Best Vegan Eats in the Valley
Sun Cafe is a hidden gem in Studio City that, in my opinion, has the best vegan noms around. Their organic made-to-order dishes and modern take on plant-based and dairy-free fare make their menu a delicious and healthy safe haven. Plus, most items can be made gluten-free! They use the freshest organic ingredients, organically-farmed produce, and seasonal produce to create vibrant and lively dishes.
I had the most EPIC meal there and I'm so happy to share the details with you. Warning: you will be hungry at the end of this post.
I took my dear friend Sophie with me on this tasty journey and we nommed until we could nom no more. Then, we took the rest home for late night snacking. We began with empty bellies and delicious cups of coffee and coconut milk. Their staff were friendly, welcoming, and very accommodating. We chose a cinematically lit table (I'm not kidding, it was something out of a movie) on their patio and enjoyed the scenery. The entire restaurant both inside and out is very lovely but there's a special magic you experience on their patio at golden hour (around happy hour) so I recommend sitting out there on your visit. Before our meal began we had the pleasure of meeting with chef Nate Malonson who walked us through their new specials and took amazing care of us be not only crafting the exquisite feast you'll see below but also taking into account Sophie's gluten allergy. Knowledgable, charming, and downright delightful, Nate was a fantastic host. Here's what he made us:
Their Raw Probiotic Bowl was up first. This looks like a salad but that description doesn't do it justice. This raw beauty has their house made kimchee, Korean cucumber salad, marinated radicchio, jullienne carrots, avocado and is served over a sesame kale salad. I'm completely obsessed with kimchi so this salad really hit the spot. The flavors blend together perfectly, the different textured of crunchy and creamy keep it interesting, and the sweet and salty combo is on point. This is a large bowl so it's a sizable meal for one or a lovely starter to split.
The Double Stuffed Quesadilla came out shortly after. This one can be made gluten free, an option which we chose, and is a good size portion. It's filled with grilled crimini mushrooms, smoky chipotle cheese sauce, pico de gallo, house pickled jalapenos, and cilantro. It's spicy but not overwhelmingly so and has the perfect chipotle flavor.
The Philly Sandwich was up next and this one blew my mind. This sandwich is large and in charge stuffed with marinated Maitake mushrooms, roasted peppers, onions, and drizzled generously with cashew cheese on a whole wheat roll. The mushrooms and peppers make a killer "meat" for this; they're perfectly roasted for max flavor and wonderfully tender. My favorite part, however, was the cashew cheese. I could honestly put that cheese on a napkin and happily eat every bite it's so delicious. As far as size goes, this sandwich is quite large so go in with an appetite because it'll deliver.
Finally, we rounded up our main meal with their Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza. A rice flour crust topped with buffalo cauliflower, tempeh bacon, house Sun ranch, and green onions. This was spicier than I anticipated but I'm a huge fan of spicy food so I was happily surprised The crust doesn't leave you with that "I need to sleep for three years" feeling and the cauliflower has a satisfying al dente crunch to it which gave the pizza some additional depth. With six good size slices, this is a great plate to share or keep to yourself with a slice or two to take home for midnight snack time.
Dessert was a slice of their heavenly raw cookie dough cheesecake drizzled with chocolate, and garnished with goji berries. The almond and cashew crust is out of this world. I dream about it. Like a lot. This gluten free slice is rich creamy, decadent and trust me when I say get two because you will not want to share even the tiniest bit of this.
We left happy, stuffed but no where near uncomfortable, and with to go containers bursting with leftovers. I will be returning shortly to eat my way through the rest of their menu. Do visit; and tell them you read about it on my blog! You'll probably see me sitting on their patio surrounded by all of their incredible shakes and desserts on any given day. If I am there, please say hi! I might even share my cheesecake. But probably not.
Thank you to Nate and everyone at Sun Cafe!