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Cafe Gratitude - Venice

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 27 reviews )
Contact 424-231-8000

512 Rose Ave, Venice, California, USA, 90291

Almost all the food is vegan, with the exception of a few desserts that contain honey (ask which ones). Part of the the Cafe Gratitude brand originating from San Francisco - its second Los Angeles location. Menu features both raw food as well as cooked meals, vegan desserts and raw pies. Trendy, beach vibe and busy at mealtime. Open Mon-Sun 8:00am-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, American, Organic, Raw, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Take-out

Reviews (27)

First Review by gr8vegan

Cheesy menu but solid food - Edit

We'd had two mediocre experiences here in the past, so when my husband suggested we go, both of us were still a bit on the fence. We made a reservation for half hour away (easy to get), and walked over just a few minutes before. We were pleasantly greeted and had an attentive server for the evening. I'll say, we're both very into vegan food and trying new foods/restaurants, but it is a bit much with some of the names of the dishes here "I am abundant, I am celebrating" etc. as names of dishes - it gets a bit hokey! However, our food was fantastic this time!

We started with the "I am dynamic" aka yam cauliflower samosa chaat. We sometimes doubt ordering Indian food outside of an Indian restaurants, but the mix of flavor sounded really good on this. Also, it's rare I have a samosa since I don't eat fried, and this one was baked! This was easily our favorite part of the meal. Very generously-sized whole wheat samosa (two of them) stuffed with yam and cauliflower, kale, tomato and garam masala topped with (the best part) coconut mint chutney and tomato jam. It was all sitting in a small pool of chana masala. The flavors were vibrant, and each one truly better than the next. The mint chutney was a fabulous bright green. We were literally soaking every last drop of this up.

The next two dishes came out simultaneously and were specials. One was a warm salad of brussel sprout leaves, spinach, coconut bacon, avocado, tomato and a few other goodies. There was a more subtle version of a vegan ranch that coated the salad well too. It almost reminded me a vegan avocado BLT in salad form, it was really tasty. The coconut bacon was crisp and didn't try to be bacon, instead it nicely maintained its coconut flavor. We also split the Hawaiian pizza (cooked version), which was also full of toppings. It included a nut cheese, the coconut bacon, pineapple and more. The crust was crunchy and satisfying, and all of the flavors were nicely melted together.

We finished with a key lime pie "awakening". This is never my favorite dessert anywhere, but the mix of flavors looked neat (creamy avocado and lime custard - as you'd imagine, not too sweet; coconut meringue - creamy and dessert-like, but, again, missing some sugar; pecan macadamia date crust - strong nutty flavor but the best part of the pie). I'm all about healthier desserts, but this just wasn't awesome. We have had the brownie sundae here before and would likely stick with that again instead of branching out.

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Amazing! - Edit

Extensive vegan menu with many gluten free/soy free options. Hard to pick just one thing to eat bc u want to eat it all.

On this visit we ordered the Indian curry and the raw pizza along with delicious smoothies and some raw cheesecake to finish. Everything was amazing! From the food to the service. Our waitress was wonderful and very accommodating and the kitchen staff are super talented!

Pros: Wonderful food and service

Cons: Too expensive to be my daily go to restaurant

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awesome dining experience - Edit

This is just an awesome LA-area dining experience. The food was really creative and the environment was fancy and fun. I was with a group of vegans and non-veg people, end everyone really enjoyed the food. We ordered a bunch of different stuff, highlights were the autumn bruschetta, eggplant parm panini, and sweet potato wedges with cashew dipping sauce. The mint shake was delicious for dessert. It's kind of pricey but what I would expect for LA dining. I would definitely recommend!

Pros: cool atmosphere , large, original menu

Cons: a little pricey

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Lovely Menu - Edit

The menu has a lot to choose from and everything looks good. Selections of squeezed juice and smoothies and elixirs. But very expensive. Portions were smaller than I expected. Highlight was seeing actor Ian Somerhalder get seated not 15 feet away. So handsome and quite a distraction.

Pros: Extensive menu, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Expensive , Small portions

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I like this place - Edit

I've been to Cafe Gratitude a few times now. I had corn tacos for lunch and they were delicious. The vegan mocha cheesecake for dessert was also good. I asked the server and he told me none of the desserts had honey.

