When you're looking for something new and exciting to try when traveling there's no better place to look than Instagram for what's hot and trending in a city's food scene. Los Angeles is notorious for its health conscious food trends but at the same time it's packed with flavorful and creative indulgences. This new food trend is no exception, ticking off both boxes, activated charcoal.
The benefits of this eye-catching dark ingredient are said to include kidney health, skin care, and even as a cure for hangovers. But health perks aside, we're loving this striking new LA food trend in all its delicious forms! Check out some of our favorites found throughout Los Angeles.
Little Damage DTLA
I'm a sucker for a good Insta-worthy photo, I'll admit it. When I started seeing photos popping up all over Instagram of this "gothic" ice cream in Downtown LA, I knew I had to make my way over there to see what all the fuss was about... and of course snap a photo myself. It didn't take much convincing; as I've frequently said, my favorite flavor of ice cream is soft serve. What they're doing at Little Damage is definitely worth the visit. Their rotation of always intriguing flavors are served in charcoal-activated cones and with your choice of toppings. Want to get your gothic dessert on? There's always one flavor that includes activated charcoal, giving it that iconic black color. But don't worry you can also choose from a few other colorful flavors (including a vegan option) for the perfect photo opportunity.
Rise N Grind Charcoal Latte
If you find yourself in need of a little pick-me-up but want to keep away from the chain coffee shops found on every corner, head to the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Wilcox, just steps away from Loews Hollywood Hotel. Here you'll find Rise N Grind Coffee & Jucie Bar, a quiet but eclectic local coffee shop "decked" out in skateboards. You can get your standard cappuccino or cold brew, but what's really interesting is their Specialty Drinks Menu — where, in addition to a Charcoal Latte, you'll also discover inventive options like Beet, Horchata, or Turmeric Lattes. You can't go wrong with the charcoal latte... especially if you're feeling rather dark and mysterious before your morning jolt!
Hinoki & The Bird Lobster Roll
Alright, charcoal ice cream and coffee seem easy enough to find, but what about something really unique? Something a little fancier. Grab yourself a seat at Hinoki & The Bird and dive in to this decadent Lobster Roll. Sure, you can find lobster rolls using traditional bread on lots of menus these days, but here you'll find the Green Curry and Thai Basil lobster filling set atop a freshly baked charcoal bun. Not only is it a beautiful bite but it's also packed with flavor. You'll find this as a shared appetizer on both the lunch and dinner menus, but be warned, you'll want one for yourself!
Wabi Venice Charcoal Cocktail
Last but certainly not least, we're rounding out our list with the perfect way to end the day — cocktails! After a day of sightseeing, it's time to wind down with a cocktail or two. I found myself drawn to visit Venice after hearing about a charcoal cocktail at Wabi Venice. While their "Lalalemon" cocktail may only be available seasonally it's worth the drive from Hollywood for a clean LA drink featuring vodka, Douglas fir, aloe, honey and activated charcoal. Find a seat at the extensive bar and people watch on Abbott Kinney, dubbed the "Coolest Block in America" by GQ. I even saw a star of one of my favorite TV shows stroll past incognito; you never know who you'll see!
Rachelle has been with Loews since July 2013 and oversees the social media for Loews Ventana Canyon Resort and Loews Hollywood Hotel: “Monsoon season and Sonoran hot dogs top my list of favorite things about the desert southwest and as an avid tv/film fan there’s always something new and exciting happening in Tinseltown!”