In this 8-part series, we are shining a light on small businesses in the cities where we currently operate. With so many communities struggling today, we’re inviting you to join us in standing by local establishments you know and love. Each week we’ll feature a different city, highlighting five gems submitted by our riders and employees, and give away $1,000 worth of gift cards to these spots on our Instagram account.
Week 3: Los Angeles
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Los Angeles? Perhaps it’s something like Dwayne Johnson hanging from a helicopter rescuing a wide-eyed kitten on top of the Hollywood sign as a theatrical score booms loudly, or some such image epitomizing the glitz and glamour of the city referred to as Tinseltown. Certainly, LA’s popular depiction, the kinds of things you’d see on postcards, are typically large-scale, attention-grabbing cultural touchpoints: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Park, and Venice Boardwalk.
Yes, The City of Angels is known for its big dreams, big sights, and big stars. But if you take a closer look and dig a little deeper, you’ll discover that LA is a diverse metropolis made up of 80 colorful neighborhoods with more than 200,000 small businesses. So we invite you to explore the side of Los Angeles you won’t necessarily find on a postcard — namely, it’s independent enterprises. You can start by checking out these 5 locally-owned gems, submitted by our riders and employees, and accompanied by personal stories. Enjoy!
Huckleberry Cafe: Is there anything sweeter than gourmet scones, muffins, and cookies served up by two sweethearts who fell in love while working in a bakery?! This artisan cafe is owned and operated by Los Angeles natives, Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, who together fulfilled a mutual dream of creating a space where friends and families could get together to enjoy local, organic fare. Molly T visits frequently and recommends their blueberry cornmeal cake. And she adds, “They have the sweetest staff. Huckleberry is always worth the wait!” Order takeout or purchase gift cards from their website.
Photos Courtesy of Huckleberry
République LA: Walter Manzke grew up in San Diego. A cornucopia of fruits and vegetables filled his family’s backyard garden, which ignited an interest and appreciation for food from a young age. Walter’s Wife, Margarita Manzke, is from the Philippines and developed a love of the culinary life by working at her family’s restaurant, near Manila, as she grew up. These two lifelong foodies opened Republique in 2014 and pride themselves on their detail-oriented modern French cuisine. And their customers appreciate this approach. Becca S praised the “great ambiance and amazing pastries.” And said, “Their communal tables make dining a fun experience; you can strike up a conversation with someone about the delicious food any time!” For delivery, pick-up, and gift cards check out their website.
Photos Courtesy of République LA
Joy: Food is about more than gustatory delight; culture, family, history, and tradition are also baked into each recipe. As such, the dishes at Joy, a Taiwanese eatery located in Highland Park, are inspired in part by owner Vivian Ku’s maternal grandparents, who grew up eating northern-style Chinese fare before they moved to Taiwan in 1949. Along with its dueling influence of Taiwanese street food, this unique spot makes an impression on customers. Just ask Mika, who says, “Joy checks all the important boxes for me: delicious (and spicy!), affordable (most items are under $10) and fast.” You can support Joy by purchasing gift cards on their website.
Photos Courtesy of Joy
Pasta Sisters: As with the previous entry, tradition and family plays a big role here, too. Growing up in Padova, a small town in Northern Italy, Executive Chef, Paola De Re, used to attentively watch her mom make gnocchi from scratch. “It was hypnotizing,” she recalls. “Her movements were so precise that it looked like she was dancing.” Steeped in the ritual and artistry of authentic Italian food, Pasta Sisters, with locations in Mid-City and Culver City, has endeared itself to its community. “They offer great prices and a no-fuss experience!” Christine Y shared. “The pesto pasta is one of my favorite dishes; their fresh housemade pasta and pesto sauce makes all the difference.” Get your pasta today, via delivery or takeout, on their website.
Photos Courtesy of Pasta Sisters
All Time: Located a few blocks away from Griffith Park, All Time lives up to its name by functioning as a coffee shop by day and a full-service dinner spot by night. For dinner, enjoy dishes like Grandma’s Focaccia and the Good Ass Salad, and finish it off with Betsy’s Cobbler for some sweetness. On a visit in February, Bernadette B came for breakfast and loved it so much that she returned for dinner later in the day, “I was just totally into the vibe there,” she said. “The patio and the blonde wood tables create the perfect atmosphere, and the food is legit. I had to come back.” Visit their website for pick-up and delivery or to purchase gift cards.
Photos Courtesy of All Time
Los Angeles is a sprawling urban landscape covering 469 square miles, and it’s home to almost 4 million people. It’s a place where stars are born and dreams come true. But despite its size and its seemingly impenetrable larger-than-life veneer, its small businesses are vulnerable and need our love and support now more than ever. Please be sure to check out the spots mentioned above, and more. Thanks for taking this tour with us, and don’t forget to enter our gift card giveaway on Instagram, as well.
We’ll see you next week when we land in San Francisco to spotlight more small businesses.
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