When I first moved to NYC from my hometown in west Los Angeles almost 10 years ago, I admit I was a bit of a caricature: I wasn’t at all prepared for my first winter (discovering wool socks was a revelation) and I wouldn’t stop talking about how much I missed my favorite foods, tacos and smoothies.
In the decade since, I’ve lived in four neighborhoods across two boroughs, and have had my fair share of tacos, some really good, most just OK, almost all too expensive.
My hunt for the perfect smoothie has been less fulfilling (but usually just as expensive). It’s hard to find purveyors that use local, seasonal produce, which both tastes better and is more sustainable, and even harder to find those that are mindful of sustainability in their packaging and distribution.
NoMad’s Om Juice Bar, which opened late last month, is thinking about all of the above and more.
Om’s founder, Anastasia Kulinich, actually came up with the idea for the juice bar when she was doing a lot of thinking—during a 10-day silent meditation retreat. After going vegetarian in 2012, Kulinich started experimenting with different diets and found that, for her, an entirely plant-based, natural foods diet was best. She wanted an opportunity to share her experiences with others, so she opened Om to “help people usher more health and happiness into their lives, in its own small way.”
The all-organic, 100 percent vegan menu at Om includes eight varieties of cold-pressed juices ($10 each) made to order, nine types of smoothies ($10 each) and three different fruit-and-nut bowls ($11 each)—all made almost exclusively with local produce, save for the tropical ingredients. And fellow Californians can rejoice further: Avocado toast is forthcoming. The bar’s juices are served in recyclable glass bottles that can be returned for $1 off your next juice purchase, and the smoothies and bowls are served in fully recyclable and compostable dishware, respectively.
Staying true to their plant-based principles, Om will donate 1 percent of its profits to a different local animal rescue organization each month.
Photo’s courtesy of Om Juice Bar.