• May 24th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, m café

    at my job, i am that “weird vegan”. you know the one i mean. i don’t eat anything at company meetings because i’m skeptical that any of the catered food is vegetarian, let alone vegan (vegetables have been known to take baths in butter or chicken stock before making their way to your plate)! i don’t eat birthday cake on co-workers’ birthdays. when benevolent people leave a tray of homemade goodies in the conference room, i don’t indulge. i err on the side of eating nothing that’s given to me, trusting nobody, and finding solace in my grocery store noodle bowls when everyone else is chowing down on company paid for meals. since you have reached the bottom of a paragraph on this vegan blog, maybe you are that “weird vegan” as well, and you can identify.

    well, imagine my shock when my meat-eating co-workers insisted that i join them for lunch at a restaurant that was “right up my alley”. a restaurant i’d never tried. a restaurant that was almost entirely vegan. a restaurant that ended up being so good, i’m pretty damn pissed at hadn’t already discovered it myself. a restaurant called m café de chaya.

    m café is a macrobiotic restaurant, which means almost all its food is vegan. the only animal product they use is fish, which is marked clearly on the menu in some dishes—everything else is completely meat, egg, and dairy free….even the pastries!

    gado gado: organic mixed greens, napa cabbage, crisp vegetables, golden tempeh triangles marinated with ginger, lemongrass & lime, frizzled onions & spicy peanut dressing $11.45

    the food was so good in fact, that i emailed my husband from the restaurant and insisted that i bring home m café carry-out that very night. please note, i specified carry-out. the atmosphere in the restaurant left much to be desired (tons of pushy customers, tiny tables, long wait times). so i thought i’d see how the food held up on its own.

    and that all begs the question…m café: to go, or not to go?

    the m chopped: organic hearts of romaine & mixed greens, avocado, cucumber, chickpeas herb-baked tofu, scallions, ume-pickled radishes, carrots, beets, tamari-roasted almonds, crumbled tempeh “bacon” , tofu-peppercorn ranch. $11.45

    the big macro: whole grain brown rice and veggie burger, special sauce, lettuce, tofu cheese, pickles, onion & sprouts on a house-baked whole wheat bun. $11.45

    so what was the result? should you order food at mcafé to go and have to warm it up yourself and do your own dishes? or should you suffer the fools and claustrophobia, and eat your food at the restaurant?

    keep reading…

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