LA Date Night: Yoga And Pizza In Santa Monica
It's happened -- whilst in downward-dog pose, you spot The Perfect Girl just six mats over (and she's very good at yoga). You find out she'll be back the next day -- same time, same class -- and what you do is, invite her out for a pre-class Spanish latte. If the conversation blossoms, you set up your mats next to each other. If 90 minutes of sweaty side-by-side contortions wills an appetite, then post-class, you knowingly mention that the greatest pizza ever just happens to be across the street. And that is how it's done.
Urth Caffe: Indeed, Urth Caffe's 15 minutes of Hollywood fame has not ceased (see "Entourage," always), but the Santa Monica iteration is decidedly more laidback than its Melrose Avenue flagship (though valet service is available at dawn). The power of an Urth Caffe latte does not waver from location to location, and while the sweetened Spanish latte is the espresso bar's popular kid, a yogi pair might opt for a deuce of green tea latte. It arrives as green as any superfoods concoction but with milk art in the form of a swan.
Urth Caffe, 2327 Main Street, at Hollister Street (310-314-7040 or urthcaffe.com for additional locations)
YogaWorks: The studios of YogaWorks are peppered all over Los Angeles, but only Santa Monica's Main Street shills the skills of Vinnie Marino. The man has got a following; a Vinnie class is almost always at capacity, and dedicated men and women, clad in Lululemon, will begin to form a line 30 minutes prior to entry. With a Vinnie class, the dry humor and current-news quips are free; so are the '70s rock songs sometimes cut with a new track of Adele; what you're paying for is 90 minutes of high-impact discipline, a quiet strength, and calories lost via the sweat that will not stop dripping off your brow. Most men do it shirtless -- though, with irony, the actor that is True Blood's Jason Stackhouse -- a Vinnie Marino regular -- does not.
YogaWorks, 2215 Main Street, at Pacific Street (310-664-6470 or yogaworks.com for additional locations)
Stella Rossa Pizza Bar: For months now, LA's pizza enthusiasts have steadily ventured Westside to try the mysterious pizza at Stella Rossa -- and the mystery lies within the very quiet, very word-of-mouth, very major lauding. While other pizza parlors in LA are happily pushing their wood-burning ovens, Stella Rossa has no such oven to boast about. It's the dough that earns its bragging rights -- locally sourced and rising in jars before your very eyes at the chef's counter. The result is something thin but sturdy, crispy but doughy -- it's a mystery! It's a slice of pizza you can hold up to your mouth without it collapsing in your lap -- and your other hand, well, it can still clutch a beer. Oh, and no burnt black blemishes on the crust. We dare wager that your new yogini will fall in love with the Bloomsdale spinach and purple kale pie.
Stella Rossa Pizza Bar, 2000 Main Street, at Bay Street (310-396-9145 or stellarossapizzabar.com)
Photo courtesy of Mar Yvette, marpop.com