Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Blissful Meal At Better Life Cuisine

Better Life Cuisine in Santa Monica is one of my go-to places for raw food in Los Angeles. Their food is always delicious and I feel great after eating it. Nevertheless, the service is always pretty bad and many of the dishes taste very similar. I still love eating there and with a $25 gift certificate the food is reasonably priced.

We began the meal with some side salads that accompanied each entree.

I first tried the corn salad. The corn was nice and soft and mixed well with crunchy greens. The sauce was very light and mildly spicy.

I tried the kale salad next. The kale was well-massaged and coated in a light ranch-like dressing. It had a lovely salty flavor.

Next, I had the cabbage salad. This was a raw version of cole slaw. The cabbage was slightly crunchy and coated in a tangy vinaigrette.

Next, I had a Thai noodle salad. This dish was fantastic. The lettuce was very crunchy and the raw glass noodles were very slurpy. The dressing was very tangy and had a wonderful sour taste, with a subtle sweetness.

Next, I had the bruschetta ($10.55). This was also very delicious. The raw onion bread was crunchy, but easy to chew. The tomato mixture was very sweet and perfectly contrasted the saltiness of the nutty mozzarella "cheese". The pesto was very creamy and had a wonderful garlicky taste.

Next, I had the pizza ($11.50). It was scrumptious, but very similar to the bruschetta. The tomatoes were more prominent in this dish and had an even sweeter taste. I also loved the addition of the cashew ricotta, which was very creamy and enhanced the salty flavor of the dish. The olives were also very good, as they were very juicy and bitter.

Next, I tried the manicotti rolls ($10.75) which is my all-time favorite dish at Better Life and a must order. The zucchini noodles are very soft and slightly chewy and are filled with an amazing cashew ricotta that is perfectly creamy and salty. The tomato mixture is layered with a lovely parmesan, which has a very nutty, cheesy taste.

The lasagna was very similar to the pizza. The only difference was the mozzarella, tomato sauce and cashew ricotta were layered on a thin sliver of zucchini, which made it a little less crunchy. It also did not have the pesto sauce, so it had a sweeter taste.

We ended the meal with some cinnamon rolls ($5). These are phenomenal and definitely a reason to dine at Better Life in and of itself. The texture is so moist and gooey, our non-vegan friend could not believe it was raw. It had a lovely cinnamon flavor, which was enhanced by the sweet, luscious vanilla frosting.

Overall, the meal was fantastic. Each dish was very flavorful, although it is unfortunate that the tastes were not very varied. In fact, it was hard to tell each dish apart, since they all looked so similar. Still, I enjoyed the meal and felt satisfied afterwards. I was upset to realize that we were charged incorrectly for the meal and paid about $10 too much total. This was not the first time this restaurant has miscalculated the cost of the meal, but I'm hoping next time I realize this sooner and am able to get it corrected.

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