vegan food is popping up all over the west side, some good and some bad…just last week i wrote about a newly opened vegan restaurant in venice that i wasn’t very impressed with. luckily for all you beach peeps, there is an excellent macrobiotic restaurant called seed on pacific avenue, serving up healthy all-vegan meals seven days a week.
seed has been open for 4 months, and while i’ve only eaten there twice, everything i’ve tried has been awesome. my first visit was just days after they opened, and i went back for a second time last week. i was happy to discover the food was just as delicious and it was great to see a healthy crowd of beach-goers chowing down on vegan fare.
the food at seed is masterfully crafted by celebrity chef eric lechasseur, who used to be the chef de patisserie at m cafe. seed’s macrobiotic menu is actually really similar to that of m cafe…tons of bowls, burgers, paninis and japanese vegetables…just without all the dead fish. a lot of my friends actually prefer the food at m cafe, arguing that seed’s food is a bit more bland. i don’t necessarily agree with that, and i’d rather eat at seed any day because it’s a 100% vegan restaurant.
i recently hit up seed with my husband on a double lunch date with eric and diana from happycow.net. i ordered the saisai donburi macro bowl, which was overflowing with more delicious vegetables than i could handle. it came with the option to add tofu, tempeh or seitan at an additional charge, but all the plants in this bowl were enough for me. i gotta say this was the freshest, lightest, tastiest meal i’ve had in quite a while. everything was incredibly delicate and just oozing with healthy flavor. the organic brown rice was extremely soft and fluffy, i ate every bite of it even though i tend to leave my rice behind. the bowl came with a tangy miso sauce that i forgot to even pour on top! that’s right, it was so good i forgot to liven it up with the sauce. i think i will order this every time i go back to seed.
my husband got the blackened tempeh burger which was huge and very hearty.
while the burger was excellent, the flavor combinations weren’t my favorite. i like sauerkraut and tempeh, but i didn’t really like the mango salsa and mustard vegenaise. i think overall this burger was just too sweet for me, and my husband agreed. although i know tons of people who claim this is the best thing on the menu. ah, to each his own.
eric and diana ordered a side of sweet potato fries to share, which were so fucking awesome. i am just bummed i forgot to photograph them. seriously, they were the one thing at the table that didn’t taste insanely healthy and they were really good in a guilty pleasure sort of way. thin and incredibly crispy around the edges, but soft and fluffy on the inside. perfect fries indeed.
for the four months that seed has been open, i’ve been dying to try their soft serve ice cream. it’s on the menu, and i’ve heard that it exists, but it hasn’t been available the two times i’ve dined at seed. happycow eric informed us that it’s usually only available when chef eric is present, because the recipe and machine are so complicated. what? seriously? vegan ice cream so special that it can only be made when a celebrity chef is on hand? this made me want it even more. now i have another reason to get back to seed asap, as if the saisai donburi macro bowl wasn’t enough. i will let you know if i ever get my hands on some of that elusive soft serve ice cream.
so if you haven’t been to seed yet, got check them out. like i said before, they serve up high-quality m cafe style food, but without the disgusting dead fish. definitely worth a visit.
1604 pacific avenue
venice, ca 90291
open dailyTags: beach, bowl, burger, kale, macrobiotic, rueben, venice
10 am to 9 pm
a new vegan macrobiotic restaurant has just opened up in venice, and it’s incredible. my husband and i had the pleasure of checking out seed this weekend, and both dishes we tried were delicious.
eric lachasseur, the original chef de patisserie at la’s famous m cafe, has now (along with his wife sanae) opened up his very own macrobiotic restaurant in venice. seed’s food is quite similar to that of m cafe, with one very important difference: while m cafe serves fish, seed is 100% vegan. not only that, but the food that i tried seemed lighter and healthier than what i’ve eaten at m cafe, and still just as delicious.
