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M is for Mmmmmmmmm

This week I’ve come to two conclusions: #1) Food reviewing is kinda the best thing ever. #1#2) Due to all this food reviewing I need to start exercising. Normally, I’d rather just eat less, but this isn’t really an option anymore. Sacrifices must be made!

Last night, my non-veg boyfriend and I ate at M Cafe de Chaya. I suggested that you buy M Cafe Bucks when they were for sale on Groupon, so if you heeded my advice, here’s how you should spend ’em!

To drink, start with a fresh organic lemonade and add a some kale. This green stuff is seriously delicious, and you have my promise it tastes nothing like the color suggests. No offense, Kermit.

It can be hard to find a good, vegan Miso Soup, as most Japanese restaurants stick some fish guts in there, so I was excited to try M Cafe’s Organic “Kyoto Style”, with tofu, shitake, wakame and scallion. It was a really great big bowl of traditional, straight-up miso. No surprises here except for how good it was.

If you’re looking for a sandwich (each comes with it’s very own side salad), my favorites are the Carolina-Style BBQ Seitan Sandwich and the California Club. The Carolina is unique and delicious, with the seitan run through a professional meat slicer, so the “meat” is nice and thin, then slathered in their own BBQ sauce and piled with grilled onions, pickles and a vegan cole slaw all exploding out of a house-baked whole wheat bun. I would say this is their signature sandy.

The Club is not at all unique but is the best one I’ve had in LA (despite its tempeh facon, which is my least favorite kind of faux meat). It’s a huge and beautiful triple-decker, with the aformentioned tempeh “bacon,” lettuce, tomato, avocado, carrots, sprouts (aka the pubic hair of dirty earth, I leave those out) and soy mayo on your choice of bread (house-baked toasted sourdough, multi-grain, or seed).

As for sides, M’s go-to is their incredible Kale with Spicy Peanut Dressing. It’s the best kale I’ve ever had. But two of their current seasonal deli case selections are also fantastic: the Raw Squash & Fennel salad is super crunchy and fresh with a light citrus/vinegar dressing, and the Mashed Pumpkin with Couscous and raisins (aka the poor man’s chocolate chip, I picked around ’em) was rich and creamy, a hearty sweet side.

Neither of us were in the mood for a sandwich though, so we had the Seitan Katsu Bowl, my non-sandwich fav. This is an over-flowing bowl of brown rice, organic steamed carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, and incredibly well breaded seitan strips that mimic fried chicken covered with a most delicious Katsu sauce (of which you should definitely ask for more of). The sauce is tangy and sweet, with a hint of spice and a rich base. I had already taken two or three bites before I noticed the lemon wedge. I squeezed some juice all over that sucker, and holy cow, it punched me in the mouth with its fist of deliciousness. The seitan was a bit rubbery this time, but it isn’t always. We also tried one of the night’s dinner specials: Kobocha Squash Risotto. This was a beauty– Kobocha Squash, onions, and green beans with a veggie stock risotto with tempeh bacon sprinkles and celery leaf garnish. This dish was declared The Best Vegan Dish Ever Eaten by my omnivorous but super extra very picky date.

As for dessert, you should have it whether there’s room or not (care for a jog, anyone?). And while M Cafe now serves Babycakes treats, you should skip those and partake of the M Patisserie. Everything is prepared with organic whole ingredients and natural grain sweeteners, and yet they taste divine.

The chocolate cake is the darkest, fudgiest richiest slice that might cause Death By, ifyouknowwhatImean. The Strawberry shortcake was so beautiful to look at and even better to fork into. The middle has an insane gooey strawberry compote type stuff that oozes out pure yum. And the lemon tart is so good they were out of them! I suggest you start your meal with the Strawberry Shortcake as an app and end the night with the Chocolate Cake. The next day you’re brain will work better, your love will grow stronger, and if your pants fit a little tighter we recommend these.

1 Comment

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    great blog. love to read abot things vegan and LA, and i loved to read about the Gratitude Cafe. So funny, so true, i can relate to it. :-)