Sprouts originally started out as a fruit stand in La Mesa, run by Henry Boney, a Texan who escaped the Dustbowl and moved to California to seek his fortune. Seventy years later, Sprouts has become a rapidly growing market specializing in fresh, organic and natural foods, all priced at a good value. Sprouts Farmers Markets are located all throughout Southern California. To find a location near you, visit their website (which also includes some tasty, healthy recipes) at: www.sprouts.com.
Juice Crafters’ motto is simple; live well and be well. This is easy to do with their delicious, fresh pressed juices and “powerhouse” smoothies. Juice Crafters is a raw, gourmet juice bar that is popping up all over the city. They use fresh ingredients, handpicked by local farmers that are delivered daily. Juice Crafters has a juice for every taste bud, my favorite being the Greenest #3, which consists of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon and ginger. They have several cleansing options that rejuvenate the mind and body, creating beauty from the inside out. Juice Crafters currently has locations in Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, and a new juice bar is coming soon to the Hollywood/Silverlake area. To look at their menu or get more information on their cleanses, visit their website at: www.juicecrafters.com.
The Veggie Grill serves uniquely nutritious vegan food that is not only delicious, it’s satisfying. Their protein specialties, such as blackened tempeh and the chilin’ chicken are high in protein and great sources of iron and fiber. They also have no cholesterol or trans fats. Their dishes are flavored with tasty marinades and dressings and their best sellers, such as the Santa Fe Chickin’ sandwich taste so much like the real thing, you won’t even realize you’re eating vegan. Eating healthy tends to be pricey but the Veggie Grill makes it not only enjoyable, but affordable. My all-time favorite is the All Hail Kale salad. It’s a beautiful blend of kale and cabbage in a papaya-ginger vinaigrette. It’s infused with quinoas, corn salsa and agave roasted walnuts. I love it topped with the blackened tempeh. The Veggie Grill is located all throughout Southern California, and at prime meal times, there can be a line that forms out the door. To view their menu or inquire about catering, visit their website at: www.veggiegrill.com.
Real Food Daily is where I go when I am in need of some comfort food. It’s also the place I take my non vegetarian friends, since there will inevitably be an item on the menu to impress even the proudest of meat eaters. Their menu consists of vegan fare that is not only satisfying, but tasty as well. They use food grown strictly with organic farming methods and mostly all their food and desserts are made in the restaurant. My favorite dish is the TV Dinner, which is a vegan meatloaf with delicious gravy and mashed potatoes. The Vegetable Tagine is scrumptious as well and served over whole grain couscous. Real Food Daily has restaurants located in Pasadena, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. For directions, and to peruse their menu, visit their website at www.realfood.com.
Urth Caffe is the first exclusively organic coffee company, and has restaurants all throughout Los Angeles. The LA Times claimed they serve the best caffe latte in all of LA, and their organic, blended green tea boba is a huge hit amongst regular customers. The salads are made with farm fresh, local greens, and there is a disclaimer on the menu warning that their food is served in its “purest and most natural state,” so beware of olive or cherry pits. The food is delicious, but I come mainly for the desserts, such as the Bavarian fruit tart or the cheesecake. The atmosphere of each of their cafés exudes European charm and the hot lattes are embellished with an exquisite design fashioned in the foam. To find the one nearest you, visit their website at www.urthcaffe.com.
“Peace, harmony and raw food” is Rawvolution’s philosophy for living a good, clean life. The menu consists of the purest and freshest locally grown ingredients, and yes, everything served is raw. Their food, even the ketchup is handmade in the kitchen and they have an obsessive devotion to hand crafted preparation. The Pad Thai is incredible. The kelp noodles fool you into thinking you are eating the real thing, as is the California Roll, a nouri hand roll filled with mock tuna. They have a variety of medicinal drinks to cure any ailment as well as a retail store inside the café. For directions, or to learn about their home delivery option, visit their website at www.euphorialovesrawvolution.com.