Lucky for me and some friends who also found themselves in Los Angeles and wanting lunch on the famous Dec. 25 holiday, Golden Mean Vegan Cafe, an organic restaurant, welcomed us with wholesome organic vegan cuisine and friendly staff. Owner Aaron Glassman started the place in Santa Monica about two years ago to “create a place he’d like to hang out, with like-minded people and great tasting healthy options that are free of animal products.” He says balance is important in our life, and on the menu “golden mean” is defined as “divine proportion, balance and harmony.”
I got the dish they are known for – the “Lean Mean” Veggie Burger, made of beans, grains and veggies, with added avocado, tempeh bacon and vegan cheese. It was a great, satisfying meal and the kelp noodle salad was a fun addition.
My non-veggie friends chowed down on their Portobello Mushroom Panini and Pizza of the Day with pesto and spinach on cornmeal crust. I wouldn’t have minded trying the Vegan “Chicken” Pesto Panini, the salads, or something from the brunch menu!
Desserts, made in house and definitely health-conscious, are either gluten-free or made with spelt flour, and sweetened with agave or Sucanat (SUgar CAne NATural). I can’t say we delved into cakes and pastries, but we devoured a few coconut shakes, mine of course being the chocolate flavor. The shakes include one of my all-time favorite vegan products — Luna and Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss.
We were grateful to find somewhere open on Christmas, and I would definitely go there again to peruse not only more of the menu but the spiritual books and art.
Photo from Golden Mean Vegan Cafe website.