It is either due to a rising awareness on health issues or the power of social media, this dietary trend has also affected restaurants as well. Given this fact, it is now possible to find a restaurant on every corner of the city where açai-filled ceramic bowls decorated with flowers, agave syrups and almond milks of various kinds take the center stage.
Café Gratitude is the family name of these vegan restaurants located in various spots across the city which include Larchmont, Arts District, Venice, San Diego. The new addition to this growing group is the Canon Drive spot, the one I lately visited. With Executive Chef Seizan Dreaux at its helm, the restaurant embraces the principles of a sustainable planet and honors the earth.
Every dish is named after a different adjective on its menu. You start ordering your food saying, “I am…” which is written on the top of the menu and complete your sentence with adjectives such as “humble,” “grateful,” and “welcoming” that are attached to each dish. This playful language works toward the realization of the restaurant’s aims to cleanse souls along with bodies.
Originated in South America, açai berry (pronounced as uh-sah-ee) entered Turkish kitchens long ago and left behind many other “superfood” fads thanks to its delicious taste and the benefits it has to offer. Café Gratitude works its magic on the berry with a menu that offers many kinds of açai bowls featuring a wide variety of fruits and grains. As I am not a person with a sweet tooth, I opted for other items on the menu instead such as nachos, quinoa, noodle and pizza.
While my favorite dish was “humble” quinoa which featured red lentil dal, roasted garnet yams, coconut mint chutney, spinach, spicy tomato jam; “liberated” raw pad thai kelp noodles too had a palate-appeasing aroma with Thai-style almond sauce and sprouts.
Pizza, Kinoa and Noodle
With seasonal vegetables on top of a flatbread made with the grain kernza, which is one this millennium’s trends, chef’s perennial grain pizza was quite an interesting experience for a carnivore like me.
At the end of my day which started with a late lunch at Gratitude and ended with an exquisite Australian Blackmore wagyu at Gwen -check here for my review- I came to realize that I am not ready yet to go vegan!
I don’t know much about the current situation of vegan restaurants in Turkey especially considering that Turkish cuisine is meat-oriented. However, after I experienced Café Gratitude and few other similar spots, I should say that life is quite generous to vegans who are living in Los Angeles!
Bon appétit and enjoy the taste of life…
419 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA