If you are even slightly health-nutish, Los Angeles will be like being in a culinary Disney World for you. Brimming with health stores, juice and smoothie bars, and vegan/organic/gluten-free eateries (you name it, they got it), there is no way you will ever get bored if you’re trying to eat healthy here. These three restaurants I would recommend to anyone in L.A. who wants to eat healthy and have AH-mazing food. Because if it’s not delicious, who wants it? Amiright?!
This vegan Mexican restaurant (love the concept!) first opened in San Francisco in 2009 and then in West Hollywood in 2014. The food is inspired by the kitchens of Mexico and the nurturing energy of mothers. It features a seasonally-conscious menu sourced from locally grown, 100 percent organic ingredients. There’s a fabulous outdoor patio surrounded by trees. The indoor space was also gorgeous, with high ceilings, crisp white décor, a beautiful wooden bar, and Mexican tile. Recommended dishes here are the butternut squash flautas, the guacamole (obviously), the coliflor frito (cauliflower, cashew cheese, and lemon appetizer), and the tacos. The drink list is also quite impressive, and I’ve heard great things about the not very Mexican brownie on the dessert list.
From the same owners of Gracias Madre, Café Gratitude is a vegan and healthy eaters’ haven. Described on their website as a “collection of 100 percent organic plant-based restaurant specializing in gourmet cuisines,” every item on the menu here strives to support health and wellbeing for everyone involved in the process, from the clients, to the workers, to the providers of ingredients, and the planet. Each dish has the name of a positive attribute (like intuitive, vivacious, humble, and present) and the way you order it is by saying “I am…” followed by that word. Some people may find this cheesy perhaps, but I think that making a positive statement at the beginning of a meal makes the food and experience more enjoyable and nourishing. I’ve tried many of the dishes on the menu and loved them all, so I honestly don’t know what I would recommend. If you’re feeling playful, you may want to pick a quality you want to acquire or you feel particularly drawn to, and see what the waiter brings!
I first visited this restaurant/yoga studio/wellness center as part of a welcoming activity at a bloggers conference. A group of about 30 Latina bloggers and I enjoyed a tasting of cold-pressed juices and healthy appetizers in the main dining room, a visit to the kitchen with an extensive explanation of the juice making process, and even had one of their experts give us a class on the importance of doing a detox. Like so many places in L.A., I found The Springs to be spacious, stylish, relaxed, and friendly. The atmosphere reminds me of a spa’s healthy (and huge) café during the day, and of a chill, sexy, and minimalistic bar at night (cool live jazz music included). The menu is egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free (there are a few exceptions to all of this but they’re all very clearly labelled). The food is mostly organic, local, and sustainable, there’s an extensive juice, smoothie, and detox shot menus. Go for a yoga class or a wellness lecture and stay for lunch, or unwind during their “Golden Hour,” a time to relax and unwind from the day’s work, engage in meaningful conversation with friends and strangers alike, and enjoy some late afternoon/early evening snacks.