Love Your Food Everyday – I do, I do!!!
This is the mantra/concept behind a new restaurant opened up in home-of-the-rich-geeks – Palo Alto. Their 2nd just opened in Culver City, Los Angeles. The cast list of CEO’s and chefs is quite something. Two of the CEO’s with background’s in McDonalds. The Chefs have fed Ms Oprah Winfrey no less. Tal Ronnen is a vegan chef who famously cooked for Oprah during her 21-day VEGAN stint, a cookbook author and former Executive Chef of Gardein. Chef Smith has a non-profit called Common Threads that teaches nutrition and world culture to children in low-income areas.
Most of the people behind LYFE seem to have brought my consciousness to their diets and now combine their love of food WITH health.
I was heading out of San Francisco and down to Stanford University, in Palo Alto, to go to the 10th Anniversary of KIPAC. Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. It was a day of lectures on dark matter, dark energy, sun gazing, 3D simulations of formations of galaxies and black holes. You could speak to real life scientists who work on particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider. My mind was blown so much I just stood in complete awe of these people. Promising myself that in my next life I will focus on my science studies in school and cultivate my geek early on, rather than concerning myself who would be Number 1 in the charts or whether I should try making my fringe blond again by dipping it in household bleach (DO NOT try this at home) despite clumps of hair disintegrating alarmingly.
Of course this meant research to find out where I could eat lunch, after the self imposed imagined stress of getting the correct Caltrain and manoeuvring my bike up the steep steps into the train. A funky train by the way. With upper seating levels that hang out over a coach especially for bikes. I felt I was part of a club of intrepid explorers, despite the fact the journey was only an hour and to a built up, and rather grandiose, city. Google returned a result of LYFE, not a vegan restaurant but a place with health in mind and with lots of vegan options, and made it my lunch choice.
The place is located just of the main drag. Lots of diners where sitting outside enjoying the sun. Inside is bright, lots of seating, clean and had such a great atmosphere. The server was incredibly patient and seemed genuinely concerned that I’d find something both vegan AND gluten free. They do have a good range of both but together was a little more challenging. I sampled their 3 soups and opted for the corn chowder. For entree I had roasted butternut squash with brussel sprouts and cranberries with a vegan garlic aoli dressing. A side of kale with a lemon dressing gave me my punch of greens for the day. All meals are odered at the counter and paid for. You are given an electronic table number which they can use to track where you’ve sat. How novel! Water is on tap and beautiful and expensive cutlery and napkins make it a real nice dining experience.
The staff, called Lyfers, were ALL super helpful. It was very busy and I sat opposite the kitchen and watched them prep. Though they were inundated with orders they all appeared amazingly calm. I was happy for them to be preparing my food. I cannot eat somewhere if the staff don’t seem to care. I want LOVE on my plate!
The soup was creamy, and perfectly seasoned. The best chowder I’ve eaten so far in my time on this dear planet of ours. The kale salad was a touch too lemony/acidic for my tastes but the roasted vegetable plate was filing, not oily and quite lovely. The sprouts balancing the sweetness of the squash. The ranch dressing was so good I could have drunk it!
A great place to go for vegan and non-vegans alike!