Another Trip to Golden Mean Cafe

Thinking of all the veg*n restaurants in LA, I would say that Golden Mean Cafe in Santa Monica is one of my favorites.  I love the variety of menu items (and the daily selection of desserts!).

My vegan guy and I went during their weekend brunch.  I took advantage of their brunch menu and my vegan guy took advantage of one of their daily specials.

My breakfast burrito ($10.95) included tofu scramble, veggie sausage, soy-free cheese, pico de gallo and was served with a side of potatoes.  This burrito was huge and delicious.  The side of potatoes were well seasoned and also delicious.  I love breakfast burritos and will be getting this one again.

Golden Mean Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

My vegan guy got the Tempeh Reuben ($11.95) which included tempeh, sauerkraut, soy-free cheese, and their special dressing.  It came with your choice of side – kelp noodle salad in this case.  This reuben was so good!  It was one of the best reubens I think I’ve had.  It was so juicy and the sauce was wonderful.  I hope they turn this special into a regular menu item.

Golden Mean Tempeh Reuben

Tempeh Reuben

I really wanted to get one of their many desserts, but was pretty full from the breakfast burrito.  I ended up getting one of their new offerings: raw truffles.  Yep, they now offer a variety of raw truffles in exotic flavors. I had them pick a flavor for me (I’m still not sure which one it was).  This thing was super creamy, but (as you’ll see is common in my posts) the raw chocolate was a little too bitter for me.  For those who like that very dark chocolate flavor, these will be heavenly.

Golden Mean Truffle

New at Golden Mean: Raw Chocolate Truffles

Golden Mean is located at 1028 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401  310-393-6500

Sunday – Thursday 11 – 9pm
Friday – Saturday 11 – 9:30pm

OC Restaurant Week at 118 Degrees

OC Restaurant Week is going on this week and is offering wonderful discounts.  Luckily for vegans, we have some options.  I went to 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa for a $10 lunch special.  118 Degrees is an all raw-all vegan restaurant (although I think they might have bee products in some smoothies).

Their Restaurant Week lunch menu included:

CA Pear and Walnut Salad (Organic Mixed Greens with Crisp Marinated Pears and Walnuts, topped with our famous Sweet Mustard Dressing.)

Choice of:

Sicilian Focaccia on our house made sprouted buckwheat crust topped with onions, olives, sun-dried tomato
and sweet macadamia cheese.


Fried Avocado Hand-Helds in a Nappa Cabbage Leaf with our Tahini Cheese, Chopped Organic Spinach, Diced Cucumber, and Flax Rolled Avocado.

Dessert Duo, Daily Selection of Dessert Bites from our House Selection of Popular Desserts

My dining partner and I got one of each entree and ended up splitting them.

118 Degrees OC Restaurant Week 2

$10 Lunch Special with Fried Avocado

The salad was simple and the pears added a nice bit of sweetness.  I love the “fried” avocados at 118 Degrees so I was excited to get it in a handheld.  Although it didn’t end up being eaten in handheld form, it was still delicious.   The daily dessert duo ended up being their brownie and apple cobbler.  The brownie was more like fudge.  I loved the texture, but I find raw chocolate to be too bitter for me.  I also wasn’t a big fan of the apple cobbler.  I love baked apple cobblers, but since this was a raw dessert, I’m assuming they dehydrated their apples.  I was never a fan of dried apples, which is why I could have passed on this dessert. The crust was good, though.

118 Degrees OC Restaurant Week 1

$10 Lunch Special with Sicilian Focaccia

As far as the sicilian focaccia dish went – I actually didn’t have high hopes for this one.  I was concerned that the crust was going to be bad (I’ve had bad experiences with raw items trying to replace bread).  I ended up really liking their focaccia.  The topping of greens was also wonderful.

If you are in the area, I’d highly recommend stopping by for this fantastic deal.  They have a separate dinner special for $20.  You can get all the information at the OC Restaurant Week’s website.  The deals end March 3rd, so you better get over there!

Note: Avanti Cafe also is having OC Restaurant Week deals and includes some vegan options. See their options here.

Au Lac in Fountain Valley

I recently went with a group to Au Lac in Fountain Valley.  This restaurant is great, because it has a huge menu with Vietnamese style cooked foods and extravagant raw foods.  It is also great for people living in Orange County, because it is centralized within the county.

I started off with the BBQ Pork Rolls with rice paper, barbecued soy pork, chive, pickled daikon and carrot, and served with a peanut sauce for dipping.  This thing was stuffed with fake pork, so don’t order it if you aren’t into the fake meats.  I liked that it was sliced for sharing (I was with a group, after all).  I love peanut sauces, and this one did not disappoint (although I do wish they gave a bit more).  As for the roll, itself, I liked it, but I actually think I would have liked a tofu-based roll instead.  It was too fake-meaty for me.

Au Lac BBQ Pork Rolls

BBQ Pork Rolls – $4

For my entree, I ordered the Stir-Fried Soy Seafood Noodles with yellow noodle, soy seafood, stir-fried bok choy, snow pea, napa cabbage, and shiitake sauce.  The menu declared that the noodles were crispy, but I guess I wasn’t expecting the “bird’s nest” style noodles.  Luckily, after sitting in the sauce for awhile, the noodles softened up.  I like that this dish is not just vegetables and not just fake meat but a hearty combination of both.  I still wish it was a soft, non-fried noodle, but the flavor was still excellent.

