There is something inherently charming about Silver Lake, an offbeat neighborhood tucked just south of Echo Park in central Los Angeles. It’s close enough to major attractions, yet is just far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Farmer’s markets, vintage thrift shops, and hip eateries line the area. In some ways, Silver Lake is a lot like Venice; the vibrant community just seems to buzz with creative energy. And, every time I visit, there is something new to discover.
Recently, my dear friend Celeste, blogger of The True Spoon: Vibrant Plant Based Recipes, suggested we try Botanica, a lifestyle magazine turned café. She has a knack for selecting restaurants that offer both a unique ambience and creative menu. Needless to say, I knew I’d be in for a treat.
First, here’s a tidbit of background, straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Here’s what you’ll find in our kitchen (and our recipes): all-local vegetables, fruits and dairy; a rainbow of grains and legumes; spices and vinegars from across the world; lots and lots of California olive oil, coconut oil, organic grapeseed oil and organic butter; wild seafood; and occasionally a bit of sustainably raised meat.
What you won’t find in our kitchen (or any of our recipes): refined sugars, processed foods, or products of industrial agriculture/aquaculture.”
Seated in the back patio at a communal picnic table, we started our late lunch with a couple cashew milk lattes sweetened with dates (pictured above). As you may know, I prefer cashew milk to other milk varieties, when provided the option. Botanica nailed it. They were rich in flavor, but not overly sweet, just the way I like.
We further explored the menu, and ordered the Fattoush-y Salad, the Hot Smoked King Salmon, and the Shaved Roots & Fruits.
The Verdict: Spare no spice or herb! Each plate was a total flavor bomb – and I mean that in the best way possible. However, the chefs aren’t kidding about their love of oil and vinegar! All the leafy greens and herbs were absolutely drenched in oil. Had I prepared this myself, I would have probably used half the amount.
Any great LA or OC restaurants I should check out? I’d love to hear from you. Sound off in the comments below!