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“Great 1st vegan experience”
Review of M Cafe de Chaya

M Cafe de Chaya
Ranked #1,357 of 9,981 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Price range: $4 - $20
Cuisines: Healthy
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Takeout
Neighborhood: Central L.A
Description: Contemporary Macrobiotic Cuisine: Serving nutritionally and energetically balanced food using the finest natural & organic ingredients without refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat, or poultry.
Chino Hills, California
1 review
“Great 1st vegan experience”
Reviewed October 9, 2013

I am not a vegan and very rarely dine in a vegan restaurant before, but lately I get to know more and more Indian folks as coworkers and friends, I started to try more and more vegan foods. A vegan friend of mine introduced me to this place and said it will never disappoint me. To be completely honest, I never like vegan food before, except for souplantation. This time I was impressed! It is super delicious and let me forget meats for a while! And the price is reasonable too. I will recommend this place to my friends and definitely will come back again soon!

Visited August 2013
Thank jianghawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
70 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great Vegan Dining”
Reviewed July 5, 2013

If you are interested in a great cafe environment or take out this is the spot. The vegie burgers are my favorite as well as the chopped salad, fries and home made ketchup.
Even the meat eaters will love the menu there are some really great options for everyone.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Caroline M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“So healthy, yet so AWESOME!”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

I stopped by M Café de Chaya for lunch a few months ago... I have no idea why it took me so long to write a review here. Well, it wasn't because the food wasn't good. It was so good that I have no difficulty recalling its appearance, flavors, and other characteristics.

My guy and I didn't have too hard of a time finding street parking less than a block away from the restaurant. However, our visit was a bit late for lunch -- almost 2:00 p.m. -- so I imagine that that would be considerably more difficult at lunch or dinner hour. Likewise, finding a table wasn't too bad. We had to wait less than five minutes for a place to open up. I went and sat at the table to guard it while my guy ordered, then we traded places, and while he was sitting after he ordered, staff came along very quickly to clean off the tabletop. Cleanliness wasn't neglected, even in the rush of diners. I appreciate that -- you can't eat healthy food off a table that's a health hazard!

I ordered a fresh-squeezed watermelon juice with cayenne pepper and mint in it. I thought it was fantastic, delicious and refreshing, and my fiancé thought it was godawful. I'll just go ahead and say that he was here because he knew I really wanted to go. I'm mostly vegan and try to eat healthy, and have a very eclectic palate. He's an omnivore who has to eat meat every day, and who likes some more exotic stuff like Thai or Ethiopian or Middle Eastern food, but most of the time eats very meat and potatoes fare, and indulges in junk food more than I do. So, anyway, my idea of a delicious juice was... not his. He was awarded a free lemonade for some reason that I have now forgotten, which he thought was okay but not sweet enough. I tasted it and it was indeed very tart, but was sweet enough for my liking. Again, personal preference would dictate whether anyone liked those drinks. He lamented that he should have just gotten some coffee, as we were near the grinder and periodically enjoyed wafts of quality coffee bean smell in our direction.

I ordered the Carolina-Style BBQ Seitan Sandwich, which is $11.95. The menu describes it well: "thinly sliced grilled seitan basted with our own zesty barbeque sauce and piled high on a house-baked whole wheat bun with grilled onions, pickles and creamy cole slaw." It was so delicious that I thought I might cry. After years of vegetarianism and deprivation from barbecue, as well as moments of serious frustration at barbecues thrown by friends, the seitan drenched in tangy, but sweet BBQ sauce was very satisfying. It was very correct to BBQ fashion to put cole slaw, pickles, and onions on top, and I enjoyed those immensely. I'd probably just eat the cole slaw straight, it was so good. I actually went to the counter to confirm that the coleslaw is actually vegan. I've never done that at a restaurant before. I ordered some sides, too: sweet potato fries (a side is $3.95, which is not cheap but is HUGE) seasoned with chili, sea salt & lime. This Tex-Mex seasoning was intriguingly different from most preparations of sweet potato fries I'd had before, but was quite good. I also ordered a side of kale salad in peanut sauce, which was PERFECT. The kale was tender, the peanut sauce was creamy sweet, and spicy, and it all worked together like a dream. I ended up ordering another side of that to go before I left. I also ended up leaving with about half of my fries and half of the kale, because the enormity of the sandwich precluded putting the majority of the sides into my belly.

My gentleman companion had a veggie burger. The menu describes what he had as "The Big Macro ($10.45) Whole grain brown rice & vegetable burger, special sauce,
lettuce, soy mozzarella, tomato, pickles, onion, and sprouts on a house-baked whole wheat bun." He described it as a very good and inordinately large veggie burger. He also had an order of fries, but had the regular potato ones, which are seasoned with shiso, nori, and sea salt. He hadn't noticed the description of the seasoning before ordering them, and although he is not normally a fan of nori, sushi, or anything that tastes like it came from out of the sea, he admits that he enjoyed the fries enough to finish almost the whole order before realizing that he was too full. He also had a side of kale and was very impressed by it, and said he liked it the best of all the things he ordered.

We looked longingly at the case of appealing-looking vegan desserts, but several factors prevented us from ordering them. First of all, we were VERY full from the meal itself. Second of all, we noticed that people were eyeing our table hungrily as they waited for a space to open up so they could sit and eat. We decided to be nice and give up our spot.

What else can I tell you? The restaurant overlooks a scenic (ha) parking lot, but all of the big picture windows let in lots of light. It doesn't take too very long for your food to come out; we waited around 10 minutes during the busy tail end of lunch hour. The whole place, including the restroom, is very clean and well-maintained. You might end up sitting next to some Hollywood clichés; we sat beside a table of expensively-dressed women who chastised one member of their party for having had the lack of foresight to order a dish with carbs and with soy. As she pushed her chopsticks around in her delicious-looking teriyaki, steamed vegetables, brown rice, and tofu bowl, one of her "friends" intoned that she had read an article saying that eating soy is dangerous and unhealthy while the other two not eating agreed. (I wanted so badly to interrupt them and let them know that this mainly applies to people who get most of their protein from soy, that eating tofu from time to time is GOOD for you, and that they were clearly ruining their friend's meal. I did not actually do this, but oh, how I wanted to.) To be fair, though, the area's businesses, especially a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic and health food café, depend on a steady stream of this type of obnoxious Hollywood/Beverly Hills clientele, so I understand that this is their place as much as it is mine.

So, take the time to fight the traffic and the crowds, and visit M Café de Chaya -- preferably during a non-peak time -- and prepare to have your tastebuds thrilled and your senses elevated if you are the type of eater that I am, or else, if you are the type that my fiancé is, prepare to be filled up with pretty good, healthy food. Either way, you can't lose!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank guigne01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Vegan options are yummy”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Loved the vegan options - especially the breakfast options, which tend to be limited for vegans. I ordered a vegan benedict which used a tofu scramble, soy hollandaise sauce and kale with a tempeh bacon.

Visited November 2012
Thank LRB10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
142 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“really delicious”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

A vegan friend of mine took me here, and I was a bit skeptical because I am a meat eater. I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved the food here. Really flavorful and healthy, and I felt really good afterwards. Parking was challenging but everything else was great.

Visited November 2011
Thank L2Connelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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