Cafe Flourish opened down the street from my office several months ago, and despite glowing reviews from vegan bloggers like Quarrygirl, it took me a while to get there. Why? Well, for one thing, it's vegan, and I'm kind of compulsive about making sure I get enough protein at lunch to get me through the day. Plus, ten blocks might as well be ten miles when you're stuck in a busy office all day.
Feeling like I could use some more vegetable matter in my diet, I finally stopped by for dinner after work the other night, and now I know I'll be hauling some of my vegetarian colleagues back there soon.Cafe Flourish is located in one of the Miracle Mile's historic office buildings, with a clean, modern design. The dishes are saddled with cutesy names like Amen for Almond Hummus and Hooray for Burritos, but don't let that bother you, the food is fresh and vibrant and makes you feel like you've actually eaten enough vegetables for a change (a constant challenge for those who live to sample taco trucks and sushi buffets). For some reason I always order BLTs in vegan cafes. I think it's because I love how they slather everything in pseudo-mayonaise. Flourish's BLT & A (yes, it stands for Be Love Thanks and Abundance) is one of the best I've had. For $9.25, it's a reasonable portion rather than an overstuffed sandwich, with excellent tomatoes, avocado and spicy mayo alongside the tempeh bacon. Each sandwich comes with a side of green salad, tabbouleh or 3 bean salad. Don't be fooled by wan pre-made 3-bean salads you've had before: this one combines kidney beans with edamame and black-eyed peas, with a sweet viniagrette and chopped peppers and celery. It's delicious, plus you feel incredibly virtuous while eating it. There's a few tables inside and a few outside on Wilshire, and they seem to do a very steady takeout business as well.
I'll definitely be back soon, even if I'm forced to ask for a "Flourish Plate, Y'all" or a Mediterranean Gratitude pizza.
5406 Wilshire Blvd.