Due to one of our good friends coming into town this past week, we were busy planning fun activities (not too mention cleaning house), to be sure she would be entertained. The only down side to all this preparation was that Go-Vegetarianista had to be put on a brief hiatus. 😦
This hiatus; however, did not prevent us from eating lots of delicious vegetarian cuisine, including out and about.
Jessica is an actress/model and also (how convenient) a vegetarian! A Los Angeles native, but a more recent dweller in Miami and Las Vegas, Jessica always has a desire to try out the hottest vegetarian restaurants. She was the first to introduce us to Native Foods Cafe in Westwood , so it was no surprise that when she came to town, she suggested we have dinner there.
Native Foods just so happens to be one of our favorite vegan establishments in Los Angeles. Our first time there we couldnt help but notice the interesting decor. Complete with a giant poster of a wandering dairy cow looking effortlessly peaceful and African masks adorned the walls of the adjacent dinning area above the kitchen on the second floor. We love sitting in the second floor dining room. We both ordered a bowl consisting of pasta marinara and kale, although I unfortunately, no longer see this particular bowl as an option on Native’s menu, it was delicious none the less. We also ordered a Lavender Lemonade our first time here. What makes this particular lemonade so interesting and delicious is that it contains French Lavender, the lemons are fresh and its made with organic sugar. For dessert we absolutely had to try a chocolate “Good Luck” cupcake to go with the coffee we ordered which was also quite delicious. The cupcakes are made with fair trade cocoa powder and trans-fat free veggie shortening. It is amazing how Native Foods pays close attention to detail, using vegan,organic and fair trade products as well. The staff at Native is very attentive, warm and eager to make the dining experience fun and comfortable. The atmosphere can be best described as non-pretentious and fun.
When Nadya’s parents came to visit Socal in the spring , she made this the first food destination after their arrival. This time around we both ordered the “Scorpion Burger” consisting of blackened tempeh, chipotle sauce, romaine lettuce, carrots, avocado and onions on a fresh baked whole wheat bun. We enjoyed every bite. Nadya’s parents each ordered a salad called “The OC Raw Chopper” which consisted of chopped mixed vegetables, seasonal greens salsa pomodoro, avocado, sprouts , angel hair beets almonds and manna bread. The “Chopper” came with a lemon garlic oil dressing. They enjoyed every bite and expressed gratitude for taking them there. Nadya and I had to order another chocolate “Good Luck” cupcake.
Saturday evening, Jessica drove us there, and to our surprise parking was a breeze. Normally, we would have to park a little less than a block away in a lot you have to pay for but this time around we were able to get a spot right in front of the restaurant. Inside, we were greeted by the warm and friendly staff. They were eager to explain wide range of choices and were very attentive. I ordered the “Oklahoma” with a side of sweet potato fries, Nadya ordered the “Portobello And Sausage Burger” also with a side of sweet potato fries. Jessica had the “Native Chicken Wings”. My ” Oklahoma ” burger was a massive burger, containing thin slices of their signature seitan,fried pickles, melted cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, caramelized onion, romaine lettuce, carrots, onions the bread was slathered with a savory BBQ sauce and came with a side of ranch dressing . This burger was like no other, colossal in size and beyond delicious, I highly recommend it. It was hunger satisfying. Nadya enjoyed her “Portobello and Sausage” burger along with her sweet potato fries. The texture, sauces and fresh ingredients are not to be missed . Jessica’s “Wings” were quite angelic , fried in a light fluffy batter and a consistently succulent center the texture was crispy and quite delectable. Her sauces included ranch, Buffalo sauce and chipotle sauce. She also had sweet potatoe fries, and loved them. To drink, we all had rounds of that lovely “Lavender Lemonade” thirst quencher. We all shared a really exotic version of the “Good Luck ” cupcake. Instead of opting for the chocolate we tried the cardamom rose cupcake. This cupcake had a distinctive flavor; it was literally topped with edible rose petals. The mix of vanilla with the rose was sweet and slightly bittersweet, a taste to be tried and remembered. I recommend this cupcake with coffee.
Native Foods will satiate any palate. It is one of the better options out there and everything is vegan. My friends and I thoroughly enjoy Chef Tanya Petrovna ‘s culinary splendor. I liken this cafe to an achievement in culinary excellence!
Native Foods has locations in Aliso-Viejo, Palm Desert, Tustin, Westwood, Costa Mesa and Culver City. They are opening three new locations in Chicago: The Loop, Wicker Park and Lakeview. Visit their website for more details http://www.nativefoods.com