My mom recently visited me and of course we spent the entire time stuffing our faces at the best Vegan restaurants in Los Angeles. While most of our dining experiences were very pricy, we did pay a visit to one of my favorite raw restaurants, Better Life Cuisine in Santa Monica. It was quite fitting to visit a raw restaurant that sunny afternoon, as we needed an immense amount of energy to take on the shops at the Promenade. Of course, our meal was quite cheap, as we used a $25 restaurant.com gift certificate. We ordered a lot of food and found ourselves stuffed, yet satisfied.
We decided to split a shake, two entrees, a dessert and a cinnamon roll.
First, our shake came out. It was the special of the day, which was a mix of almond milk, cacao and goji berries ($8).
This shake was so delicious. It was very frothy and chocolatey and the goji berries gave it a slightly tart flavor. It could have been a little more creamy to better resemble a milkshake, but I still really enjoyed it.
Next, the two salads that came with our entrees were brought out. We opted for a Thai salad and an Oriental salad.
The Thai salad was great and was my favorite of the two salads. The dressing was very creamy and had a slight tanginess. The noodles were fresh and very crunchy. There was a light assortment of vegetables interspersed that were also very crisp.
I also really enjoyed the Oriental salad.
This dressing on the salad was very tangy and slightly tart. There was a strong taste of soy sauce. The strawberries balanced out the dressing very well, adding a delicate sweetness. The vegetables were all very fresh and crisp.
Next, our entrees came out. Better Life's strong suit is definitely their main courses, which are so inventive and tasty. These dishes could fool any omnivore into believing they are the real deal.
First, I had the Fiesta Platter ($11.50).
This was such a lovely assortment of various concoctions. There were creamy globs of tuna, salmon and guacamole all coated in a decadent cream sauce. The dips were all very heavenly and the mock fish tasted very nutty and had a salty flavor. The guacamole had a sweeter taste, although it was also slightly salty. My favorite was the bruschetta, which was on a hard, crunchy cracker and coated with a delicious, lush pesto sauce and topped with a mixture of delicately seasoned tomato and basil pieces.
I then had my favorite dish at Better Life, Manicotti Rolls ($10.75)
This was just as good as I remembered it. The zucchini perfectly mimicked cooked pasta and the filling was rich and creamy, with a nut-based ricotta cheese. The tomatoes coating the rolls were very sweet and juicy. There was a beautifully salted parmesan cheese lightly sprinkled on each roll and used as a garnish along with thinly chopped pieces of basil.
Lastly, we had our desserts. We opted for the chocolate cake with goji berries topped with vanilla sauce ($7).
This cake was very delicious and had a rich, creamy consistency. It was a little too tart with the goji berries mixed in, but the vanilla sauce balanced out the sweetness very well. There were also notes of spiralina. The cake could have been a little more chocolatey, but other than that it was very good.
The cinnamon roll ($5) is my favorite dessert and I'm so glad we ordered it.
The roll was soft and luscious with a gooey interior. The cinnamon added a great spice and worked perfectly to balance out the sweet vanilla sauce.
I seriously love Better Life Cuisine. The food is always top-notch and very consistent. I do wish their desserts and shakes were a little better and they had more variety among their entrees. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed every visit there and my mom, who is not a Vegan, also loved the food. Our meal was very inexpensive at around $12 a person with the discount. It was definitely a great deal.