Bite: Café Gratitude

Raw_Lasagne_0033R_v1finalCafé Gratitude, well known in Los Angeles and San Diego for its organic, plant-based fare, unveils Gratitude at new Castaway Commons on Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach. Café was dropped from the name as this is the vegan chain’s first upscale iteration. Chef Dreux Ellis gets creative with raw dishes that include lasagna, above, with squash blossoms, heirloom tomatoes,  and summer squash noodles. Jason Eisner, of West Hollywood’s Gracias Madre, unveils craft cocktails using organic spirits, house-made bitters, and cold‑pressed juices. A number of the chain’s classics remain on the all-day menu, among them sweet or savory scones and the double “cheeseburger,” made with two black-bean patties. Boost your self-esteem as you order dishes named for affirmations, such as I Am Whole, I Am Serene, and I Am Courageous. The dining room is bright and spa-like; the dramatic bar combines geometric patterns and French vintage-style barstools. Adjacent Gratitude To Go offers freshly pressed organic juices and retail items from the Detox Market. 1617 Westcliff Drive, 949-386-8103, cafegratitude.com

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