Too often we go through life in the midst of our hustle and bustle and we forget to stop and smell the roses and truly be thankful for all that this amazing life gives us. Café Gratitude celebrates life, in their food, their customer service and their environment.
This weekend I had the pleasure of having brunch at their Venice location and I completely fell in love with their food and the dining experience. Café Gratitude is a Vegan or “plant based” restaurant, however, take your pre-conceived notions of Vegan fare and toss it out of the window. The food I tasted was some of the most flavorful, innovative and creative cuisine that I have had in a long time. In the restaurant’s mission statement, they describe the food as ”prepared with love,”, and I truly believe you can taste it. The restaurant uses local farmers, sustainable agricultural products and sources from suppliers that are environmentally friendly.
The restaurant itself is very modern, light and earthy. It is welcoming, as is the staff, from the minute you walk in the door. I was impressed by the attention to detail from the menu to the décor to the presentation of the food.
The first thing that I fell in love with was the menu. At the top of the menu it says, “I am” in bold letters and everything on the menu is written as an affirmation, and that is the way you order. I am…Open Hearted, Trusting, Beautiful!
So, of course, I wanted to start my morning with a latte, which at Café Gratitude, is listed as “light,” and so I started my dining experience by saying, “I am light.” On a side note, the coffee was incredible, it was robust and intense and nutty and flavorful without being acidic or overpowering.
The next thing I tried was one of the restaurants wellness elixirs, which are shots of juices, herbs and spices that have medicinal purposes. I decided to be “Brave,” which was a mixture of lemon, turmeric, ginger, oregano and cayenne pepper. It had a kick to it and definitely made me feel alive.
I truly wanted to try everything on the menu as they had incredible looking gluten free baked goods from cinnamon rolls to donuts, however, since I am on a high protein diet I decided to try and be good. So instead, I ordered “Trusting” which was a tempeh scramble which had vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower, green onions and avocado. The dish had an Asian flare and it was hearty, fulfilling, comforting, fresh and heavenly all at the same time.
Currently the restaurant has 6 locations, in Berkeley, Venice, Santa Cruz, 2 in Los Angeles and Kansas City. There is a 7th location opening shortly in San Diego.
Overall, I was so impressed by the diversity of the menu, the staff, the quality and freshness of the food, and the innovation of every aspect of the restaurant. The restaurants mission statement also says that, “our food and people are a celebration of our aliveness,” and that truly is personified in every detail from the Question of the Day, which is provided by the server, to the motivational sayings on the walls, to the reminder of gratitude at the bottom of your plate.
For additional details such as hours, the menu, directions or to order their products such as their cookbooks check out their web page: http://cafegratitude.com.
I am grateful for an incredible dining experience and a reminder about the joy of life. I am light, brave and trusting or at least that is what I ate. Cheers!