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M Cafe de Chaya

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 18 reviews )
Contact 323-525-0588

7119 Melrose Ave (at La Brea Ave), Los Angeles, California, USA, 90046-7617

Serves meat, vegan options available. Except for a few fish items, menu is vegan prepared in the tradition of contemporary macrobiotic cooking principles. Offers assorted vegetable sandwiches, tempeh wrap and tofu wraps, rice bowls, vegan pastries, cupcakes, salads, soy latte and cappuccino, and more. No sugar or eggs used. Established since 2005. Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, American, Macrobiotic, Bakery, Catering, Fusion, Non-veg

Reviews (18)

First Review by xtfrclqn

Great restaurant - Edit

Great selection of food... not only sit down restaurant, but also deli selection of prepared food and delicious desserts. Nice sunny / bright location. They are mostly veg / vegan, but have a few fish options. But all the baked goods / desserts are vegan.

Pros: Good selection of food, Great dessert selection

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Pescatarian and Macrobiotic/Chayo philosophy - Edit

Warning: This place serves REAL fish. Real (out-of-the-sea-had-a-pulse-and-a-central-nervous-­system) fish, but everything else is vegetarian.

Brought here by my BF/F for a post Pedro Almodovar movie meal. "I'm So Excited" to have eaten here at this European Cafe style Chaya Restaurant. According to the M Cafe website, Chaya is basically a Japanese style of macrobiotic eating focusing on taste. The European style cafe is too big to be a cafe, so there's some possibly playful ironic tones of cafeteria of large white tile and big chalk boards. I must say I love the accents of lemon plants adding a homey fresh kitchen atmosphere to the dining areas with woven chairs. This place has very friendly and welcoming staff willing to guide us through the M Cafe experience.

After some discussion we decided on the Big Micro Burger for my BF/F and, the manager's favorite, the Thai Curry Bowl. I recommend getting a "Green Arny" for your beverage. It's like an Arnold Palmer, but instead of black iced tea, they add iced mint green tea to your lemonade. The Big Macro wasn't a heavy "Big Mac" type of burger we were half expecting, but a light and, dare I say fluffy, whole grain brown rice patty with a generous amount of alfalfa sprouts and soy mozzarella. You get your choice of side and we highly recommend the Kale in a Spicy Peanut Dressing, so scrumptious, that BF/F gobbled it up almost immediately. If you're not on a gluten free diet, I recommend getting the Crispy Seitan for the Thai Curry Bowl. They lay the Seitan on top of the bowl so that it doesn't become prematurely soggy and lose its crispy appeal. The mouth feel of the Seitan had the right amount of crispiness, internal chewiness, and hearty flavoring throughout.

As for desert, BF/F and I shared and enjoyed two. The tiramisu balanced with delicate overtones of fresh coffee. So many tiramisus use an old stale mocha which drowns the dessert, but M Cafe somehow knows how to keep the coffee taste fresh. Kudos. Although, I enjoyed the Tiramisu, but I have to say that the Strawberry Shortcake was the best I've ever had and I'm a man who enjoys his strawberry shortcake since childhood. When I visit again, I plan to go after that dark chocolate pudding that was also calling our names.

Veg Out,

Veggie Army

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Eye Candy - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow, and have eaten here many times. Here's my M Cafe de Chaya review.

Usually when my husband and I are in the Melrose area, we would grab lunch here. The cafe space is small for the high volume of traffic it gets, but usually, we are able to find a seat. The people that come here seem to be hipsters and scene-sters. Celebrity sightings, too.

Love the layout. Delicious salads, sushi rolls, cakes and pastries, panini sandwiches, and salads are beautifully arranged in a squeeky clean, long glass case. Makes me want to order everything every time.

I like: the cookies, cakes, bi bim bop bowl, seitan katsu bowl, sushi rolls, the grilled veggies panini, and the salads sides are pretty good, too.

Pros: many choices, tasty and healthy food, decadent vegan desserts

Cons: usually crowded, not cheap, hard to park

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Mouthwatering display - Edit

Wonderful flavorful food, if slightly pricey. However, we did enjoy our pancakes and breakfast burrito. Took food to go which was delish. The fudge cake and tiramisu were the best. The restaurant is clean w/very friendly and competent service.

