Come To Miami: LA Edition

as the year comes to a close, I realize that 2016 was a year of A LOT of travel for me. Girl, you know I love Miami, but there is a long list of places that this city can use - a macrobiotic lunch spot, a stylish massage parlor where you can buy crystals, a flower shop / perfumery. 

As 2016 comes to a bumpy (aka total, scary freefall with no tether) ending I'm looking back at some snapshots from places I encountered in my travels that made me wish they'd open a Miami location. Some of the featured places are totally missing on Miami's landscape, we are just a baby-city after all, and some are, dare I say, better versions than what's currently on our market. 

First up: Los Angeles. 

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The Now Massage Boutique

I find myself wondering, like all the time, how there are possible so many Asian massage parlors around the city of Miami. If they were all like The Now, I would totally understand. This very stylish, super nice, massage "boutique" has become a must-visit on my trips to LA. The prices are akin to a Massage Envy, but the experience is just so hip and cool. The interior is inspired by Tulum and you're offered a selection of aromatherapy add-ons and additional crystal soak for your feet. Somehow, I has the same masseuse both times I visited; the first time she recommended that I sleep on my back and the second time she told me I should start apple cider vinegar baths. Which reminds me... 

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Tortoise General Store 

Why isn't there somewhere in Miami that we can stock up on Japanese goods like handmade ceramics and strange but beautiful kitchen gear. One time, I bought a couple packets of shiso seeds here, another time I bought a wind chime that I ended up gifting to a friend who lives in LA because it had a part in it made of paper and that would be a soggy mess in one day in Miami but it never rains in California so it felt like it should stay there. I digress. Tortoise General Store, in Venice Beach, is a zen wonderland that we could use here. For now, I'll have to keep shopping their online store for my Hasami porcelain. 

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Gjusta

Gjusta was the true blow-my-mind experience of my last LA trip. I took my parents here, which at first felt like a very bad idea because you had to park right off a kind of shanty, homeless town along the entire length of a block and then we walked into the chaotic mess that is Gjusta - which turned out to be really more like organized chaos than we first thought.

Gjusta, by the folks at Gjelina (you may remember my Gjelina infatuation from the way I shoved it into my Argentine BBQ) is a kind of neo-deli, bakery and food paradise. Here's how the LA Times puts it, " If this is your first time, or even your fifth, your reaction to the 5,000 square feet of excess and dozens of working cooks is likely to be first awe, then befuddlement. Gjelina is a restaurant. Gjusta is a Choose Your Own Adventure."

We ordered an uber-eclectic assortment of food, including a pastrami sandwich, pizza, corn salad, empanadas and a couple slices of desserts and stood at the counter to eat because there are no chairs in the restaurant. If this all sounds like a bad place to take your parents, you should know that everyone left with a sense of wonder and the feeling that a crazy place like this would be a very, very nice addition in Miami. 

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 RTH Shop

RTH somehow made its way onto my Instagram feed and I've enjoyed following every since. I popped in with my brother and experienced it IRL which was legitimately like being in some kind of Instagram-delirious dream. It was amazing, if not hard to explain. The clothing and goods are a whimsical, desert-inspired, Southwestern tinged, zen French-clown esque. I'm not sure if that's how they would want it described, but it's such a unique sensibility that it's near impossible to put words to. In a world where you've seen everything on the internet, RTH will surprise you with its curation. 

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Grand Central Market 

A food hall. Please. 

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Zimmerman Store

Aussie label Zimmerman has a cult following and their fancy-schmancy take on swimwear is perfect here in Miami, but they only have stores in LA and New York. The Melrose store is a beautiful white space with a series of arches that give the space a chic-cave like feel