After dabbling in raw food for years, we have finally had the opportunity to try our first Gourmet Raw Food Restaurant! We think we are prepared. I mean, raw food potlucks should help, shouldn’t they? This is not just a potluck, this restaurant is owned by one of the most famous raw food, gourmet chefs in the world. Is that because there aren’t too many raw food gourmet chefs in the world? Well, we are very sensitive to flavor, over ripe food, seasoning, quality in general, and flavor, flavor, flavor. We have even written low reviews on our favorite ethnic foods, Indian and Thai foods if they weren’t up to our high level of expectation. We are not easily pleased, so we may not be impressed. But raw food is healthy so we will try it.
We have eaten a raw food cafe that wasn’t gourmet raw food, and it was okay, but we’ve had better food at potlucks and at our own house. Hey, all you Raw Walla Walla potluck people, you do pretty good at times. As I said, we are not easily impressed.
Okay, walking up to the restaurant we see that it may pass the first test – there are people eating there. Always a good sign. And are they happy? Well, they look pleasant. Okay, then nobody’s looking sad, sorrowful or sick, so we proceed to look at the menu.
Well, from a brief glance we see several items that are wheat and dairy free, so we enter.
We were seated by a young, energetic waitress at a small lovely table near several others who looked relatively healthy and slim. We noticed that this restaurant does not use wheat or dairy or meat (just what we need with our vegetarian life and dairy and gluten intolerances). They also don’t use much soy, only a wheat free tamari sauce. Wow, no worry about cross contamination of wheat here. But it’s all raw. Won’t we get tired of salad?
The menu suggested dessert first and readily took them up on that suggestion, adding some french fries as an appetizer as well. While waiting we glanced around again. What kind of people eat here? Let’s see… does anyone look too weird? No, not really. I mean in the middle of a big city, I’ve seen many strange looking people, but it seemed rather average here. A few dressed in more natural clothing, like the cotton, natural dye skirts in nature colors or white or black. Most people were wearing something similar to me, jeans and shirts or sweaters. A few were wearing business suits. Nobody was wearing any strange getup, nor any bright tye-dyed shirts, at least not today. Looks like an average group of people, with one exception, I don’t see any bulging bellies. So was it that healthy people came here, or that they came here and became healthy? I’m not sure.
Well, this picky eater is not complaining about starting a meal with amazing, creamy, rich, delicate chocolate mousse with a rich chewy, cruchy crust, covered in a delicate, light white creamy sauce, with strawberry and apple slices drizzled with a streak of strawberry sauce. It looked lovely, and tasted even better than it looked.
You can have all the chocolate desserts in front of me that you want, as long as I can eat that chocolate mousse in front of you, I will be completely satisfied and probably feel sorry for you. This you must taste if you can.
Oh, the sorrow of finishing that dessert would be so great, except that the waitress brought out our raw zucchini french fries. Okay, let’s try these.
Now, remember this is an adventure and these are not made of potatoes and these are not fried. Can we handle them? Well, not exactly like french fries, but they do give that crunchy savory flavor we crave. Nicely seasoned, they must’ve been dehydrated to get a little crunch. The ranch dressing was really like ranch dressing, that I didn’t give it a thought. Okay, so I’ve been making variations of ranch dressing using nuts myself so maybe I’m used to it, but also maybe I’m a bit picky about it. The dressing measured up, and the french fries exceeded my expectations. Again, don’t expect it to be exactly the same, just to be tasty and lightly crunchy. We enjoyed them quite a bit, perhaps the previous raw dishes we’ve had have helped expand our tastes, but we think they are quite likable.
For our entree we ordered a Thai green curry pasta and a sushi roll called “The Mighty Apaphrodite”. Okay, we are going to critique this Thai Curry if it’s not rightly flavored. I have high hopes for Juliano, since I’ve perused his cookbook. I think he can do it, but if it’s not flavored like Thai green curry we will know it.
Full of flavor, nicely seasoned, a great creamy sauce with thinly sliced veggies inside, the sushi rolls met our desires.
Okay, the Thai green curry pasta… well… okay, we have to admit that it really did taste like a Thai green curry sauce. I have seen other raw food recipes that attempted to mimic Thai food that came up short in my estimation. This one did very well. Green curry is usually served with rice, but as a raw food substitute, the noodles were okay. I liked that in addition to zucchini noodles, there was another kind of dehydrated noodle, maybe a coconut noodle, that was very tasty.
