M Cafe de Chaya, located in Mid City and Beverly Hills, is led by Chef Lee Gross in contemporary macrobiotic cuisine. The stigma behind health food, vegan options, the raw food movement, and macrobiotic cuisine generally dances around the notion that it tastes like cardboard, lacks flavor, and is just really bad. However, Chef Gross’ creative cooking and attention to bold flavors illustrates the wide range of macrobiotic cuisine.
Although sometimes confused, macrobiotic does not mean vegan. Instead macrobiotic cuisine is the practice of creating balanced meals that are both healthy and delicious. There are no refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat or poultry, but plenty of fish in the balancing of your food’s energy yin and yang. While M Cafe focuses on whole grains, veggies, and protein, Chef Gross does not forget about flavor.
As the season change, so does the menu at M Cafe. Some new items available from the M Cafe spring menu are the rotating salads such as Kale & Shiitake Ohitashi, Spring Seaweed Salad, and Speltberry Salad. Spring additions to the deli case include the Chilled Edamame Vichysoisse, Grilled Vegetable Salad with Avocado-Lemon Dressing, and Raw Almond Sushi which uses blanched and treated almond meal as a rice substitute.
Of course M Cafe favorites remain on the menu with items such as Kale with Spicy Peanut Dressing, entrees such as the bibimbop – available with your choice of veggies, seitan, salmon, or black cod and served with marinated pan-fried tofu, Korean-style vegetables, spicy miso sauce & house-made kimchee and the Big Macro burger – a whole grain brown rice & vegetable burger, special sauce, lettuce, soy mozzarella, tomato, pickles, onion, and sprouts on a house-baked whole wheat bun as well as soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Also available are a variety of macrobiotic dessert options such as the tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, and fudge cake. To quench your thirst, M Cafe also offers a number of freshly made juices such as the house made blood orange lemonade or their seasonal watermelon juice with mint, lime, and chili. While lunchtime can get busy, prepackaged to-go bentos are also available. 7119 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90046 & 9433 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Photo Credit: Nina Semaun