The Springs cultivates a healthy, light atmosphere
In the midst of the urban grey concrete and aluminum of the warehouse district sits an airy sanctuary with a focus on health and wellness, a rare commodity in the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles. The Springs’ emphasis on well-being, community and especially health and sustainability is abundantly evident in all their endeavors.
The 13,800-square-foot warehouse overhauled by co-founders Jared Stein and Kimberly Helms houses a yoga studio, juice bar, 92-seat restaurant and wellness center, all with a focus on personal wellness and detoxification for the health guru in anyone.
The open, breezy atmosphere of The Springs immediately puts customers at ease. Its décor, made entirely of sustainable materials, of course, is eclectic and colorful, providing just enough cheerfulness to the previously grey space. This, coupled with the giant, always-open doors and huge skylights makes for a breezy aesthetic that provides a breath of fresh air to even the most harried of guests.
Yoga at The Springs is an intimate experience. The extensive schedule of classes offers every kind of yoga imaginable in sessions taught by a variety of experienced, passionate instructors for yogis of all skill levels. Saturday morning Power Flow yoga with Shayn Almedia required a lot of strength, but his individual attention and careful explanation made even the most difficult poses relaxing and fun. For just $15 a class, with mats and accessories available for rent, The Springs is a markedly excellent yoga studio — but that’s just the beginning.
Yoga is the perfect precursor to a meal at The Springs. Its raw, vegan, organic menu sounds like an instant turnoff for many, but the artfully crafted salad, entree and dessert plates, albeit unusual, are uniquely savory.
The tea leaf salad is an invigorating blend of avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, sprouts and pumpkin seeds over green tea leaves and kale and topped off with chili-lime vinaigrette. The vinaigrette adds an unexpected bite to the exceptionally fresh salad, and manages to make even the kale taste good.
The Springs salad is a more mild take on an equally healthy salad. Topped with fresh apples, green grapes, maple walnuts and pistachio-lemon vinaigrette, this salad doesn’t have the zest that the tea leaf salad does, but is certainly not lacking in flavor. It does still have an element of surprise — the peppered macadamia chevre on top adds the perfect amount of zing.
The juices, though overpriced, are delicious and, once again, incredibly fresh. Their bright, vibrant colors make each of the 10 juices look vivid and mouthwatering in their glass bottles. With names from “Forager” and “Rucksack” to “Bug Bite” and “Skinny Dip,” the irresistible juices bring out the adventurer in even the most reluctant of customers. From mild combinations, like the strawberry, apple, blood orange and lemon “Bug Bite,” to peculiar ones, like the pineapple, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno “Lantern,” the juices are worth a try — even a $9 try.
The “Bug Bite” is a safe bet; the lemon adds just enough zip to an otherwise sweet, tame juice that will satisfy any palate. The “Rucksack,” on the other hand, isn’t for the faint of heart. Its carrot, coconut, lemongrass, ginger and lime combination practically screams “tree hugger,” but in a surprisingly tasty way.
The Springs also offers smoothies, milks, ice creams, sweets and snacks on their extensive menu, all of which are fresh, homemade and stay true to the center’s raw, organic health mission.
The Springs’ atmosphere provides a welcoming space for even the unhealthiest of patrons — no, they won’t serve cheeseburgers, but the hipster wait staff wouldn’t judge anyone who asked. The refreshing take on a trendy restaurant is both unique and invigorating and the whole space provides an enlivening place to eat, drink, practice yoga or participate in wellness ventures including massage, acupuncture, reiki and an infrared sauna.
L.A. health nuts have long awaited the day when all their favorite services were under one roof — taking the metro back and forth to a juice bar, yoga studio and massage parlor just doesn’t provide the relaxing aspect of a day spent all in one place — and The Springs delivers. The culmination of airy atmosphere, friendly staff and holistic wellness focus makes The Springs a place customers want to visit and never leave. Its menu, though pricey, is fresh and worth treating oneself to for a healthy and refreshing meal. The Springs’ yoga program, though, may be its most impressive aspect. Reasonably priced classes with seasoned, solicitous instructors are an especially rare find in downtown Los Angeles, but The Springs has created the perfect combination of all of the above.
The Springs, located at 608 Mateo St., is now open Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m, to 11 p.m., Friday, 7 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.