I recently traveled to California for the Natural Products Expo West. I was very excited for this trip because of the awesome vegan restaurants the Los Angeles area has to offer. Last time I was in LA, I had a chance to dine at Real Food Daily (RFD) in West Hollywood. This time I was lucky to check out their 2nd location of 3 in Santa Monica.
Real Food Daily was created by Ann Gentry who strives to raise the standard of vegetarian cooking. All RFD locations are 100% vegan. In 1993 the first RFD location was opened in West Hollywood. Just 3 years later the Santa Monica location opened and theres a 3rd location open in Pasadena.
Starters I was dining with a few people, so I was able to try a lot of items from the menu. We started with the “Nori Maki” (5 pieces $6.95 or 10 for $10.95) and the “Not-chos” ($13.75 w/ taco mix add $2.75). The nori maki was made with brown rice and was pretty tasty. For the not-chos, I recommend adding the taco mix, which is a seitan mix. The not-chos were my favorite and loaded with melted cashew cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, tofu sour cream.
Main Course For the main course, I decided on something I enjoy making at home, fettuccini alfredo ($12.95). At RFD, this dish is spinach fettuccini, creamy alfredo sauce, roasted red peppers, broccoli, toasted pine nuts, roasted garlic bread. I had them add some portabella mushrooms to mine, which I like to put in my own alfredo recipe. I love red peppers, so I thought this was a great addition to alfredo. The pine nuts give the sauce a buttery taste that I enjoyed. I thought the alfredo needed a bit more flavor, so I added some salt to the dish. I know a lot of people don’t like a lot of salt, but I do. I think RFD does a great job at veganizing a dish that usually isn’t vegan.
Dessert I had enough food once it was time for dessert. I opted for a latte with soy milk, but that have many more interesting options as well. Other lattes available are chai, yerba Maté and teeccino and you may have them served hot or iced, made with soy, rice, almond or hemp milk.
Real Food Daily is a great restaurant to dine at while in the LA area. The food tastes good and comes at a decent price. The atmosphere is laid back and child friendly (there were a few tables with children while I was there). I don’t think it’s the most romantic place to dine, but I think it’s great for couples and groups of friends. There is a beer and wine menu as well as some juices and smoothies to quench your thirst. The menu has some great comfort foods, like the salsbury seitan, and some ethnic foods, like the maki nori and supreme burrito. Real Food Daily gets the TOFUsenshi seal of approval!
514-516 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
414 N. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
899 East Del Mar Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106