Spending the month in Los Angeles means lots of trips to Leaf Organics, James’s brother Rod’s raw and vegan restaurant in Culver City. Conveniently, this means I can balance a day of feasting on hearty Persian food with Rod’s kale salad, green smoothies, and even chia seed ice cream!
One of my favorite dishes at Leaf is the Hale Kale Salad with avocado, sprouted wild rice and mung beans. It’s topped with beautiful pink sauerkraut.
When I want something more filling, I get the Mushroom Avocado Burger, a tasty patty that reminds me of a falafel.
Rod’s six-year-old daughter Lilli, my niece, is his best PR rep. Lilli loves everything her dad makes. This kid has been eating sea vegetables her whole life, and she loves them!
Rod’s latest creation is soft serve ice cream made from chia seeds. It’s superb.
When submerged in liquid, chia seeds turn into a thick pudding all by themselves. To make the ice cream, Rod blends raw cacao beans and liquid, and pours it over the chia seeds. After a while the mixture gets very thick, at which point it goes into an ice cream maker.
I’m looking forward to when Rod opens a sundae bar later this year. Instead of mashed up Heath bars and other typical sundae fare, his will feature crisp nuts, seasonal fruits, and other raw goodies.
If you’re interested in learning more about raw food, Rod has lots of classes coming up, on the basics of raw food preparation, desserts, fermentation, and more. You can also check out his cookbook, Raw Food for Real People.
Leaf Organics: 11938 W. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90066. Phone: (310) 397 0700. Hours: Mon – Fri 10 AM to 9 PM, Sat – Sun 11 AM to 9 PM. Website: leaforganics.com.