I've recently gotten an interest in healthier foods and restaurants that specialize in healthy eating, such as Cafe Gratitude. Having greatly enjoyed Cafe Gratitude, I thought it wouldn't hurt to explore and try out a fellow restaurant chain also in the same organic, plant-based segment--Real Food Daily.
While Cafe Gratitude likes to "provide inspired service, honest and transparent communication, and express gratitude for the richness of our lives", Real Food Daily prides itself on being a destination where "community happens around education, connection and hospitality, over delicious, accessible food that’s real."
And indeed, there were parallels in both restaurants. The service was extremely friendly, the environment upbeat, natural, modern, and friendly, and people were enjoying a wide assortment of plant-based items--drinks and juices, appetizers, rice bowls, salads, and dessert.
For us, we decided to try items from the seasonal special, salad, "real food and basics" sections of the menu. These Carribean Quesadillas (16 USD), from the Seasonal Specials, had "coconut lentil purée, spinach, caramelized onions, pepperjack cheese, whole wheat tortilla with coconut cilantro cashew crème, mango salsa, guacamole, and grilled plantains." Served with two different organic hot sauces--one chipotle jalapeno and the other habanero-- this was an interesting fusion take on the quesadilla. The quesadilla itself was quite coconutty and full of vegetables with the spinach and onions--not too savory but creamy and rich--and the fresh mango salsa helped to provide some needed brightness. An intriguing fusion item.
In contrast, all of our other items were extremely filling and generous in portions. This Mediterranean Bowl (16 USD) had "Wild arugula, tomato, avocado, lemon herb Za’atar dressing, cucumber kalamata salsa, white bean basil salad, red quinoa tabouli, almond feta, and whole wheat Za’atar flatbread." It was a great medley with the variety of veggies and textures, creamy almond feta and the herbaceous, bright, and sour lemon dressing tying everything together. Meanwhile, the toasted flatbread was tender on the inside and crisp on the outside--a pleasant textural carbohydrate to snack on between bites of salad. There was so much that we had leftovers of this! Certainly a balanced meal--plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables to go around.
I ordered the Real Food Meal (15 USD), which came with "brown rice, beans, daily greens, land and sea vegetables, pressed salad" and house dressing (sesame tahini watercress). It was served with a shaker glass of gomasio--roasted sesame seeds with sea salt.
This was a really clean bowl of vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein--the kale, cucumbers, squash, beans, and carrots were all simply steamed and unseasoned, the beans seemed to just have been boiled and seasoned, the pressed pickled cabbage slaw and seaweed lightly marinated, and the long grain brown rice just simply cooked. As such, the extremely flavorful, creamy, and slightly savory house dressing played a crucial role in meshing these simply prepared ingredients together, and the gomasio helping in the lines of crunch as well as seasoning. Enjoying this item felt like a cleanse from oily and greasy foods, and it also happened to be very filling as well.
Pleasant execution, quality organic ingredients prepared simply, and a modern, friendly environment--you'll find all of these at Real Food Daily.
Real Food Daily
899 E Del Mar Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
Tel: (626) 844-8900