Simply Raw

I get a lot of reactions from people for choosing this lifestyle. In fact, not many people are supportive or understanding. On the contrary, i get a lot of justification for an omnivorous lifestyle and “I could never do that” or “I need meat”

Lucky for me S is rather supportive; not to mention open-minded. last week he was telling me about this raw vegan restaurant. He suggested we try it –   especially since it would make good blog material.

Now, I haven’t tried very many “raw” restaurants; however, I do tend to try raw dishes when I go to vegan restaurants. One of the perks of living in L.A. is that there are raw, vegan, and vegetarian restaurants popping up everywhere.

Venue:

This restaurant is located just off the promenade at 606 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA.  There is street parking available or you could park at any of the parking structures by the promenade and walk over; I promise it’s not that far. There is also bicycle parking.

Although the venue is small, this would be a good place for a small group. The decor is industrial. It was a bit to “manly” for my personal taste; however, I do enjoy the massive windows. Still, it seems a bit dark.

They have a Charity Wall. Artists can donate pieces for people to bid on. Proceeds go to the artist’s choice charity. This is a cool idea and it means that every so often the content of the wall will change as will the vibe.

There are free-standing tables as well as booths (Side Note: Girls usually precede guys in the theatre, church, movies, to the table at a restaurant and most other places and guys help her to be seated – this is sophisticated dating etiquette, meaning let her choose where to sit)

It’s very quiet and peaceful in here.

Food:

They are open from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. so there is breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, shakes, tea, coffee, and pressed juices. We came here after a day of shopping so it was dinner time.

We asked the cashier for her recommendation as far as salad. We decided to get the Simply Salad. I liked the crunchy bits. I wish I could remember what they were – think crouton-ish. It was loaded with greens, avocado, and tomatoes. As always, I had the dressing on the side. This makes for a tasty dry salad; however, the dressing as good. What makes this salad is that everything tastes fresh. A crisp salad at the end of the day is a sign of quality produce. (Did you know that L.A. gets 3rd/4th tier produce?)

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Simply Salad (Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free)

As far as entrees, S got the lasagna. I had a bite and I thought it was rather good. It looks like a small portion, but keep in mind that raw lasagna usually contains a nut “cheese” or “meat”, which can be rather filling.

Here is S’s review:

The lasagna arrived with a nice presentation. The aesthetics of the of the dish helped make up for the small amount of the food on the plate. The texture and flavours were very pleasant. As I began to mix all of the dish together the flavors really began to blend nicely and it became apparent that looks were deceiving and it was in fact a filling dish. But I began to notice an herbal aftertaste about halfway through that made want to eat some of the teriyaki noodles in front so to cleanse my palate. The lasagna  was a great choice but needs to be accompanied with zesty dish to really bring it all together. Raw food is not my cup of tea but I definitely enjoyed this meal.

Lasagna.JPG
Lasagna (zucchini noodles layered with pesto, marinara, macadamia ricotta & mushrooms) Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free

 

I decided to have the Teriyaki Noodles. I tend to gravitate toward kelp noodles when I have the chance. I think it’s because no matter how hard I try, I find that mine never come out with the same kind of texture that restaurants get. I loved by dish. The kelp noodles were placed on a bed of cabbage.

Ever since I was a baby I have this obsession of eating my food in sections. I don’t know why it brings me a sense of comfort to be able to taste every flavor individually. The cabbage had a hint of the flavors that had dripped onto it from the teriyaki sauce. I also don’t care for carrots; I will eat them, but if I can avoid them, I will. The flavor of ginger was so strong in this dish that it completely overpowered any carrot flavor. This was the perfect portion when combined with half of the salad.

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Teriyaki Noodles (kelp noodles with shredded carrots, purple cabbage & sunflower sprouts) Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free

 

 

 

Since we were trying a new place, we had to try dessert. We opted for the strawberry cheesecake. I told S, “I don’t remember exactly what cheesecake tastes like, but this seems pretty close.” He said it was actually maybe 20% of what cheesecake tastes like. Either way, we both agreed that it was good. The crust and the strawberry compote was heavenly; however, my one dislike (sorry, simply raw) was the coconut syrup. I love coconut. I like coconut oil, but I am rather selective when cooking with it, because it gives food a distinct flavor. This coconut syrup was too sweet (I rarely ever say that) and I felt it didn’t compliment the flavor of the actual pastry. S, on the other hand, liked the coconut syrup.

I swear I could have this cheesecake a few times a week.

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Strawberry Compote Cheesecake with Coconut Caramel Sauce

 

 

 

Service:

The staff was friendly and attentive. The cashier knew the menu and the food and was honest about her opinions and recommendations. Our food was brought out quickly and with no mistakes. Our plates were cleared timely.

Overall, I would like to come back to try their breakfast items, shakes, nachos, and tacos. Of course I need to figure out how I can get an entire cheesecake made weekly.

There is a lot of competition for raw/vegan restaurants in this area right now, but I think that Simply Raw can hold its own against its predecessors.

What’s your favorite raw restaurant?

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