I’m trying to stick to a whole food, plant based diet – but nobody’s perfect, right? These places help keep me on track:
1) Real Food Daily. This place….mmmm. Yum, had dinner at their Santa Monica location last night and my office ordered delivery from them on Tuesday. There are so many fantastic dishes at this place I could eat there everyday. Items you MUST try:
– The Club. Seitan, tempeh bacon, avocado, vegenaise, tomato, lettuce, on toasted sourdough. I honestly just started drooling. It is massive like a Club Sandwich should be and served with either their house or caesar salad. Even just choosing between those two is tough – their tahini house dressing is outstanding but their blue corn croutons are also the bomb. Yeah, I just used “the bomb”…
– The Mediterranean Bowl. This is what I had last night, it is a fucking smorgasbord of tasty mediterranean food. Arugula, tomato, avocado and lemon herb Za-atar dressing / Cucumber kalamata salsa / White bean basil salad / Quinoa tabour / Almond feta / served with whole wheat Za’atar flatbread. Damn. I subbed my flatbread out for their gluten free bread as I’m trying to cut back on wheat.
– The Real Food Meal. I get this for lunch A LOT. Or if I’m not feeling that hungry I’ll get the Build Your Own Basics and just opt for a few of these macrobiotic offerings. The RF Meal includes brown rice, beans, daily green, land and sea vegetables, pressed salad and your choice of dressing or sauce (the peanut dressing is so divine).
Those are just a few of their amazing offerings – I never turn down The Rueben Sandwich, Not-Chos, Kung Pao, The Burrito Bowl, or any of their yummy seasonal specials. Ooo and I just remembered they offer brunch on the weekends – The Weekender is such a feast!!! Go if you’re in LA — this place is a pleaser for vegans or ANYONE (seriously, The Club has converted many a faux-meat hater).
2) Euphoria Loves Rawvolution. A raw vegan cafe that is passionate about providing nourishing food using Earth conscious methods. They compost their food scraps, use biodegradable to-go containers, and use non-toxic cleaning supplies. But enough about their cool business practices – lets get to the food!
– Nachos. These are crazy good. I have seriously considered licking the plate… Walnut taco meat, guacamole, salsa, seed cheese, cashew mayo, blue corn chips.
– Pesto Tomato Sliders. So seemingly simple. So delicious – tomatoes and walnut pesto.
– Big Matt With Cheese. Order this. Order THIS – onion bread, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard. You will never want a meat burger again. (That’s what my carnivorous friend says anyway!)
– California Crunch Roll. I had never had Caulihemp Rice before – it’s a perfect base alternative to regular rice. Nori roll, caulihemp rice, avocado, mushrooms, walnut taco meat, sprouts, paprika sauce, jalapeño powder.
Please save room for dessert when you go as well – you’ll thank me later.
3) Cafe Gratitude. These guys support local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly products. I have only tried a couple of their meals because I am a creature of habit and when I find something I love I can not deviate. It also comes from growing up in Iowa as a vegetarian – there were usually only 1 or 2 options for me so my brain shuts down when I have a whole freaking menu.
– Transformed. These are two corn tacos made with sautéed baby squash, pinto beans, pico de gallo, salsa verde, raw cacao mole, and a side of wild rice bean salad and jalapeño asado.
– Whole. A macrobiotic bowl with yams, adzuki beans, kale, kim chee, sea palm, black sesame seed gomasio, terrace almonds, garlic tahini sauce and either brown rice or quinoa.
There are so many other fantastic vegan/raw/vegetarian restaurants in LA but those are my favorite on the Westside. Sage, Seed Kitchen, Native Foods Cafe, Shojin, etc are so tasty, I just don’t frequent them – it’s mostly a location thing! Speaking of location — my favorite neighborhood, vegan friendly restaurant is Le Pain Quotidien — Go there if you want tasty pastries, brunch, salads, soups, tartines, coffee, tea.
Is it lunch yet?