Industry Insiders: Paige Clay, Flake Fanatic

Paige Clay, proprietress of Flake Cereal Bar and Luncheonette, on her current state of stokedness, her past as a stunt-girl, and her dreams of serving Kix to the Beckham kids.

What do you do? Well, I guess I’m a cereal slinger. I’m a sugar pusha. I’m a bacon pimp. I roll around Venice and run my little shop. It has a true neighborhood vibe, and I hope that I’m at least somewhat responsible for helping to set that tone. I pretty much got Shang-hai’ed into opening the restaurant by my partner Simon a couple of years ago. I think I originally agreed to help for a few months, and then it ended up consuming my life. Never talk business over pitchers of margaritas, that’s all I’m sayin’.

Where do you eat? I freakin’ love Hinano for a burger and a Hinano Tahitian Beer in an icy cold mug. I actually think Albertsons, the grocery store, has the bomb-est fried chicken in town. And I’m a southern girl, so I know what I’m talking. Capo is my favorite restaurant on the whole planet. I have to restrain myself from licking the plates because everything there is so fantastic. It’s hella spendy, but well worth it. Big fat martinis, too.

Where do you hang out? I love Venice Beach Wines for drinks and snacks with friends. The atmosphere is really unique, and can be lively or serene depending on the evening. I also really love Lido Grill on Washington Boulevard. Great hummus, great mixed grill.

Who do you admire in your industry? Captain Crunch is doing some great stuff over at Quaker, and that Count Chocula, man, what vision! No, I really admire anyone who’s passionate about their business or their art or sport. I really get so stoked on other people who are stoked. It’s a big super stoke fest.

Any restaurant trends you’re into these days? I’m starting a garden at Flake. Growing the things I buy now, basil and cucumbers for the Greek salad, jalapeños and tomatoes for Felix’s salsa. I’m into being somewhat self-sufficient, Alice Waters-style. I’m gunnin’ for a bee hive and some goats so I can make my own honey and goats cheese. So, maybe I’ll start a trend.

What is something that people don’t know about you? That I had a misspent youth. I spent it traveling around the world jumping off of stuff for a living, both as a pro snowboarder and Hollywood stunt girl.

Has Flake been popular with those crazy celebrities? Flake don’t kiss and tell, but I will tell you, it is my dream to get those Beckham kids to come in and eat some cereal. I mean, Posh, gimme some Romeo and Brooklyn. Even Becks himself can’t hold a candle to little Cruz. I mean I love those kids. I wanna get Brittney’s kids in here too, what do they call those two kids of hers, tater tot and small fry? Yup, I want them. Oh, I’d take Lourdes and Rocco — they’d be good, too. Or Sasha and Malia.

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