1604 Pacific Avenue
Venice Beach, CA 90291
My sister and I visited Seed Kitchen in Venice Beach a couple of Saturdays ago. We were absolutely starving and on our way home from Orangetheory Fitness in Santa Monica. Seed Kitchen is completely vegan, organic and macrobiotic. We couldn’t decide between here and Cafe Gratitude but eventually decided on Seed because it was on the way home and we wanted to try a new spot. Parking was absolutely horrible because there’s only about 20 parking for 5 restaurants and it’s right by the beach. It was a Saturday afternoon so it was of course packed and we had wait a while for a spot. You also have to pay for parking but that’s not really a surprise in LA.
Once we got in, the cashier was helpful and patient even though we were asking a ton of questions. Their menu is pretty small so there weren’t many choices. Most of the dishes contain seitan or tempeh. I personally don’t like seitan or tempeh because I don’t really want my meals to taste like “real meat”–I don’t like the flavor of that. They have lots of burgers, panini, and grain bowls, but most of these items have faux meat or cheese in them.
He recommended the Southwest burger, which contains an original bean and grain burger, along with lettuce, soy cheese, avocado and ancho chili spread. We decided to get that, but without the soy cheese, and added an order of sweet potato fries. It’s pretty pricey here, but I guess you need to take in account that everything is organic. The burger cost $11.95 and comes with coleslaw. The sweet potatoes cost $6.00.
The burger came on a soft ciabatta-type bread, which perfectly complimented the smokey spicy flavors of the burger. The flavor was actually really delicious, especially the bean and grain patty. It wasn’t really that spicy but it definitely had a really good flavor. The fries were absolutely delicious! They didn’t taste oily, and were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
One major downside to Seed Kitchen is the fact that they actually don’t have a bathroom. My sister and I like to wash our hands before eating and that was not possible. They only offer sanitizing wet wipes, which personally I don’t think cleans your hands very well.
Overall, pros included excellent bean based burger and delicious fries. Cons are the bad parking situation and no bathroom, but if you’re in the area or at the beach and need a quick lunch, Seed Kitchen is your spot.
300 S Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013
On Sunday, I decided to venture out to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles to eat at the brand new Cafe Gratitude. I’ve been to the Cafe Gratitude in Venice many times but the downtown location opened a few weeks ago and I really wanted to check it out.
The Arts District is actually the Eastern side of Downtown LA. It used to be the industrial sector of LA, and so a lot of the apartments and businesses took over those buildings. It’s so beautiful to me–it’s a mixture of the past, with all of those industrial builidngs, and the present, with the graffiti and art everywhere. It is such a creative area of LA and definitely a hidden gem.
The first thing I noticed was that there was an actual parking lot for Cafe Gratitude, and you don’t have to pay! This is huge in LA, because 99% of the time there is no parking, only metered street or garage parking, and you have to pay for. This parking lot was free–which was a great surprise. I went with my sister and my friend and much to our surprise, it was almost completely empty. We arrived at 11 am on a Sunday–and it seems like that is the perfect time. We were immediately seated at our table. The whole restaurant had a great look to it–white and wood detailing–very clean and pretty.
Our waitress was amazing! She was so patient with us even though we were so indecisive. I ended up ordering the “Open Hearted”–two gluten free buckwheat-flax pancakes. I added cashew whipped cream and fresh fruit and an iced almond milk coffee. It was so good! The pancakes were so tasty and light. The cashew whip was the perfect sweet topping. One of the best vegan pancakes I’ve ever had! I was so full!
My sister ordered the “Extraordinary,” which is a vegan BLT burger, with coconut bacon, romaine, tomatoes, and a chipotle cashew aioli sauce. It came with a coleslaw on the side. She told me the sandwich was absolutely delicious and the coconut bacon tasted good. My sis and I have actually never had bacon and never will so for her to tell me the vegan coconut bacon was good is something I did not expect. She said it just tasted like crispy coconut and gave the sandwich a tang of sweetness, which she loved. The burger was on focaccia-type bread and it looked so soft and fluffy. She also ordered the iced almond milk coffee.
My friend ordered the “Fruitful” smoothie, which had things like banana, dates, vanilla and orange juice in it. She also ordered the “Humble,” their Indian curry bowl. It had red lentil dal, spinach, yams with a spicy mint chutney. You can choose between quinoa or brown rice. She told me both the smoothie and meal were amazing!
Although it can be pricey, it is worth it! The food is all organic so it makes sense the prices are a little higher. My pancakes were $13 but it made me full for several hours. I think our final bill was $58 (not counting tip of course 🙂 ) but I think the price is fair, considering how everything was high quality organic dishes.
The neighborhood around Cafe Gratitude is definitely worth exploring–I didn’t have time to explore, but the next time I come, I have to do a little tour. So if you’re ever in the area, make sure to check out Cafe Gratitude in downtown LA. I absolutely recommend it!
Here are some more photos from the restaurant and the area around it:
Hotel Erwin: 1697 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
Hotel Erwin looks like every other hotel on the outside, but if you take the elevator up to the rooftop, you will get to experience Venice Beach from above. High Lounge, the hotel’s rooftop deck, is the only one of its kind in Venice Beach. I visited the lounge on a Saturday night and let me just say, the view is absolutely breathtaking. Steps from the beach, it’s a great spot to start the night out or finish up after a day at the beach. The sunset is gorgeous from up here and an absolute must see.
They have multiple tables with lounge chairs so you can sit comfortably while taking in the view. While there is heat lamps, I would suggest taking a jacket as well as a hair band because the wind can be cold and pretty much every picture I took there was hair in my face. The drinks were absolutely delicious and while I didn’t eat any of the appetizers, they did look delicious.
Hotel Erwin’s rooftop lounge is a definite must do when in LA. To check out more info on the lounge and hotel, out more here.