These days you can’t open your social media feed without being bombarded by “food porn” and other similar artery clogging images but sometimes we just need a break from the burgers and bacon to cleanse our palette and appreciate the simplicity of eating fresh foods prepared with your health in mind.
When you find yourself craving something that might actually be good for you head over to the westside of Los Angeles for healthy dining options that cater to an array of angelenos, from meat eaters and pescatarians to vegetarians and vegans.
Take your pick from superfood cafes, organic juicers, a raw or macrobiotic diet and something called the anti-inflammatory diet.
Consider this a starting guide on health conscious food spots with a special focus on our Westsider friends.
List starts after the jump in no particular order, numbered only for reference.
1. True Food Kitchen (Santa Monica & El Segundo)
Catering to an anti-inflammatory diet True Food Kitchen is an easy spot for vegan, vegetarian, the gluten-free and meat eaters alike to grab a bite. They serve brunch, lunch, dinner and even offer a kids menu for health conscious parents. A popular item is the grass-fed bison burger topped with watercress and a parmesan flax seed bun. It’s the simple tweaks that make the difference for putting essential nutrients into our bodies and this place is right on the ball. Going meatless? The edamame dumplings are Instagram worthy and the spaghetti squash casserole is just as good as the real stuff. Perhaps a well executed libation is your thing? You’ve come to the right place. TFK carries a healthy list of sustainable, organic, and bio-dynamic wines and a lively cocktail program that incorporates pressed juices. Try the spiced cranberry sidecar or the fig and pomegranate mule, as both are high in antioxidants and tasty too.
2. Beaming (Santa Monica, Brentwood)
There are depriving juice cleanses that suck the life out of you and then there’s Beaming a superfood cafe offering delicious plant based organic salads, soups, elixirs, protein snacks, smoothies and juice that deliver essential nutrients into your body in a snap. Staying away from sugar? You won’t overload on sugary smoothies and juices here, this place keeps it all low-glycemic. Come in for a nutrient dense meal and order the warm and tasty Buddha bowl, kelp ginger noodles, acai bowl topped with goji berries, maca, a variety of nuts and more. They even have gluten and dairy free baked goods for those with a sweet tooth. If you are thinking of going on a cleanse to fast track your metabolism and detox make it a food-based one, Beaming is the best place to do just that.
3. Kye’s (Santa Monica)
Come here for the KyeRito. What’s that you say? The KyeRito is a wrap stuffed full of superfoods. Think responsibly sourced proteins (grass-fed beef, wild fish, organic chicken, Niman Ranch bacon) and local or organic vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries. This might be the handiest way to get your nutrients! Wraps are offered in breakfast, classic comfort, vegan and Asian inspired flavors. We like the Nori Burger KyeRito, made with grass-fed ground beef, chard, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and brown rice, wrapped up in nori. Kye’s menu caters to vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, Paleo and raw diets. In addition to the wraps they offer salads, smoothies, coffee, tea and even kids meals. If you have room for desert grab a guilt free black bean brownie or gluten-free kabocha squash squares to end your meal.
4. LifeFood Organic (Santa Monica)
Owner Annie Padden Jubb whole heartedly believes in the power of bio-based nutrition and the use of food as a natural source of medicine. At LifeFood Organic the menu is made up of fresh, unprocessed, living, plant-based goods like fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. Catering to organic raw and vegan lifestyles dishes are rich in vitamins, phytonutrients, protein, essential fats, fiber, and enzymes free of refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, gmo’s, and pesticides. A popular item is the vegan breakfast burrito filled with an endless list of beneficial ingredients like zucchini, flax seeds, coconut, tumeric, sprouted walnuts, tamari and alfalfa sprouts just to name a few. For every normally cooked dish LifeFood Organic puts their own spin on it like the spaghetti carbonara made with kelp noodles instead of carb heavy pasta most people are use to.
5. Moon Juice (Venice Beach)
This very California juice bar goes beyond cold-pressed juice, you can grab enticing snacks like a strawberry chia coconut yogurt cloud, fermented sea veggies, activated dulse vinegar almonds, self-rising donuts made with chia flour, figs, and coconut just to name a few. On the beverage end, juices and nut milks are 100% organic and have dreamy names like Silver Strawberry Moon Milk, California Sun and Gracious Greens. Every bottle of juice contains over three pounds of raw unpasteurized produce that live for 72 hours and all drinks are conveniently labeled with ingredients and their benefits. Founder Amanda Chantal Bacon has become somewhat of a health “it” girl appearing in high-end publications like Vogue and gaining attention for her tonics and dusts created as natural remedies that bare titles like sex tonic and brain dust.
