Talk about a hidden gem, Croft Alley is a tiny, rustic cafe tucked, away on Melrose Alley in Los Angeles, which connects to the better known Melrose Avenue. It's almost like a speakeasy but for the lunch crowd. It's an unlikely cozy spot in the middle of the big city, and the minute you enter, you'll feel right at home. This is not a vegan restaurant but they can easily change orders and cater to any dietary restrictions. If you take a car service it will most likely drop you off on Melrose Place in front of the Alfred Coffee, which is another one of our favorite spots, but to find Croft Alley, walk straight through the store passageway that takes you past the coffee shop, leaving it to your right, and down a small staircase into the little known spot that happens to serve the best salad in Los Angeles.

A simple kale salad sounds somewhat basic, but it's all in the ingredients, the dressing and the presentation, and the Kale Salad at Croft Alley is worth going out of your way for.

The Kale Salad at Croft is anything but basic. It's is a refreshing bowl of kale and cucumbers that taste like they were picked from the garden minutes before landing on your plate. The salad is topped with crunchy lightly toasted shallots and tossed in a sweet citrus vinaigrette dressing. If you're on the hungrier side, add avocado which will make it a little more expensive, but at $12, it's worth every penny.

Croft has three locations, including Beverly Hills and Hollywood, but my favorite is the West Hollywood location because it's walking distance from some of the best stores, including the consignment mecca, The Real Real.

Because Croft is a small place that only sits about 15 people they encourage communal seating inside. Instead grab a spot in the alley to people watch and pat the dogs. They have a back patio with comfortable benches, fluffy pillows, twinkly lights -- a total zen vibe. It's a peaceful spot to stay focused, especially on a weekday afternoon, so bring your laptop and get a lot of work done.

Make yourself at home and we guarantee this will become your new favorite chill spot when you're meeting a friend for coffee or the kale salad after yoga.

One note: You can't go wrong with the coffee. But, for the best coffee in all of LA head back over to Alfred Coffee, literally five steps from Croft. If you're like me, you'll grab a black hot coffee with a touch of oat milk and bring it over, order the salad, and sit outside in happiness.




More From The Beet