Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Gastronomical Excursion: LA & Santa Monica

Call me crazy, but I could spend all day in a health food store. Seriously, much to the dismay of my poor fiance, I HAVE in fact spent HOURS just strolling the isles looking for nothing in particular. I can't really explain it, I guess it is just my inner food nerd coming out. So, to celebrate our six year anniversary Kevin and I went to Santa Monica and LA to explore, Raw Food Nerd-style.

This is ZenBunni. They make the most AMAZING chocolate I have ever had. Normally, I am not really a fan of raw chocolate. I always liked white-chocolate better. Most raw chocolate for me is just too bitter and/or too overpriced. In recession times, who really has the money to throw down ten dollars for a bar of chocolate??? Crazy. Anyway, this had a very delicate flavor. We tired their classic chocolate as they have a variety of flavours. It was simple -- not too sweet and not to bitter. And the store smelled of this amazing incense. It was very general store-esque; like something you would find from when the cowboys roamed the prairie. It reminded me of Jenny Lewis for some reason -- I guess because she embodies that real indie/folksy vibe. Here is the website. You should definitely check it out: http://www.zenbunni.com/zb/zb_home.html
Enter: ZenBunni


Compared to many raw chocolate bars that I have seen on the market this is a pretty big bar. We got the grey sea salt variety. Suppper delish! This bar was only $4.00. I could eat this everyday!



Next we decided to stop into EuphoriaLOVESRawvolution which is Matt Amsden and Janabai Amsden's restaurant in Santa Monica. They have outdoor seating as well, which is really nice. Outdoor seating reminds me of Paris.


I ordered a cup of Tomato Basil soup. Sorry, I was really hungry and finished before I took a picture. This was pretty good as far as soups go. Though, it was a little too garlicky for my liking and I would have preferred a bit more basil to balance it out. The cup was $3.50.


For a whooping $7.50 Kevin got the Chunky Monkey Parfait. It was a yum in the tum combination of coconut meat, bananas, cacao, and jungle peanuts. While small, it was pretty heavy and very thick and creamy. We had never had anything with jungle peanuts before so for a first try I would say that I loved them, of course, because I used to be obsessed with peanut butter...to the point where I ate it out of the jar and found ways to put it on just about everything...like plums! Who the heck puts peanut butter on PLUMS??? Glad to say that I am beyond those peanut butter obsessed days.
Here are a few pictures of the inside of the cafe. They have so much art it is really awesome. The place was very laid back and it lent for a very enjoyable little lunch.

You can see they also sell some raw food items as well.
This is the outside. See there is that outside seating I was talking about. I can't wait to go back to try all the other food on the menu esp. that burger. It looks sooo good. Here is the website. Check it out and if you happen to be in Santa Monica! http://www.euphorialoverawvolution.com/resources/Menu+6.0.pdf


We decided to at least check out the menu at Planet RAW which is famed raw food chef, Juliano's restaurant. I was looking online at the menu and had spotted some dishes that said they were 32 dollars so I had to see if it was for real or not. I mean for $32.00 there had better be some truffles on there and enough food to serve at least four people! Well, I am happy to say that while we didn't eat there, I checked the menu and there is nothing for $32.00! It is actually very reasonably priced and the menu items were making me drool. They had some awesome ones like Jalapeno Poppers, a Thanksgiving meal, Tuna Sandwich. I can't wait to go back!!

After driving around Beverly Hills and hitting up the Whole Foods (which is a raw food desert i.e. they have very little to offer in my opinion.) we went to Cru in Silverlake. Silverlake is very much like NYC's LES. There are a lot of vintage shops and what not. I love it there. And I love Cru. Their menu is very simple and totally seasonal. For example, for their Autumn Menu they were serving a root vegetable soup. The food there is amazing. It is simple, but bursting with flavour. You want to eat everything on the menu. Kevin got the Pineapple Pizza which I didn't take a picture of because honestly, I was too focused on my own darn food. I got my usual Mezze Platter except I asked to get veggies instead of flax crackers. For some reason, flax crackers just don't agree with me -- too many nuts and seeds for my body to handle I think. Anyway, on the plate is a garlicky kale salad, fig pate, herbed cashew pate, a beet and apple Tunisian salad, olives, and a cucumber dill yogurt salad. The veggies they gave me were tomatoes and radishes. I ate every bite! And for like the first time ever was too full for dessert! They have really good dessert there too. Last time we went we shared the brownie a la mode. It was chewy and warm and just super yum! Here is the menu website, but as I said, due to the seasonal aspect of the cuisine it changes. http://www.crusilverlake.com/menu.html
Anyone who says that raw food is hippie food and tastes like dirt has obviously never eaten in a raw food restaurant. The fact that I can go to a place like this and order without having to wonder or worry what I am putting into my body is so cool. AND to know that everything I ate is nourishing and good for me is even better! This is REAL food people!
Happy eating!