Healthy Restaurants

Healthy Restaurants 

A few of my favorite healthy/organic/farm-to-table restaurants.

Au Lac (Fountain Valley and Downtown LA)

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“Cream cheese” and flaxseed crackers with dehydrated onions

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Steamed jicama rolls with peanut sauce

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Curried rice

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The tiRAWmisu

They specialize in Vietnamese/Chinese raw food but also have vegan and vegetarian options. The atmosphere does not match the price of the food; however, the eloquently prepared raw entrées belie the cheesy Chinese décor. The servers are very attentive. Our waitress gave us extra peanut sauce for our leftovers. They serve free filtered alkaline water (at Pressed Juicery it’s $2.50 a bottle). I recommend the steamed jicama rolls with peanut sauce, “cream cheese” and flaxseed crackers, curried rice, kelp noodles chow mein, and the tiRAWmisu. (5 taste, 4 atmosphere, 5 service)

Café Gratitude (Larchmont, Downtown, and Venice) 100% organic plant-based cuisine. Sister restaurant to Gracias Madre. The dishes range from Indian curry to pesto kelp noodles. I ordered the “Fabulous,” raw lasagna with squash blossoms and Brazil nut Parmesan. The vibrant colors in the dishes make them look more like art than food. They offer everything a vegan could wish for—cashew nacho cheese, pumpkin seed pesto, and tiramisu with coconut cashew cream. It is a vegan/vegetarians dream come true but carnivores will love this restaurant too. The freshness and creativity of the food make up for the lack of meat. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

True Foods (Newport and Santa Monica)

Salmon Dip (not on the menu anymore)

Salmon Dip (not on the menu anymore)

Veggie Crudités

Veggie Crudités

Veggie egg white omelette and Kale-Aid

Veggie egg white omelette and Kale-Aid

Watermelon sorbet

Watermelon sorbet

Lemon Pie with coconut cream and strawberries (summer seasonal dessert)

Lemon Pie with coconut cream and strawberries (summer seasonal dessert)

My all time favorite restaurant. They offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten- free dishes as well as sustainable organic meat. Their menu changes seasonally to serve the freshest ingredients but some of my staples are the caramelized onion tart, spaghetti squash casserole, and the flourless chocolate cake. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Malibu Farm (Malibu Pier)

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Egg sandwich

Egg sandwich

Seasoned eggs and veggies

Seasoned eggs and veggies

I went to the cafe at the end of the pier but they also have a restaurant. The dishes are locally sourced and organic. I got the egg vegetable plate (that comes with potatoes and whole wheat toast) and my friend got the egg sandwich. Large servings for the price and quality. Everything was delicious. You order inside at the front then find a table.  They offer indoor and outdoor seating. We enjoyed sitting outside and watching the paddle boarders. Very fast service. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Kreation (Santa Monica) 100% organic Middle Eastern cuisine. They offer an array of brunch dishes, tapas, desserts, and juices. I think their tapas are the best items on the menu. I recommend the ash soup, the eggplant dip, and the hummus. The soup is extremely hearty filled with veggies, beans, quinoa, and a dollop of yogurt. For breakfast I recommend the oatmeal almond pancakes and the Mediterranean plate. The pancakes are filling but do not feel unhealthy (check check out my pancake recipe here). (4 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Euphoria loves Rawvolution (Santa Monica)  Raw, organic, vegan. Stop in for a quick and healthy snack like the lentil chili or bok choy salad. They also have delicious raw desserts. They list all their ingredients on their website(3 taste, 4 atmosphere, 5 service)

Old Vine Café (Costa Mesa)

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Quinoa and vegetables

Italian-inspired café located at the Camp. Elegant and refined but casual. Large selection of wine. Recommend: Quinoa and vegetables and pulled pork panini. (4 taste, 4 atmosphere, 5 service)

Urth Caffé (Beverley Hills and Santa Monica)

Spanish Latte and Thai Tea Latte

Spanish Latte and Thai Tea Latte

With multiple locations all over LA, Urth has become a staple restaurant for LA foodies. They specialize in organic coffees and breakfast items. I prefer their tea lattes though. My favorite is the Thai Latte. It tastes like a hot version of a Thai Iced tea. My favorite breakfast dish is the salmon and eggs served with brioche and arugula. My mom’s favorite is the beef hash and the eggs verde. You cannot go wrong here. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 4 service)

Upscale OC Fast-Food

Upscale Fast-Food

Here are some of my favorite casual restaurants in OC.

