San Francisco's super-crunchy Cafe Gratitude is headed to Hollywood in its first foray south, due this winter on Larchmont and Melrose. Our Grub Street counterpart in San Fran says that affections for this ultra-sustainable, raw vegan cafe balance on the thin-line between love and hate, with conflicted, cult-like devotion from fans (even they can't deny the place is pretty insane) and naturally, charges from the other side that it's over-priced, fussy, and kinda creepy. So, what are the chances this imported cafe will earn L.A.'s gratitude when grown adults are forced to order items like an "I Am Fulfilled" salad or the "I Am Passionate" pizza?
Since NYC's ultra-sustainable Birdbath just flew the coop from its plans to take over L.A., the moment is ripe for Gratitude's Matthew and Terces Engelhart to flex their devotion to only organic ingredients, reusable napkins and cups, and soy-based ink on menus. Such committed moves should be able to wick away the more conscious devotees of Urth Caffe, the meat-shunning readers of QuarryGirl, and anyone who needs a break from Tender Greens.
But half-hearted environmentalists beware; the conservation runs deep here. The couple even sends every scrap of compost from its fresh juices, flax chips, pizzas, grain bowls, vegetarian plates, and agave and almond milk-sweetened desserts to its own Be Love Farm. Even if all this heavy talk of love seems a little too NorCal for your tastes, we're sure they'll get a warmer reception here than most Angelenos do up north. Gratitude's full menu can be seen online.
Cafe Gratitude, coming this winter to 639 Larchmont Blvd. Hollywood.