Almond milk, kale alkalisers, spirulina margaritas and the only brand of coconut water the A list will touch - Kinvara Balfour drinks it all in
Every visitor who pitches up in LA makes the coffee joke - the one where they say "I’ll have a triple decaf soya mocha skinny wet latte, hold the foam", thinking it's hilarious. That joke was old five years ago. It’s really old now, because here in LA, coffee’s very out. And juice is very in.
A traditional smoothie no longer cuts it. Fancy a kale alkaliser with gambooge extract and rhodiola? You got it. There are some exciting things going down in juice world, and Hollywood’s doing them to the max. With supplements. Ones you’ve never heard of.
Coconut water’s been around for a while, but right now you need to be drinking the right coconut water - unless you’re sipping from a groovy glass bottle of micro-filtered Jax Coco (which is currently being served at Ibiza superclub Pacha), you’re not getting the most out of your hydration libation.
In Hollywood, almond milk also gets star billing, especially at the Beverly Hills Juice – a legendary white-tiled kiosk with Magnolia Bakery-style queues on a weekend and a celebrity clientele that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, the Beckhams and Rachel Bilson – almond milk joins cacao and banana in the famous Manna Shake, which is so protein-packed, it’s like lunch in a cup. It’s greener than green here: all walls are painted with zero-VOC paint, most ingredients used come from local farms and cups and straws are made from compostable corn or sugar cane fibre.
Meanwhile, move over animal fat-based yoghurt and ice cream: coconut meat is the new base ingredient for milkshakes, smoothies and puddings.At the raw-crazy LifeFood Organic in Hollywood, this healthier alternative is used in puddings and cakes and almond milk is pressed and crushed from real almonds on the premises (this is the ultimate in juice). When it comes to water here (which, by the way, isn’t called water but H2O as proof of its raw state), this place uses a nine-stage water filtration system to remove all chemicals - even from its ice cubes. And RIP the spiced chai latte: all eyes (and lips) are currently on the caffeine-free Peppermint & Almond Cold Milk Tea.
The clean, lean bodies are also into Body & Eden , which has to be the chicest online juice concept that ever lived. Order the tonics and elixirs (4 bottles min.) and collect 24 hours later at a little depot in New York or LA. Choose from brilliant blends in chic glass bottles like I Am Power (a green margarita with spirulina, green tomatillos, watercress) or I Have Stamina (blackcurrants and Vitamin C). You’ll want to down the whole lot.
Then there’s the Pressed Juicery in Hollywood, Brentwood and Malibu, where chlorophyll water and aloe vera water are top of the menu. With loyal customers like Demi Moore, Rachel Zoe, Vanessa Hudgens, Jessica Alba and Whitney Port (all of whom rave about the juices on Twitter), this place is hot. And seriously healthy. Whereas a normal juicer leaves a wasteful, liquid-y pulp behind, at Pressed Juicery, fruit and veg are slammed and smashed to the max in a hydraulic press, which means every ounce of goodness is extracted from the object and what’s left is so juiced-out it resembles a kind of sawdust.
If you’re after a smoothie, try the Almond Milk Signature (almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt). Basic juices, meanwhile, have names like Greens 1 (kale, spinach etc.) or Roots 3 (beet, ginger etc.) then add supplements like goldenseak, reishi mushroom extract, bacopa monnieri, hoodia and gambooge extract.
There may be words you just read that you've never seen before: get used to them because you’re going to be seeing more of them in the future. This is LA and if they're doing it here (see Botox, Dysport, The Barre Method, Vibram FiveFingers), they'll be doing it everywhere else in no time. Gambooge on down, everyone.