A self-contained yoga studio, market, bookstore and lifestyle hub, Golden Bridge Yoga stoically ignores the nearby food destinations: a McDonald's, a KFC, and the sultry Los Balcones del Perú.
I'm usually a little awkward when entering such serene locations as this, especially with a book right up front with the title That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things.
Doubts race through my head: do I belong here? Do I exude the soulless stink of the omnivore? Am I emanating the waves of stress and anger of the working U.S. American? Am I inferior to these thin people wearing airy clothes, these willowy women with smooth-skinned tummies emerging from their prenatal yoga session?
However, there seems to be a sense of tolerance for such a murderous savage as I, and there is the Nite Moon Cafe to help me get a little more balanced*. A long counter winds around two walls, displaying foil-wrapped delicacies buffet-style or offering complex plates of well-assembled sandwiches.
The Tiki Masala Veggie Burger is a most impressive tempeh patty, with more heart and soul than most veggie translations of ground meat. Onions are barely caramelized and mix sweetly with a mango chutney and fresh basil. The whole wheat bun is scratchy but does not scream its grains.
The affair comes with mixed greens, straightforward enough, with crunchy seeds (bigger than sunflower, smaller than pumpkin... we're betting pine nut) and enough shredded carrots to make me feel like something good is going on in the vitamin-accumulation department.
One can build a salad from the buffet counter, and also ladle up some thick soups from metal bins. The warm, loving presence on the left is the repetitively-named Lentil Dhal; all the earth tones in the world are here, deep and robust, with bits of carrot and kidney bean for mass. It seems Indian-inspired, and unfortunately is not as good heated up the next day.
The curry-colored, cayenne-dusted bowl on the right is Mung Bean and Rice, which tastes remarkably like Aloo Gobi despite there being no cauliflower that we could detect. There are sparks of cumin and ginger.
The Grilled Goat Cheese sandwich is fairly plush, with the (non-vegan, by the way) goat cheese meshing with onions, spinach, Moroccan carrots, and tomato. The organic whole wheat bread, like the bun, is subdued.
Drinks are bottles of water (useful after long, cleansing bouts of yoga, which I don't do much), restful teas, or blended smoothies. I usually continue my healthful pursuits by getting a Berry Antioxidant, which whips up rice milk with berries of the blue, straw and rasp persuasion, and some hemp protein. It's deeply purple like moody velvet curtains, and vibrant.
* For example, from those occasions when I am recovering from a recently well-demolished plate of juicy carnitas, oh Lordy.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Hollywood, Vegetarian/Vegan, Healthy/Organic, Indian, American, Sandwiches/Burgers/Hot Dogs )
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