Every once in awhile, there is a shifting of the planets that allows for Chris and I to be free at the same time, without children, during the daytime hours. When one of these precious moments occur, we almost always have to have a mini-celebration of sorts. One of these moments occurred recently, and to celebrate the occasion, we went to a small, nearby vegan restaurant: Leaf.
We've been to Leaf a few times before and they used to be more of a "order-at-the-counter" sort of restaurant, but they recently expanded and now have dine-in service. Not only is Leaf a vegan restaurant, it is all organic and mostly raw. In addition to the restaurant, they also do catering, cooking classes, juice cleanses, and "raw boxes" which provide 3 1/2 days of raw, organic food. There is a very casual and peaceful ambiance to Leaf and there are inspiring pro-vegan quotes posted on the wall, including one of my favorites: "Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace," by Albert Schweitzer.
The menu has so many great options. I've ordered one of their raw wraps before- the Bombay Burrito, and it was pretty killer, but this time I sprung for a cooked wrap: Philly Cheeze Stake Wrap, subbing the lavash for a sprouted whole grain wrap. It was pretty amazing. Leaf uses Gardein for it's faux meats, and I love the way they prepared it. You have the option of having it hot or mild, and I went with mild and it still packed some heat. It's packed with melty cashew cheese and homemade saurkraut, and the sauce was delicious.
Chris ordered the Chick'n Pesto Wrap and it was pretty great, but had slightly less flavor than the Philly Cheeze Stake Wrap. The chick'n tasted like plain Gardein chick'n, but the pesto sauce was pretty awesome. After we each tried a bite of each other's order, we decided to switch the 2nd halves of our wraps so we could each have more than just a taste of the other dish.
We needed something sweet afterwards, so we decided to get their vegan soft-serve ice cream to go. I've tried their juices and smoothies before, and they were very good, but they did not prepare me for how delicious this soft-serve was going to be. It was just ridiculously awesome. We both got chocolate and now I know I need to go back to try the vanilla.
All Photos by Chris Miller
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Wow - so jealous about both the "free" day and the amazing vegan food. I live in the home of bbq meats so I can't wait until we catch on here and figure out a plant based diet is the way to go!
I'm drooling over these photos. It's so nice to get a free day too; looks like you used yours well.
Date night ;-)! Looks like a fun place - the raw boxes are a great idea! Too bad they don't make their own seitan or bean/tofu/veggie burgers. Overall sounds pretty durn tasty, though!
i love date nights..or date days in this situation 😉 all the food looks great. chris is a very talented photographer 😉
CJ at Food Stories
This looks fabulous ... I need to try it 🙂
What a great little place - thanks for sharing this!
so true.. one of the impossible things to find time together:) i love all that green exterior and the food sounds amazing. I think i should move to LA, heard they even have 24 hours vegan cupcake atms!
I agree with your assessment that if a person is just in town visiting, there are plenty of restaurants that are more exciting than Leaf. I am wishing, though, that I'd gotten a chance to sample their soft serve! It looks mouthwatering in those cute little cups. That's interesting that they've moved to table service. They used to have a location in Sherman Oaks, in addition to Venice. I visited both locations, and while the food was pretty good, they didn't do the best job at keeping things clean in the main dining area. With any restaurant cleanliness is important, but in a raw restaurant, I think it's especially so. Now that they've moved to having servers out in the dining area, hopefully that means they're keeping things tidier.