• cafe gratitude is open, and we love it!

    March 7th, 2011quarrygirlcafe gratitude, LA restaurants

    last week we blogged about the opening of LA’s latest vegetarian restaurant, cafe gratitude. well, we finally made it there for a meal over the weekend and we were impressed!

    the brand spankin’ new larchmont village eatery is almost entirely vegan (other than one honey-containing drink, according to our server), and has a huge menu full of raw and cooked appetizers, entrees, desserts, smoothies…even beer and wine. from uber-healthy salads, to decadent “cheesy” potatoes and rich desserts, there’s something for everyone at cafe gratitude.

    if you read this blog regularly, you may know that i am obsessed with bowls…and there is almost nowhere to get them in los angeles. something about the mix of whole grains, fresh vegetables, and savory sauces makes for an irresistible combo. why are these things not more popular?! anyways, cafe gratitude has perfected the art of the bowl. we ordered two, and they were both stellar.

    first up, the “i am whole” (pictured above). yes, as we’ve mentioned before all the menu items at cafe gratitude are named as positive affirmations. “i am grounded”, “i am vibrant”, and “i am extraordinary” are just a few of the dishes you’ll find. QG commenters have griped about this in the past, but seriously, get over it. the food is incredible, and a little bit of positivity never hurt anybody.

    i am whole: sea vegetables and kale, quinoa or local brown rice, house-made kim chee and sprouts with tahini-garlic sauce and teryaki almonds. $12.5

    ANYWAYS…back to the “i am whole” bowl. this enormous dish comes with your choice of brown rice or quinoa, house-made kim chee, shredded kale, carrots, teriyaki almonds and tahini garlic sauce. i ordered mine with rice, sans almonds, and with the sauce on the side. talk about fantastic. the rice was soft and fluffy, the produce was crisp, and the sea vegetables added a delicious salty flavor.

    i am graceful: choice of brown rice or quinoa with kale, tomato, sprouts, and pesto sauce. $12

    my husband went with the “i am graceful”: a bowl consisting of brown rice, kale, tomato, and pesto (he also ordered the sauce on the side). this thing was just as impressive as the “i am whole”. super high-quality vegetables and rice along with a portion of fresh, nutty, pesto. absolutely lovely.

    the bowls clocked in at around 12 bucks each, but they were gigantic and full of top notch ingredients. worth every penny, if you ask me. i’m just sad that we were so stuffed after these massive bowls, that we didn’t have room for more food. i had my eye on the tiramisu, but i guess there’s always next time!

    the decor and service at cafe gratitude are both excellent. the space is really beautiful and clean, and all the employees are super nice and smiley. there’s plenty of indoor seating, a long bar, and even a patio if you prefer to dine outdoors.

    cafe gratitude sure is off to a great start. they haven’t even been open for a week, and they’ve already scored some great reviews from my fellow foodie bloggers. well you can officially add me to the gratitude fan club…i can’t wait to go back.

    cafe gratitude
    639 N Larchmont Blvd
    Los Angeles, California 90004

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26 responses to “cafe gratitude is open, and we love it!” RSS icon

  • Those bowls do look fabulous!

  • I was there for the grand opening party Friday and then spent several hours there Saturday for lunch, so another Cafe Gratitude post is forthcoming! Thanks for the link and I can vouch for the deliciousness of the tiramisu. 🙂

  • thanks for the link! i’m planning on going back today for lunch!!!

  • Thanks for the link love. I apologize my photos do not do the food justice. Alas the “food setting” had to be sacrificed for my aging back and cell phone shots. Phenomenal and I can’t wait to go back, proper camera in hand.

  • I am literally floored by the prices of these items. $12 for some rice (the cheapest grain ever…), pesto, and garnish? That’s insane.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    The pesto sauce looks good.
    I like the outdoor seating.

  • I won’t get over thinking the menu item names are over the top and forced, but I will still frequent the place. I’ve been there 4 times in 5 days.

  • I’m so glad that you said something. Because I eat out all the time, and of course it gets pricey, and I see everyone rhapsodizing about this place – which I understand – and I think, “Am I THE ONLY ONE who finds these prices HIGH???”

    WTF, the sandwiches are, like, $11 without a carb side like fries/ chips – and if you want extra dressing it’s another $2, and avocado is another $2; granola is $8; steamed veg bowl is $12!!!

    And I’m thinking, is everyone have so much disposable income that you pay $18+ for a plain sandwich and a cup of coffee (including tax and a tip)???

    Yours is the only one who even commented on how expensive the prices are.

    At least at Doomies’ you get a hot meal like pot roast or fried chicken or something like that for your $11/ $12.

  • I also agree that the prices are quite high. : )

  • My thoughts too. I love all natural goodness, but I could make the same dish for myself at a Whole Foods salad bar for mucho less. Or I’d rather plunk $12 on a meal at SunPower. I’m also surprised that with those prices they didn’t even attempt some fancy presentation. Looks like they should shrink the portion and charge $7-8. Maybe then we could afford the dessert to go with. I’d love to check them out and support their business, but I’ll have to wait until they cater to the middle class vegan.

