CLOSED: Better Life Cuisine

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 12 reviews )



717 Broadway Ave (at Lincoln Blvd), Santa Monica, California, USA, 90401

100% vegan and raw food cafe, opened since summer 2009. Offers a varied menu that features fresh pressed juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, main entrees like raw lasagna and manicotti, plus raw pies and desserts and cheezy kale chips. Casual atmosphere, order at the counter and food is brought to your table. The owners at Better Life Cuisine have over 20 years experience in raw food preparation. No alcohol. Street parking. NOV 2012 SHUT DOWN/CLOSED, confirmed by happycow.

Categories: Vegan, American, Organic, Juice bar, Take-out, Catering, Fusion, All Raw

12 Reviews

First Review by Cubbyg

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Mostly Vegetarian

  Contributions +11

AMAZING!!!!!! - Edit

Wanted to try a new macrobiotic, vegan restaurant, not because I'm allergic to dairy or I only eat vegetarian food, but because I actually like the taste.

When I saw the outside of this restaurant, I had an urge to run away immediately. It was divey looking and I hated the curtains in the windows, but I dared to walk in and BOY was I surprised! This is not a "slick" place and in fact is very very plain but the food was the most imaginative and creative in every way possible that I was completely BLOWN AWAY by the menu.

I had the green drink made up of 5 different (green) things and it was delicious! Also, had the tuna wrap (which doesn't have any real tuna in it btw) and it was HUGE and wrapped in this interesting wrap that almost tasted like a fruit rollup or something. I asked about the ingredients of this mysterious wrap and everything sounded legit. The kale salad was also out-of-this-world. So. How can I go wrong here?


DECOR: terrible, very spartan & slightly divey, but very very clean
PEOPLE: Arty, hippy-looking
SERVERS: Very very nice

The owner is a mexican guy who has been working in the organic, vegan, macrobiotic world for many years now and just branched off and decided to do his own thing. I feel this place is going to get bigger and better over time. Just you wait and see.

Real Food Daily, get over yourselves already...... Really???? You're noisy and you make your customers stand around for hours.

At least @ Better Life Cuisine, you get much better tasting food, better service and PEACE, while eating.

Pros: excellent food, peace while eating, good service

Cons: poor decor

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Good place for Raw Food in Santa Monica - Edit

I had read about this place on Happycow, and here's my Better Life Cuisine review.

Since Better Life Cuisine first opened its door in the summer of 2009, my family, friends, and I have been here numerous times. We find ourselves returning over and over, because the food tastes good and is healthy, not too salty or overly marinated.

In the early months of opening, the restaurant shelves were empty; now they are fully stocked with all kinds of treats and raw stuff for takeaway, including various flavors of kale chips and dehydrated crackers plus dulse, raw Parmesan, seaweed, nuts, and dried fruit.

The glass deli case is always filled with a colorful display of raw pies and desserts plus cold salads. And behind/above the counter is the complete menu which offers a wide range of foods including smoothies, fresh pressed juices, salads, wraps, and main entrees.

For the deli salads, we like the "egg" salad (made with coconut meat), kale salad, "couscous" salad (made with cauliflower), apple beet salad, corn salad, and the broccoli salad.

For main entrees, we've tried them all. We like the manicotti rolls, the raw tacos, the bruschetta, and the lasagna. Each main dishes is served with a side of soup or deli salad.

For soup, we've tried the creamy celery soup, spicy chili, and gazpacho. I don't particular like raw soups in general, but I did like the gazpacho and the celery soup.

For dessert, we've tried many of the choices and like the spirulina pie, goji-chocolate pie, berry pie, and the vanilla chocolate. The fresh pressed juices and the smoothies are all delicious.

Most menu items we've tasted at Better Life Cuisine have been good. On occasionally there have been misses when the same food flavors just didn't "pop," but that's gotten fine-tuned over time.

This is a good place to eat raw food in Santa Monica. The owners show a lot of pride in their restaurant. The prices are moderate, and the portions are fair.

Pros: yummy kale chips, quick service, relaxed atmosphere

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Delicious Salads, Pies, Kale Chips - Edit

I had learned about Better Life Cuisine from Happy Cow a couple years ago and have been here many time since, usually when I am in Santa Monica and feel like getting a quick bite of something light and refreshing. I tend to order straight from the deli case of salads. Most times the salads tastes good and fresh, and the owners are friendly. Their nacho kale chips are usual my favorites.

Pros: great kale chips

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large portions, very tasty! - Edit

found out about this place from happycow friends and tried it last night. took two non veg people there and we all enjoyed it very much. the dishes were tasty and very creative. they had never been to anything like it before. I had the salmon wrap (alot for one sitting) and also tasted their salad and lasagna. only thing I would suggest is to ask for the salad dressing on the side as it gets to be too saucey...Very good meal.

