Native Foods Café Review

 Native Foods Café – Westwood 

1114 Gayley Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 209-1055
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00am–10:00pm

Atmosphere: I will never forget my trip to Native Foods Café! I’d seen posts of their food all over Instagram, and was BEYOND excited to be eating there for my birthday! Like most California restaurants they have outdoor seating to bask in the beautiful sunshine as you eat. The vibe is super casual and laid back, and the service was quick and friendly.

I honestly could not believe my eyes when I looked at their menu! There were so many incredible options that I had such tough time deciding what to order. Well, I didn’t do that good of a job in my decision making because I ended up ordering A LOT.

Alright, let’s just jump right in!

Food: Like I said, I ordered a lot of food! (Don’t judge me, it was my birthday and first time here!). You can check out their menu, here.

FullSizeRender-2

Native Chicken Wings

First up, were the out-of-this-freakin’-world Native Chicken Wings. I ordered the Regular size, Crispy, and with Buffalo sauce for $7.99 USD. I am so happy I was sitting down when I first bit into these. I’m not kidding you, the texture and flavor were IDENTICAL to Buffalo chicken wings. Seriously! The Buffalo sauce was thin and full of flavor. I considered the spice level to be in the medium range. The ranch sauce served with it nearly brought me to tears! It was super rich, creamy, and zesty and combined with the spicy Buffalo sauce, it was a masterpiece!

FullSizeRender

Thai Chili Brussel Sprouts

Next, I had been on a roasted brussel sprouts kick, and just had to try the Thai Chili Brussels Sprouts ($5.00 USD). Halved Brussel sprouts in a thick, crunchy,  batter were fried until golden brown and then covered in a sweet Thai chili sauce. The sauce was more on the sweet side, with bursts of garlic and a little heat. These were PERFECTION!

FullSizeRender-3

Native Chicken, Bacon, and Avo Club Sandwich

Next, was the Native Chicken, Bacon, and Avo Club Sandwich. Basically, this is everything that you could ever want out of a sandwich. You get a big pile of fresh veggies (carrots lettuce red onion) on top of a toasted ciabatta roll. The Deep Fried chicken is absolutely spot-on when it comes to flavor and texture. It is deep-fried in a thick breading and is juicy when you bite into it. The chicken is then topped off with 2 slices of savory bacon that had a meaty texture and smoky flavor. The glorious bright orange cheese added a spicy kick with the slightest hint of sweetness. Last but not least, you get fresh avocado to round out this spectacular explosion of flavor. This blew my mind, kids!

FullSizeRender-1

Lemon Dill Potato Salad

Next, was a side of Lemon Dill Potato Salad ($1.99 USD) I added to my sandwich meal. Haha, I just needed more food, amiright? I wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it was, I mean, it’s potato salad. But no, Native Foods did another amazing job with this! The flavor was bright thanks to the lemon and dill. The potatoes were perfectly cooked, and scallions and parsley amped up the flavor. It was a nice citrusy version of the classic potato salad.

FullSizeRender-4

Walnut Blondie

And finally, because I hadn’t eaten enough (sarcasm), I had this sweet Walnut Blondie that did not disappoint! It was so soft it practically melted in your mouth! The crispy, bitter walnuts gave it some contrasting texture and flavor. Yum!

DIG IT or DITCH IT? 

As if you had to guess, I DIG THIS PLACE SO MUCH! I am so grateful that food this incredibly delicious exists. It truly proves that you can every single thing that you want without harming animals, and that is absolutely amazing. If I had Native Foods Café within a 2 or 3 hour drive radius of my town, I would be there so frequently they would know my debit card number by heart.

I really hope that they expand and open locations all over the country. This would give people access to the BEST vegan food for fair prices. It would truly open people’s eyes to a new way of thinking and would help so many animals!

Please, if you ever have the chance to go to Native Foods Café, do it! And order a lot like I did!

 

 

 

 

Crossroads Los Angeles

 Crossroads

8284 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90046

(323) 782 – 9245

Atmosphere:  As you walk into Crossroads, the motif is what first grabs your attention! Chandeliers, dark wood accents, cathedral ceilings, and crisp white linens create a sophisticated and upscale environment with a just a touch of mystery. The hostess quickly asks “Do you have a reservation?”, which of course, I did not. Nonetheless, my boyfriend and I were seated quickly at a small table with a chair on one side and a long, wooden booth that ran the length of the entire dining area.

It seemed clear that there were many visitors like myself… those interested in vegan food  in general, and those wanting to try out the Impossible Burger, like the couple sitting next to us. When I looked up, I couldnt help but notice that Kat Von D was there. Quietly dining and keeping to herself. I liked her even before my vegan days (way before hers), but I couldnt bring myself to even wave. She was just there to eat some great food, afterall.

Food: The Weekday Lunch Menu includes Sandwiches and Hotplates, Cold Plates, Soups and Sides, as well as a selection of milkshakes, alcoholic drinks, coffees, teas, and others like kombucha and lemonade. I knew that I had to order the Chicken & Waffles ($14.00 USD) which consisted of “fried chicken, waffles, and warm maple hot sauce.”

The Chicken & Waffles arrived to the table quickly. I didn’t know it at the time, but my life was going to change after I took my first bite! The fried chicken was… CHICKEN?! The taste, texture, and smell were the absolute closest plant-based meat product that I have EVER had! The breading was light and fried to perfection with hints of black pepper and herbs. The maple hot sauce BLEW MY MIND! I’m not the biggest hot sauce fan, but somehow the warm maple syrup blended in perfect ratio with the hot sauce amped up the chicken even higher! The waffles were tender and chewy with just the right amount of crispiness. I honestly have no idea how they did this, I just know that I want more!!!

Midway through the meal, I decided to order the Mac and Cheese ($6.00 USD) I mean, I was at Crossroads, can you blame me? Let me tell you, it was absolutely outstanding. The pasta was cooked to pefection (slightly al dente) and the cheese sauce was thin and mild. It tasted to me like a blend of American Cheese with a hint of Cheddar. Salty parm was sprinkled on top, which only brought out the delcious cheese flavors. UGH. I give this Mac and Cheese a million stars!

Dig it OR Ditch it?

If you’ve made it to this point, you can guess that Crossroads is an absolute DIG IT! The ambience, service, and mind-blowingly delicious food truly created a unique and fantastic experience! If I lived in LA, I would be there as much as possible. Who am I kidding, I would probably be there every damn day and camp out in front so I could be served first. Crossroads has truly opened my eyes as to how fabulous vegan food can be. That is saying a lot since I’ve had more than my fair share! My boyfriend is not vegan, and raved about this place as much as I did. This would be the perfect place to take skeptics and those that are considering veganism, to show them that they can have food even BETTER than they are used to.   If you have the opportunity, PLEASE go here. You will regret it if you don’t!