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Golden Mean Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 23 reviews )
Contact 310-393-6500
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1028 Wilshire Blvd (at 11th St), Santa Monica, California, USA, 90401

Santa Monica vegan cafe, opened Apr 2009. Offers a varied menu that features salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, main plates, and assorted baked goods. Beverages include smoothies and shakes, organic coffee and teas. Weekend brunch served from til 3pm. Casual and small with also a second floor loft for reading and seating on pillows. Previously Golden Mean Vegan Cafe, now sans the word "vegan."

Category: Vegan, American, Take-out, Bakery, Catering

Reviews (23)

First Review by SuzaFrooz

Great food, no outdoor seating - Edit

We went there with our dog and since they don't have outdoor seating we ordered to go. The food was great and reasonably priced. We got a fabulous carrot cake as a dessert, so big that we shared one.

Pros: Great vegan food, Nice neighborhood, Price

Cons: No outdoor seating


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Awesome place to eat - Edit

I really enjoyed the food and fresh ingredients. I did however feel that most food they were offering were very fatty and "heavy" vegan food (this is personal preference but I like my food lean/ light and no fat or a little of it).

Pros: tasty food , fresh ingredients , very friendly service

Cons: fatty/ oily food, decor of the restaurant needs updating


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Delicious Vegan Burger - Edit

We went here for lunch and it is small and gets crowded easily. I had the vegan gluten-free burger on a gf bun. I asked for the vegan cheese to be melted and for the tempeh bacon to be on the side. There was avocado and lots of veggies on the burger. It was delicious...one of the best I've ever had! I'm glad I asked for the tempeh bacon in the side - I don't like smoky flavor things so my husband had it and loved it! He had the Ruben and though it was excellent! My side was the sweet potato salad - not so good. Way too much mustard in it. Overall, I'd come back here again and would definitely recommend this place.

Pros: All vegan and gluten-free burgers!, vegan and gluten-free brunch, tasty and delicious food

Cons: sweet potato salad (yucky and I love sweet potatoe, a little pricey, not a lot of seating


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Omg No!!!! - Edit

D R Y DRY DRY DRY. Veggie burger with plain tortilla chips. Only other side options were salad that tastes like sauerkraut, or plain sweet potatoes!
Reuben...tempeh on it...i hate tempeh.
I paid $30 for a dry burger and chips and a white bread sandwich with sauerkraut and cheese. Seriously. Avoid.
Plus the place is kind of gross clean wise.
Thank god there is a Starbucks next door! !! Guy was mopping a clean floor. ..ahhhhh!
Updated from previous review on Wednesday August 05, 2015

Pros: Nothing

Cons: Food, Clean, Parkingd


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Go for the nachos - Edit

The nachos were different, but really good with cactus corn chips and dripping with sauces. The chicken pesto sandwich was alright. We decided to go to Real Food Daily (nearby) for dessert and we were glad because their desserts looked better.

Pros: Nachos, Cactus corn chips

Cons: Desserts didn't look amazing


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Keep coming back for more! - Edit

I either come here after I play beach volleyball in Santa Monica and then rush to Golden Mean for their Balance Shake with Protein, or for a breakfast burrito on the weekends, burgers or salads for lunch, or a comforting bowl for dinner... and I'm never disappointed.

Everyone is really nice, there seems to always be parking available in the back or on the street, and the prices are worth the extra mile they go for a good meal.

It was here that I was first introduced to Maca, and their delicious roasted Maca drink (mixed with cinnamon and raw cacao) is delicious.

NOTE: their "udon" noodles are not the fat, thick, rice noodles one generally expects when ordering udon noodles.. they're more like thin soba noodles. Good, of course, but not udon (in the traditional sense, at least).

Pros: Consistently good, Vegan food AND shakes or fresh juices, Great desserts


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Great food, great service, great vibes - Edit

Golden Mean Café is one of the brightest stars in the increasingly dense constellation of veg*n spots in the LA area. The owner has gone the extra mile to manifest the magic formula: tasty and healthful cuisine, organic ingredients, a warm and inviting atmosphere, commendable efforts toward sustainability, and a lot of love.

