TakePart Tastemakers

Los Angeles

Sure, some of the L.A. stereotypes are true: Starlets really do nibble on salads, and sushi remains as popular as ever. But there are some wildly interesting things bubbling up in the City of Angels, as socially-conscious consumers connect with purveyors offering up food that fits this city's ideals: fresh, local and (of course) beautiful.

Auntie Em's Kitchen


4616 Eagle Rock Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 255-0800

This little Eagle Rock cafe and bakery has a favorite saying about its approach to feeding people: When you eat at Auntie Em’s you don’t need to look outside or in the garden to find out what season you’re in—all you need to do is to read the menu or glance at the baked offerings in their glass cases since their fare always springs from produce that’s ripe at that very moment. This summer “seasonal” at Auntie Em’s meant peaches-and-cream cupcakes, concocted with fruit from the Eagle Rock farmers market and crowned with a thick cloud of peach-infused icing. Moving into autumn, Auntie Em’s’ bakery cases are filled with apple cinnamon and pear pecan muffins, cranberry pistachio scones, and pumpkin cupcakes with spiced cream cheese icing. Founder and head chef Theresa Wahl has cooked for a long list of music industry stars, including JLo and Christina Aguilera. But be warned: Bakery items are seasonal and made in small batches, so the lines for the cupcakes sometimes snake out the door. Best to get there early and grab a breakfast torta with homemade mole sauce while you’re at it.