Cafe Gratitude opening in Venice, CA on Monday

by hillaryshort

ImageImageImageImageI am creamyImageThai Sauce

All Vegan food lovers living on LA’s Westside, have eagerly been waiting for the opening of Venice’s Cafe Gratitude.  The local residents have been watching the building’s structure slowly get built over the last few months, but, until now, there has been no signs of an opening.  I am here to inform you from good authority of my friend Maria, a pastry chef in the Larchmont location, Monday is finally the day when the Venice location will open their doors.

Today I needed to be in the Larchmont area for a meeting, therefore I finally went and tried out CG for myself.  Walking into the impressive, green-friendly building, filled with good-looking, fresh-faced, thirty-something crowd, I immediately felt the energy resonating the company name.

For lunch, I tried the tacos and german chocolate cake.

The tacos and salad burst with local, fresh flavors, complimented with a white, delicious sauce dribbled over the tacos. Also, the salad leaves with pea shoots had a perfectly dressed, delicious tasting salad dressing, with a slight punch to it.

However, the German chocolate cake was dry and although the chocolate was delicious, I am not a fan of the coconut layer. Chocolate and coconut do not make a food marriage. As a fan, and also a cook of vegan fare, I will compare Real Food Daily and Veggie Grill to Cafe Gratitude. CG definitely comes out tops.

Real Food Daily is a dated preparation of Vegan fare, and offers too much in the form of old fashioned, heavy sauces and soy / wheat products to replace meat.  As soy and wheat are not healthy replacements for meat, they need to adapt to a more nut and veggie based cuisine. Also, I have it on good authority that they use white sugar in their desserts, whilst CG is using coconut sugar and agave, as sweeteners.

The newly popped up chain of popular Veggie Grills provides meat loving Americans with vegan alternatives which mirror their burgers and salads.  Although tasty, the menu is heavy on soy and wheat dishes to replace meat. If I gave up meat, wheat and soy would not be the alternatives. 

I look forward to becoming a regular at our new Vegan haunt once it opens next week and hope to see many of you there.  For now, I am going to leave you with a couple of delicious recipes straight from Cafe Gratitude’s website:

Salad Dressing:  “I am creamy” (Hemp Seed Ranch)

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbl. tamari
1 cup water
1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1 cup hemp seeds
1 tsp. garlic
1 Tbl. chopped jalapeno
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 pepper
1 Tbl. dried dill
Blend the above ingredients well
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
Blend well
Thai Sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno –  remove seeds
  • 1/4 cup ginger juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbl. tamari
  • 1 Tbl.. salt
  • 1 Tbl. agave
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 bunch basil
  • 1.5 cups almond butter (or peanut butter if you don’t mind it not being raw)

Blend well in vita mix or high speed blender