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BEST CAFE IN LOS ANGELES: M CAFE DE CHAYA, MELROSE & LA BREA. VEGETARIAN, MACROBIOTIC HEALTHY RESTAURANTS IN LA, JAPANESE FOOD.


cute teenage boys laughing, teens hanging out, eating food at restaurant, long hair on men, emo scene hair, visual kei boys, BEST CAFE IN LOS ANGELES: M CAFE DE CHAYA, MELROSE & LA BREA. VEGETARIAN, MACROBIOTIC HEALTHY RESTAURANTS IN LA, JAPANESE FOOD.

I took the boys to my favorite Los Angeles eatery, M Cafe de Chaya (on Melrose at La Brea). Their shining happy faces says it all. Best food ever — and it’s all healthy.

healthy food on table, eggplant and shiitake inari, soy lattes, butternut squash, kale salad, BEST CAFE IN LOS ANGELES: M CAFE DE CHAYA, MELROSE & LA BREA. VEGETARIAN, MACROBIOTIC HEALTHY RESTAURANTS IN LA, JAPANESE FOOD.

I’m a tad obsessed with M Cafe and eat there whenever I can find an excuse. The macrobiotic cuisine uses “only the finest ingredients without any refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat or poultry.” And it’s insanely delicious. From left to right: chocolate hazelnut fudge cake, peanut kale, sesame soba noodles, butternut squash couscous, soy lattes with a touch of stevia, eggplant and shiitake inari, and an incredible new spiced “cola” called kukicha. The grand total came to about $40, and we even had leftovers. (When you eat fresh, nutrient-dense vegetarian food, it fills you up.)

fudge cake fell on floor, oops accidents in cooking, cute blond teenager sitting on ground, BEST CAFE IN LOS ANGELES: M CAFE DE CHAYA, MELROSE & LA BREA. VEGETARIAN, MACROBIOTIC HEALTHY RESTAURANTS IN LA, JAPANESE FOOD.

No, the fudge cake did not fall on floor. And Lemon did not pick it up with his hand. Did we still eat it? Take a guess!

toddler trying to open door, funny kid photo, child silly dancing with arm out, little kid stuck between door, Pinkberry yogurt parlor, MELROSE & LA BREA. best frozen yogurt in los angeles.

M Cafe also serves one of my favorite cupcakes in the world: a vegan version with a light-as-air strawberry icing. Next door, there’s a Pinkberry (which needs to bring back the green tea flavor!). The frozen yogurt chain has obsessive fans. Witness a manic toddler who, desperate for a lick, got stuck halfway between the doors. While the kid flailed around, Ementhy called: “Hey kid! Come here! Hey! Hey! Hey!”

Come read my new CNNGo article: The best and worst Xmas songs by Asian pop stars (with ten videos). You decide which is kawaii and ai-yah.

Happy holidays from J-List, who kindly offered us some gift codes! (Japanese goodies are always a great idea for last-minute shopping.) For $5 off a 3000 yen iTunes card, click here and enter LACARMINA2009A. And if you purchase $100 or more, you can get $10 off with code LACARMINA2009B. Just visit J-list to start shopping!

cute yummy time book review, cute cookbook, la carmina author, bento cooking recipes, japanese charaben, face food, pictures of kawaii bentos.

I’m all about healthy eating — how about you? What are your favorite snacks and recipes? Everything in my cookbook Cute Yummy Time is good for you; I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Song of the Day #265: It’s ALL 80S SYNTH POP WEEK! Let’s kick it off with Human League – Open Your Heart. (What are your favorite 1980s tracks?)

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had macriobiotic food. I don’t think any restaurants in my area make food that way.

    my favourite snack is Mike and Ike candy, but it’s really bad for you! and i hate how it makes my teeth feel afterward :-/

    • Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      I think macrobiotic/health food gets a bad rap, but it can be incredibly delicious and creative — such as at this place!

  2. Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    One last tip for M-Cafe…STEAL A TABLE AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. The place was packed (understandably) and we ended up sitting at the yogurt place’s table…shhhhh!

    • Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      OH that’s right!! Glad you mentioned that. M Cafe is always busy, and you can usually spot celebrities there… such as ourselves… hahah :P

  3. Posted December 22, 2009 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    i love M!

  4. Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I've never had macriobiotic food. I don't think any restaurants in my area make food that way.

    my favourite snack is Mike and Ike candy, but it's really bad for you! and i hate how it makes my teeth feel afterward :-/

  5. Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    One last tip for M-Cafe…STEAL A TABLE AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. The place was packed (understandably) and we ended up sitting at the yogurt place's table…shhhhh!

  6. Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    OH that's right!! Glad you mentioned that. M Cafe is always busy, and you can usually spot celebrities there… such as ourselves… hahah :P

  7. Posted December 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I think macrobiotic/health food gets a bad rap, but it can be incredibly delicious and creative — such as at this place!

  8. Posted December 22, 2009 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    mmm the food looks so good

    • Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:42 am | Permalink

      It’s incredible… I can’t wait to go back!!

  9. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    that’s sooo not a lemon move to do lmao

  10. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve never tried macrobiotic food, but I’m a lacto-vegetarian (only because here in Mexico it’s a tad hard to find soy based dairy that isn’t heart-breakingly expensive). Favorite recipe? I’d say it has to be “sopa de flor de calabaza con champiñones” or, in english: soup made from the flower of some kinds of melons and gourds, and mushrooms. It’s really delicious and quite filling!
    And fudge is always good, on the floor or not. I’m not just saying this because I’m almost hopelessly adicted to chocolate…

    • Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:44 am | Permalink

      Oh wow, that sounds like a delicious soup! Do you have a recipe somewhere? I’d love to try it out.

