Plan B

This overnight concoction tasted just like a peanut butter and jelly Larabar. 

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While I never really cared much for the whole oats-in-a-jar phenom that rocked the blog world circa 2010, I also can’t stand waste. 

Fact: the best way to get every last lick of peanut butter is use the nearly empty jar as a vessel for overnight oats.

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I added in oats, maple syrup, apricots, and almond milk, then topped it off with almonds, cashews & dried cranberries.

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The next morning is was super gooey. 

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After breakfast I caught up on blogging, watched the US Open, and went for a run. 

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Geez, I get it, you’re organic!  My afternoon was snack-tastic, but nothing was extraordinary.  I started with apples with coconut butter.  There was a long parade of things that followed but I couldn’t be bothered to photograph them all. 

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I know there were almonds and watermelon in there though.

Later on Kyle got home (so early!!) so we took the opportunity to get a few errands done together.  We went to the Promenade to shop, stopped by the bank to change the name on my cards (finally), and eventually made our way over to the NEW Tender Greens for dinner. 

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Or not.  Sunday was supposed to be their grand opening, but clearly they weren’t ready yet. 

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I took a peek inside to check on the status and it seems like it may still be a few more weeks :(  I’m so ready for this place to open!!  I realize I’m not that far from the Culver City location, but this one is within walking distance from our apartment. 

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Plastic wrap.  Paint cans.  Stray furniture.  You don’t have to have tuned into an HGTV marathon to know that Tender Greens is still more of a construction zone than a restaurant. 

Luckily, our plan B restaurant was only a few blocks away. 

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Planet Raw has been on the to-try list for a LONG time. 

I love raw food when it’s well done, but there’s really no gray area.  It’s either outstanding or blah. 

Kyle’s wishy washy on raw food because he doesn’t always leave feeling satisfied.  It has less to do with the fact that the food is uncooked, and more to do with the serving sizes.  His one (and only) dining experience at Pure Food & Wine is to blame due to the tiny portions.  He also detests zucchini which is a very common ingredient in raw food.  But still, he remains open minded. 

And so we got our raw on.

We started with the Spring Rolls.  They had avocado, kelp noodles, cabbage and Thai herbs in a coconut wrapper with a no-peanut sauce

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OH. MY. WORD.  I can’t tell you how this knocked my socks off. 

Taste buds <— blown away.  The no-peanut sauce could have been made from baby tears and I still wouldn’t have stopped eating it.  It was SO good.  The coconut wrapper was like a savory fruit roll up.  It was complex and my mouth didn’t know what to make of it, but I definitely loved it.  Texture wise it was like a hearty (less sticky) fruit roll up, but the flavor was salty/savory.  It complimented the crunchy veggie insides perfectly.  I could go on and on, but words mean nothing.  You can’t understand it until you try it. 

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For Kyle’s main course, he chose the Taco Salad with fresh avocado, heirloom salsa, cashew sour cream, crispy flax chips and ground mushroom taco nutmeat.  He was a big fan and agreed with me that the sauces were fantastic.  He finished off every bite except for the beets.  Not sure why.

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For my entree, I got the Sundried Tomato Cheeze Wrap with collard greens, nutcheese, avocado, onions and sun dried tomatoes.  I was having a hard time choosing between two options, but I was completely sold when I found out the nut cheese was made with cashews and the wraps were layered in both seaweed AND collards.

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I know it’s blurry, but check out that saucy sauce!

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The ratios of dressing to salad and sauce to wrap were perfect – not too doused but deliciously oozing nonetheless. 

Serving size, perfect.  Belly, happy.

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At the end of our meal, an older couple was seated next to us…clearly very unfamiliar with raw food.  I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation (I’m not nosy, the tables are quite close).  I was delighted at how patient and helpful the waitress was.  They told her they had never tried raw food before and asked for her advice.  She guided them beautifully, without an air of condescension or superiority (even as they asked questions like “is the food fattening?” and “what kinds of fish do you have?”).  And they seemed very satisfied with both their orders and the raw food concept. 

