Saturday, October 24, 2009

VeganMoFo: With a Flourish

In Los Angeles, we are fortunate to have a multitude of vegan restaurants from which to choose. Opening earlier this year, Cafe Flourish is one that boasts a mixture of comfort food with innovation.

The first time I hit up this mid-Wilshire cafe was with Foodeater and we split dishes to be able to taste more of the menu.

We started with the Flourish Roll (from the menu: Carrots, red bells, cucumber, cilantro, sunflower seeds, green onion, mint, peanuts & rice noodles snuggled in a leaf of red lettuce with a coconut tamarind sauce. Addictive.) minus the onions. The combination of fresh herbs, crunchy vegetables, and the wonderful tamarind sauce was perfect for an appetizer or for a light meal.

Next up, we tried the Mi Casadilla (from the menu: Creamy mashed cassava root with garlic sauteed kale & roasted poblano pepper in a spelt tortilla. Paired with guacamole, pico de gallo & “sour cream” of course. A spicy number.). While I avoided the guacamole and pico de gallo, I absolutely loved the casadilla itself. What an incredible idea to use mashed cassava in place of cheese! With the delicious kale and spicy, smoky poblano, this dish tied for my favorite of the meal.

At the time, this SMac "N" Cheese (from the menu: Gluten free! Rice elbow pasta in a super creamy “cheesy” sauce with house salad.) was a special, but it's since been added to the menu. I didn't care for the cheese sauce, though I liked that the pasta was gluten-free for those who normally can't have pasta.

The other dish to tie for my favorite was this Thank God (of your choice) for BBQ! Be Love Corn-Crusted Pizza (from the menu: Marinated baby jackfruit with soy monterey jack, crispy onions & jalapenos. Spicy!). My half was sans onions and I savored the spicy-sweet, BBQ sauce-covered jackfruit, topped with what I believe was Follow Your Heart cheese, and the occasional bite of jalapeno to add to the heat. The cornmeal crust was a bit thicker and crunchier than a flour pizza crust and I enjoyed the change.

On a subsequent visit on my own, I ordered the Raw Beauty Love Salad (from the menu: Packed with omega 3’s to give you the glow. Mixed baby greens, kale, corn, dried figs, cucumber, basil, mint, hemp seeds & granny smith apple rounds with a tangy flax dressing.). I'm sure this is a salad I could whip up at home, but I wouldn't have thought to add the fresh herbs and dried figs. It was an incredible salad that I often crave. If only Cafe Flourish were a little closer to where I live or work...


Ricki said...

Wow, such innovative ingredients and mixtures of ingredients! That pizza sounds phenomenal. You ARE so lucky to have such a huge selection of vegan restaurants where you are!

The Voracious Vegan said...

You are SO lucky to have such amazing vegan restaurants to go to! This one really sounds incredible, I love how everything has a creative twist to it. That casadilla sounds REALLY good, although I would have piled it high with guacomole, it is one of my all time favorite things. And I need a slice or two (or three) of that pizza!

Debra said...

OK- I will not be jealous! Man, I wish I could find a place like that local! yummy!
Debra @ Vegan Family Style
don't forget the cookbook giveaway on my blog