Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Euphoria Loves Rawvolution

Every once in a while I feel the need to eat lighter, perhaps detox a bit. So I will head to Leaf, a raw vegan cafe in my neighborhood. As much as I try, I usually enjoy the first couple of bites, then find myself struggling to enjoy the rest. Surprisingly, raw cuisine (other than your average salad) is quite filling. Also, there is some tangy, lip-puckering, underlying flavor that all the food there has, that I can only take in small doses. This time, I thought I would try a relatively new raw cafe in Santa Monica called Euphoria Loves Rawvolution. Much better than Leaf, and certainly with more character and charm. You walk in, see the shelves of herbal supplements, the cool, neo-hippies, and the crowded elixor bar - and you realize there is a whole raw eating community out there. All the patrons were thin, good looking and all seemed to know each other. You may almost call it a lifestyle boutique- they offer classes and private sessions with practitioners for things like meditation, psychic readings, energy therapy and much more.

The menu is fairly extensive. They offer many soups, salads, sides and juices. I choose the Detoxer's Delight ($12) salad, which came with their (surprisingly) delicious and refreshing Cleansing Green Juice, loaded with some kind of cleansing supplement. It tasted of cucumber, and was quite enjoyable. Our appetizer of veggie cakes ($7) was just the kind of raw food I don't enjoy. Some kind of dehydrated cake of unidentifiable ingredients, dry, firm and chewy. The mystery dipping sauce was quite good, and I took the rest home to use as a salad dressing. I find the problem with raw dishes like these dehydrated cakes is that they are extremely filling, tough to chew, and just not enjoyable.

My mom had the celery soup ($4), of which the celery flavor came through nice and strong. But after a few bites, she grew tired of it. She ordered the small portion, which was actually quite large. My salad was simple - baby greens with a very tangy dressing. It came with two enzyme pills and some spirulina. I took the pills, and was a bit unsure of what to do with the spirulina. I sprinkled some on my salad, but I couldn't stand the taste. I took the rest home, perhaps for a smoothie later.

The point of keeping the food raw is to keep the enzymes in the food "live." When these enzymes are live, they require less work of the body to digest. I have to admit, I felt good after the meal, and have maintained lots of energy since. Unlike eating (and enjoying imensly) a big ol' hamburger and fries.

The best, by far, was our dessert. They call it a chocolate chip ice cream cake, which it was, sort of. It was made with coconut, cashews, vanilla, agave and cacao. It was not unlike the "cheesecake" we had at Bloom cafe, but this was much better. The crust had cocoa and coconut, and was actually sweet enough. I don't dig all the raw food, just some of it, but I did enjoy my time here. Go for an interesting meal, and a nice, welcoming vibe, and good people-watching.

Euphoria Loves Rawvolution
2301 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405


foodette said...

Great review! I personally think that there is a lot to learn from the raw movement, just as there is to learn about all extreme food movements. However, I believe everything has it's place in moderation. Still, in our modern society, many raw foods are gone and replaced with frozen, dried, canned, or otherwise processed versions. It's important to know that a certain amount of what we eat should be raw. I just don't happen to think that cakes are one of them. Still, I would eat here, for the same reasons that you listed.

glutster said...

Vegan raw food has actually become one of my all time favorite cuisines, I love to taste/see how they “RAW” things for typical omnivores, raw renditions of things that have been embedded in our cooked eating cultures.

I’ve also concluded that after all the monstrous eating I do, a light, fresh raw meal can be a godsend at times.