Tag Archives: best veggie sandwich in la

Cafe Gratitude

restaurant - sandwich - vegan

Is it possible for a restaurant to have groupies?!? I have been waiting in anticipation for Cafe Gratitude forever. Today, I showed up 15 minutes before they opened to make sure that I would be their very first customer!!!


And I was! I got to meet the owners, and they took pictures with me for their blog :)

With several locations all over the Bay Area, the Los Angeles branch is literally a 10 minute walk from my house.




I actually had zero appetite (I think my stomach’s still processing yesterday’s meal at Doomie’s) but I felt like it was my mission to order a sandwich for BVSLA research (*spoiler alert* – it made the list)

I got the “I Am Extraordinary” – their take on a BLT


Let’s see what’s under the hood, shall we?


Romaine lettuce, sliced avocado and tomato, and a ton of chipotle aioli


The restaurant doesn’t use any soy or fake meats as their protein sources. So the “Bacon” was sauteed maple coconut


The environment is totally conducive to dining solo



They bring out condiments, but I didn’t need any – everything was perfectly seasoned, and quite frankly, mind-blowingly amazing.


On the side comes a salad – which looks naked…


…but is actually dressed underneath


Very messy, but the cloth napkins did their job. I love how sustainable everything is – I feel like too many restaurants are relying on biodegradable/compostable utensils and plates these days. Not only is Cafe Gratitude truly earth-friendly, but community-conscious as well:


I also dug the positive messages everywhere – on my water bottle…


…in the bathroom…


…even on my check!


I apologize in advance to all my blog readers, because it’s going to get boring seeing me eat at Cafe Gratitude as regularly as I plan to. But because it’s so close-by, has free wifi, and allows dogs on the outside patio, I feel it’s my duty to uphold my reputation as their #1 Customer!


Once I’ve finished digesting, I’ll be back, for sure.


(Did I mention I wasn’t even hungry when I went?!?)

Cafe Gratitude on Urbanspoon


dessert - restaurant - sandwich - soup/stew - vegan

Before I even started a food blog, I heard a lot of buzz around Doomie’s Home Cookin’ – a vegan restaurant that opened downtown in 2008. It was on my to-eat list then, but unfortunately shut down before I could try it.


This past December, Doomie’s reopened. Not only a 5-minute drive away from me, but within walking distance from my second home, The Arclight.


We were the very first customers when they opened at noon. Doomie himself opened the doors for us!


My lunch dates – Abe and Quentin (my director from “The People I’ve Slept With” – which is coming out soon on DVD!!!)


It’s been a while since I’ve done BVSLA “research” so we ordered a few sandwiches


Abe got the BBQ Pulled Pork, which comes with Mac N Cheese (plus choice of fries or fruit)


I opted for the Chicken Parm sandwich…


…with fruit and coleslaw (<—available upon request)


Abe and I wound up splitting the two


Both were pretty mind-blowing – not just good for vegan food, but good food, period. The textures are crazy impressive – so much so that carnivores (like myself) might be fooled. Doomie was very secretive about the ingredients, but he did say that the proteins are soy-based, and the cheese is made in-house.

And yes, both have made the BVSLA list – even knocking Pure Luck’s BBQ Pulled Pork off.

Unfortunately, we were not as wowed by the side dishes:


I only had a few bites of both and didn’t even bother with the fries, since Abe said they were just “fine.”

Sampled Quentin’s Sloppy Joe, which was yummy, but overpowered with bell-pepper flavor


Plus a sip of the daily soup (Creamy Chikun Tortilla) – awesome.


We were all pretty stuffed, but I felt like dessert was necessary, especially after seeing Das Baker’s selections


Doomie brought out something that wasn’t even on the menu for us


Double fudge croissant bread pudding


It’s as rich as it looks, kids. I’ve had better vegan desserts, but still ate more than my fair 1/3 share, with as much chocolate sauce as I could scoop up.

We waddled back out to our cars, happily full.


By the way, not only is parking free, but so is the wifi. My wallet is doomed.

Doomie's Home Cookin' Veggie-Vegan on Urbanspoon

The Natives Aren’t Restless

bakeries/cafes/dessert places - trader joe's - vegan

When I first heard the M Cafe in Culver City was closing, my heart sank.  But in the same press release, I read that it was being replaced by a Native Foods.

Heart lifted!

I recently had a blogger meetup at their Westwood chain, but this space totally kicks that location’s ass:

I ordered today’s special

The Scorpion Burger, with your choice of side

I got the kale, which comes plainly steamed with chopped red peppers and a lemon wedge.

This is Native Foods founder Chef Tanya’s original burger – Homemade Tempeh blackened with chipotle sauce, lettuce, carrots, avocado, and raw red onions.  Totally messy but knee-slapping incredible.

My lunch date, the brilliant writer Paula Yoo, agreed.  We traded bites – her Saigon Wrap is going on my BVSLA list. Soooo tasty – and huge!  It’s basically 1.5 sandwiches!

Inside the whole wheat wrap is lemongrass tofu, lightly pickled daikon and carrot twirls, brown + jasmine rice, cucumber strips, fresh cilantro + basil – dipped in this tangy peanut sauce:

I am ecstatic about the Culver City Native Foods – M Cafe rocks, but I can always get their stuff in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills.  Also, the portions at NF are larger, and a little bit cheaper – they have a frequent eater rewards card too!  Plus, the service was above and beyond  – everyone was uber friendly and attentive.

After my tasty little meeting I walked across the street to pick up some groceries.  Trader Joe’s has so many exciting Holiday goodies…

…but what I’m most excited about is that they now carry Frozen Brussels Sprouts…


Rejoice, everyone!

Native Foods Cafe on Urbanspoon