The idea of juicing and juice cleanses has been around for some time now. Throughout history, humans have used several juicing methods to get nutrients and health benefits as an easier way to consume fruits and vegetables. In modern times, juicing for health has become somewhat of a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. You could say LA is the quintessential juice city, given that it’s home to Hollywood, health nuts, and the like. In a city that loves their kale salads and is obsessed with gluten-free, it’s no surprise how many juice shops have opened up in the last few years. Even still-gentrifying Highland Park has their share of neighborhood juice shops that keep patrons coming back for more.
The Juice, Berry Bowl, Jugos Azteca, Tropical Fruit & Juices, Bionicos La Palapa, and Ricos Jugos Naturales are the shops offering fresh juice in just the Highland Park area alone. Once you venture out into other Northeast LA neighborhoods, you’re bombarded with even more options. Unless you’re really into juicing, you probably think that all of these shops offer the same product. However, the reality is that they all vary in their selections.
We spoke to Elizabeth Halpern, co-owner of The Juice LA, which has 3 shops in the LA area, their first outpost being in Highland Park. She gave us a great perspective and her definition of what juice is meant to be, depending on what you want from it, that is. In essence, juice can be a treat or dessert of sorts, on the other end of the spectrum it’s thought to be closer to a meal. The latter means that you should be getting as many nutrients as possible from this juice.
Elizabeth started cleansing when her friend and co-owner, Melissa, “looked and felt amazing after doing her juice cleanse.” Although Elizabeth tried it out and wanted to enjoy it, she found it difficult to actually drink the unpalatable juices she first tried. This is when Melissa pushed her to come up with recipes, coming from a foodie background. Trying juices around LA, mostly from the Westside, gave The Juice LA their inspiration to create new recipes and open up a store in the Eastside of LA. Elizabeth and Melissa learned the ins and outs of juicing and delved deep into where to get the most out of it. The Juice LA only does organic, cold-pressed, and raw juice. This basically means that instead of using a juicing machine that rapidly extracts the “juice” from the fruits and vegetables where “the centrifuge in these machines is spinning so fast that it basically kills the enzymes and what’s essentially good for you, and is where the health benefits are,” The Juice LA does cold-press juicing: a slower process that allows for “the enzymes, antioxidants, cancer-fighting health benefits” to thrive. “Otherwise, if you kill the enzymes, you’re just drinking sugar” states Elizabeth.
What The Juice LA offers is made from a cold-press, or hydraulic press juicer that “has two metal plates, which very slowly extract the juice. It’s so slow that it doesn’t create heat. So, you get down to the cellular level and get more nutrients. All the while, keeping it all unpasteurized and raw to keep the enzymes,” according to Elizabeth.
In the end, you can most definitely keep going to your favorite juice spot regardless of whether it’s cold-pressed or not, but now you know that you have options. Yes, Juice LA costs a bit more, but that accounts for the organic, raw, unpasteurized product you’re ingesting, which in the end, is all up to you.
The Juice LA Highland Park: 4936 York Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90042
Atwater: 3145 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Arts District: 527 Colyton St. Los Angeles, CA 90013