Restaurant Review

On my quest to sample LA’s best vegan restaurants, I added Café Gratitude to the list.  This little place off Melrose was brimming with good will and karma—from the slogans on staff t-shirts to the signs on the restaurant walls and even the menu itself.  Menu items are charmingly titled “satisfied”, “bright-eyed”, and “gracious”.  In fact, the whole vibe at this eatery is about honoring vegan, organic ingredients and being thankful for the opportunity to experience a bounty of such lovely, plant-based foods on our planet.  So, why not reflect on a grateful attitude while you’re dining?
And while you’re considering gratitude while dining, the food experience is not so bad either!  Many food choices here are raw, but not all of them; you can tell by an “R” symbol on the menu.  They make their own cashew and macadamia cheeses, and have a focus on global flavors, such as Asian and Mediterranean, and whole plant foods, such as quinoa, chickpeas, beans, and greens.

It was hard to select an appetizer among such choices as bruschetta on a raw buckwheat cracker, zucchini cilantro hummus with corn tortillas, and spicy nachos with vegan “cheese”, pico de gallo, and roasted potatoes.  We choose the latter, which came with a creamy cashew sour crea, and zesty topping.

The salads were interesting, but we settled on “pure”, a marinated kale salad with nori, avocados, sea palm, cucumbers, carrots, teriyaki almonds, and more—tossed with a delicious sesame ginger tahini dressing that I was just dying to deconstruct in my own home kitchen.  All in all, it was a sea-inspired kale salad with just a hint of the “sea” and in a very generous portion that could be a meal in one.  It even comes with kimchi upon request.

The dinner menu was really tough to decide on with such inspired choices as a hemp seed pesto bowl, Indian curried lentils over local brown rice, and macrobiotic sea vegetable bowl with squash and adzuki beans.  We chose a raw pizza with heirloom cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, summer squash, hempseed pesto, and cashew mozzarella on an onion-sunflower crust.

Sharon Palmer

Price Per Entre:
Nothing over $13.75

Hours:
Sun-Thurs 8AM – 10PM
Fri-Sat 8AM – 11PM

Favorite Dish:
Raw Pizza

Cuisine:
100% Organic Vegan

Website:
CafeGratitudela.com

Phone:
(502) 749-8911

Address:
639 Larchmont Blvd, Los Angelos, CA 90004