Sunday, July 10, 2011

Keeping A Budget At Leaf Organics

A couple weeks ago, my friend stayed with me. We contemplated where to eat, since she is on a tight budget and cannot afford to pay more than $10 for a meal. I suggested Leaf Organics in Culver City, as I have had great experiences there and the food is consistently good. It is also very inexpensive when using a $25 gift certificate. My friend has been Vegan for longer than I have, yet surprisingly, she never had raw food, other than fruit and salad, of course. I knew I had to take her there and fortunately, she really enjoyed it. I was proud to pop her raw food cherry.

First, we had an assortment of appetizers called Raw And Roll Sampler ($8.50). It was a sampler plate of Leaf's various raw appetizers.

The assortment had such a great variety of flavors. The sushi had a smooth interior and had a slightly nutty taste, but was very spicy. It was salted very well to resemble tuna. The dips were all so smooth and creamy and also had a nutty flavor. The guacamole had the sweetest flavor and the hummus had a slight taste of tahini, although the taste of cashews were quite dominant. The cashew kreme cheese was my favorite, having a rich flavor with a slight sweetness and subtle saltiness that balanced it perfectly. The corn and kale chips complimented the dips very well and were very crunchy, with a light seasoning.

Next, our entrees came out. We ordered the raw Falafel Burger ($10) and Holy Moly Guacamole Wrap ($11).  First, we split the Falafel Burger in two, which was quite a challenge. 

The burger was filled with fresh, crispy vegetables coated in a slightly tangy tahini sauce. It was very flavorful. The bread was a little odd and difficult to eat, as it had a very hard texture. I prefer my bread to be soft, so this was a little off putting. The accompanying salad was very similar to the interior of the burger and was also very fresh tasting. However, the salad was a bit dry and needed more dressing. The pickled beets were delicious, as always, and were soft and slightly sweet. 

Next, we had the Holy Moly Guacamole Wrap.

This wrap is probably the best thing I've had at Leaf, which is why I am so happy I ordered it again. The vegetables were very crunchy and were coated in a smooth, decadent guacamole. This wrap just oozed with the delectable dip and the taste lingered in my mouth for a longtime after. 

Lastly, we had some dessert to finish the meal off. We opted for the mango cheesecake ($6.50). Leaf reduced the price of their cheesecakes from $8 to $6.50, along with giving a slightly smaller portion. Nevertheless, the dessert was very satisfying.

The cheesecake was very sweet and had a rich, fruity flavor. It was very creamy and had a perfect consistency. There was a sorbet-like interior, which worked perfectly with the smooth, delectably sweet cashew kreme cheese concoction. The mango syrup was a great addition, adding even more flavor and texture to the dessert. The cheesecake tasted very natural and was not too sugary at all. 

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal and with the gift certificate, we each paid about $9 with tax and tip. I was so relieved that we met my friend's tight budget and got a generous amount of high quality, raw food. I could tell she was pleased, as we left the restaurant, and both our stomachs were very happy. It was great to introduce my friend to raw food and show her the immense power it has on our bodies. It was even better to show her that it is possible to eat delicious, healthy food, without spending much money. I cannot wait to return to Leaf, and even more, I cannot wait to introduce others to this amazing place. 

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