Warning: Obnoxious restaurant opening soon

This heads up comes via the folks at Curbed LACafe Gratitude is coming to LA. Now, unfortunately I’m familiar with this raw food establishment as there is one is San Francisco a block from Jason’s house. We went there once, and talked about how annoying it was for the next month. While the food was OK, if a bit overpriced, their schtick will make you want to hit yourself in the face with a brick. See, instead of the menu saying “cinnamon bun” or “espresso” items are named with affirmations – items are called “I am joyful” or “I am delighted”. To make this worse there is no translation, so you have to read the item description and try to figure out what the hell the item is. For instance a veggie burger would be called “I am thankful: a handmade veggie patty with fresh lettuce and tomato between two whole oat buns” or something like that, so you have to reverse engineer the menu to figure out what you are ordering. But it gets worse, you have to order playing their little game. At least in SF when I said “I’ll have an espresso” the server responded “you mean you are delighted?” I said “What?” and he replied “If you want to order ‘I am Delighted’ then you are Delighted.” I refused to jump through the hoops and the server wasn’t pleased. (I think the staff must have had a drum circle or made dream catchers in the evening to cleanse the negativity I brought to the place) When they brought out our order it was the same thing, they’d say “you are enlightend” as they put the food in front of us. Needless to say we never went back, and I was happy knowing that was all the way up in SF. But now there will be one here to annoy folks in LA. I am not impressed.

14 Replies to “Warning: Obnoxious restaurant opening soon”

  1. You mean, another one of those chichi places, where you feel you’ve entered a boot camp, and if you don’t speak the party line, you’re out? Not for me.

  2. I won’t even play the doppio game at Starbucks. Damned if I play this one. Besides, I am decidedly not delightful until the cuppa joe (whatever it’s called) has been consumed.

  3. Maybe they should have a special I Am Uptight entree for haters?

    Anyway, regardless, I Am Looking Forward to checking it out.

  4. God damn it. I moved out of Boulder to get away from hippies and everywhere I go they follow me. I’ve been wanting to check out a raw food place, but I don’t think I could handle that without ordering the “I am kidney-punching you.”

  5. You are the customer. The customer is right. Make up your own menu items. I prefer the classics like “Adam and Eve on a raft; wreck ’em.” (Scrambled eggs and bacon, on toast) This is especially good if, as in this case, the restaurant would never offer that kind of food.

    Went to a Brazilian place once that had placenames for sandwiches; Copacabana, Porto Allegre. I ordered an “Ipanema”. The waiter wrote it down, walked away…then came back shaking his head. “We don’t have one of those!”

    Reminds me of my favorite drink to order: Sodomy on the High Seas. “It’s sort of like ‘Sex on the Beach’. Well, no, actually it’s not at all like sex on the beach.”

  6. My house is 2 blocks from Cafe Gratitude San Francisco. There’s a vacant space across the street. I’ve considered leasing it and opening “Cafe Attitude”, with dishes like “I am rightly pissed off” (ham and eggs), “I have issues with my mother” (hamburger steak, rare), and “I swear to God I want to punch a hippie” (juniper berry juice, I.E. straight gin).

  7. Oh barf. Not only is the schtick particularly schticky, but they took over from my absolute, favorite, lived there each day, couldn’t have passed numerous classes without it, cafe – one that served really tasty salads and hot, chicken sandwiches with melty cheese.

    I tried Gratitude several times – tried to enjoy the ambiance and the fact that the decor and garden weren’t THAT different. But I couldn’t do it. I thought the dessserts were surprisingly good (SOME of them), but I can’t do the coffee with no actual cream-like substance in it.

    And not only do you order by saying “i am fabulous” but when the servers confirm your order, they say, “okay, so you are fabulous, energetic, and warm, and you are calm, grateful, and happy.” It’s so precious you’ll lose your appetite which is probably better for you in the long run anyway.

    Fight the scourge, LA.

  8. Did the gratitude thing.I just didn’t like that kind of food. But the Restaurant, like life, is a game. and you gotta play the game, or you are better off going somewhere else. its like ed debevec’s in chicago where everyone is cranky. It sounds like Sean would enjoy eating at debevec’s. ;)

  9. 5000!, I hate to break it to you, but if you came to LA felling hippies, you may have made a wee small judgement error.

    God, just wait til the Burning Man decompression festival in downtown in two weeks. The patchouli should be so intense drivers on the 101 may pass out.

    (Don’t worry, I’ve got some people working on busting up *that*. The restaurant, though, I can’t help you with.*)

    *At least not until it opens

  10. god, that sounds annoying. exactly why I left SF in the first place!

    But from what you described, it’s not technically a raw food restaurant. coffee and bread are verboten to “raw foodists” There’s a nice one, with a new chef and management on Griffith Park Blvd at Maltman/ Edgecliff, called Jade. The only non-raw item they serve is hot tea, but the food’s delicious.

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