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Juliano's Raw (review)

My second foray into trying out Raw Cuisine was at Juliano's Raw and I have to say that while the restaurant setting was pretty, the food was just not that impressive to me.

I think the only thing I really liked was their chocolate milkshake that consisted of sapote / cherimoya carob w/ cocoa, fresh Vanilla bean, honey & macadamia milk. It was thick, creamy and yummy. The one thing was annoying though was when I asked for a straw, I got a somewhat snide remark from the waitress saying that they prefer that we use spoons since the paper from the straw is so wasteful. Please. A shake and a spoon just did not work for me, so I got the straw anyway.

Instead of getting an entree, I settled for two appetizers, a "sushi plate" and dessert. My first appetizer was the zucchini fries. I ordered it because I wanted to see if they can get that "crisp" factor usually associated with fries. They didn't. The zucchini was cut in short strips and were dehydrated. They were more chewy than crispy. It's just not the same. Now batter-coated and deep-fried zucchini fries would have been more my preference but we are eating in a "raw" restaurant after all.

The appetizer I had was their spring rolls. Unfortunately, I don't remember what the ingredients were. I just remembered that I didn't like the dish that much. It was too hard to bite the spring roll without the somewhat squishy filling coming out of the wrapper. Quite a messy dish.

My sushi was called "Mighty Aphrodite" and it had pumpkin and other fillings. I apologize for my vagueness the ingredients on some of these items. Usually, I'll take pictures of the menu and/or write down what I ordered, so that I can better review what I'm eating, but it wasn't possible that time.

Anyway, the "sushi rolls" I ordered came in a bowl, which I thought was odd and with it was a red cabbage salad and also some other veggies (broccoli and greens) which I think were dehydrated. Weird. Why would they do that?

For dessert, I had their chocolate parfait which was kind of like a pudding, but I found this dessert a little bitter and not as sweet as I would have liked.

Overall, Juliano's Raw was quite the disappointment and I don't plan on returning anytime soon.

Juliano's Raw
609 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 587-1552

Thanks,
Abby

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  1. I went through a raw food phase that lasted about a week. This seems like an interesting place. From your review, it sounds like they need to improve their food to keep customers coming back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katkoupai

      oh and they need to work on the customer service- you would be treated as if you are not welcome to the place- but if you complain you have to worry about the quality of the food served

    2. I used to go when they first opened and their prices were 200% less. They don't serve 200% more food so I don't get the huge mark up. They only things I liked were the "pasta" dishes "cheese" dishes. The rawvioli and other pasta specials were pretty tasty. My husband used to get the "alien blood" juice drink.
      There is a another raw place in Silver Lake that is pretty good too and much less $$ although the name escapes me.
      If I remember correctly, Julianos is an Idine restaurant.

      1. How was the service? I went twice awhile back and it was the worst service I have ever experienced in any restaurant ever (I guess you could say I was a glutton for punishment for subjecting myself to it twice).

        4 Replies
        1. re: omotosando

          I think holier-than-thou could some it up.

          1. re: zoomchic

            When I went, the waitresses were very pretty, but zombie like and brain dead. I assumed they had been hired for their looks.

            1. re: omotosando

              I had actually made reservations, but when I arrived, the hostess and one of the waitress looked at me as if I had two heads when I mentioned my reservation for 12. They ended up scrambling to put tables together for us outside, so I guess it worked out. As for the service, I'd say it was okay. I've definitely had better, but I wouldn't say that it was a total wash.

              1. re: omotosando

                I had the exact same experience, I thought maybe it's because they're not getting enough protein! The food quality is very inconsisent -- one day it's great, the next day it's really awful and management doesn't seem to care. It's a real pity because when their food is good it's really good. Only once have I had a waitress who seemed to really know what she was doing -- the rest of them seemed almost surprised that I actually wanted to order something to go. Often they don't seem to have change when I try to pay with cash. I think they need to train their staff better. My last visit there was actually painful!

          2. Your bit about the straw reminds me of a story I read about Juliano's in Gourmet: a woman had ordered the "tacos" and asked for some additional guacamole. The waitress instead being tactful as to why she wasn't going to, replied, "maybe you should learn to eat less."

            http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bon Vivant

              After my incident with the straw, I can really envision happening. That's a definite lack of customer service in my book.

              1. re: pleasurepalate

                That's an interesting bit of irony, regarding the straw incident. One day, my wife was walking past their patio, when an employee inside the patio lobbed some stubbed cigarette butts - like nicotene grenades - out onto the sidewalk (and onto my wife). When my wife gave them 'what-for', they could've cared less. So much for their environmental showboating...

            2. I would rather return to SLJ than Juliano's. My friend and I went there when she was visiting from out of town, and it turned into one of those WAY embarassing moments...I chose the place, hoping for something unusual and fun. $75 later, we were still hungry and had been insulted/ignored about a dozen times.

              Imagine this...I wanted to pay for the meal, as it was my friend's birthday. Our server returned with my credit card, stating that it was not being accepted. I went to far as to call the credit card company, who told me that there was absolutely nothing barring me from using the Credit Card. The manager (Juliano?) came out and told me they just could not accept the card. They would NEVER admit that there was a problem with their credit card machine. It was hilarious, because 20 minutes later, I used the same card to pay for pastries at Jin's (since we were still hungry). Point is, my friend had to pay for lunch and I was irritated as all get out. If there is a problem with your credit card machine, just admit rather than humiliating your guest!

              By the way- my friend and I are both vegetarians and we thought the food was "OK" at best.

              1 Reply
              1. re: running pig

                They seem to have credit card problems at this restaurant. When I went, the waitress claimed she had returned my credit card, which she had not. I insisted she look for it and it was returned after about 30 minutes, with no apology.