1. re: katkoupai

            Ya, I wonder if there is a cafe in Venice Beach with Poetry or literature readings? That would help with the feeling. Maybe some tea?

            Somehow I just want to say to the OP that nothing has changed – its all inside your head. More specifically, just stop in at Whole Foods in El Segundo and fill a bag with some bean sprouts and other fresh natural stuff (not more than you can carry) then start thumb’n rides North with stops at Venice Beach and onward to Topanga Canyon. If you really want to do it right you got to keep going all the way to San Francisco (with flowers in your hair). I did it in 1969 except I was the one with the car and picked-up four on PCH at Topanga. The sign one of them held caught my eye, “San Francisco.” All I can remember now is that it was a really big bag of sprouts and somehow that was all we all ate for the next 24 hours. Nice weekend. Peace & Love.

            Whole Foods

            1. re: JeetJet

              This is so funny. At first I thought you were joking. Bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts? :)

              1. re: katkoupai

                These people had a big bag of bean sprouts that one of them grew and they were raw. There were some different kinds of beans all in a big bag. Maybe Whole foods would only have alfafa but thats a good start.

          2. Places in Venice might fit the bill like 26 Beach or Firehouse or Figtree's Cafe.

            The Back Door Cafe and Bakery in Silver Lake.

            Healthy or veggie fare like Madeleine Bistro, Newsroom Cafe, Urth Caffe, Native Foods, Leaf Cuisine, Green Temple, The Spot, or for a really nice dinner, Inn of the Seventh Ray.

            I'd also consider going ethnic... Rahel or Meals by Genet for Ethiopian, Sanamluang or Jitlada Thai, Mouns of Tunis, Soot Bull Jeep, if he's an adventurous hippie :-)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Emme

              if you're going ethnic, you need to add samosa house to your list.
              they, too, carry, many items that could appeal to a hippie.

              1. re: Emme

                I hope you're not suggesting "The Green Temple" in Redondo Beach; that place is awful!

              2. How about the Elf Cafe on Sunset in Echo Park?

                1. Pace in Laurel Canyon might work.

                  2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046

                  1. Sierra Madre, just east of Pasadena, has a couple of hippie hang outs: Beantown Coffee Bar, the anti-Starbucks establishment; and Mary's Market in the Sierra Madre Cayon aka Hippie Central.

                    Bean Town
                    45 N Baldwin Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

                    Mary's Market
                    561 Woodland Dr, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

                    1. Venice Beach Boardwalk is another LA hippie mecca. Eat at Mao's Kitchen in Venice, hippies love the Brown rice options and 1960's cultural revolution decor.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: RoachCoach

                        I know it's a chain, but niece who lives sort of a hippie lifestyle there (student), loves Soup Plantation. Just a thought.

                        1. re: mcel215

                          Juliano's Raw in Santa Monica. The culinary equivalent of Transcendental Meditation.
                          I think it's at 601 Broadway. Om........

                        2. re: RoachCoach

                          Mao's Kitchen is a GREAT idea. Good "Chineesey" style food, reasonable prices, and it's right by Venice beach, which your friend will surely want to visit.

                        3. A self-proclaimed Hippie?! I love that!! Only proves that everything comes back into style every 40 years or so. I would recommend Venice board walk, abbott kinney, melrose (east end of melrose), Sunset Strip, Hollywood, Neptune's Net in Malibu.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Bite Me

                            Too bad The Source is gone, that would have been perfect. How about Sizzler for mediocre steak and all you can eat greens...tres 70's...

                            1. re: TastELA

                              Erewhon is still around tho'...you can get a pick-me-up elixir at the Tonic Bar.
                              (Alas, no Alice's Restaurant or Whisky either).

                          2. Some may disagree with me but that’s cool. I just feel the same vibes at Egg Heaven and Auntie Em’s that I felt in Woodstock N.Y. a few years ago. The vibe is one reason I frequent these places pretty often but the food and really cool people there is reason enough to go. Sit at the counter at Egg Heaven and have a hot veggie omelet or a burger. They colse pretty early before dinner. At Auntie Em’s eat out back on that cool patio and have a dessert with your meal.

