Since the Boy and I couldn’t eat dairy (We can now! Roll out the parade!), but have a brunch fixation, last weekend we decided to hit up the one place we could think of where we wouldn’t spend the entire time mooning over sour cream pancakes and huevos rancheros – Cafe Gratitude.
Cafe Gratitude is a place that is oh-so-LA in that it’s trendy and vegan (yes, we saw Anne Hathaway at brunch.Yes, we were excited). But it is also very, very good vegan. So you can go and eat a ton of food and not feel bad about it because it’s all vegetables and nuts and fruit and how do they do that? They make “cheese” that blows my mind.
This time around, we had a BlackboardEats deal (have you heard of BlackboardEats? It’s pretty awesome), and we each got an appetizer, entree, and a juice. It was just what we needed to make it through the last few days of no dairy, no alcohol, no fun.
Pretty little table decorations – they seem vegan, don’t they? I don’t know, something about them seems vegan.
One thing to know about Cafe Gratitude is that everything is named in such a way that it requires you to declare an affirmation, of sorts, when you order. For instance, our juices were (from left to right) “I Am Worthy” (apple, celery, kale, beet, and ginger) and “I Am Rejuvenated” (wheatgrass, apples, ginger, lemon).
I do feel a little silly ordering, but the juice (if pricey) is pretty good – mine (the green one) didn’t taste green at all, and had a nice ginger flavor.
Next up I ordered “I Am Present,” the seasonal bruschetta. The Boy pointed out that the tomatoes were a bit pale (it is winter, after all), but their faux ricotta is amazing, and atop crunchy bread with creamy fig-balsamic vinaigrette, I had no produce-related complaints.
We both ordered “I Am Warm Hearted” for our entrees – grilled polenta with mushrooms and spinach, more of the awesome cashew ricotta, brazil nut parmesan, and basil. I love polenta, but they used to have a tomato-sauce version of this that I preferred. I got a little bogged down in the spinach and mushrooms on this one – it was good, but I needed more acid. That said, the polenta was cooked to perfection.
Anyway, there’s my first restaurant review – if you’re in L.A., I certainly suggest you check Cafe Gratitude out if you haven’t already.