Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Cafe Gratitude – 3/5 Stars

Cafe Gratitude
$$ Vegan, Vegetarian, Cafes
639 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004

LA is such a city of fake gratitude that I can see how a Cafe Gratitude would work better here than in San Francisco. Years before they closed all the locations down in the Bay Area, it felt a lot more casual and hippie and like a cafe. You sit wherever you like, and servers with green dreadlocks casually greet you. It was inexpensive and felt a bit more gritty and bohemian. Now spending $15 on beans, tempeh, and two stale hardened cheese biscuits in a clean, upscale bistro with a smiling server who takes credit cards makes me feel like a smile back is $gratitude.

The surprisingly stale I Am Resolved macadamia cashew cheddar biscuits tasted like they’ve been sitting out all day and definitely were not made at the same time the good beans and tempeh were made, as well as the yummy collards, yams, coleslaw, etc. Perhaps that’s what I should go for next time are the more raw vegetable and nut-based dishes because the oven is probably used only once a day – if that. And I already did just that by ordering the I Am Dazzling vegan caesar salad the next time I came here. Let me tell you that Veggie Grill has a better vegan caesar salad for 1/3 cheaper. The crushed brazil nuts that act as ‘parmesan cheese’ in the I Am Dazzling here definitely still tastes like raw nuts and does not make up for a sharp cheese that it desperately needs. I have been vegan for over 15 years so I am not comparing to ‘real’ cheese in a caesar salad, just the better vegan caesar salads I’ve had in my lifetime. The salad is also underwhelming for the price and the cashew caesar dressing could be more plentiful.

Now I can’t believe I just got into a fight with management at Cafe GRATITUDE over them giving me a hard time about honoring a 10% neighbor discount as a member of this amazing writers’ community/large shared office space next door. Everything is communal and built around trust and cooperation over there. These people at the writers’ community told me that they set up this special discount with the general manager Alice Liu who apparently told them that the managers “all knew” about the discount. One of these managers that “knew” looks at me as if I am crazy and insisted that giving me 10% off would be a favor “just this once”. She even photographed my card because it must’ve been some type of scam I’ve been pulling. What neighbors! I guess the confusion comes not from management but from corporate, aka the vegan sellout owners, who told them as an act of gratitude to discontinue neighbor discounts but to eagerly offer people to sign up for ‘Gratification’ cards as a way to earn ‘gratitude points’ for every fifteen dollars you spend on tempeh. I think that’s why this place thrives in LA.

All in all, all I can say is that I’ve been here so many damn times and gratitude exists here no more. It’s expensive, but still, it has pretty good food and a nice upscale bistro atmosphere. I stopped myself from writing a review here for many years and that was a true act of gratitude towards a friendship with a handsome server who moved up north after years of being here since it first opened. The one great thing about this place is their only milkshake ever that they offer. The vegan mint milkshake is incredible and worth coming here for by itself.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 8