Monday, May 29, 2006

Mani's Cafe...fresh and yummy

There are so many restaurants in this city that sometimes it can be hard to choose a place at random to eat. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were driving a guest around giving her a quick little tour of LA and all of were starving. We were in the Beverly Hills area (which we don't frequent very often) and were at loss for a place to eat. I remembered a sandwich place I had read about somewhere that was located along Fairfax just off Wilshire and even without me remembering the name, we managed to find Mani's Cafe. This turned out to be a perfect place for lunch with a nice selection of sandwiches, salads, and soups and also some outdoor setting. They also have an amazing bakery selection of cakes, cookies and other goodise (which I can't wait to go back and try). One reason I really liked this place was they had a large selection of vegetarian and vegan options, even vegan cakes and cookies and also clearly explained the ingredients. Check out their website for a menu.

For my meal, I ordered a bowl of the vegetarian chili and even though it was more like a chuncky bean and veggie soup it was very good. The broth was not as thick as most chilis and it wasn't very spicey, but I really enjoyed the chuncks of zuchinni and pepper and white beans. It came with a whole wheat roll which was absolutly amazing. It was very fresh and chewy with slightly sweet toasted oats on the top. I rarely finish my bread when I eat out, but I scarfed this roll down so fast and was even eating the toasted oats that I had fallen off of the top. It sopped up the broth of my chili very nicely but it has sucha good flavor I enjoyed it plain better. Both Dave and Leslie ordered sandwiches. All of the sandwiches come with a choice of either a salad, soup, french fries or chips and salsa which all make for a very nice size meal. Dave had a bowl of soup and Leslie went with the chips and salsa. All the soups are vegan and they offer one selection each day of the week. Sunday's is Tortilla soup day and it was so super yummy I couldn't stop stealing bites out of his bowl! It was very thick and creamy (if it wasn't vegan I would have sworn it was made with cream) with little thin strips of different colored totilla floating on top. It did have a slight cilantro flavor, which usually isn't my favorite but added some nice depth to the soup. Dave said his sandwich was very good and that he would consider going back there again. Since I love fresh and healthy food, I thought this place was great. A lot of vegetarian friendly options along with non-vegetarian things make it great for a mixed crowd. Since I work just around the conor from this place I will definitely be stopping in again. I really want to try some of their tea, especially the ginger macha and I am also super curious about some of those vegan baked goods...mmmm....hopefully they will be yum!

The Good: lots of vegetarian, vegan, and healthy options.

The Bad: maybe a little expensive for what it is...

The Yummy: vegetarian soups, bread, can't wait to try some of their baked goods they good a yummy for looks!


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