On a recent trip to Los Angeles to visit family and friends, my husband and I got the opportunity to start checking places off my "LA eats" list. Gracias Madre had been on the list for a while, and although neither my husband nor I are vegan, we both thoroughly enjoyed the eats and the environment of this plant-based hot spot! We were joined by my best friend Rachel, and her husband John Luke, and the four of us sat outside in the restaurant's beautiful (and huge!) terrace. Gracias Madre serves cuisine inspired by the kitchens of Mexico, but uses locally sourced, organic ingredients, which makes for some seriously delicious dishes. Bold flavors and seasonally-conscious produce make this fresh take on Mexican food healthier than your average go-to spot, and I promise you won't miss the meat!
We made it in time for the happy hour menu, so we started with margaritas (duh!), nachos, a gordita, and a flauta. The margaritas here are clean, simple, and not super sweet, so thankfully they won't leave you with a headache in the morning. The nachos came with housemade tortilla chips, piled high with fresh toppings like guacamole, salsa verde, and cashew cheese. Our husbands shared the gordita and flauta, which looked tasty, but actually seemed a little small for $6 each. For our entrées, the boys shared a trio of veggie tacos, as well as the enchiladas verde, and from my small sampling, I can give them a definite thumbs up. Rachel and I chose salads, which were full of fresh, healthy ingredients, and I couldn't resist a side of butternut squash with molé. Yum! As you know I can never pass on dessert, so I peer-pressured the table into ordering two: the peanut butter cup and the fudge brownie (a la mode). Both were super rich and decadent, and the perfect ending to a great meal with even better friends. I can see why Gracias Madre attracts both vegans and meat-eaters, alike. The atmosphere alone is reason enough to visit- whether you hang inside at the lively bar, or go outside to lounge by the fire pit- but the high quality, delicious food ensures you'll be planning a return trip soon.