"Venice, US - October 17, 2011: Skatepark of Venice Beach in Venice, US. This skatepark, with pool, ramps, stair set and flow bowls
Influencers + Tastemakers

A Local’s Guide to Venice Beach with The Lost Explorer Founder David de Rothschild

David de Rothschild founded his lifestyle emporium, The Lost Explorer, in 2015, but the launch date is officially 2025. It’s a 10-year incubation for navigating the trials and errors of running a modern retail company. “We’re a work in progress,” he explains with a hint of excitement. Today, you can drink The Lost Explorer mezcal, wear its limited-run apparel (designed by use not season), sip their organic tea, lather on the 100% natural wellness products, and soon, travel the globe on bespoke trips. It’s a diverse line up all connected by de Rothschild’s commitment to “celebrate and elevate” nature at every opportunity. A seven-continent adventurer, the UK transplant now lives, works and plays in Venice Beach, CA. He chatted with Jetsetter about his favorite places to eat, shop, and surf locally, as well as the fastest escape route to nature.

Nikki has been writing about travel for more than a decade, covering everywhere from England to Russia to tiny Pacific Ocean archipelagos. Now with a junior Jetsetter in tow, she's all about upstate New York escapes and Euro city breaks. Nikki is a former Jetsetter senior editor and writes for Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR, the Sunday Times Travel Magazine and more.

See recent posts by Nikki Ridgeway

How did The Lost Explorer get started?

The Lost Explorer mezcal tea
The Lost Explorer mezcal loose tea
The Lost Explorer X Bureo Surf Fin

The Lost Explorer

After working with big brands for years through sponsorship events, I wanted to create a one-stop lifestyle emporium for the sort of lifestyle I believe in, and live. If I sit and relax with a cup of tea in the morning, I want to share it by offering both the chair [a soon-to-launch collaboration with Danish firm, KBH] and our organic tea. Our mezcal, a drink made for sipping while sharing stories by an open fire, is crafted in small batches by a master mezcalero in Oaxaca. Our wellness line is 100% natural without negatively impacting the communities who also rely on the ingredients. We have surfboard fins made from recycled fishing nets, and apparel made from all organic materials in limited runs to combat waste. To me, sustainability is thinking about others, not your own self-interest and ultimately we’re trying to shift the whole retail culture, not just our products.

What do you love about living and working in Venice Beach?

Venice Beach

Having the Pacific on my doorstep. We’re creatures of the ocean and being near it is an incredible leveler. I’m trying to spend a lot more time in the water these days, so I’ll go for a walk along the beach very early in the morning and dive in for a swim between the towers. I’m slowly getting better at ocean swimming.

Where do you send visitors in Venice Beach?

Everyone has to experience the madness of the boardwalk. My tip to friends is to do it by bike, so you can discover the quiet corners all the way north and soak in the atmosphere without being in the thick of it. Once you get past the Santa Monica pier there are huge, broad beaches without the crowds. I’m still finding incredible hikes through Mandeville Canyon with views across LA and all the way out to Long Beach. And I tell everyone to rent a car and drive the PCH out to Ventura. The easy access to the outdoors is the best part about living here — it’s a metropolis surrounded by wild nature.

Where do you love to shop locally?

There’s a fantastic handmade shoe boutique on Lincoln Blvd called No.One. They’re preserving a dying art and will even make lasts of your feet. You don’t find places like that anymore. I also like the Japanese store on Abbot Kinney Blvd, Tortoise General Store. It’s just a fun store for craft, art pieces and souvenirs like key rings.

What does an ideal Saturday in Venice Beach look like to you?

Surfers, swimmers, and sunbathers enjoying the ocean at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu, California.
Palm trees in Manhattan Beach and pier at sunset, Los Angeles, California.

I’m a morning person and get up at the crack of dawn to go surfing, so I’m always ready for a big breakfast. There’s a little spot under the Venice Beach sign named Great White; the owners are Aussies, so you know the coffee and avocado toast are going to be good. Then I’ll grab bread and pastries for a picnic from Gjusta, a cool little bakery on Sunset Avenue and hit the PCH. Malibu Farm & Restaurant is a favorite, and I’ll take any chance to explore beautiful Leo Carrillo State Park. If I’m stopping for food locally, it’s at MTN, which does a lot of coal-fired veggie dishes and delicious ramen. I’m a vegetarian and the menu is organized by vegetable, so it’s a good spot for me. I’m generally in bed by 8.30 pm, (really!), but if stay out, it’s for live music; I love going to see the Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. It’s a magical setting completely surrounded by trees and my favorite place to see a concert.

Malibu Farm & Restaurant
Great White Venice
Los Angeles Philharmonic at Hollywood Bowl

Malibu Farm/ Great White / Hollywood Bowl

TOUR TO BOOK: The only way to experience Venice Beach’s food scene like a local is with a local. During this three-hour food tour, you’ll get a taste of the neighborhood’s best poke, tacos, wine, and more at places both known and under-the-radar.

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