Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Gorgeous Meal At Cafe Gratitude

On a frigid winter night, my friends and I ventured to Cafe Gratitude in Venice to indulge in their heavenly food. The restaurant is unlike any other with its earthy, laid back atmosphere and luscious, yet healthy concoctions. I was excited when Blackboard Eats had a special deal for a three course meal for only $17 and my enthusiasm became even greater as the day I was to dine there approached. Since the restaurant was full when we arrived (approximately 9 pm), we ended up dining outside. I was reluctant to be seated out there, but when I saw the cozy seating under the warming heat lamps, I felt at ease.

We began the meal with cold pressed juices (which of course is so stereotypically LA). My friend and I opted to split the I Am Worthy and I Am Healthy (normally $5.25 each).

The I Am Worthy drink consisted of apple, celery, kale, beet and ginger. The apple and beet gave the juice a lovely sweet flavor, but the ginger and kale were very overpowering in making the drink taste tart and bitter. I would have liked some more sweetness to balance it out (perhaps a banana?). I really enjoyed the I Am Healthy juice which consisted of kale, celery, cucumber and lemon juice. This drink was more mellow and while it also had a tartness, it is a little more subtle. 

For my appetizer, I had the I Am Local salad ($13).

This salad was magnificent. It had lovely succulent flavorings from the roasted beets, maple walnuts and apples. The bitter red onions balanced out the sweetness perfectly. The fig balsamic vinaigrette had a fantastic blend of sweet and tangy that worked great on the salad. The creamy, nutty cashew mozzarella cheese took the salad over the top and made it very decadent. The oregano crostini was a fabulous accompaniment, adding a crunchiness and savory taste.

Lastly, I had my entree: I Am Elated ($13).

These raw enchiladas were very delicious. There was an excellent blend of flavors from the spicy, savory corn to the sweet, juicy mango. The cacao mole had a wonderful chocolate taste and a slight bitterness. The cashew queso added a nutty flavor and was rich and creamy. The tortillas being raw were a little difficult to cut and chew, but the fillings softened them a bit.

Overall, the food was amazing. Everything was flavorful, filling, and uplifting. The name of the restaurant truly suits the place, since I felt so grateful for the food and appreciative of the fact that I am able to eat such wholesome food. The meal was pretty expensive at around $20 with tax and tip, but definitely worth it. This meal could have lasted me at least two meals (perhaps even more), but since I was famished, I ended up eating it all at once. I cannot wait to return to Cafe Gratitude soon and am hoping they will have another deal soon!

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