Thursday, August 9, 2012

Planet Raw, Los Angeles

Update: As of March 2013, Planet Raw is closed.

As a raw foods enthusiast, I wanted to work a raw vegan restaurant into my short itinerary for my trip to Los Angeles. Having heard good things about Planet Raw, I headed directly from the airport to this cafe for lunch on a Thursday afternoon.  They say that Planet Raw was the first raw vegan restaurant in the U.S.  Chef Juliano Brotman is well-known throughout the raw vegan community for his innovative creations so my expectations were high.


Planet Raw is a cute cafe located in Santa Monica. It was a beautiful day so I took a seat outside on the sidewalk. There was only one other couple eating outside and many other people inside. I picked up the menu and took a look at the drinks only to find that most of the drinks were smoothies that contained honey or bee pollen. Ugh. When the waitress came over to take my drink order, I inquired as to why most of the drinks had honey at this vegan establishment. She said they are "beegan." Really?  So now this is a term to describe vegans who eat honey. Just wonderful. I ordered the Blood juice, which is made with the blood of a Fuji apple, ginger, lime, and red beets. It was really good and quite sweet.


For my entree, I decided to go all out and order the most expensive dish on the menu -- the Mushroom Kelp Pasta Dinner for $24.95.  The kelp noodles had mushrooms, cilantro, and tomatoes in a brazil and cashew nut cream sauce over kelp noodles. It was really good...but, where were the exotic mushrooms? When I inquired, I was told that they only had baby bella right now. Then why did I still pay $24.95 for this dish. Baby bella are not exotic so I wasn't very happy about that. There were two other salads on the plate -- one was a salad of purple cabbage in a Ranch dressing made of macadamia nuts and the other was a marinated salad of cauliflower and broccoli. Both were very good.


Afterwards, I went inside to look around.


They make and sell a lot of hard-to-find items including a coconut meat jerky that I picked up. This stuff is really good!


All in all, I'd say this place isn't worth going out of your way for. I've had much better raw food at other restaurants that were much more creative. They serve honey here which is a huge negative. The service was extremely slow and the prices were ridiculous. It is good food -- just not worth the money or worthy of the hype.

Planet Raw
609 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 587-1552

Planet Raw on Urbanspoon

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