Well hello again! Still drooling over the delicious eats from part 1 of my Santa Monica vacation? Well, I have some more great food to share with you.
After biking home from Santa Monica, we walked the 3 mile hike on over to…
We had eaten there the last time we were on vacation in L.A. and loved it. The food is amazing and it’s probably one of my favourite restaurants. Not only is the food amazingly good, the staff are just so incredibly friendly. As a matter of fact, our first visit was right after landing from a long flight from Canada to LAX. There was a mix up with the car rental place and we ended up getting to the restaurant much later than anticipated… basically as they were closing. When they heard we had come from so far, they not only let us order, but stayed open so we could eat in and not have to rush out with to-go food.
The atmosphere is pretty nice too. And the food. Oh the food… I dream about this food. Terry got the Yo Amigo Taco Salad. I tried a bite and was impressed.
Not as impressed as I was by my meal =)
The Chicken Run Ranch Burger was exactly what I needed after a day of biking and a nice, long walk. But the likeness to actual chicken was so eerily similar I had to get Terry to take a bite and make sure it wasn’t actual chicken. Sounds kind of crazy, but it’s been so long I guess I don’t quite remember what it tastes like.
I had dessert too. I had my heart set on trying their carrot cake, but it was all out so I settled on Apple Pie.
I’m thinking this was probably better than the carrot cake anyway ;p I asked them if they were opening anything up in the Bay Area and it sounds like they may want to branch out to San Francisco. How cool would that be???? Dear Native Foods, please open a restaurant in the Bay Area. I assure you it would prosper nicely! Check out their website here:
As hard as it would be to follow up dinner at Native Foods, Café Gratitude is another restaurant I quite enjoy. There is one not too far from where I live (in Santa Cruz), but I have only ever been there for dinner. We checked it out for breakfast the following morning (again, after a nice 3 mile bike ride).
I love the cozy feel of the one in Santa Cruz, and this one had a bit of a different feel to it. It was kind of an eco-chic feel. Very nice.
And the breakfast food was delicious! I was extremely excited to try their vegan and gluten-free pancakes. It came with maple syrup and coconut whipped cream. I seriously need o figure out how to make whipped cream like this, I had pretty much given up on the stuff when I went vegan. This is the I Am Open-Hearted buckwheat-flax pancakes.
Terry tried the I Am Peace, which is a raw bagel with cashew cream cheese. We loved our breakfasts.
Café Gratitude is in Venice and you can find their website here:
We saw some pretty cool things in the morning biking around Venice Beach.
This one below was my fav:
If you look closely, you can see a pooch lounging in a chair on the balcony of this house. He was totally relaxed watching the people walk by. Pretty cute!
For lunch we checked out Seed Kitchen, which is right along Venice Beach – a super convenient location.
The cool thing about this place is that it is vegan, macrobiotic food. I also love how they don’t ever use microwaves. I’d like to think that none of the restaurants I go to use them, but it’s nice to know that Seed doesn’t. Terry and I don’t use microwaves at all and haven’t for a few years now. Maybe I’ll post about that one day =)
Terry got the SaiSai Donburi Macro Bowl:
And I got the special, which was a chickpea curry bowl:
Sorry for the picture quality… we were hungry! I also grabbed a rice crispie square for dessert (a gluten-free option!), but was a little disappointed with it. It was incredibly hard and crunchy (not chewy like I was expecting) and it was actually shiny with sugar crystals. We actually only took a couple of bites each. But the lunch was delicious and it was nice enjoying our dishes outside. You can check out Seed here:
We biked around some more, checked out the beach some more and rode our bikes back to our studio. We saw some cool things along the way:
It’s like spring here in California right now. All of the flowers are starting to bloom… it’s such a weird thing for me as I’m not used of this until about April or May. I LOVE it though =D
Check out these cool flowers that look like birds. Does anyone know what these are?
As we knew we wouldn’t have time for dinner before heading off to the airport… and I don’t normally like the airport food anyway, so we grabbed a snack.
This was from Leaf Organics. Terry got the smoothie (raspberries and kreme) and I got the very vanilla cheezecake (shocker right?). I sadly forgot to take a picture of the building front, which was really cool looking! Check out their website here:
I was very impressed with their food and reasonable prices. I really liked the atmosphere and the staff were super friendly. I actually also ordered something to go for a late supper at the airport. I forgot to take a picture, but got the Raw Mushroom Avocado Burger. It was seriously amazing! I could not believe how good it was. Terry opted not to get anything to go and figured he would just get something small at the airport. His small salad and juice still cost a few bucks more than my burger and it even came with a side salad. He was sad he hadn’t thought of getting something too as his salad wasn’t very good.
We had such a wonderful vacation full of fabulous eats and beautiful scenery. I really recommend checking out Santa Monica and Venice Beach if you are looking for a fun and vegan-friendly holiday.