Por Favor, No Gracias Madre…

Gracias Madre
Gracias Madre

Ah no!!!

I really do regret writing a negative review of Gracias Madre. Many of my friends love the restaurant, but our food sucked.

Gracias Madre
Gracias Madre

While I am always on Team Veggie, I must admit that the vegan restaurants that I have dined at have been less than satisfying. Plus, my husband always leaves hungry.

Saturday dawned and we were up and out early, hitting the beach for a good workout.

Bar at Gracias Madre
Bar at Gracias Madre

We headed to WeHo around 2pm to make it in time for our 2:30 reservation at Gracias Madre. Neither one of us had eaten all day and we were ready to chow down.

Gracias Madre
Gracias Madre

The restaurant is very attractive and the tranquil outdoor patio is beautiful.

It was surprisingly crowded at 2:30. We requested a table in the shade and we were asked to wait even though there were at least a half dozen empty shaded tables…whatever.

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We settled in and our waiter delivered the Gracias Madre spiel. I say spiel because he said the exact same thing to two other tables within earshot.

We were happy to hear that all produce is organically harvested at Cafe Gratitude founders, Matthew and Terces Engelhart, Be Love Farm, in Vacaville.

photo:mamasgottabake.com
photo:mamasgottabake.com

With the arrival of Gracias Madre in Los Angeles in January 2014, Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert found herself reliving her lifelong dream of opening a vegan Mexican restaurant.

Gilbert, who has 33 years of experience in the restaurant industry, has done time at Alice Waters’ Café Fanny in Berkeley, Cowgirl Creamery and Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. She has been with the Café Gratitude family since 2004. Gracias Madre’s initially debuted in San Francisco in 2009.

Back to our dining experience at Gracias Madre. Our waiter was definitely not engaged and was in desperate need of a hair wash. We asked for advice in making our food selections…our first mistake.

Purista Margarita
Purista Margarita

Our drinks arrived and we drank in the beauty of the day and surroundings. My Purista margarita was delicious made with tequila blanco, agave, lime and orange bitters ($11). David’s Michelada de la Madre, which was a beer based drink, was not ($10).

Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts

We kicked off the meal with Repollitos Fritos, translation Brussels sprouts with cilantro and almond pesto that were reputed to be fabulous. The starter was cold, tough and tasteless ($9). The Brussels sprouts I roast at home are far superior.

Quesadilla De Calabaza
Quesadilla De Calabaza

The Quesadilla de Calabaza arrived with the Brussels sprouts. The quesadillas stuffed with butternut squash, caramelized onions, cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa in a homemade tortilla tasted like a lead balloon. It was heavy and unappealing. One bite was enough ($10).

Ensalada De Invierno
Ensalada De Invierno

Thankfully, the Ensalada Del Invierno arrived. We were starving. The kale salad was comprised of massaged kale, roasted root vegetables with chipotle cashew dressing ($12). Loved the kale salad. This was the only good dish.

Our main came highly recommended and was inedible. We were choosing between the Uno Bowl with romaine, brown rice, black beans, tempeh chorizo, guacamole, pico de gallo and cashew creme ($13) and Coconut Ceviche Tostadas.

Coconut Ceviche Tostadas
Coconut Ceviche Tostadas

Our waiter recommended his favorite dish, the coconut ceviche tostadas with guacamole, lettuce, cashew creme, cilantro and a side of black beans ($18).

The black beans were very good, but neither one of us could eat the tostadas. We left the whole enchilada. If David won’t eat it, you know it is inedible.

We did have charming table mates. I learned a lot about dating come ons from the two twenty-five year olds sitting next to us. Actually, we ended up having a great conversation with the charming guys.

Tres Bowl
Tres Bowl

They enjoyed their meals. Selections included Bowl Tres with quinoa, kale, roasted squash, pesto cashew creme, white beans, peppers and onions ($13) and the three corn tacos topped with seared cauliflower, grilled squash with salsa verde, mushrooms, cashew creme served with beans ($15).

Tacos
Tacos

They departed two hours later and soon after we called it a wrap.

I am happy to go back with a Gracias Madre veteran and definitely indulge in a margarita, guacamole and chips, but in the meantime…

In and Out Burger
In-N-Out Burger

With the top down and a whole in our bellies we headed to In-N-Out Burger in Westwood.

Gracias Madre  8905 Melrose Avenue West Hollywood, California Open daily 11am-11pm daily. Weekend Brunch: 11am – 3pm. Weekday Happy Hour: 3pm – 6pm. Reservations on OpenTable.com. Valet and street parking.

One Comment

  1. The atmosphere is the best part of CG. I think it is greatly overrated.

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