Pros: Healthy food, well prepared, great staff

Cons: small portions

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A hit for clean and quick lunch food - Edit

This macrobiotic cafe has mostl vegan foods. We had delicious raw peanut kale salad and zucchini pesto salad, plus cooked quinoa beet salad and side of inari, sushi, and miso soup. Everything was deliciously flavored, using only clean and fresh ingredients. Service was fast and friendly, and ambiance pleasant. My only complaint is because we ordered such a large variety of dishes, plus drinks, our bill was quite high.

Pros: excellent food (mostly asian inspired)

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Vegan Staple in LA - Edit

This is my go-to place as a vegan in LA. The club sandwich is the best in town, in my opinion. The seasonal soups and salads are always good. Their vegan chocolate cake is also the best in town for me. Don't miss the sweet potato fries with the lime mayo. It's something to behold. I doubt if I've ever had anything here that I didn't think was really good. Lots of fun celeb sightings at the Melrose location. Parking in rear is free albeit a bit of a pain at times.

Pros: Great vegan food, celeb spot

Cons: Limited seating in peak hours

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Quality - Edit

Had a good experience here. Food isn't super cheap but isn't super expensive either. And the quality is high. The "big macro" burger is excellent, and a lot of great sides. As a macrobiotic place, as long as you don't order fish everything is vegan. No hidden animal products. Worth trying.

Pros: High quality, Good portion size

Cons: Parking not great, Can be busy and crowded

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Great lunch spot! - Edit

I ate lunch here and I was hard-pressed to decide what to have. Ended up having their TLT with a side of kale salad. the bread was hearty and flavorful, the veggies fresh and the portions ample. I parused their pastry case and was thrilled to find a vegan croisant! I had it for breakfast the next morning and it was flakey and moist. I can't wait to go back to this L.A. gem!

Pros: Selection, Fast, Fresh

Cons: Serves fish, Stark atmosphere, Small

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Wonderful - Edit

While M Cafe does serve fish, it is really easy to avoid and everything else is vegan. The food is really tasty. I love the BBQ Seitan sandwich and all the Paninis. The soba noodle salad and the kale salad are terrific. The desserts are amazing. The apple tatin and tarts are just to die for as are the sacher torte and strawberry cake. Not sugary at all - very European. We have brought multiple non-veggie people here and everyone has liked it. It's just hard to get a table sometimes. We ordered the Christmas meal to-go last year for my parents and us and it was wonderful. Definitely try M Cafe. I just wish it was fully vegan.

Pros: desserts, fresh and tasty, grilled paninis

Cons: serves fish, crowded

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M Cafe de Chaya - Edit

I'm a big fan of M Cafe de Chaya's Panino Margarita (the vegan mozzarella is amazing) and Melrose Avenue Muffaletta. The multiple types of Inari are also very flavorful and satisfying. My only complaint is that M Cafe also serves seafood, but that being said, their vegan food is wonderful.

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Truly five star vegan food - Edit

One of the tastiest foods I have ever eaten, and it's the best value in LA. I have only been to the Melrose location where I shared a few items with my boyfriend. We are both very picky when it comes to the tastiness of food, so I did not bring my hopes up too much before going there, especially after having bland experiences at other macrobiotic restaurants. Well, it was amazing! The tofu scramble (with an eggs benedict sauce) was so refreshing and tasty and rich at the same time, it still makes me drool and cry on the inside that there is no M Cafe de Chaya in New York. The red quinoa dish was tasty... I should stop saying this, because everything was really tasty and felt very fresh and pleasing. When we wanted bread, they sold us a whole baguette for $3.50 and sliced as much of it as we wanted. That was a good deal, because I despise vegetarian restaurants that would serve you two slices of bread for two bucks. I am sure I had a muffin or scone, but the tofu scramble was soo good and I was so full by that point that I don't even remember what I had. Overall it was a pleasing experience, and one more good thing about this place is that it gets lots of sunlight. And it's in Melrose, so you can stroll down the street and have fun while you help your stomach digest all that tasty food.
Among all the vegetarian rastaurants I have been to (and that includes Greens in SF and Candle 79 in New York) M Cafe de Chaya is head to head with Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley. It serves amazing food in an unpretentious but cool setting. It is a shame that I am not allowed to give five stars just because it's not completely vegetarian.

