Whole Life Magazine

August/September 2015

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/548772

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 43

W hen we walked into The Springs, the vast, cool, in- dustrial-chic space that houses a dining room, juice bar, yoga space, wellness center and eco-friendly re- tail shop, we had no idea we would be dining raw vegan. An evening of gallery openings behind us, we were just searching for a place that was fun, fresh and would seat us without a res- ervation at a fairly late hour. Inside the 13,800-sq-ft building, every aspect of the evening was a bit of a surprise—in a good way. Chef Michael Falso, previously sous chef at Santa Monica's M.A.K.E., whips up cuisine that's raw—no food is heated to more than 118°—and 100 percent organic. The one non-vegan food item, honey, is sourced from sustainable hives. Organic beers and wines are served at the bar, including select beer on tap. The massive space buzzes with energy. In the dining area, aqua-accented stools and lemon yellow chairs offer a bright bloom of color against the neutral ce- ment and cinderblock backdrop. The eco friendly chairs are crafted from discarded industrial materials, and attractive recycled cinderblock planters house palms and fig trees. In one corner of the large open area, a live band was playing the Saturday night we stopped by; a sofa and chairs offered a spot to relax and enjoy the music. Fully embracing the concept of an all-in-one eco friendly oasis, The Springs has the getaway vibe its name implies. Within its solid walls, the rapidly gentri- fying Arts District, nearby Greyhound Station and LA River all seem far away. We started our visit with two fine organic IPAs from Northern California's Eel River Brewing Company, and tasty starters: Summer Salad featured butter lettuce, endive and frisée, with sticky-sweet Medjool dates, maple-glazed walnuts, fresh mixed berries and avocado, topped with strawberry vinaigrette. If the vinaigrette was unre- markable, the stellar combination of flavors and textures more than made up for it. Caprese salad was light and delicious, crafted with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano and basil seeds, but the high- light was the cashew-coconut mozzarella, an airy take on tradi- tional mozzarella, but oh-so-much more healthful. For entrées, Sweet Corn Ravioli was surprisingly complex, brilliantly elevated by red bell pepper cream and arugula-mint pesto. It was rich and satisfying, but didn't induce the full-to- the-brim feeling that usually accompanies traditional ravioli with cheese. It's Italian in theory, but tastes more like a blend of Mexican and Italian. We also shared exotic Green Curry with zucchini noodles, redolent with Thai chili and curried cashews. The zucchini was crisp but still able to absorb the mix of seasonings, which was reminiscent of Pad Thai without the heavy peanut sauce. We were delighted with the playful inventiveness of the entrees, but des- serts were on the heavy side, partic- ularly Black Forest cake with cherries and vegan milk chocolate ice cream. Four stars for the ice cream and cherries; the cake was simply too dense and not-quite-sweet-enough for this taster. Because the ice creams are so good, a Banana Split may be the most coveted dessert choice, featuring bananas topped with three scoops—vanilla, milk chocolate and strawberry—plus chocolate sauce, raspberry coulis and salted peanuts. Light and flavorful as the ice cream is, this is not a nonfat dessert, so you may want to come back the next day and try a yoga class or a stint in the infrared sauna to burn off the extra calories. —608 Mateo St., L.A. 90021 www.thespringsla.com eat here now By Genie Davis Raw Vegan in DTLA's Arts District THE SPRINGS 16 wholelifetimes.com

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - August/September 2015