Gracias Madre is Home to LA’s Best Plant-Based Mexican Food
West Hollywood's Gracias Madre could make a non-vegan turn plant-based after just one bite. The restaurant's delicious flavors are so vibrant that you would never believe that this Mexican fare is also plant-based. The meat replacements meld perfectly with the housemade sauces and guacamole that are stuffed into every bite. This restaurant has been the buzz in West Hollywood, so even as a non-vegan I wanted to see what all the hype was about.
Often when I think of Mexican food, I picture tender carnitas wrapped in a warm tortilla. Gracias Madre serves the same complex, delicious flavors we associate with Mexican cuisine except it’s all vegan! It takes Mexican-California fusion to the next level with nachos that are topped with cashew nacho cheese, soy chorizo, and cauliflower; flautas stuffed with cabbage, rice, and beans; and tacos with shiitake chorizo and pepian. The food is not only bursting with flavor but also presented to the nines.
The Making of Gracias Madre
Born out of love for Mother Earth, “Gracias Madre,” essentially means, “Thank you, Mother Earth.” The restaurant celebrates its traditional Mexican cuisine made from scratch using local, organic ingredients. The food is strictly plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, and organic. There is a good reason why Gracias Madre is the buzz around West Hollywood and has been labeled one of the “Best Vegan Restaurants in LA.” It has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler Online, Food & Wine, InStyle Magazine, Travel + Leisure Online, US Weekly, Variety, and Vogue.com, and more!
Not only famous for its Mexican food, Gradias Madre has become well-known for its Mexican cocktails. Dedicated to diffuser-free agave spirits, they hold pride that every bottle featured on their shelf represents centuries of tradition to meet their high-quality and sustainable standard. They choose to highlight independent producers by featuring small-batch distillers in Mexico. The restaurant is very precise in choosing what tequilas to put on their shelf by considering if it is friendly to the environment and their guests. As Gracias Madre says, “We honor the mother residing above us, within our hearts, within the earth, and in all those who nurture us. Pull up a chair – there's always a seat at Love’s table.”
Dine like the “It” crowd of LA and snap an Instagram in Gracias Madre’s photogenic dining area. The up-beat vegan restaurant is a sit-down with a fabulous ambiance and modern decor making it the perfect destination for a business lunch or celebratory dinner. The gorgeous interior seating leads you to an expansive outdoor patio. Famously known for the beautiful olive trees studded with sparkling lights, the back patio is decorated with plush sofas, mosaic-topped tables, and a fireplace. I highly recommend requesting a seat outside and starting with an order of chips and guac to get the most out of your experience.
Derived from the owners of Cafe Gratitude, Gracias Madre is highly recommended by vegetarians and vegans alike, so the dining area is always packed!
100 Percent Organic and Vegan
Gracias Madre said it best, “[We] serve 100% organic, farm-fresh, locally sourced food inspired by some of the recipes of the communities we serve.” Their executive chef brings bold flavors and seasonally-conscious ingredients to recipes that make you want seconds. The beverage director, Maxwell Reis, curates the bar program where he preaches ethical agave practices. Be careful! If you chat too much with him you might become as mesmerized with mezcal as he is!
There are a lot of good choices on the menu, but I chose to start with the Gorditas. It was made with potato mixed into the masa, drizzled with their cashew crema, and topped with avocado. It was so delicious! As a main dish, I recommend the Wet Burrito made with jackfruit carnitas and smothered in guacamole.
Overall Best Vegan Mexican Food
As a non-vegan, I did not know what to expect from this vegan Mexican Cuisine. Gracias Madre proved that vegan food is just as good (or even better) as the rest. Overall, the atmosphere is fantastic and the food is over-the-top. Gracias Madre has outdone itself! Vegan or not, everyone in the LA area needs to try Gracias Madre.
For more great plant-based fare in So-Cal, check out The Beet's 11 Best Vegan Restaurants in Los Angeles.