After living in LALA land for almost 10 years, I've discovered quite the enticing places to eat. I always love finding new spots to grab a bite, especially when the food is healthy & inspiring and the energy is positive.
Here are my top choices if I WERE visiting Los Angeles and wanted to grab a healthy snack or meal.
- Euphoria Loves Rawvolution on Main Street in between Venice and Santa Monica, fun part of town, 2 blocks from the beach. They serve vegan and raw food, sell a few supplements and raw desserts to LIVE for! I bring my laptop or a book here and cozy up on their couch. They have open mic nights and special events for the community. It's a very friendly environment, super casual and the staff are wonderful. 2301 Main Street, Santa Monica
- Santa Monica Co-Opportunity this is a lovely place to go if you want to get snacks for a picnic or a smoothie after gallivanting at the beach. It looks like a grocery store, but ohhhh, it's so much more. You may not know that a supermarket can be cool, until you go here. Juice/Smoothie bar, best bulk variety items I've ever seen, and a whole refrigerated section dedicated to raw and vegan prepackaged foods. I'm here minimum 3 times a week! Corner of 16th and Broadway in Santa Monica.
- Planet Raw (owned by raw chef Juliano) Couldn't leave this one out. To be honest, If I had the money, I would go nowhere else but here. It's super expensive but the MOST creative dishes in the raw food world. Friends/other planet raw frequenters complain of the service and staff, that they are snooty and give off a bad energy. "Planet Raw is among the quintessential So Cal dining experiences-attempting to be causal with absurd prices and pretentious attitudes." from a past client.
HOWEVER, their food is OUT OF CONTROL. I highly recommended the Ariel Salad, which will give you your day's worth of greens and energy, and I crave it often. I almost always get a Chocolate "milk" shake, which is beyond my comprehension in tastyness. This place has a great location, blocks from downtown Santa Monica but the energy is much calmer and you would never know it's inches from the famous 3rd St. Promenade. 609 Broadway, Santa Monica.
- Cru is a sit down restaurant, great for a nice dinner. You can bring your own wine for a small corkage fee. They have both cooked vegan dishes and raw vegan foods, and I have never had a bad eating experience! "Artfully weaving Italian, Japanese, Tunisian, Thai and Indian flavors into a fresh interpretation of life enhancing gourmet food, including desserts that even the most health conscious individual can indulge in guiltlessly." They also have uncooking classes here-which I will be teaching in June! Sundays 3-4:30p here's the link! 1521 Griffith Park Blvd, Silverlake.
- Erewhon Natural Foods Market "Health Food Nirvana" is in West Hollywood. Similar to the experience of the Co-Op (see above) but a little more upscale. They have more of a selection (if it were possible) and the best part about this place is their tonic bar. You'll find super knowledgeable staff and drinks you won't find anywhere else. Philosophie Green Dream and Cacao Magic superfoods are available to purchase here in their raw foods/superfood section!!! They have a great selection of raw living foods, vegan, specialty chef spices, local produce, macrobiotic diet and body ecology diet foods. They also have great cheese, nut cheese and raw chocolate ingredients. The bulk items are maybe 10% higher than whole foods for organics, but the selection is good. The tonics and vitamin selections are far superior to any juice bar I've ever visited in SF, NYC or London. They have tons of great events featuring organic gourmet chefs, raw foodists, and educational talks. It is definitely more pricey than other "markets" so just be prepared. Don't come for a big shopping trip, come for an experience. 7660 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood
Cafe Gratitude: I go here when I need a "spiritual uplift" as Woody Harrelson said about this Cafe. The menu has so many inspirational dishes that are deliciously healthy. For a raw/vegan entree, I'm a big fan of "I Am Terrific". The kelp noodles and the blend of basil, mint and cilantro really compliment the dish. For a cooked vegan dish, I highly recommend and love the "I am Whole"...a bowl made with quinoa, sea palm, kale, carrots, homemade kimchi, candied almonds. I think that's it. I get it every time I go there. It's just the perfect balance of flavors and it's filling and healthy. Apart from that I get a smoothie "I am Cool" with cocoa nibs and hemp cashew mint ice cream. mmm!!! It can get a bit crowded but go during non peak hours to enjoy.Larchmont/Hollywood: 639 N Larchmont Blvd, 90004 and a new location in Venice: 512 Rose Ave. Venice, CA 90291
M Cafe features Macrobiotic Cuisine—balanced, nutritious, creative cooking which can be enjoyed by everyone, not just vegetarians or people with dietary restrictions. The chefs prepare each item fresh daily, using only the finest ingredients without any refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat or poultry. Easy items to grab and go, or sit and have a bite to eat in the center of Beverly Hills: 9433 Brighton Way.
Urth Cafe: For beautiful lattes, organic specialty salads and sandwiches, visit Urth Cafe. This is a good place to go with non-vegan friends because you'll be happy and so will they! Something for everyone. 267 South Beverly Drive.
Lemonade is a new discovery of mine. They have delicious salads to chose from, and the secret is to have them take one scoop from each salad choice so that you get more options. (you get 2 scoops for each salad) Another good place to go with non-vegan friends, sandwiches and fish/poultry dishes.. but everything is clean and healthy! Oh, and definitely try their house-made lemonade! Peach Ginger was my fave! 9001 Beverly Blvd. (also in Venice on Abbot Kinney: 1661 Abbot Kinney Boulevard Venice, CA 90291)