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The Former Whole Foods CEO Has Big Plant-Based Plans for LA

Love Life opens May 5 with a menu that hails from a longtime LA vegan chef

An entry with a wooden frame at Love Life restaurant in Culver City.
Love Life restaurant in Culver City.
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

A group of former Whole Foods executives and a Plant Food + Wine veteran chef are on the verge of opening an all-day plant-based restaurant in Culver City this week. Love Life [stylized as Love.Life] debuts on Friday, May 5 in the massive Ivy Station complex at Venice and National Boulevard, which also houses Etta, Equator Coffee, and the second tasting room for Los Angeles Ale Works.

Love Life is situated on Ivy Station’s Venice-facing side with a 50-seat patio and a hefty 5,000-square-foot interior. That’s where chef Brooks McCarty — who has over a decade of experience working with vegan pioneer Matthew Kenney as a Plant Food + Wine chef de cuisine and instructor at Kenney’s culinary program — brings Love Life’s menu to life.

Early hours start at 7 a.m. with coffee drinks, fresh juices, and wellness shots, along with grab-and-go overnight oats, warm breakfast sandwiches, house-made granola, and acai bowls. There’s full service from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. to showcase lunch starters like the artichoke dip or blistered shishitos, salads, sandwiches, and bowls, including baked mac and cheese. McCarty has a 48-hour fermented sourdough pizza crust available too. For dinner, diners can order many of the aforementioned along with shepherd’s pie, bolognese made with mushrooms and lentils, and a mushroom farro risotto for entrees. They’re staying away from anything deep-fried or heavily processed.

Oyster mushroom “carnitas” tacos at Love Life restaurant in Culver City.
Oyster mushroom “carnitas” tacos at Love Life.

Love Life has got plenty of plant-based competition in Culver City with Matthew Kenney’s Sestina, Monty’s Good Burger, LA Vegan, and Variable Cafe. It’ll be fascinating to see how Love Life will distinguish itself amongst these and other vegan restaurants throughout the Southland as the newcomer eventually expands nationally. Love Life has the built-in advantage, as Ivy Station’s captive audience includes those living above and working at nearby HBO headquarters.

This is the first official Love Life location, though Whole Foods Market co-founder and former CEO John Mackey, former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb, and former Whole Foods executive Betsy Foster acquired Miami’s Love Life Cafe in 2021.

Love Life opens Friday, May 5 at 8900 Venice Boulevard., suite 101, Culver City, CA 90232, with hours from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. for takeaway, coffee, and a juice bar, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for full-service.

Dining room and open kitchen area at Love Life in Culver City, California.
Dining room.

Love Life

8900 Venice Blvd., Ste. 101 , Culver City, CA 90232 Visit Website