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Wonderful Dining Experience - Edit

Cafe Gratitude is a wonderful dining experience. The menu has an extensive selection of dishes - lots of healthy options. The 'I am Whole' macrobiotic bowl was the standout for our table, and the 'I am Cool' smoothie is amazing! The 'I am Awesome' eggplant panini was also delicious. I wish CG would come to Australia - I would love to work my way through the whole menu!

Pros: Extensive menu, Delicious, healthy food, Nice vibe/atmosphere

Cons: Honey in some desserts

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Great, fresh plant-based food - Edit

We stopped for lunch at this place. The food was delicious. We had a quesadilla, a crepe and a mexican bowl. All were fresh and tasty. The only thing we didn't really like was the over the top LA-vibe. When you order, they respond with an affirmation using the name of the dish. For example, "I'd like the quesadilla" was followed by "You are Generous," which was also repeated when they served the food. Still, it's delicious and worth going if you don't mind feeling like you're visiting a shrink or attending an AA meeting while you eat.

Pros: Delicious, Fresh

Cons: Gimmicky

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Honey I ruined the restaurant. - Edit

A great place with a vibrant atmosphere, smart decor, broad range of menu selections and very yummy food. Suitable for both a quick stop or an evening out.

Everything we ordered presented well and tasted fantastic. I generally dislike raw desserts but the raw lime pie I tried here was great too.

This is a place I'd be happy to take anyone to showcase good vegan fare.

The honey is a downer - WTF? Fix that and it'd be pretty much perfect. I so wanna give you 5 stars but can't.

Pros: Great range, Great taste, Smart setting

Cons: Not vegan

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Amazing, delicious and healthy - Edit

This place is for everyone, Vegans and Non-Vegans. The food here is absolutely amazing, I highly recommend this place to anyone.

They don't use microwaves or canned food in their dishes, everything is fresh and support local farming. It gets quite busy at lunch and dinner, make sure to call in ahead if it's a party of two or more.

Make sure to leave room for dessert!

Pros: Healthy, Organic

Cons: Service sometimes fails

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Love It - Edit

the salads are great, i especially like PURE. but, my favorite dish is WHOLE (depending on the type of squash or yam i liked it better w/o). the garlic-tahini sauce is so yummy and i love their kim chi. my daughter loves the smoothies and simple snacks, she gets either the apple slices w/almond butter or tortillas w/guacamole. fun atmosphere and i've never had to wait for a table. my favorite place to eat these days!!!
Updated from previous review on Friday August 23, 2013

Pros: food, fun atmosphere

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Vegan food in Venice - Edit

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.

Pros: good location, plant food

Cons: loud, slow service, salty

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Don't be fooled--it's not health food - Edit

Food is super good, but when you take the highest calorie vegan ingredients and combine them, of course the food is going to be good. It had a bit of a haughty atmosphere, which didn't impress me. Considerably pricey. Parking is difficult.

Pros: good food, friendly staff

Cons: Difficult parking, Expensive, Snobbish atmosphere

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Loved this place - Edit

I had heard so many things about Café Gratitude that I made it a must-eat during our trip, and it didn't disappoint. We arrived at 6 o'clock for dinner and the place was already starting to fill up. By the time we were finished, there were crowds waiting. So I'd suggest making a reservation to secure a table. The atmosphere was quite lively, but as we were seated outside, the noise level wasn't a problem for us.

Everything we ordered was good and tasted very fresh. I really liked that every item on the menu was made from scratch-just wholesome plant-based ingredients without all that fake meat/dairy stuff. The eggplant parmesan panini (I AM AWESOME) was outstanding. Even the side salad was great, not just some sloppy greens as it is sadly quite often the case. The Indian lentil rice bowl (I AM HUMBLE) was decent, but I would've preferred it to be much spicier. The cheesecake and the dark chocolate nugget were perfect to round off our meal. That nugget was the real deal for any self-proclaimed dark chocolate fiend; it was intense but at the same time so satisfying and delightful.

Service was friendly, although slow at times as the place got busy. Out of all the restaurants we went to during our week-long trip, this was probably my favorite and I'm definitely looking forward to coming back when I visit the area again.

