Just a few blocks away from the famous Rodeo Drive sits a cafe that prides itself in serving plant-based gourmet cuisines. Their menu supports health and sustainability for both their community and the planet. And, they easily accommodate gluten free. They are called Cafe Gratitude.
When we were handed the menu, my mom and I immediately noticed the names of the dishes were not typical names. Our waiter informed us that we were required to state “I am” in front of the menu item we wanted to order.
Were you craving a gluten free, kale caeser salad? You are dazzling. Did you have your heart set on some ravioli? You are ravishing.
It may seem silly, but there is power in stating aloud a declaration about yourself.
This is why you will hear me repeat often “I am Clearly Alive.”
The Food at Cafe Gratitude
My mom and I decided to split a starter, an entree, and a dessert. There were so many other items on the menu that we wanted to try, but we stuck with just those three.
I am Confident.
To begin with, we determined that we were confident.
This roasted cauliflower tasted amazing. It even had some olives mixed in! The dish contained romesco, roasted garlic purée, and sundried tomato tapenade. I now feel ashamed smothering cauliflower in ranch after seeing how fancy it could be served.
I am Inspired.
There were several entrees that we wanted to try, but in the end we settled on the mushroom risotto. Our waiter informed us that was his absolute favorite dish on the entire menu. After eating it, we could understand why.
Never have I tasted a risotto so delicious. It contained roasted butternut squash, truffled mushrooms, smoked crème fraîche, and gremolata. I will confess that I do not fully understand all of those fancy words. But the mix of flavors was divine. I commented to my mom how this type of food forces you to slow down and enjoy it. You want to savor every bite.
I am Cool.
We asked for a dessert menu, because I was curious for their gluten free offerings. Theoretically, I am supposed to limit my dairy and avoid milk. Because the consequences of consuming milk aren’t nearly as painful as when I consume gluten, I am not as strict as I should be. But this was a dairy free environment. I could have a “milkshake!”
Our waiter told us that when he first started this job, he would drink two of their mint milkshakes a day. I could see why! They were that good. The cashew coconut ice cream and almond milk meant that I would not have an angry stomach while the cacao nibs and chlorophyll added to the overall flavor profile. They even added a bit of salt to help balance it!
My mom did have a good chuckle at my confusion of two words. Chloroform is very different that chlorophyll.
The Ambiance at Cafe Gratitude
The entire cafe was not that large. I initially thought it was double the size due to some strategically placed mirrors.
I absolutely loved how they had placed phrases around the cafe that were meant to encourage and inspire. While washing your hands in the women’s restroom, the mirror read the words “I am beautiful inside and out.”
We need these reminders.
The world around us is noisy, busy, destructive, cruel. If we are not mindful and purposeful, day to day stress will wear us down. While not good for any individual, this stress can be more detrimental for those of us living with adrenal insufficiency.
Let us get into the habit of speaking positive things about ourselves.
Let us declare aloud who we aspire to be.
We are Clearly Alive.