Tips for diners new (or not) to veganism or raw food:

  • tell the server you are new to the restaurant/diet (they probably get this all the time, so don’t be embarrassed)
  • ask for suggestions (they know the menu best and they probably know what meals will best please new-to-raw palates)
  • ask questions about the menu (I asked what nut was used in almost every sauce/puree/paste/etc. and Kyle asked if there was zucchini in every “pasta” dish)
  • communicate what you typically like in your food (if you’re a spicy person, tell them so)

I was SO pleased with my meal at Planet Raw.  For a backup restaurant, it certainly blew my mind.  Hands down, top five favorite meals in LA.  I loved every single saucy bite, I wanted to slurp the plate clean.  I most definitely need their cookbook (which has 250+ pages of recipes) for the nut based dressings alone.  I can’t describe how flavorful this meal was!

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On the way home, we stopped for dessert at Interim Cafe, but we saw flies in the dessert case.  Ummm, that’s a no-go.  But (as per the sign in the photo) I had cookies on the brain…and wound up eating quite a few as I prepped for the work week. 

When was the last time your Plan B surpassed your Plan A expectations?

Have you ever dined at a raw restaurant?  Tips/advice?

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28 thoughts on “Plan B

  1. Lenna

    Those meals look so amazing! I have never been to a raw restaurant, there are no such places in my country :( But I would really like to try it!
    You OIAJ look very good. I don´t eat them normally, I really don´t get the fuss about them, but I think you may even persuade me to give them another try :)

    Reply
  2. Anna

    I Love how your afternoon was snack-tastic…what a good word! I’m glad to know I am not the only one that can munch away the afternoon some days :)

    Reply
  3. Karen @ She Flies With Her Own Wings

    Wow! I lived right near Planet Raw and never tried it while I was living in SM, but the pictures look amazing! I’m not a huge fan of raw cafes because I think sometimes they rely too heavily on nut pastes, but this food looks fresh. Will try to hit it up next time I’m in LA!

    Reply
    1. Elise Post author

      i agree…thats another reason i chose the wrap over the pasta (which may have been fantastic but i was nervous it would be nothing but noodles in nutbutter)

      Reply
  4. Liz

    I love going to raw food restaurants… they’re always so iterating and have so many things on the menu… It’s amazing how creative one can get using only raw foods!

    Reply
  5. jessy jones

    Hi Elise,

    I just found your blog not too long ago and LOVE IT! I check it almost every day! I live in Utah, but when I was on vacation in Cali, my fiance and I took a trip to Planet Raw for breakfast. He got the Chia Oatmeal, and I got the raw crepes. The crepes were alright but the chia oatmeal was to die for! I have been high raw and vegan and for about 5 months so this was a real treat! My fiance isn’t raw or vegan, but he loves the idea of it!

    I have a question, I noticed in your post about your wedding anniversary that you had very blonde hair, and now your hair seems like it is its natural color. What was the process in doing that?? I currently have blonde hair but am wanting to get back to my natural color, which is about the color of your hair! I just don’t know how to get there! Advice would be wonderful!

    Thanks!
    Jessy

    Reply
    1. Elise Post author

      oh my gosh jessy it was SUCH a long process. i got low lights once when i had ~3 inch roots but otherwise i just waited for the blonde to grow out…i chopped it as soon as it reached a wearable length each time.
      anyway, so glad you found me and that you enjoy reading :)

      Reply
  6. GetSkinny GoVegan

    I LOVED Pure Food & Wine, BUT yes, totally small portions. Too Hip for me! And WAY too expensive, for my taste. BUT, was thrilled we dropped the cash there a couple of times so we could really “see” what could be done with raw food. Was afraid Planet Raw would be the same, a little too much ego, but it looks great. We ate at Better Life of something just down the street, which was a great deal and had the best raw cheese slices and lasagna to date and now Better Life, of whatever the name, is my new fave (except we live in the Midwest!).