The food ranges from good to great. Some of our favorites:

- Veggie burger: excellent - one of the best we've tasted

- Quinoa: extra-delicious

- Various salads and greens: all great

- Desserts: Vanilla coconut cake is the best we've ever had, and the "New York Cheesecake" was quite good, too.


Other things you might consider:

- The house-made hot maca drink is quite nice.

- The pistachio-crusted "chicken" has mild but interesting flavor and comes with a side of quinoa (which i liked even more than the "chicken").

- Spinach artichoke dip: the dip itself is great, though the homemade cactus tortilla chips, as much as i like the idea, didn't really do it for me.

- The "rustic Fibonacci cornmeal crust pizza": inventive (quite a leap from traditional Italian-style pizza pie) and very tasty, though the serving size was quite small, especially for the price.

- Portobello mushroom panini: good but not great (i've had more flavorful ones elsewhere).

- Quesadilla: About as good as vegan quesadillas get (due in part to the Daiya "cheese," which melts well), but even the best of the mass-marketed vegan "cheeses" feel kinda plastic to me so i didn't love it. (I'd much prefer a homemade nut-based cheese substitute.)

Fresh, organic juices are also much appreciated.


Service has always been exceptionally warm and helpful in our experience.

There's parking in the back.

Enjoy! :-)

Updated from previous review on Friday July 29, 2011

Pros: Great overall café formula, Organic and mostly healthful ingredients, Some of the food is extraordinary

Cons: Not everything merits the prices


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Can't Believe I Haven't Been Here Sooner - Edit

My husband and I were in Santa Monica shopping for some odds and ends this past weekend at the 3rd Street Promenade and decided to walk over to the Golden Mean and check it out.

We usually just got to RFD if were are in that neck of the woods but I was so glad we tried this place. It has a similar vibe as RFD but was quieter.

The food was delicious! I got the Chicken Pesto panini and I would get it again it was so good. My husband got their Golden Mean burger. He is a harsh critic when it comes to vegan burgers and he said this was one of his favorite burgers he has eaten in LA.

We splurged and had the cheesecake, which was a very delicate sweet note to end on.

The service was great, the parking looks like it would be easy street parking (we were there on a Sunday and there were spots), the restaurant is clean, and the ambiance is casual. I highly recommend this place for a solid vegan experience.

Pros: Delicious food, Good service, Relaxed ambiance


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Good food, friendly staff. - Edit

The food here is very good, especially the pastries. The staff is also extremely friendly. The prices are a tad higher than one might wish, but worth it.

Pros: Excellent Desserts, Friendly Staff


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Get the hot maca drink! - Edit

My partner and I came here for lunch before heading out of town. We used the free parking in the back, which was really convenient.

We had the spinach artichoke dip, the "works" burger, and the wet burrito. The dip was alright, the burger was quite tasty, but the burrito was just passable. I found the flavor slightly lacking. Sitting next to the dessert window, we couldn't help but order a coconut blondie to round off our meal. (Actually the other cakes looked better, but we didn't want to pig out completely. The blondies were smaller and appeared less decadent). I also got the hot maca-cocoa drink to go with it. The blondie was good but on the dry side; that drink was wonderful! I could sip on just this for the rest of my life.

Staff was very knowledgeable and helped us a lot in our ordering. Food was solid, reasonably priced. I just wish I lived nearby so I could get to try out more dishes and, of course, the desserts!

Pros: good food, parking


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Good Vibes Great Desserts - Edit

I've been here many times since it first opened in late March of 2009 and was here again this week, August 2012. Here's my Golden Mean Vegan Cafe review for HappyCow.

Golden Mean is a cool little place with all vegan food and friendly owners. It's a nice setup for meeting up with friends, having lunch, and enjoying an organic coffee, fresh juice, or power smoothie.

And they make great desserts. The cakes are always so fresh and moist. The chocolate chip cookie is yummy, too.

The set up is casual and cozy with small tables and wooden bench seating. Upstairs is a loft with pillows on the floor for lounging. There is free parking in the rear of the cafe, or you could park on the street in front (metered).

I like: the cupcakes and the cakes! the Middle Eastern wrap with baked falafels inside, the "chicken" caesar wrap, the when-in-rome salad, and the daily changing side salads. The tapas plate features a medley of small bites like cornmeal pizza mini slices, day's hummus, salted olives, salad, and falafel.

