Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Am Elated

I've lost track of how long I patiently waited for a Cafe Gratitude to open in LA, but I'm here to attest that it was well worth the wait. Today is opening day and I just had to treat myself to dinner tonight after work.

Probably the most wonderful part of Cafe Gratitude to me is seeing so many friends there. I was greeted with amazing hugs and smiles, which truly warmed me on this cold, rainy night. It's all about community.

For my entree, I ordered I Am Elated (from the menu: I AM ELATED-Enchilada in a live spinach tortilla
with sprouted seed filling, topped with spicy mole and cashew sour cream. Served with creamy chipotle coleslaw (not mentioned on the menu is the included side salad)). Spicy and satisfying with a variety of textures and flavors, I Am Elated certainly left me feeling exactly that way.

I couldn't resist the milkshake called I Am Luscious (from the menu: Hazelnut milk, fig, date, raw cacao and vanilla bean smoothie), although they were out of hazelnut milk and subbed almond milk. It was really delicious, with occasional chewy bits of figs and dates. I can't wait to try it again to taste the difference with hazelnut milk. In the background is a gorgeous water bottle by Spoken Glass (a company founded by Conor Gaffney of the Makepeace Brothers and May I Be Frank, both of which I very highly recommend).

I also requested a piece of I Am Adoring raw tiramisu to go. Even though I was full of raw goodness, I took a bite of this light, airy dessert before putting the rest away for another day. It's worth it to order to go just to see the affirmation written on top of the box (see photo above).

My vivacious Cafe Gratitude ambassador gave me the skinny on the LA menu, explaining that it was different than that of the restaurants in the Bay Area. The Bay Area restaurants are supplied with produce from the Cafe Gratitude-owned Be Love Farm, but the Farm is too far from LA to provide the freshest produce possible. Instead, the owners forged relationships with local, organic farms in LA and created a menu based around that local produce. The result is a menu with more cooked entrees than raw and still upholding the integrity of the Cafe Gratitude ethos.

For those of you who are neither in LA nor in the Bay Area, the three items I ordered tonight are all recipes in either of the two Cafe Gratitude cookbooks, I Am Grateful and Sweet Gratitude.

I am so grateful that we finally have a Cafe Gratitude in LA. I will be spending a lot of my time there.