      I’m also mostly pesco-ovo-lacto vegetarian… :)

      • Posted December 23, 2009 at 5:39 am | Permalink

        Promise to look for it, must ask my lovely aunt.
        Good to hear that! Lots of people don’t really apreciate vegetarianism in Mexico, it’s all about the meat here. Fish eh? I’ve gotta admit I do like fish, but thought it would be better to drop it after thinking it over and realizing “…I mean it’s still an animal”
        Still, you just proved that healthy really CAN be tasty, and that’s great!

  11. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    all that food looks so yummy!…mmmm…soy lattes! lol
    I try to eat healthy, most of the time it works…but there are just certain times when the less healthy food calls to me. lol

    • Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:55 am | Permalink

      Mmm mmm, soy lattes. I try to make my own “indulgence” foods as much as possible, so I can make healthier versions (such as by using stevia, whole wheat flour, etc…) :D

  12. Posted December 22, 2009 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    i love M!

  13. Posted December 22, 2009 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    mmm the food looks so good

  14. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    that's sooo not a lemon move to do lmao

  15. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    It's incredible… I can't wait to go back!!

  16. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    I've never tried macrobiotic food, but I'm a lacto-vegetarian (only because here in Mexico it's a tad hard to find soy based dairy that isn't heart-breakingly expensive). Favorite recipe? I'd say it has to be “sopa de flor de calabaza con champiñones” or, in english: soup made from the flower of some kinds of melons and gourds, and mushrooms. It's really delicious and quite filling!
    And fudge is always good, on the floor or not. I'm not just saying this because I'm almost hopelessly adicted to chocolate…

  17. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Hahah he did a lot of non-Lemony things that trip… for these pics, we convinced him to lie down on the dirty ground :P https://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2009/12/phoenix-w

  18. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Oh wow, that sounds like a delicious soup! Do you have a recipe somewhere? I'd love to try it out.

    I'm also mostly pesco-ovo-lacto vegetarian… :)

  19. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    all that food looks so yummy!…mmmm…soy lattes! lol
    I try to eat healthy, most of the time it works…but there are just certain times when the less healthy food calls to me. lol

  20. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Mmm mmm, soy lattes. I try to make my own “indulgence” foods as much as possible, so I can make healthier versions (such as by using stevia, whole wheat flour, etc…) :D

  21. Posted December 22, 2009 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Right you are dear Lizz…they made me do it :(

  22. Posted December 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m all about eating healthy too. I just started asking restaurants to cook my food without MSG. But I’m not a fan of eating out so I usually cook stuff here at home. I’m lucky to live in a place with cheap veggies and fruits. I love curry veggies a lot.

    -Denise

    • Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      I think restaurants have come a long way… there are more veggie/healthy options on the menu than there were 5-10 years ago, and some restaurants make it a point of pride to not cook with MSG. Curry veggies rock — have you tried Japanese curry?

      • Posted December 23, 2009 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        Well, the health movement hasn’t quite reached mainstream status in my city. A lot of restaurants still use MSG. And some waiters are taken aback when I ask them not to use MSG. And no… Haven’t had the chance to try Japanese curry. I’m going to try and cook some soon.

        -Denise

  23. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    OMG what did Lemon do. O.O
    HEALTHY FOOD! love vegetarian food :D
    me and my dudette friend always go hunting for the latest healthy food every weekend in Vn lol xD
    and our favourite cafe is MOF cafe, which serves Hokkaido ice creams and awesome sandwiches and some bento :D

    • Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Oh that sounds delicious! Exactly my type of restaurant. ;)

  24. Posted December 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I'm all about eating healthy too. I just started asking restaurants to cook my food without MSG. But I'm not a fan of eating out so I usually cook stuff here at home. I'm lucky to live in a place with cheap veggies and fruits. I love curry veggies a lot.

    -Denise

  25. Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    ♥ ¸.• I wish you¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨) (¸.•.. (¸.•..a Merry X-mas .•.. ¸¸.•¨¯..♥ (¸.•¨¯..♥ and a Happy New Year!♥ ~

    • Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Happy Nightmare before Xmas to you too!

  26. Posted December 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    OMG what did Lemon do. O.O
    HEALTHY FOOD! love vegetarian food :D
    me and my dudette friend always go hunting for the latest healthy food every weekend in Vn lol xD
    and our favourite cafe is MOF cafe, which serves Hokkaido ice creams and awesome sandwiches and some bento :D

  27. Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    ♥ ¸.• I wish you¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨) (¸.•.. (¸.•..a Merry X-mas .•.. ¸¸.•¨¯..♥ (¸.•¨¯..♥ and a Happy New Year!♥ ~

  28. Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Happy Nightmare before Xmas to you too!

  29. Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh that sounds delicious! Exactly my type of restaurant. ;)

  30. Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I think restaurants have come a long way… there are more veggie/healthy options on the menu than there were 5-10 years ago, and some restaurants make it a point of pride to not cook with MSG. Curry veggies rock — have you tried Japanese curry?

  31. Posted December 23, 2009 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Well, the health movement hasn't quite reached mainstream status in my city. A lot of restaurants still use MSG. And some waiters are taken aback when I ask them not to use MSG. And no… Haven't had the chance to try Japanese curry. I'm going to try and cook some soon.

    -Denise

  32. Posted December 23, 2009 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Promise to look for it, must ask my lovely aunt.
    Good to hear that! Lots of people don't really apreciate vegetarianism in Mexico, it's all about the meat here. Fish eh? I've gotta admit I do like fish, but thought it would be better to drop it after thinking it over and realizing “…I mean it's still an animal”
    Still, you just proved that healthy really CAN be tasty, and that's great!

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