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Euphoric Brunch: Kreation (Venice)

The fact that I have not yet reviewed Kreation may come as a shock to my #LA brunchers, so allow me to explain myself. I have yet to hit a few of #LA’s most iconic spawts (Sqirl, Chateau Marmot, In-and-Out) for Brunch Professional because I already hit them fall 2k16 and am more interested in the new than the classics rn (no offense). So to clarify, I’ve already done acai bowls and knockoff bullet proof koffee at the deliciously stereotypical #LA chain Kreation. How dare you assume otherwise? Bruncher Beck and I hit it last Thanksgiving, so while this 2k17 visit was unplanned and centered mostly around the fact that we had to use the bathroom, we delighted in it nonetheless. In fact, we’re basically making a post-Thanksgiving, life-giving trip to Kreation an annual tradition. So while this is essentially a grab-and-go bathroom trip and not the full, sit-down, all-out affair Kreation deserves (I’ll get to it eventually), it is something. And that something includes syringes.

The Spawt

Like all great TV romances, at first I was skeptical of Kreation. It was almost too much of the most. Despite not being all-vegan, it falls squarely in the “cheesy vegan restaurant” category, not unlike a square of vegan cheese. They are heavily, aggressively about their all-wood design, with sensibilities not unlike a finer, healthier Rainforest Cafe. They have plants coming out the walls, their menus are on ipads, they call their cleanses “Kleanses,” their Instagram consists mostly of celebrities carrying their juices, they add chlorophyll to your water, their napkins expand in water, they have some of the best free samples in #LA (at the Venice location, you can actually serve yourself on the street. I have def pieced together full meals of various avocado gazpachos, green juices, and wellness chips, and I don’t even like or believe in juices!), and they have a beverage dedicated to improving your poops (their words, not mine). I never thought I’d say this, but this spawt is almost too much of the most. An Instagram of Hilary Duff carrying the poop machine, or whatever that one is called, is kind of a turn off. Plus, it’s not totally my steeze. I am more whole-heartedly about a cute vegan spawt than a cheesy one.

Then something changed. I read about Kreation on thebalancedblonde.com. Jordan Younger is one of my personal heroes, the pinnacle of my Brunch Professional vision board (if I actually made one) and a major source of inspiration for this blog. I first heard about her from the controversy her first book, Breaking Vegan, kreated. You brunchers know there’s nothing I love more than discussing controversy and veganism, and I’ve followed her blog/podcast/apparel line/newsletter closely ever since. When she recommended Kreation, I looked at all that unnecessary wood in a different, better, more natural light (the influence at work). I also wanted to give Kreation a chance because I’d seen a pic of Miley toting their brown bag on Instagram! These cheesy vegans absolutely know what they’re doing, and as is apparent from the past 2 sentences, their marketing strategy totally works. As I finally decided to give Kreation a chance and selected my acai bowl via iPad in 2k16, I realized I’d misjudged Kreation by it’s rain forest canopy cover. Sure, it was ridiculous. But their chai-licious smoothies were also ridiculously good (this sentence makes me laugh). In summation, Kreation is an #LA experience, and you’d be remiss not to dabble in it’s chlorophyll-flavored waters. It is peak #LA vegan cheese, and as my graphic thong reads, “If you didn’t eat vegan cheese in #LA were you even here?”

The Brunch

Like I said at the top, this was not a full-on, white linen table-clothed, Professional-Brunching-shades-falling-into-your-mimosa-carafe brunch. I am giving you a little Wednesday taste of a more full-on affair. And that little taste is a literal little taste, because the syringe our Anxiety came in was teenie weenie to say the least. This obviously wasn’t saving my life/making me believe in God/magically transforming me into Gwenyth Paltrow, thank God. And if you think that’s the point of any wellness elixir/shot, you’re clearly missing the literal point as much as the nurse who fucked up my blood test (it’s fine, shit happens!). The point is the novelty and the placebo effect. I was obvi hopping on anything syringe-related, ye$ of course (because of my previously-mentioned medical history–I’m rife with benign but incurable disease!). Furthermore, sometimes a wheatgrass shot is not so much about the untested medical benefits/healing properties, but rather the rush of superiority that comes with it and the sense that you are really taking care of yourself/being about your wellness/glowing up with each small sip. So yes, this green juice shot syringe whatever tasted pretty good (I like health taste, eat me), and I do now feel like maybe I should give birth to a kid and name them avocado. But I can’t tell you my eczema was cured or I contacted my relatives who have passed on to the realm of the divine, or whatever.

