With its curated dispensaries and design-forward social consumption lounges, L.A. is the perfect place to give cannabis a try.
OCC serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Go for a conventionally Californian meal (such as a breakfast burger with white cheddar and smashed avocado) or a stonerific creation such as Fruity Pebbles bread pudding. The outdoor patio is a dreamy place to spend a long Sunday morning, and the pub vibe inside has people clinking glasses of orange-turmeric juice between puffs of prerolled joints.
But if it’s your first time trying pot, go to a shop in person. The Pottery, off South La Brea and Venice, is a particularly beautiful place to start. An Instagrammable array of black and white tangram tiles patterns half the store, while a pale palette and soft lighting on the other half invite customers to relax as they peruse candles, CBD lotions, oversized jars of THC-infused sweet treats, and designer matches. With glass cases around the perimeter full of dried cannabis flowers and vape cartridges, the dispensary resembles something closer to a jewelry shop.
The terminology can get sticky, but if you have a favorite drinking profile, that may be helpful to share with your budtender. Someone who enjoys a glass of rosé with lunch after a Saturday morning hike would probably like a citrusy sativa-dominant strain, whereas someone who sips port while listening to old vinyl records after dinner may prefer an indica-dominant purple strain with a darker grape or punch flavor.
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Design by Emily Blevins
I f you live in a place where weed isn’t legal for recreational use, traveling to try marijuana can seem like a good idea—until you hash out the nitty-gritty details. How do you use cannabis products? Legally? Are there pot-friendly hotels? Do you need any kind of special equipment to smoke, and if so, will you ever use it again? If you don’t know where to start and don’t have anyone to show you the ropes, the west side of Los Angeles will welcome you with open arms. Here’s where to buy, where to use, what to do during your buzz, and where to eat when the munchies strike.
The bud menu rotates weekly, so ask a “flower host” (the person taking your weed order) for food pairing suggestions. The flower host can also help suggest equipment rentals—a ceramic pipe, for instance—based on your purchase and experience level. Original Cannabis Cafe is understandably popular, so if you’re not able to snag a reservation, try stopping by Monday through Thursday before 7 p.m., when the café is most walk-in friendly. Keep an eye out for Aeon Botanika, a new social consumption lounge, and Budberry, the first edibles-only café, both due to open in West Hollywood in the coming months.
Depending on your hunger levels, you may want to swing by Fōnuts, a doughnut purveyor where the carbs are always baked instead of fried and always gluten free. Many of the flavors are also vegan, including vanilla latte, raspberry, and peanut butter–chocolate. If you’re hankering for a full meal, the Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills will satisfy both your hunger and your current sense of playfulness—be wowed by the margarita with salt foam in place of a salted rim, or the bursting mozzarella spherifications in a caprese salad. For something with a little less molecular gastronomy but an equally elegant and delicious meal, look to Nobu. The sashimi-grade fish and elevated classics (wagyu gyoza, anyone?) are not to be missed. Keep in mind that this is a fine dining experience, so it’s better suited for a pleasant comedown from your high, not a place to ride out the peak of your first weed experience.
West Hollywood and West L.A. are home to a rapidly increasing number of dispensaries and social consumption lounges. Here's where to go and what to do with your high.