Au Lac Stir Fried Seafood Noodles

Stir Fried Seafood Noodles – $10

Because I was with a large group, we ended up ordering a few desserts and sharing them.  All of their desserts are raw and all are perfectly sliced for sharing.  Our group went with Choconut X-tasy, Donut Holes, and Rainbow in the Sky.  The Choconut x-tasy was my favorite (it’s also the one I always order when at Au Lac).  It is described only as pecans and cocoa powder, but I’m sure there is more to it than that.  It is served slightly cold and tastes like a kind of creamy ice cream-type dessert.  The donut holes were a recommendation by a friend and contain a healthy dose of spirulina, coconut, and macadamia nuts.  I personally liked them, but I can see that they might not be for everyone (maybe on the account of the spirulina taste).  It’s a doughy ball with a gooey chocolate filling and coated in a very fine coconut sugar.  The advice given to me before eating this was to not inhale when putting this ball into your mouth – as the fine coconut sugar will get stuck in your lungs.  Lastly, the Rainbow in the Sky might have been my least favorite, but still very good.  It contains blueberries, spirulina, jackfruit, raspberries, dates, and pecans.  I’m less of a fruity dessert type of person, which is why I liked it least.

Au Lac Choconut X-tasy

Choconut X-tasy (Raw) – $7

Au Lac Donut Holes

Donut Holes (Raw) – $7

Au Lac Rainbow in the Sky

Rainbow in the Sky (Raw) – $7

Au Lac is in a small complex with a hodge-podge of businesses.  It looks very generic from the outside, but inside they have renovated it to be very sleek.  They have gone with a black and red theme with modern porcelain tableware and low lighting.  Once inside, it’s a very sexy place to take your date.  Some of my group are mostly raw in their personal diets and they raved about the raw menu here.  Au Lac also has a large elixir menu to help fix any of your aliments.  The parking is very easy and the location is close to the 405 freeway.  A definite must for anyone in the Orange County area.

Au Lac

Au Lac

Au Lac
16563 Brookhurst St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Lunch 11:33 am – 3:33 pm
Dinner 5:33 pm – 9:33 pm

Leaf Cuisine in Culver City

If finding a place that has both raw food and cooked food has been difficult for you, then look no further than Leaf Cuisine in Culver City.  This mostly raw restaurant has some cooked food for non-raw-foodists to try.  They now have table service, which my vegan guy and I did not know about, so we ordered at their counter instead.

Leaf Cuisine

Leaf Cuisine

For an appetizer I got the Cashew Kreme Cheeze with corn chips.  I almost loved this dish.  I liked the corn chips and I liked the Kreme Cheeze, but I didn’t really like them together.  I would have preferred some plain chips.  I also would have preferred less herbs in the Kreme Cheeze.  I’m a huge fan of raw cheeses made with nuts and I felt that the abundance of herbs took away from wonderful flavor of the nuts.  The texture of the cheese was divine, though – smooth and creamy.

Leaf Cuisine Kreme Cheeze

Kreme Cheeze with Corn Chips – $6.50

For an entree, I got the Vegan Victory Burger (cooked dish) prepared with a grilled veggie patty and topped with house made mayo, tomato, sprouts & romaine on a sprouted grain bun.  I also added vegan cheeze to my burger for an extra $0.99.  I loved this veggie patty, but I thought there was too much bun.  I wished the patty was thicker (because it was so good!).  It came with some sauerkraut and a side salad with a nice house made dressing.

Leaf Cuisine Vegan Victory Burger

Vegan Victory Burger – $9.99

My vegan guy got the Mushroom Rawsagna prepared with layers of rawcotta, squash noodles, spinach, portobellos and rawmesan.  It is also served with some sauerkraut and a side salad with house made dressing.  I had a bite and really liked it.  Normally raw Italian inspired dishes use a lot of zucchini in place of pasta (which I hate).  This dish had none of that.  The rawcotta layer was super thick and the texture was very creamy.   I’d definitely order this one again.

Leaf Cuisine Mushroom Rawsagna

Mushroom Rawsagna – $12.99

And finally for dessert, I got their frozen soft serve.  Let me first explain how excited I was when I heard Leaf Cuisine was offering soft serve.  It is so hard trying to find vegan soft serve – which one would think would be a common offering in this warm California climate.  Leaf Cuisine offers both vanilla and chocolate flavored raw soft serve.  I got half and half topped with their chocolate sauce.  I ordered it to be eaten on location, but they packed it to-go anyway.  Because it got smashed from the lid of the container, it just looks like one blob of melted ice cream.  I think I may have been too excited by this offering and raised my expectations too high.  The soft serve was a bit grainy – something I’ve tasted when eating other raw, vegan soft serves.  The flavor was nice, though, and the chocolate sauce was delicious.  It is still a very nice treat for someone following a raw or whole foods based diet.

Leaf Cuisine Soft Serve

Soft Serve – $9.99 for 13 oz. (pictured) or $3.99 for 4 oz.

Leaf Cuisine has a small parking lot and is located at:

11938 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 397 0700

Hours of Operation
Mon – Fri 10 AM to 9 PM
Sat – Sun 11 AM to 9 PM