Marc’s Foodie Angle – Best of Vegan Awards
By Marc Ang
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 12/5/21 – Talk about living up to its name. Cafe Gratitude is all about gratitude embodied in each menu item. The first thing that struck me about the restaurant space was its cleanliness. If cleanliness is Godliness, Cafe Gratitude is a little slice of heaven in Downtown LA.
We observed the crowd and saw diverse groups there, from business meetings to romantic dates to catch up with friends. It is a testament to the location and menu’s own diversity. I could see this as a great place to grab your favorite smoothie or one for a full-on meal.
Thankfully we got to try both. Remember that everything was vegan so as far as variety goes, Cafe Gratitude has that in spades.
Portion size 4.3
Let’s start with the impressive drink menu which we consulted our waitress on. She had her favorites.
“I Am Stellar” was easily her favorite. It is a beautiful blue smoothie that includes Blue spirulina (a superfood that gives the drink a blue color), dates, and coconut. This combo was perfect and probably good as a meal itself due to its thick texture. 4/5
Joy got the “I Am extravagant” drink which you could loosely translate to “Charcoal lemonade”. This drink has the Detoxifying benefits of activated charcoal. But you don’t taste the charcoal. Brilliantly refreshing. 4.8/5
However, both of us got a taste of “I am Luminous” which is probably the best drink I’ve had through our vegan foodie adventures. This special mix of Ginger, pear, and pineapple refreshes. Especially it’s after taste when you really taste that Ginger kick in. Super healthy and light. Sweet but it’s the healthy sweet. (Not added sugars) 5/5
The main course menu is huge. Not only do you have a diverse selection that ranges from curry to Indonesian to Southwestern, but each has a unique flair. Definitely not a one size fits all so we had to pick a few to narrow it down.
“I Am Eclectic” was the Buffalo cauliflower dish. Despite the gluten-free breading it tasted very healthy. It made it one of a kind. I think we can compare this to the pesto sprouts at Gracias Madre since Cafe Gratitude is owned by the same owner. The pesto sprouts there still remain the winner. 4/5
The next dish we had was the “I am Loving” bowl. Mixed with Yams, Brussels sprouts, and a delicious maple sesame dressing, more goodies inside included Avocado, Quinoa, and Garlic tahini. Overall a great mix. The creaminess of the avocado and tahini made it rich. I loved the quinoa. Joy usually doesn’t like quinoa but said, “This made me come back to Quinoa”. I feel the same way as I’ve had poorly cooked quinoa and sometimes get turned off. But wow this one was perfection. 4.8/5
A close contender for the best dish was the “I am Blessed” Butternut squash pasta Bolognese. Red chili flakes made it spicy and gave it a kick. The texture of the pasta was perfect: firm and flavorful. Lots of flavors overall with the chili and squash. Rich and great for pasta lovers. 4.7/5
For dessert, we had the “Your Awakening” Key lime pie. It was decent but not the best. I thought the taste was very different from the regular key lime pie. But in itself, it was unique enough for me to enjoy. At some points though, the flavor was bland. However, it tasted healthy and didn’t leave me with a heavy feeling after dessert. So depending on my mood I may go back to it. 3.8/5
Overall, this was the best sit-down experience we had. Never did we feel rushed or too hectic. Compared to Gracias Madre, where we dined at the same time on a weekday, this was much more relaxed and spacious and the service was even better. The ambiance is key and Cafe Gratitude is really a perfect spot for business and pleasure alike.
You can visit Cafe Gratitude at https://cafegratitude.com/