(I apologise for the poor quality of all these photos. My camera doesn't do well in low light regardless of the settings.)
While traveling, I'm looking to do some work-trade at raw food restaurants along the way so I can be of service in the kitchen, connect with the people putting all their love into nourishing others, try a few delicious meals, and write about the places I work-trade at here on my blog to help spread the word about all the delicious raw food out there.
While in LA, I wasn't able to work out a work-trade but decided to use my savings to spring for a bite at Euphoria Loves RAWvolution, Matt Amsden's Santa Monica restaurant. I had hosted a couchsurfer from Ithaca, NY who works for the RAWvolution delivery service and she had been raving about the onion bread, so I figured this was my chance to test it out.
While the place wasn't full of people chatting and laughing any of the times I walked by, and didn't have the vibrant community vibe of Cafe Gratitude, the atmosphere itself was very warm and welcoming, especially the lighting and amazing paintings on the walls. And the staff was extremely friendly and helpful in answering everyone's questions. Another plus is it's located directly across from the Santa Monica Community Gardens, where local residents can apply for their own plot of land to grow their own organic fruits & veggies, and practice a more sustainable way of life. It's a great place to walk around and feel inspired by people reconnecting with the earth in major cities. And here, they've been doing it since 1976. It's amazing.
I ordered the Cocophoria Sandwich, which was actually one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten. I can't think of any other words to describe the curried coconut jerky besides heavenly...the taste and texture were perfect - just the right amount of moisture, chewiness, and spice, which was complimented by the onion bread which was, as I had been told, out of this world. I'll definitely be making a few batches of both the jerky and the bread at home when this trip is over. I had actually never tried any raw sandwiches before, probably because I didn't even like sandwiches for several years before I went raw (with the exception of apples & brie on baguette or mozzarella, tomato and basil) and because I try to limit my intake of heavy, dehydrated foods (they often make me feel heavy and dehydrated) but this was definitely worth it, and actually didn't sit too heavy.
For dessert, I had the Vanilla Maca Chocolate Chip Pie. Wow. It was so velvety and creamy that I slowly savored each bite just to make it last as long as I could. The flavor was rich, but not too rich - it flirted on the edge, with just enough depth to linger on my taste buds and make me want more. There was something deeply satisfying and almost refreshing about the flavors. Definitely another recipe I will have to experiment with at home.
I had ordered a Yerba Mate Latte that was a bit on the bland side before dinner, but the Chai Latte I got after more than made up for it - it was just the right combination of spice and sweetness to help me digest and put me in a good mood for the walk home in the rain.