Grain Cafe

I first heard about the Grain Cafe from my neighborhood foodies (people who love good food and keep track of where to get the good stuff).  "Did you hear about the new vegan restaurant?" "It's in a little pocket mall on Pico west of Crenshaw."  "They have organic coffee and great recipes!" Since my diet consists of grains, vegetables, fruit, occasional fish and caffeine, my ears lit up. 

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The first time I tried their food was at the Wellington Square Farmers Market (Sunday 9-1 on Washington 2 blks. west of Crenshaw).  Once again… “Try the veggie burger, it’s truly the best I’ve ever had!”  “They have an amazing BLT!”  So, I tried both (on different Sundays!) and became an instant Grain Café groupie.  The veggie burger was truly the best I’ve had, heaped up with veggies, topped with avocado, with a side of salad, a generous proportion with mixed greens and veggies.  The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) became my favorite for several weekends, once again stuffed with veggie chicken, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce that tipped the scale from ‘mmmmmmm’ to ‘deeeeeeeliCIOUS!” Except for the “chicken” (which they marinate) they make all their own veggie meats including bacon, chorizo, sausage and even tuna.  I finally made my way over to the café for a proper sit down and treated myself to a sampling meal (you can choose your own ingredients). I had stir fried veggies, marinated chicken strips, steamed greens with garlic, Spanish brown rice and a special sauce for the "chicken".  Simple and tasty it was a perfect light lunch.  While I was eating, Oscar Torres, the owner/chef came out and had me try a flavorsome homemade mole sauce. "It took a week to prepare!" he proudly claimed. Oscar, in his 30s, started cooking when he was 15 and landed a job at Falaffel King where he continued his training.  He has been a vegetarian for 18 years and a vegan (no animal products – cheese, milk, etc) for four.  He opened Grain Café seven months ago in a community starving for straight from the source healthy food.    This midafternoon, a variety of people came in and out and I noticed that vegan food cuts across all cultural borders.  The menu is extensive with a whole section dedicated to crepes and a huge list of organic coffee drinks, teas and fresh veggie/fruit blends. I tried the spinach/watermelon drink and couldn’t imagine a more refreshing taste on this end-of-summer day.  Grain Café, adds another delicious flavor and healthy choice to our community menu! Come to the Wellington Square Farmers market on Sunday or make it over to the Cafe....   

4222 West Pico Blvd.  90019 (just west of Crenshaw)

Monday – Saturday 6am – 10pm Sunday 8am – 9pm 

Tel: 323-931-4034  Fax: 323-931-4036

They Deliver! (within 2 miles)  www.graincafeonline.com


Photo by D.V. Lawrence

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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