Its a new decade, and more than ever... The Glutster is in full eating swing. Media press dinners are--slowly but surely--becoming more common in my inbox and the level of my dedication is only growing after every bite of food, sip of drink and recipe I post.
I've come a long way since I started my dainty, little picture-less blog back in 2006, 11th grade and lost in life. Never in my hungriest dreams would I have ever imagined to come to the ranks that I have worked up to be as of now.
Something is to be said when I start to get invites to places in neighborhoods that I otherwise would have no business stepping into, neighborhoods where my punk rock, East L.A upbringings would have caused me to feel like a fish out of water. Culture shocked? Culture Blasted.
Nonetheless, I am ready for anything...
I never thought a food blogger P.R lunch for M Cafe De Chaya with fellow blogger and cool girl EstarLA would arouse such life realizations but food--as I have come to finally accept--has become a gateway to help me figure out life. So here ya' go.
M Cafe de Chaya first caught my attention back in 06 too. A victim of PETA brainwashing had made me a poser vegan and basically running to the place to relish in eating a slice of chocolate layer cake again without guilt. And plus, my then-shifu of food had written it up as well.
According to their website, the Chaya Food Dynasty has actually been around since the Imperial Edo period, that's over 390 years ago, "feeding weary horseback travelers of Japan" under the shade of a tree.
Kept alive by the same family (Tsunoda), who would of thought they would have a successful outpost in the frou-frou epicenter of the U.S?
The Patrons: From Weary Horse Travelers to Health-Seeking Cubicle Raiders
Any given day, pretty looking visiting Europeans or just health seeking mid city Angelenos swarm to this place.
Deli Full-O-Organic Goods
A Macrobiotic lifestyle abides entirely by food's believed effect on the body, thus a premiere emphasis on whole grains, vegetables, fish and a limitation on sweets. Stereotypically, brown rice and root vegetables but oh does M Cafe prove hater misconceptions wrong with their contemporary, seasonal, vast selection of mouth pleasing, rich foods.
We started of with teas and naturally sweetened/colored drinks.
A cooling, soft Mint-Green Tea ($2.50) and a Beet-Colored Lemonade: Refreshing and Lightly Sweet
Then gave the macrobiotic bounty of the M Cafe legacy.
Specialties of the House: BBQ Tempeh and Seared Tuna Tataki
Tempeh is a soybean (whole) cake that is fermented a bit to give it a meaty bite, here its smoked and glazed like good ol fashioned BBQ. Tuna Tataki tasted fresh and fork tender.
Deli Salads (Clockwise): French Lentils, Scarlet Quinoa, Spicy Peanut Kale, Celery Root Slaw, Sesame Soba Noodles, Creamy Coleslaw
Every salad proved to be impressive, each rich and sharing the common trait of umami intensity. They are can be bought two ($7.45) or three ($9.75) of them in a plate.
Piping Hot N Crispy: Thin-Cut Organic Fries w/ Shiso, Nori & Sea Salt served with Macro Ketchup ($3.50), Sweet Potato Fries w/ Chili, Sea Salt & Lime served with Spicy Yuzu Mayo ($3.50)
Umami is a key taste here, prevalent in everything; seaweed and Japanese herbs was ethereal in reg. fries. Limes acidity cut sweet potatoes sweetness swiftly. Beet sweetened ketchup and spicy yuzu mayo only elevated the experience.
Specialty Salads: Wild Salmon Salad, Curried Tempeh Salad, Dilled Organic Tofu Salad
Wild Salmon's (vs. farmed) flavor is usually more leaner and cleaner tasting, just like this. Curried Tempeh kept true to its Indian theme, all out flavor and textures esp. with the aid of curry cashews used. Dilled Organic Tofu Salad was just as firm as egg whites, with a nice and balanced amount of herby dill.
Now for the real bounty.
MMMMMMMM CAFÉ PATISSERIE
Believe it not, no eggs, no dairy and no refined sugar is used in what your about to gawk and salivate at:
Chocolate Layer Cake ($6.25): Macro-Choco Decadence
Of course, it does not taste like cream, sugar and eggs but I did not miss those ingredients here neither.
Tiramisu: And Damn Good Too!
More Trifle-like in texture, this had immense flavors of spice! Cinnamon? Nutmeg? Clove? And the finish was just like sipping a good coffee with full fat cream...
Carrot Cake: Truly For The More Health Inclined
Grainy, and the only "cardboard" tasting thing all day, would of been a complete shame if not for that luxurious cream and filling.
After this great experience, walking down Beverly Blvd to the 720 bus stop was quite contemplative ordeal. Buzzing off such a great encounter and listening to The Dickies, I realized something while watching everyone stare at me as I swaggered by with my purple leopard creepers, I realized...2010 will be my decade.