Good choice for vegan/vegetarian food, or drink & dessert when in the area.

Pros: friendly owners, fresh food, great atmosphere

Cons: could use better ventilation


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New Favorite - Edit

I came here and immediately fell in love with the place. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. The had a good variety on their menu. The food was amazing, and the strawberry cake was HEART WARMING. I will be coming back every time I visit Santa Monica. I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant.

Pros: Everything

Cons: Nothing, seriously


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Small, vegan restaurant - Edit

The restaurant is really small, but the food is quite good. The owner is sooo nice. We had to wait for a table and he came up to us before we ordered apologizing. We ordered the quesadillas, nachos, and vegan milk shake and it was all very good. Will return, but will get food to go because of the small area.

Pros: Very nice manager, Food is very fresh

Cons: Small


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OK - Edit

I walked by this place on the street and decided to forgo the craziness at huckleberry down the street. Over all the food was alright but lacked a certain amount of flavor to put them over the edge. I left with a general feeling of "meh." But the coconut cakes we took home for later is definitely worth going back for.

Pros: Not crowded, Friendly staff, Coconut Cake


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Great karma! - Edit

I can't believe I haven't written a review for Golden mean! They are so nice there. I threw my gf's birthday party there a month ago. We reserved the upstairs and they made us an amazing spread of food for all of our friends. The owner and the chef are such great people! Don't miss out on this Santa Monica gem of a place!

Pros: burger, gold


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Great vegan cuisine - Edit

I frequent this place, about 1x per week. Love the pizzas and veggie burger with the works. All of the side salads are so fresh and delicious...and healthy for you too! I love chocolate, but they have the best strawberry cake and the best blackberry coconut cake. To die for.

Pros: delicious, consistency, parking


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Good veggie burgers. - Edit

I went to Golden Mean over the weekend and was very pleased with my meal. I believe everything I ate was oil-free vegan and overall the food was tasty. I had a veggie burger with basil pesto pasta on the side. I loved the veggie burger, but would definitely pass on the pasta. Be sure to utilize the free parking in the back of the restaurant too. I'll surely be back.


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golden mean - Edit

We were in the area one day looking for a good vegan place and found this restaurant had 5 cows!! The inside is small and cramped though it does have some nice art on the walls and a friendly staff. The food was expensive for the portion size. We started with a daiya quesadilla, but you can't go wrong with daiya! I was tempted into trying the enchiladas since you don't come across those often......but i saw that they were covered in red (pasta) sauce...

Pros: friendly staff


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Golden Mean - Edit

This place had an awkward location far from the busy/popular parts of Santa Monica. Menu was rather limited and a lot of items on the menu weren't available. We got the grilled portabella sandwiches with the potato side. The sandwiches were on the small side, but were delicious. The potato side is supposedly hugely popular according to the waitress, but they were so-so cold herbed potatoes. Got a slice of coconut cake for desert and it was hands down the best I've ever had. Cost almost $20 for a small sandwich w/ potatoes and a slice of cake. Probably wouldn't eat here again in lieu of Real Food Daily down the road, but I would definitely stop by to pick up dessert.

Pros: desserts, food quality

Cons: Location, Portions small


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Best deserts in town - Edit

The food is great -- I have had the pizza, burger, all the salads, and one of the wraps -- all are made with fresh ingredients and taste great.

The deserts are amazing - I started with the choc hazelnut cake -- it is far better than anything Real Food Daily has to offer. The Carob Pecan cookie is the best Carob anything I have ever tried. Yesterday I tried a peanut butter cookie made with sunflower -- best cookie ever. Then the owner recommended the banana muffing - best desert / muffin I have ever tasted.

Pros: Deserts, Fresh, Just great food


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Yum! - Edit

I shared two dishes and salads with a friend this past weekend, and everything was so delicious! We had the Middle East Wrap and the Portobello Panini, but I'm looking forward to trying other dishes in the future. I think even the non-vegans will love this food! We actually ended up ordering a few extras to take with us!!

Pros: Delicious food, Friendly staff

Cons: Can't think of any


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