Monday, May 21, 2012

A Taste of Real Food in LA

Sometimes I wonder if restaurants even serve real food anymore.  Yes, there are many tasty places that we  all enjoy and avoid looking at the calorie count.  But how much of what we eat at a restaurant is actually fresh food prepared on location?

One hole-in-the-wall in LA is on the right track.  Four Café in Eagle Rock serves a fresh and seasonal menu with locally grown organic produce.  They offer a wide variety of options, including vegetarian and vegan items.  With so many delicious meals to choose from, it is hard to make a decision!  So when I visited the Four Café last Friday night, I tried a little bit of everything.

To start off with, I enjoyed an iced coconut green tea drink with my broccoli/leek/thyme soup.  It was rather hearty for being so smooth:

My main course consisted of the tuscan kale salad topped with wild salmon, kumquats, almonds, parmesan cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette.  This salad was to die for!  The unique combination of flavors excited my palate and brought satisfaction with every bite:

I concluded my meal with a vegan cheesecake made with coconut oil, agave, and lemon, on top of a date/cashew/pecan crust.  I have never tasted such a rich and flavorful cheesecake.  And trust me, I love cheesecake!  I would drive all the way back to Eagle Rock just to order this dessert again:

In addition to the absolutely amazing food, the Four Café itself is a fantastic restaurant that receives two thumbs up from me.  It has very simple and relaxing decor, mixing natural colors and wood to exude peacefulness.  I felt quite comfortable there.  All of the staff working in the restaurant were very friendly, despite my incessant questions.  They cleared our table with a smile and seemed genuine in creating a pleasant atmosphere for their customers.

My dear friend Lizzy joined me on this grand adventure to Four Café, and we agree it is a "must-return" restaurant.  She enjoyed a completely different meal than I did, but it looked just as satisfying.  Lizzy began with the coconut chicken soup:

And then had the asparagus tart with ricotta and gruyere stuffed in a puff pastry as her main course:

I was pleasantly surprised to find the pricing quite reasonable.  My salad was $11, because I chose wild salmon instead of the free range chicken or grassfed beef.  And it was significantly more satisfying than a typical $11 from a chain restaurant! Four Café is open 11am-9pm weekdays, and 9am-9pm on weekends.  For anyone in the Los Angeles area looking for a delicious organic restaurant with a comfortable atmosphere and friendly staff, I would highly recommend the Four Café!

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