To keep the creative juice flowing, Taymor and Parsons have mastered the art of the "weekender"–a one- or two-day trip away from the city to refresh. We asked the brilliant culinary minds behind Alma to tell us about their favorite quick respites from big city life. Here is Ashleigh's guide to Los Alamos and Ari's guide to Ojai. Not surprisingly, food and drinks are at the top of both of their itineraries.
ASHLEIGH PARSON'S GUIDE TO LOS ALAMOS
Drive straight to Rincon Beach–a state beach along the 101. An hour and a half from LA, Rincon is tranquil, spacious, and dog-friendly.
As the sun begins to fall into the water, pack up your things, drive north to Santa Barbara, and stop at Les Marchands Wine Bar for a glass of natural, French wine. The spot is located in a small mecca of adorable spots, and I appreciate the marble tables and rustic design.
Enjoy a glass of Muni Muni Wine at The Alamo Motel Tasting Room Friday to Sunday. These wines are light and refreshing and made right in Santa Barbara.
I enjoy a late dinner, so once it gets dark, make your way across the street to Bell Street Farm for a light, quiet dinner. Everything is close in Los Alamos as the city population is fewer than 2000. Embrace the small town vibe.
Rise early and embrace the sounds of nature. There’s not too much going on in Los Alamos, which can feel strange in contrast to the inherent noise of Los Angeles. Indulge in the relaxing mood and make your way down the street to Bob’s Well Bread Bakery. Bob is known for his gluten-free centennial loaf, and as someone with Celiac’s Disease, I can say that this is the most delicious gluten-free bread on the market. Laze about at the café with a cup of coffee or two.
You’ll want to avoid any traffic to maintain your relaxed state of mind, so checkout by 11am.
Feeling refreshed, rested and, rejuvenated, drive back to the City of Angels with the Pacific to your right and the mountains to your left.
ARI TAYMOR'S GUIDE TO OJAI
The Matilija Hot Springs are tucked away at the edge of the Los Padres Forest. They are semi-secret, and I'm not going to be the one to get in trouble for giving away the location. If you do enough research on the Internet or make a local friend, its not to hard to find the way.
Go to Ojai Ice Cream for old-fashioned ice cream and fudge. It's got that classic American small town vibe, and feels like a throwback to simpler times. The staff is really enthusiastic and everything is delicious