Golden Mean Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 35 reviews )
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310-393-6500
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1028 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, California, USA, 90401

Vegan cafe operating since 2009. Offers a varied menu featuring salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, faux chickn, baked goods and more. Beverages include smoothies and shakes, organic coffee and teas. Weekend brunch served til 3pm. Casual and small with also a second floor loft. Open Mon 10:00am-9:00pm, Tue-Thu 9:00am-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 9:00am-9:30pm, Sun 10:00am-9:00pm.

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

35 Reviews

First Review by SuzaFrooz

Favorite cafe in LA - Edit

Haven't tried one thing I didn't like there. Delicious Tempeh Rueben. My mom who isn't vegan orders from here several times a week. Would highly recommend it.

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amazing and pretty healthy vegan noms! - Edit

I had the club because Tempeh bacon (as if anymore need to be explained) 😜 Sooo delicious! The cherry tomatoes that were on the salad it comes with were insanely sweet! Guess they care about there produce quality- how awesome is that? My guy had the Hot heavenly bowl (think that's what it was called?) super quality ingredients and no extra stuff, just kale quinoa and vegan chicken. Quality item for all your health needs 😏 We also had the chips and guacamole as an appetizer and some Kombucha to drink. Great place 👍🏻👍🏻

Pros: so many choices, brunch served til 3? yes please 😋, great produce

Cons: only bummer: the dessert case was empty when we we

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Obscenely Good! - Edit

My whole family ordered take out from this place and we were all amazed! I got the chicken Parm and Nachos and it was soooo good! My grandpa loved the burger, my grandmother loved her burrito, my aunt loved the tuna spicy roll, my uncle loved the Udon noodles and even my little 2 year old cousin loved his pizza!! Usually delivery of most food is subpar but the delivery mattered little here, it arrived fresh!

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Fantastic! - Edit

We ate here several times during our stay in CA. It was right next to the hotel and convenient for take out after a long day of vacationing. It's also relaxing to stay there and eat. I tried the Macaccino, which is a fun alternative to coffee. I also tried the curry bowl and veggie burger and I would recommend both. My mom loved the chicken parmesan. Also, the strawberry almond cake is HEAVENLY!

Pros: Great Food, Large Portions, Take Out Option

Cons: Expensive Smoothies

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Amazing food! - Edit

My friend & I were on vacation and were so happy to find this cute little cafe in Santa Monica. We were equally amazed by the extensive menu & the great customer service! We ordered a pesto pizza & spaghetti and meatballs to share. Both were amazing, but the spaghetti and meatballs were the best I've ever had! We left feeling very happy due to both the amazing service and also the great food!

Pros: Friendly service, Great food

Cons: None

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great selection - Edit

This restaurant had an amazing selection of vegan options! I had a hard time choosing between all of them? I ended up getting the burrito bowl, which was a amazing! The down fall of this place was that it needed a face lift. The restaurant seem to be a little fun down and the service was not the best. However with a great selection and good food it's a great place to go for some yummy vegan food!

Pros: selection , taste

Cons: run down , poor service

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amazing sandwich - Edit

I've been there after searching for some vegan restaurant on happycow and I was shocked for this sandwich with quinoa burger and vegan cheese. I loved it and I wanna come there another time during my trip in LA. Also my friend (not vegan at all) tried one piece of my burger and said the same! Let's go to try it!

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was good - Edit

I try the burger was really good and pizza and tacos was ok , they have variety of desserts they look really nice but I don't try it , the price I think it's little bit too much the tacos they are too small you need to try 2 dishes to make you feel full

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Good waffles - Edit

We came here around 11am on a Wednesday so I was excited to try some brunch items. Their brunch is served till 3pm daily which is awesome because most of the other places I've been to only serve it on the weekends.

I got the Belgian Waffle which was great. It was nice and fluffy which isn't the easiest task for vegan waffles. I got a side of potatoes to go with it and these were amazing. Best side of potatoes I've ever had. I know it sounds weird because potatoes are pretty simple, but I've been let down before. These potatoes were great.

My mom got the Vegan Chicken Pesto Panini. Keep in mind she's an omnivore. She said it was ok; we've been to a lot of vegan restaurants and she usually orders some sort of sandwich with chicken, and she said this one wasn't as great as others that she's had. It wasn't bad, but she's had better. She eats real chicken on a daily basis though so she's a tough critic with the mock meats.

My brother got the kids pizza. He's an omnivore as well, and a picky one at that. He said the pizza was ok. The crust was super thin, I believe it might have been gluten free (don't quote me on that). He really liked the sauce and thought the cheese was ok. He ate two out of the four slices which is saying a lot because there are times where he'll order regular kids pizza at Italian restaurants and only eat one bite. I took a bite of it and thought it was ok as well. I hate vegan cheeses but thought this one wasn't horrible. They do smother it in cheese though so I don't think I would've been able to eat more than a few bites, and the crust was way too thin for my liking.

My mom got a Golden Helix antioxidant smoothie which was delicious. I got the creamsicle milkshake. The flavor was pretty good; it definitely tasted like a creamsicle, but the texture wasn't great. I was expecting it to be much thicker.

Overall it was pretty good. I would definitely give it another try. Their desserts looked amazing but we were all too full to try any. They also give 10% off the entire meal if you post a picture of your meal and post it on social media which is pretty cool.

Pros: 10% off bill for social media post, Really good side of potatoes, Friendly staff

Cons: Some of the food was just ok, not great, Slow service

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overpriced and tasteless - Edit

Decided to try this restaurant for the first time. To be honest, the menu options sound better then they taste. The truffle Mac n cheese was bland, cheese-less and wayyy over priced being served in a little ramekin, my vegan chicken pesto sandwich was ok, was hoping the cilantro-pesto had a little basil in it, but couldn't taste that at all...over all it just seem over priced for what they served. Oh, my husband liked he un-tuna, and I thought it was good based on my little forkful! Took a macaccino to go, Which was a nice coffee alternative.....Won't be back though.

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Great 100% vegan eaterie - Edit

A great find in Santa Monica. Easy to locate on Wilshire Bld, plenty of space inside. Fantastic, varied 100% vegan menu. We enjoyed a delicious and large wet burrito, and a build-your-own vegan burger plus a berry smoothie and a tasty lemon and saffron cake for dessert.
We used their 10% off offer for posting a photo of our meal on Instagram :) But it's all reasonably priced anyway, even without the discount.
Friendly service too- highly recommend.

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love it! - Edit

Huge menu, plenty of choices. Really have everything you want from smoothies to bowls, wraps, coffee and variety of cakes. Healthy and interesting choices. Staff is friendly and seem to be really like what they doing. So far my fav place in Santa Monica.

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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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