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cafe gratitude (rose st. in venice vegan restaurant).

westsidegal Dec 19, 2012 09:53 PM

had :
Homemade veggie burger on an organic whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and spicy chipotle ketchup. Served with a side salad

terrific, in the same league as the burger at M Cafe de Chaya

note: this is NOT a "phoney meat" kind of veggie burger, it is the "vegetable patty" type of veggie burger.

also had the mocha "cheesecake," which i thought was excellent

also, the restaurant itself was VERY pretty, and very clean, and very reasonably priced.
the food in addition to tasting good, also LOOKED good.

i plan to add this place to my regular rotation

  1. c
    CLowe Dec 30, 2012 04:15 PM

    I've been eating at the CG on Larchmont for awhile now, and cheesy names aside, it's an awesome place and the crowds attest to it. My favorite thing on the menu right now is the I Am Guapo/a, a take on a torta. They altered this sandwich recently (the black beans are the most significant change), but it's still great.

    What I dig most about the sandwich is the "coconut bacon" -- at least, that's what it was called originally. Though I'm pretty sure it's the same exact ingredient, it's now listed as "crispy chipotle maple coconut" -- which kind of makes me chuckle. I'm imagining a handful of vegans up in arms at even the sight of just the word bacon.

    Call them whatever you like, they're good. I can take or leave real bacon (sacrilege in this day and age), but I adore those tiny coconut bits. I haven't looked in to how to make them myself or where to buy them, but I should.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CLowe
      Servorg Dec 30, 2012 04:33 PM

      " I'm imagining a handful of vegans up in arms at even the sight of just the word bacon."

      I guess the vegans at Oxford and Cambridge must have it tough when studying "Counsels, Civil and Moral" in that case. ;-D>

      1. re: CLowe
        ilysla Dec 30, 2012 06:54 PM

        What a coincidence you should mention the torta; I just went to the place for the first time a few hrs ago and had the torta. Very tasty and flavorful (the server "warned" me about the spiciness, which was pretty mild), w/ nicely toasted bread. My partner had the veggie burger ("I am magical") and a side of butternut squash, both of which were very good (although I liked my torta the best).

        I felt a little ridiculous reciting the overly cute names (and the server actually will flip the name to "You are magical"), but the food and setting were both quite nice. And the place was VERY busy (even at 3PM!).

      2. trolley Dec 23, 2012 07:41 AM


        there's a lot of controversy with the owners of this restaurant from forcing employees to attend the Landmark forum to bad employee management. however, aside from that i do think it's a great vegetarian alternative.

        1 Reply
        1. re: trolley
          westsidegal Dec 23, 2012 12:59 PM

          at this point, he accusations would have to be confirmed and grave to cause me to stop going there.
          the food was that good,
          the prices were that reasonable,
          the place was that pretty,
          and (unlike veggie grill) the portion size was large enough to fill me up.

        2. s
          spoonlicker Dec 21, 2012 02:39 PM

          I have to admit I've been curious about this place every time I walk by, which is often...but I've also been very put off by the "woo" vibe.

          The names of the dishes make my face scrunch up. I'm imagining myself trying to get through the ordering process ('Hmm...I'll have an "I Am Fulfilled" to start, and for my main, I'd like the "I Am Elated"...oh, and a large "I Am Succulent," please...')

          And here I thought IHOP's "Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity®" was hard to choke out!

          Can you comment on the "woo" aspect of the dining experience? Did you find it amusing, or did it detract?

          9 Replies
          1. re: spoonlicker
            westsidegal Dec 21, 2012 04:27 PM

            you are asking this question to someone who got her Bachelor's degree from Berkeley in the early 70,s.

            In those days i used to lead Encounter Groups.

            the "woo" factor makes me think about my youth in a very nostalgic way.

            today, i am as cynical and hardened as the next guy, but that doesn't mean that i have lost all appreciation of the more innocent point of view.

            cafe gratitude is part of a tiny chain that is owned by one family. it was started in the SF Bay area.

            think of the John Phillips song
            If You're Going to San Francisco (be sure to wear some flowers in your hair).

            That said, their food is good enough and the portions plentiful enough that woo factor or no woo factor i would be returning there.

            1. re: westsidegal
              spoonlicker Dec 21, 2012 09:01 PM

              As a former UC Santa Cruz earth mama, I can relate!

              I can remember when "health food" meant soggy brown rice and tempeh. It'll be fun to pop into Gratitude and marvel at how far the genre has come.

              1. re: spoonlicker
                Tripeler Dec 23, 2012 06:43 AM

                Gosh, I remember when the "Macro Plate" was brown rice topped with minced green onions. You were lucky to get tempeh, which I think came later in the 70s.

                1. re: spoonlicker
                  trolley Dec 23, 2012 07:45 AM

                  don't know when you went to UCSC but my favorite meal was at two places. the first one was salad with tofu at the restaurant next to the bookstore. the second was at the Saturn cafe on mission st. with the brown rice and tofu sauce. it's nice to have a resurgence of this type of food. only if we can get one over here in the SGV!

                  1. re: trolley
                    westsidegal Dec 23, 2012 05:02 PM

                    re: saturn cafe
                    their burger topping of deep fried pickled jalepeno slices was inspired.
                    basically, i loved almost everything i tasted there:
                    lotsa calories, though.

                2. re: westsidegal
                  Tripeler Dec 23, 2012 06:50 AM

                  The song "If You're Going to San Francisco" was actually written by the guy who sang the hit, Scott McKenzie, who was actually named Philip Blondheim. Sure SEEMS like a John Phillips song, though.

                  I have actually been to Cafe Gratitude in SF and the whole verbal silliness thing of the food names takes a while to get used to. The seventies at their silliest!

                  1. re: Tripeler
                    Servorg Dec 23, 2012 09:04 AM

                    Not true. Phillips wrote it and McKenzie sang it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Fran...

                    1. re: Servorg
                      Tripeler Dec 23, 2012 03:48 PM

                      Thanks, WSG, you're right. I was certain that Phillips wrote it, but couldn't find evidence of it, and all the sites I saw credited McKenzie.

                      1. re: Tripeler
                        westsidegal Dec 23, 2012 04:55 PM

                        s'OK, tripler,
                        those years were the "time of my life"
                        and, based on my first visit there,
                        Cafe Gratitude captured their spirit.

              2. l
                linus Dec 20, 2012 07:29 AM

                if you PLEASE,
                what IS the difference between A "phoney meat kind of VEGGIE burger" AND a "vegetable PATTY" type OF veggie BURGER?

                i REALLY don't understand WHAT you mean BY that.


                3 Replies
                1. re: linus
                  westsidegal Dec 20, 2012 08:34 AM

                  as veggie burgers go, there are basically two general categories:

                  1) the type of veggie burger that attempts to taste like meat , have the texture of meat, and look like meat.
                  a couple of examples of this category are:
                  a) the burger served at the Veggie Grill
                  b) boca burgers

                  2) the other category is the type of veggie burger that makes no pretense or attempt to taste like meat nor have the texture of meat nor look like meat. they are basically veggie patties
                  a couple of examples of this type are:
                  a) the M Cafe de Chaya burger
                  b) Dr. Praeger's burgers (sp?)

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    ilysla Dec 20, 2012 01:49 PM

                    Thanks for the heads up. Just looked at the website (http://cafegratitude.com/); apparently it's a small chain. The prices don't seem too bad (esp for vegan).

                    I *much* prefer a veggie patty that makes no attempt to taste like meat, so....

                    1. re: ilysla
                      westsidegal Dec 20, 2012 04:11 PM

                      also, the portion sides were good.
                      (i'm a pretty big eater)

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