Pros: delicious & wholesome food, good vibe

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Eating in Venice - Edit

I haven't been to the Larchmont location or any of the other Cafe Gratitude locations, but I have been to the one in Venice twice and loved it both times. I have enjoyed, and would recommend: the raw zucchini lasagna with cashew ricotta, hempseed and basil pesto, and olive tapenade (I Am Fabulous); the cooked tacos with veggies, guac, cashew nacho cheese, salsa fresca, and black beans -- I added the avocado, yum! (I Am Transformed); the heirloom tomato bruschetta with cashew mozzarella and fig-balsamic drizzle (I Am Present); the fresh ginger ale (I Am Effervescent); and the I Am Cherished cashew cheesecake with an almond-date crust. All of these were exemplary and the cashew cheeses are so creamy and unctuous that you will probably dream about them later. 3 of my friends, who are not even veg, enjoyed the I Am Guapo/a sandwich ("Our Mexican torta sandwich on grilled Panini bread with pureed black beans, cashew nacho cheese, spicy red pepper sauce, crispy chipotle-maple coconut, romaine lettuce, tomato and avocado") -- on of them got it on the live gluten-free wrap. Another friend enjoyed I Am Happy ("Mediterranean wrap with live falafels, zucchini cilantro hummus, spinach, red onion, tomato, cucumber, red chili pepper sauce and garlic tahini dressing on live sun-dried tomato bread"). I have come here twice, once with my fiance and 2 other friends, another time with just one friend, and despite all of my dining companions being omni, they all loved the food here, too. And, of course, for vegan and vegetarian diners, it's even more fantastic to know that all of the food, except for a few desserts with honey, is 100% vegan. There are a number of gluten-free choices, and plenty of good raw options, but I would not come here if you have a nut allergy, given the vast amounts of coconut and cashew employed in the food prep. Some people have complained about the prices, but I find them pretty standard for good dining in LA. I would recommend coming here after a day at the beach, to enjoy the open spaces of the restaurant -- sit on the porch and watch the other beachcombers go by outside! -- and a tasty, fresh, healthy meal.

Pros: Delicious, Fresh & healthy, Good vibe

Cons: Off-limits for people with nut allergies

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A Must Do - Edit

This place is fantastic. You must try at least one of the locations. My fav restaurant in LA.

About average price for area. There are more affordable dishes if you search the menu. It's worth the price.

Pros: great food, huge dessert case, donation dish

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Veg addition to Santa Monica - Edit

I had been eagerly waiting for this place to open since I live nearby and finally got to try it last night. It was only the 3rd day open and already packed for dinner on a Thursday. I sat at the communal table and got to meet some friendly folks, all women at the table. The inside of the place gets loud which made it difficult to chat with the woman across from me.
For my entree I had the raw enchiladas (I AM ELATED). The dish was presented nicely, however for $13.75 I felt the portion was pretty small (see photo). The enchiladas were spicy, and tasted great- finished every drop.
For dessert I got a slice of the chocolate coconut cream pie (I AM IRRESISTIBLE). Loved it, although slightly steep price of $8.50. considering the location, I can understand their prices, just a little over what I feft reasonable. Also, if you're vegan, be sure to confirm that your dessert choice does not contain honey as some do.
Overall, this is a great addition to Santa Monica and I'll definitely be back.

Pros: menu, raw desserts

Cons: noisy inside, pricey

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Its here, its really here! - Edit

Cafe Gratitude Venice is my savior! I can't tell you how excited I've been for it to open, I've been driving, peddling, walking by now for months! As chance would have it I was out of town for day1, but made it to day2 of the grand opening. Everything is sparkling new and the entire staff is so excited too, you can really feel the vibe in the air! The menu isn't as extensive as the Larchmont, but I'm sure they are just warming up! I especially appreciate the beer/wine on the menu! I had the blonde ale and it was fantastic. Sitting outside in Venice enjoying a beer and a I am grateful bowl is heaven for this healthy vegan! I top my bowl of brown rice, quinoa, kale and beans with a side of Kim Chi and always pay the $7 suggested price for this donation bowl (which is the best item on the menu IMHO). You won't find a kinder staff with so much excitement and enthusiasm and as you look around you can see all the other patrons are on the same wave length, birds of a feather flock together! I'm home!
Thank you Cafe Gratitude!

Pros: I am Grateful, kim chi, beer & wine!

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