Café Gratitude in the Larchmont district is my second home. You can find me there pretty much every day, although sometimes it is a brief take-out drive-by that I stop in for. I love this location and only this location. I have tried the Venice one several times and for some reason they always mess up my order. There the rigid service lacks lightness and a smile. The downtown location is stunning, but still needs a bit of warmth.
Larchmont is special. Perhaps it is the intimate set-up, perhaps it is the fact that they know me by name. I remember the time when my girlfriend and I suggested to the night manager to change the name of some of the dishes from : “ I Am Whole “to “ I Am a Whore” or “I Am Strong” to “I Am a Cocksucker”. That didn’t fly too well with the then manager. She is no longer there.
Kaya, the current night managers is one of the kindest people I met, along with his wife, who also works there. His taste buds are always spot-on and he is always keen to recommend the new additions to the menu. Thus I ventured out from my usual “Whole” bowl - they did change the name- to “Giving”, the ancient-grain pizza with 3 cheeses and asparagus topping. The dough is a mix of einkorn or farro (ancient wheat in English) and kamut flower. If you have the slightest allergy to gluten, I probably wouldn’t recommend this, but if your allergy is on the lighter side, you will find this piece of art as exciting as any of Magritte’s works. The chef created a perfect blend of delicate spices and herbs such as mint and parsley with a combination of three types of mouthwatering vegan cheeses. If you are on your first date, this is a must - the flavors themselves will get you drunk.
My other favorite is “Pure”, the seaweed-kale salad. The best there is. I have been to Caravan of Dreams in NYC and Millennium in San Francisco and have yet to find a salad on their menu that amounts to Gratitude’s “Pure”. As for me, I like it ‘clean’ without the carrots, cucumbers, sprouts or scallions. The simplicity created truly allows me to appreciate the texture of the sea palm without any distraction.
These two dishes combined in the same meal will leave you in a state where there’s no room for dessert. Unless of course you split your pizza with your loved one. In that case, go for the “Lovely” their gluten-free cobbler. Do place the order in advance though, as it takes about twenty minutes to bake it.
639 N Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Hours: 8 am to 10 pm