                            I agree with Neptuens Net for some pretty good seafood in a non-pretentious setting that has not changed much since the sixties. qsw above is correct that the Seventh Ray is more for a "rich-hippie-wedding." Not laid-back but more like romance. Still, the drive through Topanga Canyon may be fun and then maybe end for lunch at Neptuens Net.

                            Egg Heaven Cafe. (Cash Only – Very good breakfast and burgers. Blue stack, sausage, omelets are all very good. I like everything but the hash and biscuits and gravy)
                            4358 East 4th St. (Corner of East 4th and Ximeno St.)
                            Long Beach, CA
                            (562) 433-9277

                            Auntie Em’s Kitchen (Breakfast, Soups, Sandwiches, Cup-Cakes)
                            4616 Eagle Rock Blvd.
                            Los Angeles, CA 90041
                            (323) 255-0800
                            mon-fri 8am to 7pm & sat-sun 8am to 4pm

                            Neptunes Net Seafood
                            42505 Pacific Coast Hwy
                            Malibu, California 90265
                            (310) 457-3095

                            In OC these places have a cool vibe -- Surfer / Hippie, laid-back.

                            Harbor House Café - (Open 24 hrs., Breakfast - Steak & eggs / lunch / Dinner, great soups
                            )16341 Pacific Coast Highway
                            Sunset Beach, CA, 90742
                            (562) 592-5404

                            T K Burger (Burgers) One block South and Across from the Huntington Beach Pier ? next to Dairy Queen for a good dipped cone)
                            110 Pacific Coast Highway
                            Huntington Beach, California 92648
                            (714) 960-3238
                            Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

                              1. You can't get more hippie than Follow Your Heart Health food store and cafe in Canoga park. One of the original Granola-chomping hippe heathy food joints. Organic health foods, tibetan flags, incense, vitamins and suppliments, spirulina, power stones, hippie books, hemp clothes, and a cafe that serves yummy health food, utterly vegetarian (not vegan). A great indoor dining room with salt candles and local art as well as a nice patio. native foods, Whole foods and more WISH they could be as hippie as Follow Your Heart!


                                Also, in Westlake Village is the Natural Cafe, which has meat, but is super organic. Not as much of a hippie Vibe as Follow Your HEart, but great hippie chow!


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Diana

                                  The Natural Cafe is NOT Organic. It's hardly even natural. They buy their food products from the same purveyers that KFC and other fast food restaurants buy from. However, the price is great for what you get.

                                2. Take him on a tour through Topanga Cyn., then eat at Cholada Thai Beach on PCH just west of Topanga

                                  1. I recommend Euphoria Loves Rawvoluion in Santa Monica--Raw food with a good vibe.

                                    Euphoria Loves Rawvolution
                                    2301 Main Street
                                    Santa Monica

                                    1. Have a Sunshine Salad & a carrot juice at Full O'Life in Burbank.

                                      Do they have takeout at the Canyon Country store? If not, buy some stuff & have a picnic. It's a real hippie flash-from-the-past (Pace is underneath it if you're in a fancier mood, & they have brunch on Sundays).

                                      Mrs. Winston's on Ocean Park has a good salad/soup/sandwich bar, & you can eat on the patio (gets crowded, though)


                                      Laurel Canyon Country Store
                                      2108 Laurel Canyon Blvd
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90046
                                      (323) 654-8091

                                      Mrs. Winston's
                                      2901 Ocean Park Blvd
                                      Santa Monica California 90405
                                      Tel: 310-452-7770

                                      1. I agree on Follow Your Heart. Yum.

                                        In that same area, the India Sweets & Spice market has an amazing lunch counter (3.50 for the lunch special) & in Santa Monica / West Hollywood I'm a fan of Real Food Daily.

