Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Raw and the Baked

My aspiring raw foodie friend, R (I've blogged about her here), has requested her blog moniker be Rawie, so that is what she'll be called henceforth. Yesterday, Rawie very generously took me to lunch for my birthday to Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, a raw restaurant in Santa Monica that my massage therapist has been wanting me to try. It's a cafe with interesting yogic paintings on the walls and wooden tables. There's a tiny juice bar with two bar stools, the ordering is done at the cash register, and food is brought to the tables. Customers bus their own plates. The restaurant has a pretty good vibe overall, but the service was a bit questionable. We sat down w/ menus to decide what we wanted, were served water, and then went to order. While we were ordering, our water glasses were cleared and our table given to someone else. We'd almost finished our meals by the time we were given water again.

Enough of all that, though. Let's get to the food. You can find the menu here. I ordered Coco-phoria (from the menu: Curried coconut jerky sandwich, drizzled with tangy mayonnaise, served atop onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and Onion Bread). Do you see the onion bread issue? That was resolved by ordering it on apple bread, which tasted like dried apples and cinnamon. It was quite good. Unfortunately, I had to pick huge onion slices off my sandwich because they didn't think I meant business when I asked for no onions. Since the apple bread was really chewy, like a thick fruit leather, I deconstructed my sandwich to eat it. I had the bread with tomato slices on it, then ate the coconut jerky, which was very nicely spiced, and lettuce with a fork. My meal was very tasty and something I'd definitely try again.

Rawie let me taste her meal, too. She chose a salad combo of Kale Salad, Herbed Olive Couscous, and No-Bean Hummus. All three were good, but nothing special, if you ask me.

After our meals, Rawie was craving a smoothie or a cookie and the juice bar lady was kind enough to let us sample their strawberry smoothie and their mango smoothie. I didn't realize this was possible, but both were gross. They both had weird aftertastes and something that overpowered the fresh fruit. So, what did we do? Hightailed it back to Juliano's Raw for shakes! I had the same chocolate shake I had last time and Rawie had the Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonade (from the menu: Lemons, Honey, Ginger, Strawberries & Electrolytes), also a blended drink. She said it was really good. I might try that next time, substituting agave nectar for the honey. By the way, I asked the hostess why raw restaurants tend to use so much honey and she said that bee pollen and honey are considered some of the healthiest things a person can consume. I've heard that honey is hard on the liver and that it has the same effect on blood sugar as refined sugar, so that surprised me.

Interior shot of Juliano's Raw in Santa Monica

This is a banana bread test recipe for Happy Herbivore's upcoming cookbook. Although it tasted good, it didn't set up for me in the middle and I'm thinking it probably had something to do with my insistence on using my grandma's pretty glass loaf pan (it says Glasbake on the bottom).

Is it at all evident that I'm actually using a camera now instead of my cell phone for photos?


romina said...

Mmm your raw food fare looks delicious!

quarrygirl said...

not sure about that euphoria place...that food looks a little too creative for my taste. juliano's shakes on the other hand....look DELICIOUS! definitely want to try that place out.

My Year Without said...

I was interested in your comment about honey, and did a little bit of research on its glycemic index. The most legitimate sources (in my opinion!) list its GI at around 83. If you go to a Honey organization they will say it's only about 50 or so. Anyway, here is a sight that I thought was helpful-scroll down just a bit until you see "Is Honey Really Low Glycemic?"
I care about this because I am going without all refined sugars this year, doing research on various forms of sugar, and blogging about it at:

mai ゚・*:.。.†+ said...

hello :) (sorry4 sudden msg,,)

i just wanted to say hw much i LOVE your blog!

lots of information for vegan restaurant and cafe in LA which will really helpful for me, because i will be in LA soon for work!!

can't wait trying all of them you recommended! thanx.

xx mai

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

I love creative raw food, but sometimes it just misses the mark. Thanks for all the photos! Now I want some raw food!

Anonymous said...

I checked out Juliano's cookbook from the library a while back and was enamored by his photos and recipes. I have definitely bookmarked his restaurant as a place I'd like to go the next time I'm in CA (hopefully August) and now I'm going to bookmark Euphoria Loves Rawvolution. I love finding new veg friendly restaurants.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I was going to use my glass bread pans, which is all I have, to make this banana bread until I read you blog. I switched to little metal pans and made 3 little loaves and they turned out perfect. The did take a little longer to cook, but moist and delicious. Best vegan banana nut bread recipe i have ever made. Give it another try with metal. :o)