Heard first about this restaurant opening on HappyCow in 2012, and have eaten here a few times so far. Was just here again, April 2013. Here's my Cafe Gratitude review update. I've eaten at their other location in Larchmont Village L.A. a few times, and the menu is very similar if not the same. There, it's always a scene, totally busy with a lot of trendy LA folk.
This Venice location is always bustling with lots of hipsters, yoga bods, and locals who like this kind of California cuisine plant-based version, of course.
The restaurant occupies the ground floor of a new eco-apartment development on Rose Avenue, just off the Beach several blocks inland. It's painted white everywhere with white furniture. Inside is very spacious and terribly noisy (poor acoustics) with a combination of individual table seating, a communal table, and bar seating. Out front is a covered patio area with additional seating.
The menu is the same here as is at their other locations, San Francisco and LA. It's varied, and you have to take time to read all the ingredient details because the name of each dish does NOT tell you what's in the food. Rather the names are each an affirmations like, "I am grateful," or, "I am beautiful," and the like.
I've tried the simple Mexican style bowl with brown rice & quinoa based topped with black beans, salsa, guacamole, and a house-made nut vegan cheese. It was filling but somehow it gave me indigestion.
The raw enchilada plate is okay though more spicy than I had anticipated. I recall from past meals at the L.A. location that the raw food dishes tend to have extra cayenne and chili.
The gratitude bowl is a pay-what-you-can bowl and comes with brown rice or quinoa, beans, a bit of kale, and topped with choice of dressing. Tastes okay and is filling enough but also gave me indigestion. I think it might be the way the beans are cooked.
The tacos are good, and we got get it at a reduced price during happy hour (3-6pm) - check to see if that's still going on.
I disliked the chocolate pie. The agave nectar overpowered the taste of the pie. I'm not a fan of agave nectar in vegan desserts. And it's pricey around $9 a slice.
If you come during meal time, expect a wait. And once you get seated, expect to wait.
good location, plant food