What I can tell you is that the CBD water, did, however, have this effect.

CBD oil is having a real moment on my best friends’ (wellness influencers I follow) IG feeds, and while talking about marijuana in any capacity ad nausea-um makes me nauseous, I understand why. I didn’t give myself the title of “Kush Daddy” only to upset the “actual” drug rug-wearing, Grateful Dead-worshiping stoners of Emerson College–but I kind of did, because my real nickname was One Hit Wonder. But if there’s one thing I’d like to impart on the previously mentioned 18-year-olds, it’s that wifing up Mary Jane isn’t a competition, and everyone should be able to enjoy a slice of the weed pizza I recently made (it’s heart-shaped). Hopefully you’re getting that from all the lovably disgusting weed nicknames I’ve been using throughout. Anyways. I’m deliriously happy all said wellness influencers are adding CBD oil to their fat balls to help them fall asleep, I really am. It’s only further backing up my claims that weed is health food! Needless to say, I’ve dabbled in the CBD arts and tried enough waters and gummies to know a good one when I see one. And this CBD water is. my absolute favorite. It’s refreshingly cold, which I shouldn’t have to specify, but I’ve had too many lukewarm kush-y waters to know better. They’re also not stingy on the oil, which is the most important component, obviously. It smells strongly herb-y, which is a good thing–if it doesn’t, that’s how you know you got played. It also knocks you the fuck out, and by that I mean you will probably need to go to bed after this. May I suggest the beach, next to the drum circle?

The Verdict

I could’ve cropped this better but then you’d be missing out on the hard side-eye I was getting!

Instead, Beck and I split a bottle while walking around the canals and stumbling upon a street fair. You’ve heard enough about that good good Venice feeling from me, but just know that this totally heightened it/took it to another dimension. And more importantly, it calmed me the fuck down when I needed it most. I’d spent the weekend in full on Brunch Professional mode, hitting Santa Barbara, Studio City (past residency), Highland Park(past residency), Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Venice, and Santa Monica in 3 days. I know, I know. Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear brunch kimonos. But a werq weekend on this level (6 reviews, 1 guide) left me as BEAT as my face if this was an Allston rager in ’13. Making my side my main for 3 full days left me looking slightly gray and with no lingering questions as to whether my BFFs needed CBD balls to calm down–influencing others is hard work! But if my soft, office-dry hands are any indication, there’s nothing I value more than that. Your business will always be my pleasure. And in this case, it was euphoric.

The Recommendation

If you want to drink deeply from the syringe, I recommend having a sit-down affair in Venice and getting some kind of kabobs or bowl or honestly anything. Their drinks/smoothies (the chocolaty-er the better) are also where it’s at. There’s an espresso one I’m throwing my body at that I can’t name because their menu is NOWHERE, but you’ll know it when you see it. Also, perhaps surprisingly, they do really good meat things (RE: the kabobs). Although I’ve hit many a Kreation location, the one on Abbott Kinney will always have my optimally-beating? (we’re not sure) heart. Obviously I’m going to suggest you make a full Venice day of it and buy climatically inappropriate (think leathers and furs) outerwear at Principessa, a cactus at grow, and the Abbot Kinney candle at Urbanic, then head to the boardwalk to watch skaters skate and humans like, be themselves. Don’t be a pussy–walk all the way to Santa Monica to watch the sun set. Then watch the light up bike parade on your way back (if this happens to be Sunday). Ooo, and don’t forget the canals! And end your day with something as ridiculous and healthy as the way you began it, with a salad from Erewhon. Go back home and cap off this perfect day with a cool glass of Kreation’s CBD oil and drift into a peaceful, wet slumber. You’ve had a long hard day of photographing smoothies, Instagramming smoothies, window shopping, actually shopping, walking at a leisurely pace, picking up one piece of trash off the beach, making your sibling take pictures of you, and watching the sunset on your favorite place on earth (presumably). You probably deserve it.

Euphoric Brunch: Kreation (Venice) The fact that I have not yet reviewed Kreation may come as a shock to my #LA brunchers, so allow me to explain myself. I have yet to hit a few of #LA’s most

Kreation cbd water

One of our editors tried a bunch of non-psychoactive CBD products to help control her anxiety levels.

The first time I ever heard about CBD oil was on a podcast. Then I saw it on a drink menu. Soon it showed up on my favorite website, and as an add-on at my favorite matcha place. It reached the hands of my favorite Instagram influencers, and appeared as a new ingredient in my beauty products. So what is CBD, exactly?

