This past Monday I had dinner with two amazing vegan bloggers, JL of JL Goes Vegan, and Bess of I Dream Of Greenie. Before Monday I had never met either of these wonderfully intelligent, talented and interesting vegan ladies before, only gaining insights into their love of food and personal journeys with veganism through their blogs. I read both JL and Bess’s blogs quite religiously, so when JL tweeted she would be in town for a family wedding this month, I immediately invited myself to show her how us LA folk do it up vegan style. Bess suggested we take JL to Cafe Gratitude because Bess is hilariously obsessed with it. Pretty sure she eats there every day. I was of course excited cause Cafe Gratitude is too good and I haven’t tried enough on their menu since it’s quite the drive from Santa Monica. I’ve never done a “meet up” before and I was a little nervous to be honest. Could three strangers who have nothing in common but their love of food and dietary preferences really get along or have anything interesting to talk about for a few hours? Turns out the answer is yes, and then some.
We spent the entire night laughing hysterically and candidly discussing our struggles with our diets and the challenges we face with our vegan lifestyle. They were both so authentic and smart and cool. Into it. Now that we’ve discussed the delights of meeting new vegan friends, let’s move on to the food.
CG has added some brand new menu items, most notably the raw bruschetta appetizer. This app sounded so good we all decided to share an order, which featured the hands down most delicious mozzarella style “cheese” I have ever tasted in my life.
They were out of buckwheat crackers sadly so our order came on their sesame crustini which wasn’t my fav. Other than that this was perfect. The balsamic drizzle, the bursting with flavor heirloom tomatoes and the cheese. Oh the cheese. It was so creamy I could not fathom how it was not really authentic burrata. 150% would get this again, hopefully with the buckwheat cracks and not the bread.
For my entrée I decided to pull an interesting move. I wasn’t crazy hungry so I didn’t want to get my usu I AM WHOLE bowl cause I knew I would have eaten all. I decided to order the I AM FULFILLED salad but add a veggie burger on top and added a side of coconut bacon just for fun. Intense. But it was the best call ev and my dinner was unbelievably delicious.
This was one of the best salads I have eaten at a restaurant. Let me just gush about the dressing for a minute. OMFG I could bathe in a vat of that stuff. SOOO DOPEEEEEEE. I would seriously order this dressing to put on any entree. Didn’t think the tahini one could be trumped but sesame ginge put it in its place. Now the greens. I loved how fresh and crunchy and seasonal all the veggies were. The beets were my favorite. The veggie burger patty was hearty and mild, made up of rice and beans (I think). Yum yum yum. I could eat this pretty much every night for dinner and be good. Oh and the coconut bacon was great too. I added it on top of my salad like croutons which made for a nice crunch in ever bite.
This tasted absolutely nothing like bacon so they might want to think about rebranding it, but it was delish none the less.
Bess got her favorite I AM WHOLE bowl (my favorite too) and JL got the I AM TRANSFORMED tacos. We passed around our plates so we could sample the other dishes and clearly I loved everything. I was pretty happy our waitress didn’t ask us their “question of the day” which I think is pretty awkward and usually not even thought provoking. Still not on bored with the proclamations such as “you are fulfilled” etc whenever they bring the food, but I’ll crunch it out for the rewards of this vegan heaven.
For dessert we decided to share two things: a chocolate mousse pie and the nightly special, strawberry shortcake.
I’m not a huge fruit person in general but this shortcake was damn good. Good, but nothing in comparison to the chocolate hazelnut pie. OMFGOMFGOMFG this could be the best dessert I have ever had. This nutella flavored pie was creamy and silky with the most buttery melt in your mouth crust. I was indeed bliss after eating this, so mission accomplished CG. This is an absolute must order and will probably change your life. CHANGE YO LIFEEEE.
So dinner was amazing, the company was grand and I got to try a bunch of new items at CG on an otherwise boring Monday night. I AM GRATEFUL.
Your Vegan Girlfriend