Most of the time, when I’m heading to California, I’m heading to San Francisco (one of my fave American cities!), Santa Barbara (yoga!), or San Diego (dog beach!). It’s been quite a while since my last trip to L.A., so last weekend when I was in town for The Genesis Awards, I made sure to check out some places that were new to me. Getting ready for and going to the Awards took up most of Saturday, but my husband Seth and I still made time for some wonderful meals together during our stay, on our own and shared with friends.
Great little vegetarian/vegan Mediterranean place on Sunset Boulevard. The cafe only seats about thirty people, so the atmosphere is intimate, but high energy. My husband Seth and I started by splitting a crock of organic lentils that came topped with deliciously roasted crimini mushrooms and caramelized onions. While Seth opted for the Mushroom Risotto as a main course, I chose the Roasted beet & Braised Fennel that was served with basmati rice and a port wine reduction– a dish I will be attempting to re-create at home very soon!
Real Food Daily
The West Hollywood location turned out to be the ideal place for Sunday brunch with some friends from Compassion Over Killing. I’d been thinking about pancakes since I woke up that morning, so I had the Blueberry Pancakes, complete with vegan butter and maple syrup. Seth ordered the RFD Benedict, a vegan version of a classic that substitutes savory herbed tofu for the eggs. Complete with tempeh bacon and vegan hollandaise sauce — it’s to die for! Other great dishes at our table: the Sausage Scramble made with Chipotle seitan sausage, onions, peppers, cilantro, and melted cashew cheese, and the Triple Decker Club Sandwich of seitan, tempeh bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and veganaise on sourdough. (I didn’t catch what Tobey Maguire was having at the next table.)
Cafe Gratitude, Los Angeles
Well… we didn’t get here during our long weekend, but I’m including it on the list anyway. Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood has been one of my favorite spots in that city. However, it’s one of the northern California locations now closing its doors. I’m happy to know there’s one to visit in L.A. the next time I’m in town.
If you have a Los Angeles fave, I’d love to hear about it!