Pros: flavorful food, fresh, good prices

Cons: street parking

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raw - Edit

This place has huge salads. You could seriously share a salad with three people and all be full. The juices are great. It is right next to a natural type spa. Very filling meals and very healthy. Service can be quite slow though

Pros: excellent food, good juice

Cons: slow service

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Great raw food! - Edit

I ate at Better Life with some friends last week and I was more than pleased with my meal. I had the manicotti rolls and sampled a few sides, all of which were great! The manicotti rolls were definitely my favorite and if/when I go back I will surely get them again. We also shared a banana cheesecake, which happened to be quite good. This is definitely one of the best raw restaurants I've ever been to, be sure to check it out.

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We LOVE Better Life! - Edit

My husband and I eat here all the time. The food is FANTASTIC! Better Life also gives you the most bang for your buck of any raw food restaurant, especially if you get a salad or wrap. Prepare to be STUFFED! The desserts are simply to die for, as well. Some of the best vegan desserts I've had anywhere, ever! They also do not use honey, making them 100% vegan (unlike Planet Raw, a block away).

As far as the one post above about the produce not being organic, he is flat out wrong. First of all, broccoli is nowhere on their menu. Neither are bananas for that matter. So maybe this guy saw someone's banana from their personal lunch or something that they didn't eat (there is also a yoga studio sharing the space, and the patrons and employees hang about the restaurant side all the time), but it wasn't a banana that was being served to the public! We have personally spoken to Janet about the incident he mentioned (stating she got angry), and her side of the story was that he tried to walk into the back and into the walk-in cooler on his own and she informed him that the back was for employees only (which any business will tell you for liability/safety reasons). She will gladly show all of the paperwork stating that the produce is organic. Long story short, get all the information (in a polite and non-aggressive manner) before publicly stating your assumptions!

For everyone else, go support Better Life! They are wonderful people, with wonderful food, at reasonable prices! Yum! :)

1 Response
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Chia 22 Feb 2013 - FYI, the deli salads at Better Life Cuisine rotates, and I've had the broccoli salad once or twice.  

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The best RAW restaurant - Edit

I just tried out Better Life Cuisine today for the first time and I LOVED it. I had a "tuna" wrap on collard greens. I customized it but it was a "tuna" made from a mixture of sunflower seeds and I don't remember what, along with avocado, tomato and cucumber, and "mayo". It was absolutely delicious!!! It came with some sort of shredded beets as a side. I don't particularly like beets but it was very tasty. I also tried some of the "egg salad", I believe. I also tried(I believe) a dehydrated piece of kale with cashew cheese. They both were really good. And then for dessert I had a cinnamon roll which was really yummy as well. If you like raw food creations then is the place for you. If you are like me and just want delicious tasting vegan food, whether it be cooked or raw, then this is also the place for you. I can't wait to go back!!!

Pros: Delicious food, Very friendly staff, Did I mention, delicious food?

Cons: I really can't think of even one.

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Top notch produce and supreme service - Edit

I'm usually hesitant to try a raw restaurant because I'm a starch eater. I was completely taken care of at Better Life. A custom salad was prepared for me that was GIGANTIC and came with so many amazingly flavorful veggies, but my favorite are the ginger infused onions that kind of look like fried onions, but obviously no frying or oil is involved. The staff is incredibly nice, the location great and juices perfect. I must admit that I'd like to try that Cinnamon Roll, it looks beyond tempting. But for any of you who are not into raw this is a definitely cool place to give it a roll, literally.

Pros: gingerish onions, custom salad, great help

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The Real Deal - Edit

I have eaten at many raw food restaurants all over the country and never have I seen such a pairing of great prices, huge portions, and excellent flavor. None of the hype or trendy attitude here, just amazing raw food for the people. I love everything on the menu. My favorites are manicotti and lasagna. Desserts are off the hook! The chef/owner and his family run the place so you know it's all A++.

Pros: food amazing, portions huge, prices low

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Delicious raw food / great prices - Edit

I ate at Better Life the other day, and really enjoyed my experience. I ordered the Fiesta Platter and the spirulina cake. The Fiesta Platter was very wholesome and delicious, and the spirulina was creamy, rich, and out of this world! Unlike the raw food down the street, this place has a relaxed, clean, comfortable setting, and the prices are much more reasonable. I will be returning!

Pros: Friendly Staff, Healthy Cuisine, Good Value

Cons: None

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The bar is reset - Edit

Tired of all the Raw, Vegan hype. Well this eatery is just clean, fresh good-tasting food. Gil and Janet graciously host this fantastic eatery. Start with a fresh juice or smoothy, toss a choice of eight salads, roll six wraps and five wonderful entrees from traditional to mexican and italian flavors and finish with a smooth specialty pie or many other wonderful sweet treets. This is the place to go for a fresh new face of clean eating.

Pros: food , flavor, selection

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