the menu at seed isn’t huge, but every single item on it looks incredible. paninis, hot bowls, burgers and sweets…there is so much to choose from. i had quite a hard time deciding what to eat! finally, i chose the soyrella, tomato and basil panini, which was out of this world.
i’ve had paninis at other restaurants that are dripping with oil and taste all around fattening, but not this sandwich! even though this was slathered in rich pesto, it still tasted incredibly light. stacked high with thick tomatoes and fresh basil, each bite of the sandwich was bursting with wonderful italian flavor. the soy cheese was thin and not greasy at all—it went perfectly with the creamy sauce and crunchy grilled bread. at $3 dollars less than a panini at m cafe, i gotta say this was a great deal!
my husband was stoked to see that seed had FOUR burgers to choose from. it took him a few minutes, but he decided on the southwest burger. we both loved it.
the burger arrived unassembled with a huge mound of guacamole and a large slice of vegan cheese. when i saw the thick and freshly-made patty, i knew it would be a winner. my husband also got a bun upgrade for $1.50 to an organic seven-grain sourdough bun. it was really tasty, although i have no idea how much better it was than just a “normal” bun…’cause we didn’t try that.
i think it’s safe to say, this is one of the best vegan burgers in los angeles. the sauce is absolutely amazing, filled with unique flavor and southwest flare. this dish was filled with stuff us vegans LOVE: guacamole, fresh vegetables, a succulent patty, and of course…soy cheese that actually tastes good! and the best part is, seed has 3 other burgers that i haven’t even tried yet! most places just have one vegan burger…i cannot believe that seed actually has FOUR.
dining in seed is quite pleasant and lovely as well. the food is served up in bio-degradable to go containers, and there’s one long wooden communal table, plus several small tables. the place has big windows, so during the day the interior is totally soaked in sunlight. it makes for a nice, comfy place to chill and enjoy lunch. when we visited seed, it was sunday morning at around 10:30 am and to my surprise, the place was already hoppin’ with customers! word of mouth on this restaurant must be pretty awesome.
we sat next to a woman who was eating what appeared to be the saisai donburi macro bowl with kabocha, kale, shitake, arame, bean sprouts, sauerkraut and miso sauce. even though i had just eaten a whole sandwich, i was totally drooling over her meal. i can’t wait to go back to seed and check out all the other stuff on the menu.
the service was also great at seed. you place your order at the counter, and they call you when your food is ready. the girl serving us was bubbly and friendly, and was happy to accommodate us with some extra hot sauce. our food came out quickly and was handed to us with a smile. plus, eric lechasseur himself was strolling around the small restaurant, introducing himself to customers and making sure they were satisfied. on their opening weekend, seed was putting forward great effort to make sure everyone was pleased and taken care of.
on top of great meals, seed also offers some pretty tasty-looking desserts. they even have a SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM MACHINE! omg. you have no idea how excited that gets me! unfortunately, when i was there it was out of order. i CANNOT WAIT to return once they get it working—i haven’t had soft-serve ice cream in years!
seed also carries a large selection of vegan cupcakes, which i’ve heard are amazing. they have green tea, chocolate, vanilla coconut, and sweet azuki bean…all of which look delicious. i was tempted to order one, but decided to save myself for a future visit. the display case is filled with these attractive cupcakes, each one topped with a huge swirly blob of creamy frosting. i wanted to take a picture of the dessert case, but just as i finished up my meal, none other than alicia silverstone walked in and started admiring the restaurant. i quickly put my camera away and decided not to photograph the cupcakes. i’d hate for alicia or anyone else to think i was some scum bag trying to get a shot of her.
so, los angeles vegans, head over and check out seed as soon as you can! as far as i’m concerned, this place is way better than m cafe and definitely one of my new favorites. i left wanting more and feeling healthy. i urge you to do the same!
word of warning: seed has no public restrooms! so plan accordingly. don’t drink 2 liters of water or anything before you show up.
1604 pacific avenue
venice, ca 90291
open dailyTags: burger, macrobiotic, panini
10 am to 9 pm