Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life as a Vegan

For about six months now I have been a vegan. My dad for about forty years has been a macrobiotic, a diet that is mostly vegan except for occasional fish and no refined sugar. I feel brighter, my skin in clearer, and it has given me an unreal amount of energy. This diet change has pushed me to find more delicious vegan/vegetarian restaurants all throughout Los Angeles. Here is a little guide to the best restaurants I have tried and what to get at them.

The M Cafe is a hot-spot for incredible macrobiotic cuisine. My favorite things are the blueberry flaxseed pancakes for breakfast, the ahi tuna burger, the big macro, Bi Bim Bop rice bowl, and for dessert the mini cupcakes that range in flavor from mocha to strawberry. I like to get two or three mini cupcakes so that I can enjoy all the different flavor sensations. I really can't tell the difference between these vegan alternatives and the real stuff.

Cafe Gratitude is relatively new to Los Angeles but has been in Berkeley for many years. They serve huge rice bowls, yummy salads, and absolutely mind-altering desserts. With names like; I am Fortified, I am Pure, and I am irresistible, I leave the Gratitude feeling full, satisfied, and better about myself. My favorite dishes here are the I am Fortified rice bowl with Thai Almond sauce for a very satisfying dinner, the I am Magical is one of the best veggie burgers I have ever had. Also for dessert the I am Irresistible cake is not only the best vegan dessert I have ever had but it is one of the best desserts I have ever had. A combination of coconut and chocolate mousse with a almond cocoa crust, it was so good that my family and I ordered one devoured it and needed to order another which we then devoured in a matter of seconds (the waiter was a little frightened).

When I found this place I thought that it was too good to be true. I kept researching and asking to make sure that what I had heard was true. A completely vegan, raw, refined-sugar-free ice cream parlor! I went for the first time and then I was back three more times within a week. Delicious ice cream, soft-serve, and ice cream sandwiches. I haven't tried nearly enough flavors to pick favorites but everything that I have tasted has been delicious, especially the salted caramel sauce.

I hope you enjoy and that it inspires you to think more seriously about a meat-free or dairy-free wholesome way of living.