Last Saturday afternoon, I headed to Los Angeles to visit some friends. I had signed up for the Art Of Chocolate class on Sunday at Matthew Kenney Santa Monica Culinary and I wanted to stay close to the area. Lucky me, it was also dineLA restaurant week.
What is dineLA? It’s a 14-day dining event that takes place bi-annually in the summer and winter. During dineLA, hundreds of fine dining restaurants in Los Angeles participate in this showcase of culture and diversity as they offer prix fixe meals for a fraction of their normal price. This year dineLA takes place from July 14th to 27th.
After a quick look at the impressive list of participating restaurants we decided to check SunCafe Organic Cuisine, a new restaurant in Studio City. All we knew about this restaurant is that they offer organic vegan and raw options. We had no idea it was awarded Top 10 Restaurant in L.A & Orange County.
From their website, “SunCafe is a celebration of food prepared in their natural state. Our chefs start from scratch with the freshest organic ingredients to create rustic World Cuisine for the liveliest, most flavorful food you may ever taste. All of our dishes and desserts are gluten free, or they have that option”
We made a reservation for 8:30 pm but arrived fifteen minutes early. This was good since parking was a little tight and the restaurant was packed. We ended up parking on the street, in an adjacent semi residential neighborhood. As we walked to SunCafe, we saw their big bright orange-yellow neon sign. In the background a billboard stating: SATISFACTION. “Will see!”, I told myself.
The space is gorgeous, open and welcoming. The food looks amazingly healthy and the atmosphere is fantastic. I really think they need to update their website because their pictures don’t do it justice ( except for the one I am posting below)
Their dineLA fixed menu was very attractive too. For appetizer, a choice of: Lettuce Leaf Tacos, Sun Nachos or Mezze Plate. For entree, a choice of: Mac & Cheese, Zucchini Lasagna or Mushroom Spinach Quinoa Risotto. For dessert, a choice of: SunCafe Shake, Cast Iron Cookie or Key Lime Pie (raw). Al for $25 per person. What a bargain!
However, since we were six people, we decided to order from the regular menu and share. For appetizers, we ordered the (Raw) Sun Bruschetta with fresh tomato, basic, garlic, cashew ricotta on raw sunflower & buckwheat “bread”, balsamic reduction. Simply delicious!
We also placed an ordered for (Raw) Sun Nachos with chorizo, nacho cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, jalapeño, green onion and cashew sour cream with both raw thin-sliced jicama “chips” and baked blue corn chips. This is the best raw nachos I have ever tried!
For the main course, I ordered the Sun Pad Thai with golden beet noodles, sunflower sports, basil, cilantro, tossed with a zesty tahini sauce, topped with crushed pistachios.
My friends ordered the Roasted Vegetable Curry, the Kale Colossus and a Pesto Pizza.
The winning dish of the night, however, was the Mushroom & Spinach Quinoa Risotto. It was made with crimini mushrooms, shallot, garlic baby spinach and cashew milk. I’ve never tasted anything like it! Not even at Candle 79, my favorite vegan restaurant in New York City. This risotto is to live for. So rich and decadent, I spend the next 24 hours thinking about it.
No wonder this was voted Top 10 Restaurant in L.A! As for the billboard, it was right: SATISFACTION guaranteed! 🙂