Another dineL.A. Restaurant Week just came to a close. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the event, it is a 2 week dining event that showcases different culinary experiences in Los Angeles. Many restaurants take part and offer some special prix fixe meals for great prices so people can see what these eateries have to offer.
I was out of town for a good chunk of this past dineL.A. but I was able to swing by Gracias Madre with my friend Jenny as soon as we touched down in LA from Portland. Gracias Madre is a plant based (aka vegan) Mexican restaurant located in a stylish but unassuming spot in West Hollywood. I’ve been prior to this but it was Jenny’s first time! We were able to be seated for our brunch outside on the patio which was a first to me. It was perfect weather to be enjoying such fresh food outdoors.
For the first appetizer course, I chose gorditas. This probably was my favorite part of the meal. It consisted of potato-masa cakes with warm salsa verde, avocados, and cashew crema on top. The textures were perfect.
For my main course, I got the flautas de camote. This was deep fried tortillas with sweet potato and caramelized onions inside, topped with pico de gallo, cashew nacho cheese, cilantro, and guacamole. This plate also included a bowl of black beans. I loved the flavors of everything but the flautas were not crispy enough to cut easily with a knife but the plate was too messy to pick up with my hands. The black beans on the side were a perfect, simple match for the complexity of the rest of the flavors.
For dessert I got their fudge brownie. How could I turn down chocolate? On the brownie there was salted mezcal caramel, coconut bacon, and coconut cashew whipped cream. I loved the sweet and salty combo and wish it was socially acceptable to lick my plate clean.
Aside from the food, we decided to try several of Gracias Madre’s well known drinks.The first drink we got was Sorry Ms. Jamson. This looked the most simple out of the drinks we got (still very pretty) but it was easily our favorite. This contains apricot jam, habanero bitters, lemon, mezcal, tempranillo, and edible flowers. It wasn’t overly sweet or overly strong – just felt very balanced.
La Quinceanera is basically a snow cone margarita. It’s a really stunning drink as far as looks and was also super refreshing considering how hot it was when we were eating. The snow cone portion melted quickly and watered it all down and it was hard to mix the flavors without it sloshing all over the place, though.
The last was the boozy popsicle. This is what it looks like: a strawberry popsicle sitting in a glass of tequila. It was so, so pretty and also super refreshing but the popsicle disintegrated pretty quickly into the tequila and it just turned into a slush that was sort of meh. We should’ve just eaten (drank?) this one more quickly.
All in all, I was pleased with the items they had on their menu and left very full and happy, which I usually find a challenge when I eat vegan. I recommend to try to get seated outdoors and it’s super cute both during the day and at night (string lights!). I’m looking forward to the next dineL.A. and hopefully I can be around to try more places!