eLOVate Kitchen – Santa Monica, CA {Oil-Free Lunch Options}

January 27, 2016

Restaurant Review

By: Jasmine Briones 

eLOVate Kitchen 1705 Ocean Ave, Ste 111 Santa Monica, CA 90401 | website

This past weekend was filled with so much fun! Food adventures, the making of new friends, recipe development (oil-free fruit & nut bread to be exact), and a visit to The Gentle Barn, all in light of spreading the light and love of this beautiful plant-based movement. This lifestyle has not only allowed for me to choose health, save the animals and environment, but it has also allowed for me to broaden my perspective on life, connect with a new community (a family, actually) and create new and lasting memories and experiences that have helped me grow to be who I am now, as well as who I am meant to be. 



Visiting eLOVate was more for me than just a simple visit to a vegan restaurant. Chef Roberto’s book Vegan Cooking For Carnivores was actually the very first vegan cookbook I owned, a gift from my parents when I went vegan and one of our very first introductions to and inspirations for the vegan lifestyle. My mom was really into Ellen back then and found him on her show. To be able to meet him and try his food firsthand filled my heart with gratitude; to be doing what I do and supporting Roberto after he indirectly supported me warmed my heart. I love being a part of such a positive community, and supporting establishments just like eLOVate to aid in the exponentially growth of this beautiful plant-based movement ?❤️

Roberto was kind enough to put together an oil-free meal for Chris and I, and I must say, OOHHH MY, it was so good! Bomb food, a comforting environment, and a kind & accommodating staff, I felt like I was right at home.
Vegan heart of palm & artichoke ceviche in lettuce cups + a side of spicy pickled jalapeño and veggies. I actually enjoy using lettuce in place of things like tortillas and chips, it brings a new layer of flavor and texture, and lighten’s up the dish. eLOVate Kitchen – Santa Monica, CA {Oil-Free Lunch Options}Ancho marinated maitake mushroom skewers w/ a simple slaw & chimichurri. Chris was eyeing this dish on the menu, so it was a must try! What a coincidence that Roberto offered this one to us 🙂 The meaty texture of he mushrooms + the charred taste made these feel and taste real. These were also very light and I felt great after eating them. The mushrooms were so good, but the slaw underneath was the star of this plate. If I could get my hands on a whole plate full of this slaw, I would just make a meal out of it all, it was that good.
eLOVate Kitchen – Santa Monica, CA {Oil-Free Lunch Options}

Pulled maitake mushroom BBQ sandwich on grilled ciabatta w/ slaw and a mixed baby green salad. It is hard to set all of the dishes we tried apart, but if I had to, I would say that this was my favorite dish. That bread tho 😉  Soft and comforting ciabatta (I believe it was), ‘meaty’ BBQ marinated maitake mushrooms, and perfectly balanced out with a slaw. This sandwich was very simple, but did not lack in flavor or texture, I was impressed!

eLOVate Kitchen – Santa Monica, CA {Oil-Free Lunch Options}

Aztec Bowl: a slightly different take on their usual Mayan Bowl  w/ mole, black beans, quinoa, carrot, zucchini, guacamole and pickled onions. Just as I had mentioned from Plant Food & Wine, this sort of dish is my kind of meal. Beans, grains, vegetables & healthy fats, it was perfectly well rounded and changed my previous opinion on mole! I had a mole dish at a another vegan restaurant a few months ago, and I did not enjoy it unfortunately. When this dish arrived, I was a bit hesitant of the sauce, but Roberto was able to make me a believer of mole! It was not too sweet, which is what I think had gotten me the last time, and with the balance of all of the savory flavors, it really worked, and I will have to try and recreate this dish somehow, or just drive over and have it again 😉 

The restaurant offers a wide variety of beverages including kombucha, cold pressed juice, smoothies, cocktails, beers, ciders & wine. Both Chris ordered two delicious beverages we would recommend, a juice for me and something a bit more grown up for him. I enjoyed the Evergreen {cucumber, pineapple, celery, kale, lemon & mint} and he went with the Silk Road Mule {11 crop “meyer lemon” vodka, lemongrass, mango & ginger beer}.

Since eLOVate is located just about 2 blocks from the beach, and Chris and I has time to spare after our lunch and before we headed out to the Spontanea Vegan Pop Up Dinner in Santa Ana, we decided to walk to the beach and watch the sun set over water 🙂 If you ever visit the restaurant, I suggest you time it so you can do the same!Other possible oil-free options* per your request when ordering at eLOVate, sourced via Mr & Mrs Vegan’s West LA Healthy Eating Guide. I always like to call the restaurant ahead of time to confirm that oil-free options are available, in order to ensure all goes well at your visit 🙂 If you discover more oil-free options at eLOVate, let me know and I will add them to this post!

  • Guajillo Jackfruit Tacos: jackfruit, shredded cabbage, guacamole with mixed baby greens. Order it as no oil and guac on the side.
  • Mayan Bowl: red quinoa, black bean, zucchini, mushroom, carrots, guacamole, cilantro chimichurri. Order with no oil, no sauce and guac on the side.
  • Thai Bowl: bhutanese red rice, kamut, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, mint and sesame-ginger sauce. Order no oil.

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