Whole Life Magazine

August/September 2012

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Page 24 of 51

Beachwood Cafe taste of health By Lili Barsha Sophia's Bowl, named for Patti's daughter, includes brown rice, ginger-shallot-soy braised kale, grilled tofu steaks, daikon pickle radishes and herbs, topped with a peanut sauce. this, according to a new study in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science (SPPS). Dai- lymeal.com went so far as to say, "Science Proves Eating Organic Can Turn You into a Jerk." While there is a certain "healthier-than-thou" complex among the agriculturally conscious, it's hog- R ecent studies show that eating organic makes you mean. I'm not making this up, folks. According to actual scientific research by real scientists, eating organic food may cause people to develop a holier-than-thou complex, making them mean, uncharitable and prone to "moral licensing." All wash to imply in the national media that those of us against GMOs, pesticides and maltreatment of animals are mean. But in any event, what does this have to do with the Beachwood Cafe? It reminds me of the meaty din on the food blogosphere about the recent makeover at the old Village Coffee Shop location in Beachwood Canyon. It seems some regulars are torn between Beachwood Cafe's new menu, with everything made or baked from scratch, from cookies to condiments, free-range poultry and eggs, and humanely grazed cattle without antibiotics or hormones vs. the former greasy spoon fare. Hopefully the Cafe survives the debate and their innovations win out. It is hip Beachwood Canyon, dinavian feel, reinforced by blue and yellow tile floors and country kitchen preserves lining the walls. It's open with high ceilings and a bright and warm alcove called the Writers' Room. This room, paired with freshly baked scones, cookies, shortbread and rich hot coffee, is a writer's morning paradise. For lunch I sampled the Chicken Breast Sand- The room feels fresh and inviting with a Scan- wich with herb aioli and homemade pickles, which comes with kale salad or fries; and the Fez Bowl, a salad of quinoa, wild mushrooms, dark greens, roasted baby carrots, raw beet salad, shallot yogurt and Harissa hot chili sauce. The sandwich was de- lectable—tasty, tender chicken with a nice kick from the pickles; and the Fez Bowl, repeat-worthy, is col- orful, fresh and alive in taste and texture. Heaven. Other appealing menu items for a future visit in- after all, home to many in the trend-driven entertainment industry, and healthy eating, for better or for worse, is now trendy. Cafe owner Patti Peck and chef Minh Phan describe their approach as flexitar- ian—hoping to appeal to both crowds, traditionalist and avant garde. That's not mean, is it? No, it's sweetly brilliant. When I had lunch there, one sunny afternoon in the shadow of the Hollywood sign, the restaurant clude Roasted Asparagus Salad, Roasted Vegetable Grilled Cheese, an Orzo and Cream dinner special, and Baked Brioche French Toast with bacon butter- scotch sauce. Breakfast is served all day, so why not? The new Beachwood Cafe is a perfect place had been open since March, an appealing dinner service had recently been introduced, and two days earlier they'd received their beer and wine license, which will tend toward microbrews and new finds from the Central Valley and Temecula, rather than the ubiquitous Sonoma chardonnays. Chef Phan, of Echo Park Artisanal, builds her plates in the Asian fashion, around produce, where vegetables are the star of the dish. She is a self-described taskmaster of the kitchen, committed to a healthy, innovative menu, accepting no compromise—a notice on their menu declares: "We respectfully decline modifications." All chicken on the menu is raised locally and jidori, meaning allowed to roam free, instead of being caged; and true to intent, the produce does shine. to bring out-of-towners for a slice of Hollywood pie, or to meet a friend for a delicious, casual meal and hike up the canyon. Beachwood Cafe, 2695 N. Beachwood Drive, Los Angeles 323.871.1717. Open 8am to 3pm for breakfast and lunch; and 5pm to 10pm for dinner. Free wifi. www.beachwoodcafe.com August/September 2012 25 Eat Here Now Photos, L-R: Lili Barsha, Minh Phan

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