There are few cities in the world as well know for their healthy restaurants as Los Angles. Now that Parsley Health is open and operating in Playa Vista, LA, we’ve had to scope out the best places to eat good, real food in the area. Luckily, the options are plentiful. After months of research we’ve narrowed it down to ten of our favorites.
Cafe Gratitude is a 100% organic, plant-based, love-filled restaurant specializing in healthy meals, sustainable practices and local ingredients. The menu consists of appetizers, salads, bowls, sandwiches, wraps, wellness shots, juices, smoothies, coffees…basically anything your heart desires. At the top of the menu you will find the words “I AM”, with each succeeding menu item named after a positive adjective (for example: present, brilliant, dazzling). This is the thoughtful cherry on top of a well developed menu and plant-filled, bright and cozy space. Fortunately this California staple has 3 locations in LA. We’ve like the Venice location, conveniently located across the street from Moon Juice and only 15 minutes away from our office.
Parsley Favorite: I Am Ecstatic + I Am Whole
Finally making it out to dinner on that constantly rescheduled date with your partner? This is the place to go. Crossroads Kitchen has been bringing upscale, refined, Mediterranean-style cuisine to the vegetarian restaurant scene since 2013. This healthy and hip restaurant features vegetable-focused plates, amazing cocktails and refined design. You may run into a celebrity or two among the posh chandeliers and lengthy bar. The food presentation is on par with some of the best fine dining restaurants out there.
Parsley Favorite: Artichoke Oysters
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Kye’s was made for those days when you need healthy food on the go. This adorable, casual spot coined the term “Kyerito”, a burrito wrapped in a collard leaf or nori sheet as opposed to a blood sugar spiking, inflammation causing white flour tortilla. We love this idea. Healthy fuel in a convenient way. The restaurant uses organic and local ingredients whenever possible, with many of their favorite farms listed on their menu. Breakfast options feature “green eggs”, free-range eggs blended with spinach. Other options include ranges of high-quality proteins with vegetables and grains. Going grain-free? You can make your meal “paleo style” by subbing the grains for a satisfying cauliflower, almond meal mash instead.
Parsley Favorite: Sweet Chicken, paleo style
Sqirl is a hopping, hipster LA breakfast spot that is serious about innovation and quality in the kitchen. Owner Jessica Koslow is putting ingenious twists on classically eaten foods. Everything here is decadent, delicious and hand-crafted. Don’t be fooled, it is easy to indulge here with things like brioche slathered in ricotta and their house-made jam. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are all available, as well as some of the best bacon you’ll eat. Their lacto-fermented hot sauce might change your life. A hot sauce that benefits the microbiome? We’ll take it.
Parsley Favorite: Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl
The only thing bad about this place is that there are too many amazing options to choose from. It’s easy to spend $50 on drinks alone. Kreation offers a variety of juices, smoothies, shots, tonics, teas, coffees, snacks, salads, wraps and more. All juices are made from organic fruits and vegetables purchased locally in Santa Monica. Other menu items feature local and organic ingredients as well. The Venice location (1 of 13 locations) offers a beautiful space to sit down and tons of amazing takeout options. The for-here menu has additional items like omelettes, avocado toast and a lox platter (one of our favorites!). Instead of a typical bread basket, you are greeted with chlorophyll drops to jazz up your water. On top of all of this, the service here is absolutely fantastic. Expect to leave wanting to stay after hours to take ginger shots with the staff.
Parsley Favorite: Get Wild Salmon and Quinoa Wrap + Feel Better Tonic Shot
6. Flower Child
The owners of True Food Kitchen opened up a fast-casual restaurant in Santa Monica earlier this year. We’re so glad that they did. Flower Child truly cares about the food they put out on the table. All proteins are raised without additives, organic produce is guided by the Dirty Dozen list and ingredient sourcing is done locally. The menu is seasonal and changes quarterly. You can order at the counter and are guaranteed super-fast service. They say if you don’t get your food within seven minutes from placing your order at the counter, you will enjoy a free dessert. This verifies the friendly, welcoming vibe that you get just by walking into the bright, open, “hippie industrial” space. Enjoy some of the organic wine on tap if you’re feeling festive.
Parsley Favorite: Grass-fed Steak with Spicy Japanese Eggplant and Indian Spiced Cauliflower
Gjelina almost always has a long line out the door, spilling onto Abbot Kinney, but the wait is worth it. The menu is creative and seasonal, with small plates, charcuterie, pizza and an entire section dedicated to creatively prepared vegetables. Gjelina features local, sustainable and organic ingredients whenever possible. Behind the towering wooden door and floor to ceiling windows are long communal tables, dimly lit chandeliers, vegetable-centric dishes and a sprinkling of celebrities.
Parsley Favorite: Grilled Broccolini, Roasted Tokyo Turnips, Chimichurri Wood Roasted Cauliflower, Grilled Sunshine Kabocha Squash
8. Malibu Farm
Malibu Farm is one of the most stunning restaurants in the city. Both the restaurant and the cafe sit on a pier perched over the Pacific ocean.The ambiance is spectacular, complete with a killer view, a revitalizing breeze and adorable decor. Every element of this restaurant has been meticulously thought out from the adorable light fixtures connected by thick docking rope, to the ingredients that go into each and every meal. “Fresh, Organic, Local” is Malibu Farm’s motto. It strives to offer as many local and small farm ingredients as possible. Eggs, persimmons, lemons, carrots, beets, asparagus, and fresh herbs all come from their own farm. Other ingredients come from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market (which they visit each week), as well as other local, high-quality purveyors, all of which are listed on their website. The restaurant uses no fake food, ingredients that you can’t pronounce or nonfat products. Naturally, we love it here.
Parsley Favorite: Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad + Salmon Plate
If you are in the mood for some healthy comfort food, head to Sage. They are serving up healthier spins on some of the most traditionally unhealthy foods, like pizza, pretzels and ice cream. Sage is an organic plant-based eatery with a few locations in the Los Angeles area. The restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Farm to table truly defines this vegan joint. They partner with local farmers, communicate with them weekly, and adjust their menu accordingly. Sage draws big crowds from their satisfying pizzas (available gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free) and KindKreme, a dairy-free, house-made soft serve ice cream.
Parsley Favorite: Falafel Bowl
Whether you have five or forty-five minutes to spare in Venice, at least take a peek inside Matthew Kenney’s Plant Food & Wine. You won’t be disappointed. This restaurant offers far more than simply something to put your hunger at bay. The design is spectacular, the food is health-conscious and the hospitality is commendable. The menu is guided by locally-sourced, plant-based, vegan and seasonal ingredients. While you can enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner here, we recommend going for dinner to enjoy the housemade nut-cheese plate along with a glass of organic wine while on the olive tree and twinkle light lined outdoor patio.
Parsley Favorite: Zucchini Lasagna