TwisttwistTwistTwistDessertTwist THE PLACE: Twist at 344 South La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036

In a world full of huge restaurant chains and mega stores, I find that I am always on a quest to find mom and pop shops and restaurants that have a charming, more personal feel.  On the weekends, my fiance and I often scour Los Angeles for gems like these and when we happened upon a cozy eatery called Twist a few weeks back, we were smitten.  Twist (pictured above) is the perfect place to eat for brunch or lunch because the ambience is so relaxing and the food is so delicious and healthy (there are great vegetarian and gluten-free options for picky eaters like me!).  I’m also a big fan of the restaurant’s interior design–from the exposed brick to the pops of yellow.  The best part of our first Twist experience (aside from the food) was that the owner, Joelle Bercovitch, came out to greet everyone as they ate–asking how their days were and whether they were enjoying themselves. This created a really unique small town feel in such a big city and we felt at home.  Needless to say, we have now hit up Twist almost every weekend since our first visit.

As we further got to know Joelle, we learned that she had quite the fashion background–she ran the Charles David retail stores for years (and her father actually founded this shoe line). She opened Twist last year when she realized that owning her own restaurant was a lifelong dream she absolutely needed to tackle.  Since I love to get inspired by other female entrepreneurs, today’s post is dedicated to Joelle.  Find out more about Joelle below and if you’re in the Los Angeles area, go visit Twist!

Please describe Twist to someone who has never been there. What kinds of food do you serve there and why?  Twist is a neighborhood cafe, set in a homey, comfortable environment, where you can get fresh, healthy and rustic food made with attention to flavor and freshness of simple ingredients. We serve comfort food that we interpret in our way and always put our “twist” in every dish.

Please walk us through how and when you decided to open up your own restaurant.  How did you switch gears from what you were doing before? I had always dreamt of having my own cafe or bakery. Having run the Charles David Retail stores nationwide for the last 25 years, I knew that the Company was winding down and I decided to take a leap of faith and jump into my new endeavor–it was now or never. I was driven mostly because I never wanted to regret not having gone after my dream.

What is your greatest inspiration as a female entrepreneur?  Other people who have gone after their passion and not looked back. At any point in one’s life you have to ask yourself, if I take away the fear of failure or fear in general, what would I be doing right now? Once you come up with the answer you owe it to yourself to see that vision through. I’ve met a lot of inspirational and fearless people who have taught me to follow my dream, the day I decided to remove the fear of starting something I knew very little about was the day I literally grew wings and was able to fly, and I am so glad I did!

Who taught you what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? What pieces of advice have you taken from him or her?  My father is a brilliant business man–he created the Charles David brand and taught me so much about running a business. My husband has been my biggest cheerleader and my kids as well as my entire family have been great supporters. One needs to surround one’s self with positive believers!

Your restaurant has a beautiful aesthetic. What was your inspiration for its interior design? I was immediately inspired by the bones of the space. The beautiful red brick wall and wooden beamed ceilings created the backdrop for the design. I wanted to create an atmosphere of comfort that was both industrial and rustic at the same time. So many things came together just I envisioned them, it was really like it was all meant to be. I added yellow, which is such a happy color throughout, to give touches of pop and lightness. I even had our espresso machine custom painted yellow at an auto body shop to make it unique!

What is your upcoming vision for Twist? Where do you see the business and yourself in 5 years? I have so many plans for Twist: a cookbook, opening up more Twist cafes in other wonderful neighborhoods, giving cooking classes too. I want Twist to be a meeting place for people where they come together to enjoy good food, friends and share wonderful moments. Although it is wonderful to think of all the great things Twist can be, I will humbly let it lead me where it may, and continue to see my dream unfold.