Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Bittersweet Experience At Better Life Cuisine

My friend and I ventured to Better Life Cuisine in Santa Monica recently, only to have a fairly disappointing experience. First, when we arrived, we saw a cash only sign. Since we didn't have enough cash, we had to go to the grocery store across the street to get some. When we returned, we placed our order, only to find out that they were only doing takeout orders. We were both disappointed, as we were looking forward to enjoying their refreshing cucumber lemon water with our meal. Nevertheless, we sucked it up and ordered the food to go.

When we got back to my friend's house, we immediately dug in. First, we had the two side salads that came with the entrees. I tried some of the Asian slaw salad.

This was really good. The dressing was tangy and slightly creamy. The lettuce was very crisp and crunchy.

Next, I had the "egg" salad.

This didn't really taste like egg salad, but was still very good. It was very creamy and had a light mayo flavor. The celery pieces made it very crunchy and it had a slightly bitter taste.

Next, I had the Caprese appetizer ($11.75).

These were delicious and a great take on a caprese bruschetta. The bread was very crunchy and more like a cracker. The mozzarella slices had a wonderful texture and a lovely nutty taste. The tomatoes gave the dish a sweet flavor, contrasting the basil garnish.

Next, I had the Pizza Primavera ($12.75).

This was very good, despite having mushrooms in it. It was packed with various vegetables and had a fantastic assortment of cheeses, including cheddar, mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan. The ricotta gave the dish a rich, creamy flavor, while the cheddar added a wonderful saltiness and light spice. The pizza also had a lovely pesto sauce, which added a garlicky taste.

Next, we had the Supreme Tacos ($11.75).

This dish was pretty good. The beans were a little too bitter and overly salty. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the various toppings and they were very creamy and luscious. I especially loved the guacamole, which had a rich, avocado flavor. I wasn't a huge fan of the sour cream, as it was a little overpowering.
Lastly, we had some dessert to finish off the meal. The first of the desserts was my favorite: the cinnamon roll ($5).

This thing is amazing. It is perfectly moist and gooey and has a strong taste of cinnamon. It is coated in a wonderful, decadent vanilla sauce, which adds just the right amount of sweetness.

The other dessert we had was the carob cheesecake ($6).

This was pretty good, but could have been way better. It had a lovely chocolate taste and a creamy texture, but still had a fairly bitter taste. I would have preferred the taste to be sweeter and have a richer flavor. I really enjoyed the crunchy pieces on top.

Overall, I think the food was decent, but still could be improved. A lot of the flavors in the dishes were very similar. I would love to see Better Life be a little more experimental with their dishes. With the $25 gift certificate we used, the meal only cost about $14 a person. The food was plentiful and we had enough leftovers for the next day.

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