6. M Cafe (Brentwood)
This modern macrobiotic eatery avoids refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat and poultry. Whats left are fresh ingredients, fish and sushi! That’s not a bad trade off in our books. Don’t have time to spare? Do not head to a nearest fast food joint instead come here and grab a few selections from the deli case like the scarlet quinoa salad, sushi rolls, grilled veggies and tofu steaks. Inspired by globally influenced flavors examples can tasted through their bowls and noodles. The Thai curry bowl is a popular pick and so is the macro-yaki soba made with shirataki noodle and superfoods like king salmon, baby bok choy, broccoli and shiitake. They also make excellent tea and coffee drinks try the anit-inflamatory tumeric latte. M Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
7. Rawvolution (Santa Monica)
With fans like Alicia Silverstone, Cher, Susan Sarandon, and the staff over at Google New York you can say chef and bestselling author Matt Amsden has built his own rawvolution. At his cozy Santa Monica eatery Amsden serves raw, vegan, and organic meals, gruit beers, pressed juices, raw milks and some of the best raw chocolate truffles made in-house. The extensive seasonal menu serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a variety of options like sushi rolls, enchiladas, coconut jerky, pastas to Thai curries.
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8. Cabbage Patch (Plays Vista)
Founder and Chef Samir Mohajer is the former Executive Chef at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica now he’s got his own thing going on with a casual, health driven concept which now has three locations. Affordable and fresh, all produce is natural, organic, and locally sourced when possible, red meat is mostly from acclaimed Niman Ranch, poultry is all natural and the salmon they use is sustainably raised. Stand outs include the French lentils rich in fiber, potassium and iron, get it in salad form and pair with a filet of soy marinated salmon for a dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. Breakfast fan? This place serves classics with a nutrient twist think: kale, egg and cheese sandwiches and acai bowls.
[RELATED: 15 Spots for the Best Seafood in Los Angeles]
9. Locali (Venice)
Trying to get away from fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and genetically modified ingredients? Locali is a one stop shop for natural foods, products and a deli that serves vegan and organic meats! All real meats are free of antibiotics, hormones and gluten so you won’t need to question whats in your turkey. Their tasty healthy menu serves breakfast, hot and cold sandwiches, quinoa bowls, organic salads, coconut froyo, dragon fruit chai bowls, and probiotic smoothies. We like the vegan Ruben it kind of taste like the real thing but with out the grease. If you’re looking for real meat sando’s the Wayward Pilgrim is a bite of Thanksgiving sandwiched between a six grain bread.
10. SuperFood Cafe (Santa Monica)
Like the name states this place loves their superfoods, they’ve been around since 1990 which makes them pretty legit. What you’ll find here are low calorie, nutrient-rich dishes designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and keep your insides balanced and flowing. Not only is the food designed to be good for you but it’s also swimming in flavor. The chicken madras bowl made with free-range chicken breast, spinach, spiced cashews, mushroom, fresh curry leaves on organic brown basmati rice is a crowd favorite. They even have pupusas on the health conscious menu and even a fresh crab quesadilla in green chile pesto. So can we say pupusas and quesadillas are the new superfood? Here’s hoping.
11. Crimson (Santa Monica)
Crimson offers guests a few simple promises: Organic when possible. Produce reflective of the seasons. Antibiotic and hormone free meat. Nothing ever frozen. The mediterranean cafe incorporates 100% olive oil, the finest Middle Eastern spices, and absolutely no preservatives in their dishes. Kabobs are extremely popular here and they have over a dozen savory sides like hummus, tabbouleh and domas to go with your meal. Looking for something on the greener side? The Cran-Ginger Salad is tossed with mixed greens, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, strawberries, almonds and dried cranberries in their famous ginger dressing. Thirsty? The Jack Palmer is a delicious mix of crimson iced tea and lemonade, the perfect beverage on a hot day (or any day for that matter).
What are your favorite healthy eating spots on the Westside of Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!