Illustration by Tim Bower
I am in enemy territory. There are young, superthin, attractive women here. Not just working here. They’re patrons. Worse yet, many of them are doing a cleanse. Cleansing is for science-hating, OCD freaks who believe the body is a bathtub that needs to be refinished, instead of a bathtub that needs to be filled with foie gras.
I’m at a cold-pressed juice joint, one of the many that are everywhere now with horrifying names such as the Kreation Juicery, Moon Juice, Pressed Juicery, Sustain Juicery, and Beverly Hills Juice and menus that relish the words “detox,” “raw,” and “wellness.” I feel about these places like Charlie Sheen does about hookers: I’m happy to pay $7 not for the juice, but so I can leave.
But damn, this juice is delicious—like an intense, brightly colored sauce Jean-Georges Vonge-richten might spoon on the side of your plate. Cold-pressed juice is different from the kind you made five times in that juicer you got as a present before realizing it takes ten beets to make one glass and ten hours to clean beets from a mesh filter. For this juice the fruits and vegetables are chopped, wrapped in cheesecloth, and squeezed in a hydraulic press, which—because no air is blown through to oxidize it—allows it to stay fresh longer. (Sure, it’s unpasteurized, but as we know from raw milk, rich people are immune to pathogens.) These juices combine flavors logically and creatively. Pressed Juicery has a kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, and lemon blend that actually tastes like a sweet autumnal salad.
I highly doubt any of these drinks are good for me. But I can slam one on a table like an iPhone 4S, feeling superior to the Vita Coco-wielding plebes around me. They’re slugging back prefab drinks. I’m having an artisanal experience. One that, I have to believe, some bar in Silver Lake will soon add small-batch bourbon to.