Yesterday, Cristin and Mariam and I drove to Berkeley for lunch at the Cafe Gratitude.
It is vegan and mostly raw food, which is not heated above a certain temperature. My entree was a thai-inspired dish made with quinoa. It came covered in watercress and smelling (pleasantly) like a pasture on a summer day. It was delicious.
I like the idea of raw food and will return. The funny thing about the place is that it seems to have borrowed its aesthetic from several infamous brainwashing cults of recent decades. You must order your food with its menu name. If you say, "I'll have the thai, " the server will rejoin with, "Oh, you mean you are graceful." Umm, OK. I guess I am graceful. Fun for five minutes.
The art on the walls has the saturated colors and sloganeering of some of the best propaganda art of the 20th century. I suspect they don't realize the irony of this. Irony has never been a strong suit among the nuts and berries crowd, and it is slightly surreal to see it so jarringly unacknowledged here.
But the food is yummy...and they do seem to mean well. But someone is no doubt gathering wealth from this elaborate exercise in new age branding.
Go to: http://www.withthecurrent.com/ds/