Wednesday, February 27, 2008
M Cafe de Chaya
I have been hearing of M Cafe de Chaya for a couple years now, and finally made it out there for lunch last week. I loved it. A part of the Chaya Venice/Brasserie group, this is their macrobiotic outpost. Macrobiotics is a diet consisting of whole, natural, seasonal foods. No refined sugar, dairy or meat. Seafood is the only animal protein in the diet.
At the cafe, you may dine in, or take out. They have some covered outdoor seating, and a few tables inside, including a communal table. They have a large deli case filled with various salads, sushi (made with brown rice) and pastries (made with natural grain sweeteners). I ordered their fantastic grilled tuna burger ($14.25) with a side of soba noodle salad. The tuna was seared rare, topped with avocado, pickled red onions, daikon sprouts, yuzu mayo and served on a toasted whole wheat bun. Please don't let the sprouts and whole wheat scare you away, it was really the best health food I have ever had. It was so good, that on my second visit, I couldn't help but order it again, this time with a side of kale in peanut sauce. Paired with a carafe of mint green tea ($2.50), it is not the cheapest lunch, but it is well worth it. I also ordered (for take-out) one of their rice bowls for the next day's lunch. A scoop of brown rice, topped with teriyaki salmon and sauteed vegetables ($15.45). Like the tuna burger, it was very satisfying and left you with energy, unlike how most regular, carbo-loading lunches can leave you wanting either coffee or a nap.
They also serve breakfast: teas, organic coffee, soy lattes, pancakes, tofu scramble, smoked salmon benedict, to name a few. Here is the best part for us Westsiders: they are opening a second location in good ol' downtown Culver City, on Culver Blvd. next to Pacifico's this April. I cannot wait.
M Cafe de Chaya
7119 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046