Well, that should satisfy us, shouldn’t it? Well, yes, sorta, I mean we did share a dessert at the beginning, but it was so GOOD, and I saw that lady at the other table drinking a chocolate mylkshake that looked pretty good as well… hmmm… okay, a splurge. Let’s order the Chocolate Bliss Balls and a chocolate shake.
Well, I guess we so excited about eating our tasty chocolate mylkshake that we forgot to get a picture until Gary had completely finished and I was eating my last two spoonfuls… Tasted better than a real chocolate milkshake!
But here’s how lovely our Chocolate Bliss Balls looked all covered with light, creamy sauce, with the strawberry and apple slices around the plate. Look quickly, or those will be gone soon too. But not too soon, we need to savor those tasty bites as long as we can… as we finish up our satisfying meal.
Here’s an adventure for anybody that loves tasty food. At a few indian restaurants lately we might’ve enjoyed the first 2 or 3 bites when we were very hungry, but we felt unsatisfied as the meal went on and it tasted like a packaged product without the freshly seasoned flavor and not quite well cooked enough legumes or starches. At this meal we enjoyed the first 2 or 3 bites and continued enjoying the last 2 or 3 bites, spooned as much off the plate as we could (avoiding the temptation to lick the plate clean), and left the restaurant still exclaiming over it, feeling good about what we put in our bodies. Even now, hours later back at the place we are staying, we are still exclaiming over how nice it is to have such good flavor and still feel so good about what it will do for our health.
Health versus flavor is such a terrible decision. I always knew it was possible to have both. I love to enjoy life, and I love to enjoy my food. But I do need and want to have health, great health. I want BOTH.
Oh, the cost of the food. It was expensive, but we did have the equivalent of an appetizer and entree and a dessert each. We don’t usually get a dessert and not too often an appetizer, so that will add to the cost. Still it was not as cheap as some types of foods. The Thai green curry entree did cost $12.95 but came with a salad and dressing. All organic, fresh and raw does cost money. We know how costly some of those nuts can be even when they are not organic. I feel so good about the foods that I ate that fed my body that I do think it was worth the cost to me. If they could in any way make it cheaper, without sacrificing the quality, that of course would make it easier to afford to come here, but we have paid a fair amount for some Indian food that we felt very unsatisfied with the flavor, and it felt heavy in our stomachs. I do not regret paying for quality and nutrition with flavor.
As we left, I could tell I was full, but I didn’t feel as “over full” as I sometimes do after eating at some Indian buffets. Our minds felt more alert, and the digestion seemed to go well. Maybe the chanca piedra is already working. Okay, maybe that herb we are taking is another story. In any case, whether the herb is helping or not, we did feel good about what we ate. An adventure, yes. And a delicious adventure we are longing to repeat.
What shall we do for supper? We are already looking at the nearby restaurants to see if there are any good raw food places not too far. The one we found was closed. I guess it is hard for raw food restaurants to stay in business in today’s economy. So for tonight we will make our delicous mango strawberry smoothie. We saw that on the menu today, but did not need to order it because we already make it. So delicious. Who needs oatmeal, anyway. We are happy with our strawberry mango breakfasts. So happy with them that they sometimes make the top hit list and become our supper as well.
If not our strawberry mango smoothie, sometimes we have a feast of the great California citrus… okay, maybe that is the story for another time also.
So Gary is getting hungry and we are off to cut up some mangoes… Does that make you hungry? Well, come back again to read our amazing adventures with our challenging diet and our journey in travels and toward health. Maybe sometime we’ll tell you about the monkeys in Thailand or how we tried the SCD diet, or juice feasting, or … well I don’t want to spoil the surprise. What will we eat tomorrow? What will we eat next month? We don’t even know… we’re just journeying along, traveling along, and trying to eat what we love and what might be good for health. We especially love to eat what we love.
I hear the citrus juicer, so I’m off to find out what kind of citrus he might be juicing up… the Texas red grapefruit? Maybe tangelos… those have been so good lately. Or a mix of navels, pink oranges, and tangelos?
Have I made you hungry? Well, go eat something healthy and tasty. And Have Fun! I am!
We’ll be back!