  • I reposted what I wrote on their Facebook page, but toned it down so it didn’t sound like a rant.

    Thanks for the feedback. I run a small non-profit, funds are tight, to say the least, and I guess the prices push a hot button for me.

    And it’s really true – after the $18 for sandwich/ coffee, I’d have to go home and supplement with something else.

  • Christian and I go to Happy Family Vegetarian restaurant for all you can eat chinese food (in Monterey Park) every Sunday. It’s $13 pp. That’s a price I can relate to.

    Veggie Grill is also a bit pricey but the food is amazing, and the salads are really large for the $9 or $10. Wraps are fairly small for a man-size eat. Green Leaves is way cheaper, and I really like their food, but I know that name is Mud on this site.

  • i agree that the prices are high. however, the food is really good and the portions are large. I don’t mind paying that every once in awhile.

    and how DARE you mention GL?! 😉

  • I know it’s heresy, but to be authentic to myself, I like the food at Green Leaves.

    You’re right about treating yourself every so often, but I’m dubious about the price/ quantity aspect. I’ll take your word for it that the food is good.

    I may give it a shot, but I’m resistant, based on the prices.

  • Green Leaves—the one in West Hollywood—is my FAVORITE restaurant! Don’t know what it’s like inside the restaurant, though, because we always call for delivery. : )

  • Eating out is expensive people. Cafe Gratitude is also 100% organic which obviously costs more.

    You want to be vegan and eat cheap… Ridiculous…



  • HeathCliff Rothman

    To Dominatrix Danielle:

    The only thing missing is the black boots and whip.

    That is not only incredibly rude – but arrogant. Who are you, the thought police?

    Don’t presume to tell others what to think, how to feel, or what to say.

    And certainly do not bark orders at me in capital letters, like an imperious dictator – demeaning me as unrealistic and my choice to voice an opinion as “complaining.”

    My perspective on price and value is as reasoned and valid as others here on this forum, or anywhere else.

  • Hear hear!!!

  • haha. you can’t compare doomies to gratitude for a SECOND. doomies is huge potions of fried, processed, crap food. gratitude is artfully prepared organic deliciousness.

  • Denise – Can’t say I really disagree with you. We went to Doomie’s once. My problem is that so much of the stuff is fried, and while I wouldn’t call it “crap,” I felt like it wasn’t always the purest ingredients. For me, it felt like a twenty-something “cool” place to eat “comfort food” done in vegan style – all vaguely unhealthy. So, in that context, there is no comparison with the purity and artistry of a place like Cafe Gratitude.

  • Thought the food was nice and fresh, and it’s great to have some more local alternatives to faux meats once in awhile. However, I went at noon on Monday afternoon and waited a WHOPPING 45 MIN before my tea and starter arrived. We were ravenous and devoured the starter by the time it arrived, so luckily the mains arrived soon after. The servers seemed so overwhelmed that I didn’t even bother trying to flag them down. We received a “sorry for the wait” muttered under the servers breath when they finally dropped the food off (I mostly blame poor management and an understaffed restaurant here, however the server could have at least tried to bring over our drinks sooner if the kitchen was backed up).

    We weren’t the only ones waiting a long time, and several people just got up and left. Glad I work from home and could withstand the wait, but if you work in an office, I wouldn’t expect to be able to pop by here on your lunch break. A full hour had passed by the time we received our main dishes: a wrap and a sandwich.

    No formal acknowledgment from any managers or other members of the staff for the absurd wait. Sad, because had they acknowledged that they were still working out some kinks or tried to offer some incentive for returning and appreciating new customers, I would have been much more understanding and likely to return.

  • Thoughtful commentary!

  • I loved and rolled my eyes at this place, all in the same breath. I have ALL of their books and adore them. I also like the ambiance of their places, but it is just a little bit goofier than I am. The question of the day got me , just a bit. The food though, is awesome. Their desserts, while NOT low in fat, will make anyone melt. Surely a “must try”, just to make your own decision. It is pricey, and a little “new agey”, but raw food is more expensive in general, and the city is pricey…..so it depends what you compare it to. We don’t live nearby, but if we did, rest assured I would NOT be able to stay away from their milkshakes made with fresh coconut.

  • Unfortunately had the I AM CONSTIPATED.

  • Interesting article from the East Bay Express about Cafe Gratitude and their connection to the Landmark Forum


    I am Annoyed and Disappointed

    Café Gratitude espouses a raw food diet and a philosophy of self-transformation. But some current and former employees say it’s left a bad taste in their mouths.

    By Sam Levin

  • Article in the Los Angeles Times Food section:


    Dining: Café Gratitude in L.A., for the vegan Stuart Smalleys of the world

    The vegan and raw Café Gratitude in L.A. has a positive, flower-child atmosphere. Even if that’s not your thing, the food is inventive, delicious and wholesome.

    By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times

    July 14, 2011

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