Marc’s Foodie Angle – Best of Vegan Awards
By Marc Ang
West Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/23/21 – Gracias Madre in West Hollywood is one of the strongest contenders for the Best of Vegan this month. What sets it apart is the sheer volume and variety. If you like lots of choices and you want a cool chic ambiance, Gracias Madre is the spot for you.
Like always, we left it up to the establishment to choose the dishes they wanted us to try and subsequently we see what the restaurant wanted to feature.
Portion size 4.3
The first two dishes that came out were absolutely mouthwatering. Simple dishes nonetheless but with gourmet flavor that tickles the taste buds of foodies who can discern quality.
The Tortilla soup is a dish I’ve had many places but something about Gracias Madre’s will always be memorable. It is probably the fact that the texture is perfect, not too thick, and not too watery. And the flavor and peppery spiciness kicks in about 2 to 3 seconds in. This explosion of flavor was unmatched, drawing from the roasted tomato, cashew crema, corn, avocado, onions, and garlic but most importantly the red peppers. The bottom of that soup bowl came too quick. 4.8/5
But the favorite of the evening was by far, the Brussel sprouts. Joy and I actually came to a consensus on this one. Again, a dish that has been cooked by many but Gracias Madre takes this to a new level. The texture was once again perfect and every bite featured all the flavors like a perfect symphony drawing from the perfect spinach basil pesto, Aleppo pepper, and Brazil nut cojita. What I loved most is the simplicity and texture. It shows you don’t have to be “extra” to be amazing. 4.9/5
The least favorite starter was the Pozole. While I’m a huge fan of Menudo and pozole, but this was just too watery. Looking at the ingredients of imitation bacon, cabbage, onion, garlic, and avocado and attempting a vegan version, I understand it would be challenging so I’ll cut them some slack. Overall, this was just a little bland and underwhelming. 3/5
The three main courses were delicious and I commend Gracias Madre for choosing 3 to showcase their variety: a torta, a burger, and a tamale dish.
The eggplant Milanese torta tickles an eggplant lover like myself. One thing I noticed was how delicious the bread was, but the ingredients like the chipotle aioli, arugula, and esabeche gave this sandwich a balanced punch. 4.2/5
The Madre burger had a roasted mushroom and black bean patty along with the pineapple, pepperoncini, cashew nacho cheese, and balsamic poblano onions. This was a good combo but I didn’t notice anything extraordinary to set this apart from other Vegan burgers. However, this will satisfy any burger fix and the flavors were well balanced. 4/5
The best main course was hands down, the tamale Verde. Both Joy and I came to a consensus on this. Talk about the perfect balance of flavor and texture. Not only were the tamales perfect with poblano peppers, corn, cashew mozzarella and covered with a mouthwatering poblano cream sauce, but the black beans and sautéed greens sides added some variety to the flavors while remaining healthy and guilt-free. 4.9/5
Finally, high marks again to the ambiance of the restaurant. Gracias Madre is really the place for an all-vegan experience with cocktails. The watermelon mezcal I had was quite refreshing and they are known for their signature margaritas.
They are dog friendly too. My beloved Pugsley was pampered by the wait staff and they brought out a doggie bowl of water without me asking.
There’s a nice outdoor area and a fireplace with an outside bar but for those who are funny about the elements, the chic inside seating impresses with a high-end wine bar feel. This is definitely the place for a romantic date night or classy corporate party.
You can visit Gracias Madre at https://www.graciasmadre.co