Being a woman on the go, and a proponent of fresh and healthy cuisine, I knew that M Café de Chaya and I were going to become fast friends. It also didn’t hurt that in vast and spacious Los Angeles where everything is a bit of a drive, it was nice to see that M Café de Chaya, according to the MICHELIN Guide was in close proximity to where I was staying.
When I first heard macrobiotic, I thought you’ll have to sacrifice taste and variety, but when I read in the MICHELIN guide that M Café de Chaya serves not only salads and wraps, but a selection of both hot and cold sandwiches, and rice bowls, it definitely piqued my interest. M Café de Chaya focuses on a macrobiotic diet and deters from serving anything with refined sugar, dairy, or red meat and poultry. Instead, M Café de Chaya only serves items prepared by the most natural, and organic ingredients. How pleasantly surprised I was when I arrived and found an abundant variety of healthy goodies including M Café de Chaya’s version of sushi, soups, burgers, fresh squeezed juices, and a vast selection of desserts including pastries, cookies, cakes, and chocolate truffles. .
At Café M de Chaya, you order at the counter, and with so many choices, I was honestly at first a bit overwhelmed. I quickly pulled it together and decided on a very interesting combo of a Korean style Bi-Bim Bop for an entrée, a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, and fresh squeezed lemonade to quench my thirst. The Bi-Bim Bop included a base of brown rice, an assortment of veggies, grilled tofu, and the chili pepper paste to mix it all together. Familiar with the traditional preparation of the dish from Korean restaurants, I must say, the macrobiotic version was a satisfying hit. The pumpkin cheesecake’s texture was less a cheesecake and more of a pumpkin pie. It was dense, filling and quite delicious. I didn’t feel as if I was missing out on taste and satisfaction by eating something that was prepared with all natural ingredients and no eggs, dairy or sugar.
M Café de Chaya is a bustling lunch spot. There are 8 small tables and 1 large communal table inside. In addition, they have an outdoor covered seating area. This casual spot on Melrose is a great place for take out and as the MICHELIN Guide suggests, a great place for a meal under $25. They also serve breakfast and dinner seven days of the week.
Given my busy schedule, it’s deliciously satisfying to have discovered a neighborhood spot where even on my most hectic days – I can grab a fairly quick, healthy meal made with top quality ingredients.