East Borough (Culver City and Costa Mesa) Authentic Vietnamese food with a trendy street-food vibe.

Veggie spring roll and kale salad

Veggie spring roll and kale salad

New age Vietnamese café that uses fresh ingredients. The location in OC is at the Camp. I like to sit outside at the large wooden table under the awning. Recommend: the pho baguette, the borough spring roll, and pickled mango kale salad. The iced coffee is good too. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

The Melt (Orange County and Los Angeles) Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Simple menu with burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches. You can add grilled bell peppers for free. I ordered the cheese steak melt and dipped it in the tomato soup. Great place for kids. Recommend: The cheese steak melt and sweet potato fries. (4 taste, 4 atmosphere, 5 service)

Luna Grill (Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, and Irvine) Healthy Mediterranean food.

Mahi Mahi Plate

Mahi Mahi Plate

Gyros Plate

Gyros Plate

Sample Platter

Sample Platter

Healthy and quick Mediterranean food. REAL certified. This is awarded to restaurants that use fresh and sustainable ingredients. We ordered the sample plate (falafel, stuffed grape leaves, couscous, hummus, and pita bread), the gryos plate, the mahi mahi plate, and the lamb kabob plate. The plates include rice, grilled tomatoes, and grilled carrots. The mahi mahi was overcooked but overall everything was very tasty. Vegetarian options available. Recommend: The sample plate and the falafel. (4 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Urban Seoul (Irvine) Modern and trendy Korean food.

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Bibimbap

Urban Seoul adds a Korean twist to Mexican/American dishes. They have a kimchi quesadilla, gogi sliders, and pork belly tacos. The food is spicy and flavorful. Recommend: the Kalbi burger and Bibimbap (a classic Korean rice dish). (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Fins (Mission Viejo) Create your own poke bowl.

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Two salmon poke bowls (one with a seaweed salad)

Simple and fresh poke bowls. The setup is like Chipotle. You choose a fish (tuna, albacore, spicy crab, or salmon) and rice (brown or white). Then there are a variety of toppings and sauces to add on top. Everything tasted fresh. I only wish they were more generous with the toppings. The bowls are small compared to Chipotle. Recommend: The salmon and sesame dressing. (4 taste, 4 atmosphere, 4 service)

TLT (Irvine and Westwood) Mexican/Asian fusion.

Daily special. Kogi beef lettuce wraps with peanut sauce.

Daily special. Kogi beef lettuce wraps with peanut sauce.

TLT grew out of the Lime Food Truck. The food is unique and full of flavor. They have tacos, sliders, and veggie sides with an added flair. Lots of spices and marinades. They also serve craft beer. On the weekends they have $15 bottomless mimosas and a brunch menu. The photo is a daily special—kogi beef lettuce wraps with peanut sauce. Recommend: PBAT (braised pork belly sandwich), Brussels Sprouts (with prosciutto and chipotle-honey aioli), and Seared-Ahi Tuna Taco. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Le Pain Quotidien (LA and OC) French countryside bakery.

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Chicken curry with cranberry chutney tartine

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Smoked salmon with dill tartine

Simple French boulangerie-esque café with communal tables. I love their almond milk mocha. The mocha has real cocoa and is bitter unless you add sugar. They have delicious breads and spreads. The photos are of the smoked salmon with dill tartine and the chicken curry with cranberry chutney tartine. The tartines are tasty but would be better if the bread was toasted. Recommend: The Lorraine Quiche. (3 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)