    Reply
  7. Sarah

    I’ve been to a few raw restaurants and really enjoyed them, though the one in my own city is so pricey that I can’t bear to even try it. I don’t remember what raw food costs in the U.S. anymore, but the last time I bought a slice of raw cake it cost me $12. For a slice!

    Anyway, got a little sidetracked there…your meal looked delicious! I love raw food, but tend to prefer the simpler raw meals that I can just make at home. I also have to minimise the number of nut-based things I get since I can’t process more than about an ounce or two of nuts at a time. It sucks because I love nuts and nut-based raw dishes.

    So cute about the couple asking questions too. I’m impressed that they ventured in there! My husband also doesn’t feel satisfied with raw dishes (for him it’s actually the lack of heat. for some reason he thinks hot food = real food.), and I have a friend who gets heartburn every time she eats at a raw restaurant. To each their own, I suppose, but I would definitely do more raw dining if I lived in Cali – best meals of my life there!

    Reply
  8. Katie

    Oh lordy, I wish we had a restaurant like that near us! I could probably track one down somewhere in Colorado, but it isn’t anywhere close…dang it.

    Also, when I have a near empty pb jar, I dump in a handful of chocolate chips and go to town.

    Reply
  9. Ginny

    Tender greens is coming to santa monica!?! I literally gasped out loud in excitement. You seriously just made my day. Actually it’s kind of sad, I moved from Manhattan beach to DC when I’m in an ABSN program so I couldn’t even get it if I wanted it. 12 months from now I am out of here and all over those happy vegan salads.

    Reply
  10. sarah@spinach&spice

    Thanks for the link back to Pure Food and Wine! I passed by it the other week while in NYC, but I couldn’t remember where I had heard of it before!
    I’ve never been to a raw restaurant before, but maybe in November when I’m back in the city :)

    Reply
  11. Yalanda

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I LOVE it! I have shared it with all my foodie friends. I use your recipes so often that when my boyfriend sees your website up on my computer he’ll jokingly say, “Oh, your friend Elise!” I have started to write comments in the past, then always end up not finishing them. However, I feel that I have to share with you what happened to me today. I was at the grocery store buying those ‘enjoy life’ chewy bars and this man asked me if I had celiac disease. I said, “No, I just really like these!” We started talking and he told me he had recently been diagnosed and was still figuring out what to buy and how to cook. I instantly got out a pen and some paper to write down your website then continued to enthusiastically tell him how wonderful it is and that I hoped he would find your recipes super yummy because I certainly do!

    Reply
    1. Elise Post author

      oh my gosh, yalanda, you are so so sweet! i am thrilled that you enjoy reading – it literally makes me SO happy to know that people enjoy reading and trying my various eats. the fact that you felt my site is helpful and recommendable is what keeps me inspired to continue blogging. thanks so much for the comment!!

      Reply
  12. greenthyme

    I am insanely jealous of all these amazing restaurants near you! Are you in California? I feel as if I need to make a trip there for the food alone! These don’t exist around me. Great pics-making my mouth water!

    Reply
  13. Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

    Planet Raw sounds awesome! Whenever I hear “raw food” this is what I think of, but my boyfriend always reminds me that a raw bar is usually oysters and things of the like. NOT yummy! I think I saw this cookbook at the library, I’ll have to check it out!

    Reply
  14. Pure2raw twins

    Planet Raw sounds heavenly!! I am glad your plan B worked out :) yay for good raw foods! I have only eaten at two raw foods restaurants and both were delicious. there are so many more I know of that I would love to try one day and this one gets added to the list!! YUM

    Reply
  15. Kelsey

    mmm that restaurant sounds awesome! LOVE raw food!

    and oats in a jar may be old news, but I am always behind on the trends and still get really excited when a jar is almost empty! in fact, I’m such a nerd that I actually eat out of jars sometimes just because. HA. your pb&j oats concoction looks amazing. :)

    Reply
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