My first time at a Cafe Gratitude restaurant was in 2009 at their premier location, in an area that was a little “off the beaten path” in San Francisco. The restaurant had a very colorful, earthy, laid back and eclectic vibe. The wall’s were covered with inspiration quotes, detailed murals, and their pledge to “Nourish a Thankful Community”. The servers and the people were warm and inviting and the restaurant was filled with a mix of hippies, young adults, nature lovers and foodie types. Their Venice Beach location doesn’t quite have that same vibe.
Located on a busy street in Venice, just blocks from the beach, the street is lined with bars, hip coffee shops, fashion boutiques, and condominiums. Cafe Gratitude Venice is situated in a huge residential building with the bonus to that being that there is free underground parking. You are greeted by a hostess and have the option of sitting at one of their many counter top bar stools, booths, tables, or outside on their large covered deck. It’s definitely a more modern and hip unified version with simplistically styled decor, “uniforms” for all the servers that entail a v-neck shirt with the v-neck helping to spell out the work love, and most of your meals will be served in white dishes with the occasional teal dish served. The staff are friendly and accommodating but it does seem to be more of a rushed atmosphere. I guess that’s how it goes in the hustle and bustle of a big city.
Atmosphere and decor aside it’s the food that is the real star of this restaurant! Everything on the menu is 100% plant based and 100% organic. You literally can’t go wrong with anything you order, as everything is made with the freshest sourced ingredients and prepared for optimum health. Open from morning to night they have a huge menu including breakfast items, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, coffee, tea, elixirs, sparkling drinks, appetizers, wraps, bowls, pasta dishes, desserts, seasonal dishes, and even organic wine and spirits! They offer both raw and cooked vegan dishes as well as gluten free options. If you make it here for breakfast they have both sweet and savory options. The raw open faced bagel is scrumptious but I could have easily eaten two! Looking for something on the sweeter side, you can’t go wrong Raw Crepe smothered in creamy sauce. One of my favorite meals is the Magical, a vegan burger that I get on the raw gluten-free wrap with avocado, macadamia cheese, and coconut bacon, it’s just bursting with flavor! During the winter one of their seasonal specials are sweet crispy brussel sprouts and we always get a dish to share. Most of their bowls like the indian inspired Humble can be served over brown rice or quinoa for a more nutrient packed version. Pair your meal with one of their sparkling drink concoctions or cap the meal off with a warm creamy latte with my favorite choice being the Golden, a Turmeric latte with honey, turmeric juice and steamed almond milk (Caffeine-Free). Right at the front of the restaurant they have a dessert care with a variety of pies, cakes, cookies and truffles. Don’t come here without trying one of their to-die-for treats, JP recommends the Key Lime Pie. If you literally are in a hurry you can always grab a to-go item from the deli case. Cold-pressed juices, salads, wraps, and of course deserts are just a quick grab and you are out the door. We always get a cold-pressed juice to go, I love that they come in glass bottles and as a bonus I can use them to bottle my kombucha since the labels come off fairly easily!
Next time you are in Venice be sure to check out this hip and healthy restaurant!
IT’S ALWAYS TEA TIME!
Craving pasta but don’t want the carbs or gluten? Try shirataki noodles. They’re especially good in the rich, flavorful broth of Beef Sukiyaki.
Parmesan fried shrimp, baked swai, and broccoli with a lemon aioli #starving