Pros: lots of light, amazing tofu scramble, kukicha tea

Cons: no branches in New York

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M. Cafe de Chaya - Edit

I would rate M. Cafe 4 1/2 stars. I've eaten at both the Melrose Ave. and Culver City locations, and found the food to be consistent and equally tasty in both locations.
Probably my favorite thing to eat at M. Cafe is dessert -- the chocolate sacher torte to be specific. It's very chocolatey and has a fresh raspberry filling. Other foods I have enjoyed at M. Cafe include all three of the paninis, the melorse avenue muffaletta, the wasabi sweet potato salad, the sesame soba noodles, and the shiitake-avocado sushi roll. I was less keen on the squash soup and the banana millefeuille, but even these were not bad. For LA, the place isn't too expensive, so I recommend it pretty highly.

Pros: friendly staff, great desserts, tasty food

Cons: shared seating, slightly pricey

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unbelievable food - Edit

For a cafe style establishment, this eatery is bar none! I can think of no other similar type of cafe eatery that has such tasty veg*n food! The desserts are amazing, much much much better than the standard fare of 2 or 3 vegan options at other establishments! The food is also fabulous. There is such a wonderful assortment of food, it would be best to arrive with a posse of people so that everyone could order something different to share! The rice bowls are lovely, the sandwiches, so very satisfying! The only downside is that it is not completely veg*n. All the same, this is a must if in the area! If dining around a hectic time (i.e. lunch), don't be surprised if it's better to just take it to go!

Pros: Dessert, Organic, Selection

Cons: Not 100% veg, Busy

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Hella' Good - Edit

This is one of my new fave veg eateries! I had the vegan caprese panini which was quite tasty and filling, along with kale salad-yum! For desert the strawberry cupcake is a MUST! It had pieces of fresh strawberry inside the bread and the frosting is pure love, a taste explosion. Can't wait to go back! Oh yeah, and Lisa Bonet was eating there too!

Pros: delish desserts, healthy cuisine, fresh juices

Cons: tough to park

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#1 Best Place To Eat Vegan in LA!!!!! - Edit

If you're vegan and haven't tried everything that doesn't contain fish on the menu yet you've got a lot of catching up to do. Their scrambled tofu is hands down the best in the universe. What a lot of people don't understand is that they use HEALTHY ingredients so their sweets aren't as sweet as you're used to, etc. Drop your vegan crack addiction and start riding the M. Its a hip place with great people. A stand out is the breakfast burrito... Also, I tend to split what ever I get with my gf since its a ton of food and portion control is difficult when everything tastes like its magical. I'm a big fan of the Macro Burger and the fries, too. Basically everything is vegan here except for the fish, which is clearly labeled and out of the way. Its more like a deli, where you place your order and take a # and they bring it out to you. Much faster and more efficient than waiters. There are tons of fresh sides you can choose from. Be adventurous and taste around the place! You won't find better.
There's more parking around back and a semi valet. It looks like an alley, but they'll pack you in there. Watch out in the neighborhoods, trees are over NO PARKING signs!
This place deserves a 5 out of 5 rating, but it only let me choose a 4

Pros: everything rocks, ice cream, scrambled tofu

Cons: some fish there

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best vegan deserts EVER!!! - Edit

The first 10 times I had the Banana Chocolate Millenfeuille (no idea if I'm spelling that correctly, by the way) I had to ask if it was *really* vegan. It seemed impossible that something so amazingly decadent and rich wouldn't be teaming with cream! But my concerns were unfounded. The Millenfeuille is 100% vegan. And so is the Strawberry Shortcake. And so is the Chocolate Raspberry Cake. And so are the ooey gooey pastries. And so...well, you get the picture. Vegan deserts for days! And every bite is so insanely perfect and devastatingly delicious that it makes you feel like you are doing something wrong. Even though you are doing everything right! The sandwiches, soups, and salads are fabulous as well. For desert, this is the only place that my dairy junkie boyfriend and I can agree upon. He can't tell the difference except that this is *better* than what he normally eats! (sidenote: i tried to give m cafe 5 stars, but the rating window would only allow 4. trust me--there is no higher rating i would give than to the m cafe!)

Pros: best vegan deserts, friendly staff, yummy breakfasts

Cons: pricey

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good food, problems on the line - Edit

I've only ordered take-out here, and I've enjoyed most of the food. Love the kale dish and the dandelion/chick pea dish. Enjoy the panini & love the pecan roll! There are real inefficiencies, however, in their production line: every time I've come I've waited an inordinate amount of time, 20-30 minutes, for someone to scoop an already made salad into a plastic container and have also often witnessed people with lost or misplaced orders. This is a real disincentive and makes me think twice before returning.

Pros: tasty & healthy food, amusing scene, desserts

Cons: long wait, inefficient take-out, price

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