I just got back from an amazing trip to Los Angeles California and I was happy to find so many healthy restaurants in LA! It was truly a holistic nutritionist dream come true because I didn’t have to lug around a ginormous purse filled with snacks. It was really easy to find yummy and healthy restaurants in LA, all I had to carry with me was my refillable water bottle. While we were there we went to some ‘regular’ restaurants as well, I was really impressed that they had a specific gluten free menu and they were happy to make my meal dairy free as well.
I started writing this post but it got way too long so I decided to break it up into two posts. In Healthy Restaurants in LA Part 1 I’ll review Café Gratitude, Seed, Native Foods Café and Planet Raw. I’m going to post Healthy Restaurants in LA Part 2 as a bonus post next Monday! Make sure you come back to see reviews on Urth Caffe, SunCafe, Open Source Organics and Bliss Café. At the end of Healthy Restaurants in LA Part 2 I’m going to include list of all the places I would like to check out next time I’m in LA.
After an early wake up and a long flight to LA, we were really happy to refuel at Café Gratitude. Café Gratitude is a 100% organic vegan restaurant specializing in gourmet raw and cooked cuisine. Their menu contains local fare and all of the food is free from refined sugar, flour and additives.
It was a beautiful day so we were able to sit on the patio at the Venice Beach Location. The ambiance at Café Gratitude was clean and simple with white decor and there was a small potted cactus on each table. The staff was attentive and full of vibrant energy. I ordered I AM REJUVENATED, a fun green drink with wheatgrass, apple, ginger, lemon juice and sparkling water. I really enjoyed the addition of sparkling water to the juice, I can’t wait to try it at home. To start the meal we split I AM ADVENTUROUS, a fresh cucumber and honeydew Gazpacho, served chilled with fresh mint. The Gazpacho was smooth and refreshing with the perfect amount of sweetness and acid, we really enjoyed it.
For my main course I ordered I AM LIBERATED which is a creamy hemp seed pesto pasta with kelp noodles, heirloom cherry tomatoes, green olives, kalamata olives, fresh asparagus and spinach topped with Brazil nut parmesan and fresh basil. The kelp had the perfect amount of crunch and the pesto was delicious. I would have liked more tomatoes, asparagus and olives in the dish. Chris ordered I AM MAGICAL which is a homemade veggie burger on an organic whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and spicy chipotle ketchup. I didn’t get a chance to taste the burger because the bun was not gluten free but Chris, whose favorite food is steak, said it was great! He also really enjoyed the side salad it came with.
Seed serves fresh macrobiotic cuisine without any animal products or refined sugar. They are dedicated to ecological sustain-ability and responsible business practices. We were not quite hungry enough for a meal at Seed so we ordered carrot juice which was sweet and tasty.
Native Foods Café
Native Foods Café is a vegan restaurant that serves homemade fresh food. We started by splitting Butternut Polenta Bites. The pesto baked polenta rounds were topped with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions and toasted pumpkin seeds. They were topped with a balsamic drizzle and served over arugula. We both loved this appetizer because the polenta was cooked to perfection and the toppings were a perfect addition that took the dish above and beyond any other polenta bite we had tasted.
For my main dish I ordered Ensalada Azteca which is a huge salad that I really enjoyed. It came with fresh avocado, cucumber and jicama salsa on top of organic quinoa and romaine lettuce tossed in mango lime vinaigrette. It was topped with currants, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro.
Chris ordered the Portobello & Sausage Burger which he devoured! It had juicy grilled portobellos, Seitan sausage, pomodoro, caramelized onions, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo.
During my meal I sipped on Lavender Lemonade made with French lavender, fresh lemons and sweetened with organic sugar. Chris ordered Watermelon Fresca made with fresh watermelon, a touch of mint and agave. Both drinks came with unlimited refills (awesome!), they were quite tasty but a little on the sweet side.
At Planet Raw celebrity raw food chef and best selling author Juliano Brotman has created a 100% organic raw vegan culinary food experience. We were really excited for this restaurant and expected to be blown away by creativity and interesting flavor combinations. I’m not sure if it was the rude waitress or the laser beams dancing all over the ceiling, but regrettably Planet Raw did not live up to our expectations. We ended up with a good meal that was tasty but not extraordinary.
We started with the Bonzai Sushi that was made with macadamia marine “tartare”, burdock, heirloom tomato, shiso, wild seaweed, avocado & wasabi. The sushi was really good because the chef captured the traditional sushi flavors.
For my main course I ordered Lexi Sliders made with pumpkin tortellini, sundried heirloom tomatoes, avocado and onion on flax with a balsamic drizzle. The sliders were yummy but the fresh onions were quite overpowering.
Chris ordered the RAW Deep Dish Chicago Pizza based on the waitress’s recommendation. It was an interesting interpretation of a deep dish pizza with a flat nut based crust piled high with onions, black olives, mixed greens, basil and tomatoes topped with a creamy sauce. Unfortunately Chris is not a big fan of olives, he found the onions too pungent and he didn’t care for the sauce.
Have you been to any of these restaurants? Leave a comment letting me know what you thought!