A little while ago we were contacted by Dan Cox, the PR guy for Seed, an organic, eco-friendly vegan/macrobiotic restaurant. He invited us to come by and enjoy a meal on him. Aren’t we lucky little food bloggers?
Seed is located on Pacific Avenue in Venice. It is a cute, little cafe-type restaurant. Here is a picture of the outside:
And a few shots of the inside:
The first thing Lynn noticed was there wasn’t a public restroom. This was a big problem, because Lynn ALWAYS has to use the bathroom.
Lynn exhibiting excellent bladder control and waiting patiently for her food…
and a cute dog waiting for his owners…
The menu is what we would call contemporary macrobiotics. In addition to the traditional ingredients you might see in macrobiotics (tempeh, seaweed, brown rice and veggies), these dishes had a hip take to them (see some of our choices below). Somewhat similar to M Cafe, but we actually found Seed to be more traditional in its adherence to macrobiotics. (The chef, Eric Lechasseur, was actually the opening chef at M Cafe.) Seed is also slightly less expensive.
At the table where we sat there were the following condiment jars:
What was great is that each one had a description on the back, plus the health benefits. Macrobiotics doesn’t use the typical salt and pepper seasonings since the aim of the diet is easy and proper digestion. So their condiments are things like Shiso Powder (below) which is a dried powder from an ume plum; it is actually extremely salty in taste. This plum helps with digestion, evens blood sugar levels, and clears hangovers too!
Christy in action:
The guy at the counter, Bill, helped us order. For dinner we had:
The Summer Special: Cold Soba Noodle salad ($10.95)
C: I liked this one. I thought it was light and the flavors mixed well. I loved the combination of the ingredients – the cucumbers gave it a nice crunch, the seaweed was sufficiently soaked so it was not tough to eat, and the sprouts, carrots and daikon gave it a good texture. I don’t love mushrooms so I gave them to Lynn.
L: This was pretty good – the wakame seaweed, shitake, and daikon sprouts were so beautiful! I could’ve used more flavor, though. I sprinkled one of the condiments on but I can’t remember which one!
The Seed Chop-Chop Salad ($9.95):
C: This reminded me of a cobb salad, but of course the ingredients were all vegan. The dressing was creamy but not too heavy. And I liked the crunch of the cabbage. This is a great summer/beach salad.
L: This was really good – the lettuce came already dressed; I wish it had been on the side so we could control the amount. The combo of flavors was really tasty – I especially liked the fried tempeh and roasted almonds. I never eat whole almonds in my salads but this has converted me.
The Southwest burger ($9.95)
C: This was a good burger choice for me since I prefer veggie burgers made out of beans and grain. This was also my favorite dish of the evening. The bread was toasted so well. The burger was flavorful and the guacamole was awesome. My father-in-law is a meat eater who generally would not enjoy this type of restaurant but I could totally bring him here, get him this burger, and he would be really happy. It tasted great! And I took the side slaw and added it to my soba noodles.
L: I eat a lot of veggie burgers, and this is a really really really really really good one – we got it without soy cheese but it was still plenty delish. The bread and the burger formed a highly mouth pleasing texture – crunchy and chewy at the same time. The ancho chili spread and guacamole just added life to the party, and the burger itself was very hearty. I, however, did not care for the slaw. A bit too blah for me and I wasn’t too pleased with the raw, red cabbage – sour!
The Mango Tango ($11.95)
C: I wasn’t crazy about this one. No particular reason, the ingredients are great; it just didn’t strike my fancy. The mango salsa was good though.
L: Obviously Christy and I are from different planets because I really liked this – it was a crunchy egg roll. You know how I love my egg rolls! The cabbage and seitan were perfectly cooked inside and I liked how the broccoli was served plain and steamed to balance the dish out. Add some mango salsa for sweetness, and I had a very happy tongue.
This is Christy’s plate (plus I had seconds on the burger):
Lynn’s plate (plus seconds on the Chop Chop salad and Mango Tango):
For dessert they had a bunch of options. They also had cookies and cupcakes in another case.
All of them looked great, but we chose Madonna’s Coconut Mousse – yes, the real Madonna -($5.00)
And the tiramisu ($5.00) because it is one of the customer faves:
C: I will be honest, the desserts were not my favorite. But I am more of a cookie person anyway. Maybe I will try that the next time I come. And as Lynn said, “If my favorite dessert was tiramisu and I was a vegan, I would be totally pumped about this.”
L: I DID say that – why do I say such dorky things? I’m not a tiramisu fan in general, so of course a vegan version isn’t going to win me over. Madonna, I love you, but I didn’t love your mousse. That said, I was glad that all the desserts were sweetened with maple and/or brown rice.
C: Here are the leftovers I took home with me – boy oh boy is my husband going to be excited!!!!
L: I took back the rest of the burger, the Mango Tango, and Madonna….er, her mousse.
Thanks to Bill for taking such good care of us, to Dan for picking up the check – and thank you to Seed for making macrobiotics so easy and tasty!