Whole Life Magazine

December 2012/January 2013

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Tempting HOliday BruncH with a Healthy Twist Eat Here Now taste of health I By lisa Mouhibian f you're entertaining visitors over the holidays, or even just enjoying a leisurely Sunday brunch with friends, the Southland has delicious alternatives for those who don't want to sacriice health to taste. Some even offer a festive champagne option. One challenge we all face these days is a plethora of dietary preferences. Gone are the days when mom would cook up a roast and potatoes, and everybody ate the same thing. Now it may be that you're a vegan, your sister's on the paleo diet, your mom's gluten-free, and dad will eat anything but is in the mood for eggs. Where on earth can you all go for brunch? Surprisingly, a gluten-free pop-up. Feel Good Foods, L.A.'s irst gluten-free pop-up brunch, offers Southerninspired cooking with a healthy twist. Partners Vanessa Phillips and Tryg Siverson, who previously owned a gluten-free café in New York, offer such diverse glutenfree options as Nova Benny (a gently poached egg atop delicate smoked salmon with a crisp potato pancake), blueberry pancakes, fried green tomatoes, housemade granola and a luscious frittata with heirloom tomato, burrata and Thai basil. It's all gluten free, there's something for everyone. They also have a retail line of delectable gluten-free frozen items, including possibly the world's irst gluten-free dumplings and eggrolls. This writer went to the pop-up at FundamentalLA (a great neighborhood place in its own right, notable for its ine cuisine in a casual ambiance), but the nature of a pop-up is changing locations. Go to www.feelgood-foods.com or write info@feelgf.com for info on their next monthly event. Another great brunch option is Eva's, tucked away on the south side of Beverly Boulevard in what looks like a converted house with minimalist décor, a small bar in the entryway and a glassed-in kitchen. Here chef Mark Gold works his brunch magic with a menu built around seasonal offerings and organic items when possible, all carefully hand-selected from the local farmer's market. In keeping with his philosophy of letting the natural lavors of his vegetables shine, Gold's preparations are simple yet elegant. Radishes are charred briely to add a smoky element. Other vegetables may be gently roasted and drizzled simply with olive oil and salt. Start your meal off with a bowl of seasonal fruit, and then move on to a thinly rolled omelet in the French tradition. This delicacy is decked out with yellow and red cherry heirloom tomatoes, torpedo onions and subtle pink and white baby radishes still tasting of the earth, all nestled in a pool of delicate lemon verbena sauce. Or for a vegan option, choose the radish, onion, tomato, beets and toasted buckwheat—the buckwheat is simmered in dashi, a Japanese broth of soy and seaweed, then carefully dried and toasted. If you're in the mood for ish, try delicate sushi-grade Japanese albacore with market-fresh vegetables, either charred or roasted. Mimosas are offered at either $8 a glass or $15 for "bottomless," or go for one of their many creative cocktails. Down Hollywood way, the culinary team of Luca Giorgetti and Rebecca West has succeeded with a health-oriented brunch at Luca on Sunset. West, the pastry chef, is a former model who fell in love with pastries while in France and then set out to create a healthier version here in Los Angeles; try a luscious, laky 22 ToH.indd 22 Top: Eva's French Omelette Bottom: Feel Good's dumplings whole wheat croissant or gluten-free cheesecake! All pastries are made with organic butter, lour and sugar. Not only is this a good place for weekend brunch, but you could easily drop in every morning for something different (brunch is served daily until 3pm.) Choose among such tempting options as a Sassy Cilantro Smoothie (banana, apple, strawberry and cilantro), vegetarian breakfast calzone (scrambled eggs, spinach, mushroom, artichokes, goat cheese), and sundried tomato omelet (sundried tomatoes, zucchini, stringbeans, tomato and feta). All produce is organic when possible, eggs are cooked with no butter and minimal salt, and the taste is terriic. More inclined to head to the beach? Check out Axe on Abbot Kinney. The name is borrowed from a Yoruba salutation meaning, "Go with the power of the gods and goddesses," and Axe intends to fortify you with that goal in mind. All produce is organic and seasonal and obtained directly from local farmers, and all bulk staples, such as grains, lour, dried beans and oils are organic as well. Start your meal with a glass of Vouvray Moustillant and then move on to 9 Grain Pancakes or Miso Soup + Brown Rice + Seared Tofu with pickled cucumber. If you're craving veggies you could go for Heirloom Lettuces + Asparagus. Or just stick with a Basic Bowl (brown rice, bean sprouts, cucumber, onion and shaved cabbage, with an optional choice of wild ish, house-made sausage, chicken, tofu or egg). Afterwards, cruise on down the boulevard to Intelligentsia and enjoy a handcrafted espresso made with premium beans, handpicked and roasted in small batches. By now you'll be ready for a long, post-prandial stroll, wherever you are. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Feel Good Foods, 11706 Darlington Ave, Ste. 102, L.A. 90049, 800.638.8949 FundamentalLA, 1303 Westwood Blvd., L.A. 90024, 310.444.7581 Eva, 7458 Beverly Blvd., L.A. 90036, 323.634.0700 Luca on Sunset, 7950 Sunset Blvd., L.A. 90046, 323.822.2900 Axe, 1009 Abbot Kinney, Venice 90291, 310.664.9787 wholelifetimesmagazine.com 11/27/12 3:05 PM

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