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The Founder of Toms Shoes on the Best Breakfast in L.A.

Gjelina in Los Angeles

Gjelina in Los Angeles Photo © Dave Lauridsen

Blake Mycoskie, founder of Toms shoes, is a travel fanatic fueled by late-night Buddha Bowls and 6 a.m. cups of espresso.

Competing on the Amazing Race Season 2
After 31 days, my sister, Paige, and I were winning, but ultimately we lost by four minutes because I wouldn’t stop to get a map. I still meet fans of the show who want to talk about it.

His 6:01 A.M. Espresso Habit
We opened Toms cafés in Austin and Los Angeles; New York City and Portland, Oregon, are coming soon. They all serve direct-trade coffee from countries where we donate Toms shoes, like Rwanda. Every day that I’m in L.A., I’m the first customer at our café. It opens at 6 a.m.; the barista, Nick, knows I’ll be there at 6:01.

Escaping to Hawaii
I love to surf Hanalei Bay in Kauai. There’s a bar called Tahiti Nui famous for its mai tais.

His Los Angeles Breakfast Haunt
Gjelina and Axe on Abbot Kinney are two of my favorite places. Axe’s nine-grain pancake is unbelievable—you can buy cups of the batter to take home.

A Great Meal at 30,000 Feet
When I flew to Dubai on Emirates airlines, they served a perfect duck risotto, and it’s something that’s so hard not to overcook.

Being Fed by Strangers
One of my favorite food memories is of my first trip to Ethiopia. You eat everything with your hands using injera, a thin, spongy bread. People often feed each other—it’s an experience when someone sticks a handful of food in your mouth!

Helping Haiti
In October, I’m sailing from Miami to Haiti with friends who are entrepreneurs and artists. We want to show how close Haiti is to the U.S. We’ll meet with members of the government to plan how to revive Haiti as a tourist destination.

Midnight Meal
My wife and I are on the road a lot, so we cook things that can keep in the fridge, like quinoa with black beans, sweet potatoes and kale: our Buddha Bowl.

Related: 30 Incredible Breakfast Recipes
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