Wednesday, February 07, 2007

San Francisco Soul Food

To celebrate the end of Lily’s apartment search, Chris and I took her to experience her first raw restaurant. She chose Alive! Restaurant (“Alive is 100% L.O.V.E: Living, Organic, Vegan, Enjoyment!”), which specializes in Raw/Living Vegan Cuisine. All of their dishes are free of wheat, grains, animal products, dairy, and honey, cooked under 115 degrees F. Check out their site at

We started our meal with organic teas, sharing an order of Sunny Scallion Pate and an order of Vegetable Wrap. For the main course, each of us tried a different “noodle” dish (their specialty!): Chris ordered the Fettuccini Alfredo, Lily ordered the Sweet Sesame Ginger Noodles, Suzanne ordered the Asian Almond Noodles, and I ordered the Korean Vegetable Noodles. All of their pasta and noodles are made from zucchini. Each dish was so divine and each had a unique flavor so distinct from the others. We could really taste the freshness and flavor of each ingredient. To end the delicious experience, we shared the Black Forest Mousse cake, made of raw organic macadamia nut crust, cherries, cacao mouse, and coconut crème. While it didn’t exactly taste like the Black Forest cakes we are used to, it was so rich and decadent that between the four of us, we were unable to eat it all. It certainly felt like the perfect way to end our meal.

Funny aside: midway through the entrée we fell into conversation with the two women sitting next to us at Alive! Dina and Marta had just returned from a 5-week intensive course on raw cooking at Living Light Culinary Art Institute (, and we enjoyed listening to them critique and dissect each flavor in their dishes. They even asked us if they could finish off the last of our Black Forest Mousse cake, which we gladly shared with them. Lily thought it was so hilarious (“You would never share your food with a complete stranger on the East Coast”). She is quickly learning the cultural differences of the two coasts.

We learned that Dina and Marta are part of a group in Austin, Texas that encourages healthy-living. Dina Knight – who, it must be noted has lost over 60 pounds since converting to an all-raw diet and who looks fantastic – is part-owner and chef at Living Health, a service group “dedicated to providing coaching, education and support for those interested in improving their state of health through diet, lifestyle changes and natural therapies.” (

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. We can’t wait to try the other raw restaurants in the Bay area. Dina and Marta suggested that we try Café Gratitude next. Anyone want to join us?

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