As much as I love to cook, (you all know that by now) sometimes there is nothing better than enjoying a nice meal at a restaurant. No muss no fuss. Eating out, however isn’t always that simple if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet, even foods that seem healthy can be secret calorie bombs. This weekend I was so excited to try out a local cafe, LA Spice, which has been on my list since the summer-granted it may still be summer with this LA heat! LA Spice is open for breakfast and lunch, but I decided to stop in for their popular weekend brunch (8am-4pm leaves plenty of time to sleep in!)
To me, nothing is better than a great menu; not too long, not too short, balanced, and a little something for everyone. The menu at LA Spice is just that, although I honed in on their ‘lighter’ options. the thought of their Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and even Huevos Rancheros had me salivating. I first opted for their Almond Milk Poached Quinoa Porridge with fresh seasonal fruit, toasted almonds, and agave syrup- because you know I can’t resist my sweet tooth. I use quinoa all the time as a protein-rich replacement for rice in savory dishes, and I absolutely love the idea of using quinoa as a sweet! The quinoa porridge was simple and satisfying. The quinoa soaked up all the flavors from the creamy almond milk and was perfectly balanced by the fresh berries, while the toasted almonds provided texture and crunch. I’ll definitely be back for this one.
If you follow my recipes you probably know that I love transforming my favorite comfort foods into healthier meals. It just makes maintaining a healthy diet SO MUCH EASIER. I was so excited when I saw the LA Spice Benedict, so much so that I had to go for a double breakfast (hey, it happens). The Benedict came with Poached Eggs on (heavenly) house made biscuits, oven roasted tomatoes, goat cheese and avocado hollandaise. The simple spinach side salad also balanced the dish making it a complete meal. I loved their take on the Benedict because it was comforting, yet still felt lighter than the traditional breakfast favorite. Plus, I have a soft spot for runny yolks. The eggs were poached to perfection, while the avocado hollandaise provided a healthy twist to the classic dish. (It was also a beautiful shade of green!)
Lastly, I got to try their Kale Waldorf Salad, another lighter take on a traditional salad. LA Spice’s version featured fresh kale, apples, shaved fennel, celery, toasted walnuts & creamy apple cider vinaigrette. I also added fresh avocado on top! First of all the dressing is on point. It perfectly tied the different elements of the salad together without overpowering the dish. The apple and celery provided a fresh bite and the avocado…well avocado just makes everything better. The salad is also a big portion, which left me completely satisfied. Seriously my mouth is still watering thinking about this one.
I also can’t forget about the delish gluten free pastries! I tried the lemon bar and raspberry bar and both were the perfect tangy sweet treat!
The atmosphere was casual, the service was quick, and the food was DEEEEELISH. Really what more could you ask for? I’ll definitely be back. If you are in the LA area LA Spice is definitely worth a stop!
LA Spice ~ 4357 Sepulveda Blvd Culver City, CA 90230 ~ Monday-Sunday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.