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5 Faves: Courtney's Picks for Treats, Sweets and Prime People Watching in Venice

From the left: Courtney Guerra at her Flower Ave Garden; Guerra cooking at Alma restaurant with chef Ari Taymor; plants from the Flower Ave garden; her adorable assistant Mr. Mu. (Photos by Rich Kuras)

From the left: Courtney Guerra at her Flower Ave Garden; Guerra cooking at Alma restaurant with chef Ari Taymor; plants from the Flower Ave garden; her adorable assistant Mr. Mu. (Photos by Rich Kuras)

You may remember Courtney Guerra from this video we made about her Flower Ave Garden. Since then, she's continued on her mission to establish urban farms throughout the city, and her homegrown harvests of seasonal goods have helped Alma earn Bon Appetit's top honor as Best New Restaurant of 2013. But when she's not in the garden, the kitchen, or foraging fresh ingredients from the Santa Barbara coastline (yes, she does that too), we wondered where this green goddess spends her down-time in Venice. Here are her picks:


Oscar's Hangover Soup. (Photo courtesy Oscar's Cerveteca)

Oscar's Hangover Soup. (Photo courtesy Oscar's Cerveteca)

1. Best Thing To Cure A Hangover / Head Cold
The "Hangover Soup" at Oscar's Cerveteca. This seafood-based soup is not only delish, satisfying, and a perfect hangover cure, but the habanero salsa that it comes with is lethal...in a good way! I highly recommend pairing it with a bottle of Matilda Pale Ale by Goose Island Beer Co. (offered in a thirst quenching 750ml size).
Oscar's Cerveteca // 523 Rose Ave. Venice, CA 90291

 


Centre Piece vintage clothing, art and home goods store on Lincoln Blvd. (Photo by Nicole Reed)

Centre Piece vintage clothing, art and home goods store on Lincoln Blvd. (Photo by Nicole Reed)

2. Best Spot To Find Unique Clothes
Centre Piece on Lincoln Blvd. They source all of their pieces from Hollywood studio wardrobes. You can find anything from Gucci handbags to vintage dresses and shoes. They are new to the neighborhood and a hidden gem if you're willing to dig a little.
Centre Piece // 2004 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, CA 90291


 Urban Escape Hair Salon. (Photo courtesy Urban Escape)

 Urban Escape Hair Salon. (Photo courtesy Urban Escape)

3. Best Place To Get Ur Herr Did
Urban Escape, ask for Liz! This place lives up to its name. As a seeker of green space in an urban city, this little cottage is a perfect retreat. It is nestled off of Abbot Kinney, but it feels as if you are miles away from the hustle and bustle going on around you. Liz McAdams is a kind, warm hearted, talented stylist with over 15 years of experience. I am so happy to support my local businesswoman!
Urban Escape // 1505 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291


4. Best Sweet Indulgence
The S'Mores at Superba Snack Bar. Call me a sucker for the classics, but this is truly one of my favorite desserts of all time! Superba serves this all American favorite with a twist. Offered in a mason jar with milk chocolate pudding, topped with a layer of salty graham crumbs, followed by a layer of caramel, then topped with whipped marshmallow toasted to perfection...NOM NOM NOM! I usually pair this with a port offered on their great wine list. If you really want to go for it, you can do what I call the "power move" and order a side of smoked braised bacon to go with it.
Superba Snack Bar // 533 Rose Ave. Venice, CA 90291


Groundwork Coffee on Rose Ave. (Photo by Nicole Reed)

Groundwork Coffee on Rose Ave. (Photo by Nicole Reed)

5. Best Spot To People Watch
The benches outside Groundwork Coffee. I find this to be the morning mecca for true locals in Venice. Sure, you can hit up the Whole Foods coffee bar or Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney where all the cool kids go, but then you'll miss the spectacular, eclectic, eccentric, diverse visitors that patron/loiter at the Groundwork Coffee shop on Rose Ave. This place is what makes Venice Venice! Grab a great cup of coffee or tea, pop a squat on one of the benches outside, and let the beautiful show unfold before you. Soak in all that Venice has to offer. Comment on the unique hairstyles, and clothing choices. Marvel in the sheer cultural variety that feeds the creative soul. This is why we live in Venice, people!
Groundwork Coffee // 671 Rose Ave. Venice, CA 90291

 

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PHOTOS: 29th Annual Abbot Kinney Festival

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