                                        1. Free Sunday feast at the Hare Krishna temple in WLA

                                          Weekend food fair at the Wat Thai Temple in NoHo

                                          Paru's Vegetarian Indian in Hollywood

                                          Hare Krishna Temple
                                          3764 Watseka Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                          Wat Thai Buddhist Temple
                                          12909 Cantara St, Los Angeles, CA 91605

                                          5140 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. Definitely check out RawEvolution on Main Street in Santa Monica. Fantastic food---Almond Butter and Strawberry Jam sandwhich is too die for--so is the pizza...

                                            While its all raw and vegan, I'm neither of the two and think the world of this spot...plus its walking distance to the beach.

                                            1. Paru's Indian vegetarian on Sunset.

                                              r gould-saltman

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                Also, Millie's Coffee Shop.

                                                Silver Lake
                                                3524 W Sunset Blvd
                                                Los Angeles, CA 90026
                                                (323) 664-0404

                                              2. Lucy's El Adobe. It was the home of broke and rich music industry longhairs. The food has gone south, but sit in the original front room and picture Jackson, Joni. Linda, The Eagles, Gov. Brown holding court, all inhaling margies and enchiladas. I'm perfectly capable of enjoying a lunch there just to remember it as it was.

                                                1. We often hit Tommy's in the '60s.
                                                  As far as "vibe" is concerned, the original hasn't changed much.

                                                  Eat-A-Pita has "hippie" written all over it.

                                                  Although not food, no hippie has visited LA without a stop at Bodhi Tree Bookstore.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. Definitely take him to the Santa Monica Farmers Markets, particularly the Wednesday or Saturday downtown markets. They also have a binder of all the menu's from restaurants who shop at the Farmers Markets.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: DMojoD

                                                      The South Pasadena farmers' market on Thursday nights has a definite hippy vibe -- I know, I know, who woulda thunk it in South Pas.

                                                    2. Mary's Market in the lower Canyon area in Sierra Madre, lunch is good, and Tuesdays nights is Taco night. It is an institution, and completely a Hippie joint, in a Hippie area. http://www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/...

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                                                        Very good call rants! Based on your rec. 3 of us went today. The folk art gates in front of the homes in this area are really cool. We took a drive all over the hillside after breakfast. The ambiance of Mary’s is so laid-back. The several different indoor tables and chairs, along with the counter with those few old stools, make this place appear frozen in time. We sat at the counter in front of the home made cookies. The book shelf and reading area with two old sofas and a checker board table are very inviting to sit at and read, relax with some coffee or just meditate. The main thing about this place is the home made breakfast that we had. I had the 3 egg Breakfast burrito with purple onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomato,and jalapenos scrambled with a choice of meat (I had some good sausage), cheese and salsa on the side. A good size two-hand burrito for $6. The same burrito is made with two eggs and home fries. The two other items we ordered were french toast and a egg plate with all the items I got in the burrito but also home fries. I had coffee and we all had a couple of the cookies (oatmeal and chocolate chip). All the food was very good and hot. The coffee was very good also. The total was around $19.

                                                        We also noticed that Tuesday night (just like you said) is Taco Night. I should have asked what kind of tacos but forgot because I was re-reading the menu several times to determine what I will have next time I go there. I think I will try the “Canyon Bowl” which is granola, fresh fruit and yogurt for $4.50. Just seems like this would be the right place for that breakfast.

                                                        Great rec and I second it for the OP – A great place to take some time and connect with a good friend.

                                                        Mary's Market and Café (Cash, indoor and outdoor seating)
                                                        561 Woodland Dr., (Santa Anita exit from the 210, go North up the hillside, Left on Grandview, Right on Mountain Trail, Right on Sturtevant Dr., Left on Woodland Dr.)
                                                        Sierra Madre, CA
                                                        (626) 355-4534
                                                        Tues - Fri 7:30am to 3:00 re-opens at 5:00 – call for closing time,
                                                        Sat /Sun 8:00am to ?
                                                        Closed Mondays