First off, the restaurant itself is beautifully put together with tall ceilings, hanging lights, a couple of raised dining areas, and stools down the center for large groups. (The benches along the side could use a little help leveling, though. I felt like I was playing on a teeter-totter whenever other customers would stand up or shift.)
For an appetizer, we ordered the Live Nachos (called I Am Honoring) made with sunflower bean pate, guacamole, salsa fresca, and nacho cheese. The cool, creamy, and spicy cheese was served in a mound with homemade crackers. The cheese was wonderfully rich with a kick of heat. It felt alive in the mouth and whetted my palate for what was to come.
For my entree I had I Am Pure, which is a kale salad made with avocado, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, basil, and green onions, topped with teriyaki almonds and sunflower sprouts, and tossed in a ginger-tahini dressing. It was a large enough serving to easily cover a couple of meals, especially after sharing an appetizer. I enjoyed the kale salad, especially the whole teriyaki almonds and freshness of the vegetables, but I wouldn't say that it was anything extraordinary.
My husband's Indian bowl, I Am Humble, came with a layer of brown rice (quinoa is also an option), raw spinach, and mounds of spiced red lentils and potatoes that were mashed together. This hearty, stick-to-your-ribs bowl was wonderfully satisfying and a tamarind sauce gave a lift of sweetness to the dish.
The next time I was there, I ordered the Pad Thai-style dish called I Am Terrific. This vibrant and flavorful dish comes with carrots, shredded kale, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, basil, and scallions. It's topped with teriyaki almonds and sprouts.
My husband ordered I Am Extraordinary, a CLT made of chipotle-maple coconut bacon, romaine lettuce, tomato, and avocado on a seeded bun. I'd heard about coconut bacon in the past, but this was my first experience of it. The smoky flavors of bacon are very mild, and the taste of coconut flakes stands out on the sandwich, giving it a somewhat tropical flair. It comes with a creamy cashew aioli, which is the star of the show.
I can't recommend Cafe Gratitude highly enough. It's definitely worth a visit!
delicious food, varied menu, lovely atmosphere