Monday, June 30, 2014
Restaurant review - Gracias Madre
Los Angeles is one of our go-to places for vegan cuisine. Since we go to San Diego often, we have gotten used to going to Los Angeles before or after a trip to San Diego. This summer is no different. The difference this trip has been being able to check out new places, new to us at least.
Meet Gracias Madre. "Our menu is vegan and 100% organic. Our mission is to celebrate and serve the presence of the mother which resides above us, within our hearts, within the earth, and in all those who nurture us. We serve cuisine inspired by the kitchens of Mexico sourced from locally organic ingredients. Welcome to a seat at love's table."
This is how you are greeted at Gracias Madre. Well actually, you are first welcomed by a smiling host and when you are seated you get a menu with the warm welcome quoted above.
Soon our server arrived and offered us drinks. Mike loves the smokey margarita. I tried one of the fresh pressed juices and also the horchata. Both were delicious. If you like beer, wine and/or tequila you have plenty of options.
Order a drink and also order the cauliflower starter. Don't even think about it, just order it. You will love us for this recommendation. We loved this creative appetizer and it was a wonderful way to start our dining experience.
For dinner, I ordered El Plato and Mike ordered Flautas de Comote. The second night I ordered the Enchiladas con Mole and Mike ordered the flautas again. Mike loved the flautas. Similar to a taquito and filled with sweet potatoes and carmelized onions, the flautas wil make you very happy. I enjoyed both my dishes, loving the mole but thinking the enchiladas were too filling, yet delicious.
While eating our meals we felt relaxed and very comfortable on the patio. Gracias Madre is gorgeous, and both times we were seated on the patio and that added to our already perfect experience.
Before we knew it we had finished our meals and it was time for desert. One word: flan. Yes, vegan flan. I ordered this both nights. The first night the flan was so creamy I couldn't believe it. The second night it was a little gritty but still delicious. Mike ordered the fudge brownie and finished it with a smile, loving the salted mezcal caramel and the orange coconut whipped cream.
The fire is going in the fireplace that is centered on the patio. It's darker out and the patio lights are on. It is just so beautiful and relaxing. Again, the perfect environment.
As we have been telling friends since our first night at Gracias Madre, we had one of the best dining experiences ever. Ever.
A few additional bits of information: We parked a few blocks away but there is valet parking. Make a reservation. Ask to be seated on the patio. I know the restaurant might not like this but the ambiance on the patio is simply the best.
Gracias Madre is perfect for a date night (like the two times we were there) or for a night out with friends. You might even make new friends there as we did.
I also want to say that on our second visit we had the HUGE pleasure of meeting Executive Chef Chanda Gilbert! She is amazing, and it was perfect to meet the woman whose dream came true with the opening of Gracias Madre.
Finally, and I just now thought of this, Gracias Madre is all vegan and it is packed! I know, this is Los Angeles, but still!
Thanks for reading!