Space Invader: Jessica Koslow & Sqirl
Hey there, queens of the universe. Nasty Galaxy drops on October 4 (that's tomorrow!); have you pre-ordered your copy of this linen-bound, full-color, brimming-with-advice, cocktail-party-in-your-lap? It picks up where #GIRLBOSS left off and dives into all the inspirational, bizarre, funny, endearing, glamorous (and a few definitively unglamorous) nooks of Sophia’s life. It’s all in there, and we can’t wait for you to see it.
In the weeks leading up to the release, we’ve been taking you on a journey around L.A. to get to know some of the baddest mamajamas in the galaxy who inspire Sophia on the regular. So far, we've stopped in to visit Nicole Katz of Paper Chase Press, Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of Moon Juice, Helen Johannesen of Helen's Wines and stylist Djuna Bel at her gorgeous home. We'll be finishing up the series this week; check back to see where we're headed and don't forget to pick up your copy of Nasty Galaxy via Nasty Gal, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold!
Of all the foods one associates with being knock-your-tastebuds-sideways good, toast is generally not the first thing that comes to mind. But that's only true if you've never been to Sqirl. Opened by chef Jessica Koslow in 2012 in an unassuming strip of storefronts in east L.A., Sqirl is a tiny, mostly-breakfast-food restaurant with simple fare that emanates genuine goodness in every sense of the word: Koslow's commitment to sustainable produce paired with food that is transcendent in its simplicity; the always-hustling kitchen crew that works in full view of the endless line of patrons and never seems to lose its cool; that world-altering French toast; jam that you'd actually be stoked to get as a gift.
If you didn't catch Jessica on Girlboss Radio a few months back, we highly recommend you tune in to find out how the former ice skater went on to build a toast shop that's become an icon not just in the L.A. dining scene, but nationally. Beyond that, we recommend you get into the shop posthaste; Sqirl's star will be ascending even more rapidly with the release of Jessica's cookbook Everything I Want to Eat tomorrow (yep, same day as Nasty Galaxy!) and a new restaurant opening next year. Check out Nasty Galaxy hanging with its release-day twin:
To you, what is a Girlboss?
First, it takes drive: being driven by passion for whatever it is that you do. Then it takes focus: channeling that passion to believe in yourself and what you're doing to build a career in whatever you love. Then it takes dedication: to stay the course, lead by example and mentor those that are supporting you (and are around you) to find their inner Girlboss/Dudeboss.
Tell us a little bit about your space. What inspired the aesthetic?
Our cafe is humble. I do not have investors and so what you see is what you get. Our design, brought to you by Project Room, is based in clear lines and modernist shapes.
What role do you see Sqirl playing in the galaxy of L.A.?
Sqirl brought national attention to the fact that breakfast and lunch can be just as well executed and considered as dinner service. A direct relationship with surrounding farmers provides all the produce for the restaurant, as well as all the fruit for the 35,000 jars of jam a year we make. Southern California is our home and we are proud to be an active member of the food community!
Anything exciting on the horizon?
Hey! Our book, Everything I Want To Eat comes out tomorrow as well!! And we have a new, 8,000 square-foot restaurant opening in late spring 2017 with a nearby drought-tolerant farm. Hopefully my friends and family will be OK knowing that I’ll be working very hard for years to come...