It’s advertised as a miracle oil derived from hemp. When applied topically it’s meant to relieve pain. When you vape it, eat it, drink it, or droplet it into your mouth, it reportedly can help treat epileptic seizures, manage anxiety, chill you out or aid in going to sleep. Unlike marijuana, CBD doesn’t get you high. Some swear by its effects, but recently, there has been pushback against it. Some people have even called it “snake oil.” So does it actually work? I had to try.

First things first, I live in Los Angeles. The CBD trend hit both New York and LA, hard. It’s fairly easy to get your hands on CBD oil here — whether you’re popping into Moon Juice, Whole Foods, or even Urban Outfitters. Plus, this is 2019. You can order almost anything online.

Secondly, I have terrible anxiety. I think it is one of my defining characteristics (unfortunately). I am prone to anxiety attacks and I do take a prescribed medication when they become overwhelming. However, I tend to vibrate with nerves most of the time anyway (fun!). I have been trying to combat them with yoga and therapy, but taking an oil every day sounds like a faster fix (or a potential disaster), and at this point in my life I am game for anything!

Lastly, I don’t burn, bro. I don’t 420 blaze it. I’m high on life, baby! No judgement to anyone at all, I just don’t smoke weed. So I would like to reiterate, although CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, it is non-psychoactive and cannot get you high. I repeat, it is not THC. It will not get you high. Dad, are you listening?

I decided to start with Charlotte’s Web, the CBD oil brand I had heard about first on that podcast. I looked them up online and was absolutely shook by the prices of their tinctures. The most expensive one retails for $275 and the cheapest that I could find was $99 (Now they offer a $39.99 option, but they didn’t at the time). So, that’s one thing about most reputable CBD tinctures, they’re not cheap. Luckily, the next day I happened to be shopping at Bristol Farms (a California-based supermarket) and found some on sale for $60.

The brand offers various dosages, so as a first-timer I started with the lowest offered, which is their “Full Strength CDB Oil.” The bottle offers 6.65 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. The flavor was olive oil (although they do offer a Mint Chocolate version online).

I had high hopes, but reader, I could not get past the taste. I am very sensitive to flavors, which is great for some things (like taste-testing Pringles) and bad for others I suppose. I could have tried mint, but honestly, I hate artificial mint flavoring. I abandoned this one after a few days despite the brand’s suggestion that I could put it in something like a smoothie, coffee or yogurt.

Also, I didn’t feel like it was doing anything to me! I had read that consistency is key, but I wanted to be consistent with something that didn’t make me gag when I smelled it — which honestly made me feel more anxious! Apparently, this product has worked for a lot of people. Great news for them! But it’s not for me.

While on my quest to find something tasty that I could take daily, I stopped by Moon Juice — which offers juices as well as coffees and matchas with adaptogenic “dusts.” My local shop offers CBD as a beverage add-in. The brand is still Charlotte’s Web, but they only offer the highest dosage.

I decided “what the heck” and ordered a CBD-infused iced matcha, hoping the flavor of the tea would conceal the olive oil taste. And it did! Not only was the drink tasty as always (I love Moon Juice and am not being paid to say this) but it made this warm feeling spread through my body like a non-sleepy calm, and this was only a single dose. But I wondered if it might just be a placebo effect. Was I just imagining this? Or had something changed?

After some light Googling, I found that the original dosage I had been taking wasn’t high enough. Apparently, the right dosage for your body is a total Goldilocks situation. You may have to try out a few different amounts before you get it just right. I wasn’t imagining things. The higher dosage actually helped.

Soon after, I was able to try a CBD oil tincture from another brand. Our editor-in-chief suggested I try Hawaiian Choice CBD oil, which she’d heard about through a former colleague in Hawaii whose husband launched the company. Their products come in a spray bottle. Each spray delivers 10 milligrams, and the company advises users take one to three sprays and hold it under their tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. The bottle is expensive — $99, but it’s also flavored with passionfruit, pineapple, noni (a Polynesian fruit), and Big Island honey. Plus, it has a higher dosage than the first Charlotte’s Web product that I tried.

The particular tincture I tried is labeled “Active,” and the bottle says it’s meant to help with exercise and appetite control. It did nothing for my appetite (nor did I want it to) but the flavor situation here is a game changer. It tastes like candy. It also seemed to impact my anxiety levels in a major way. It worked!

One Daily Meal editor tried a bevy of CBD products to help manage her anxiety, and she was extremely pleased with the results.