Urth Caffe and M Café de Chaya

Urth Caffe

Urth Caffe is my friend and hostess' favorite place for coffee. A true California girl, she gets hers with soy milk, natch. Meanwhile, I ordered some carbs.

Famous Sticky Bun

If it isn't actually famous, it should be. The crunchy, glazed outside yields to a soft whorl of pastry studded with raisins and cinnamon sugar. The nuts on top taste as good and fresh as they look.

a beautiful gray sack dress with rosettes

nice onesie, baby

A yogurt parfait, also divine. The yogurt is infused with the taste of fresh mint, and the raspberries are tender and sweet. The crunchy granola at the bottom is toasted with brown sugar and honey and laced with sunflower seeds.

P.S. The coffee is great too.

Urth Caffe
8565 Melrose Avenue, between Robertson and La Cienega

also in: Beverly Hills and Santa Monica

M Café de Chaya

M Café de Chaya is California Girl's de facto lunch spot. She once went on a diet of all kale. Don't ever try this at home.

What is macrobiotic food?

display cases full of the day's offerings

all sorts of rolls

the chefs at work

books for sale

Here is the notorious kale. We doubled down on this and the lentils.

When legumes and veggies are barely cooked, as with M Café de Chaya's macrobiotic food, they retain a wonderful al dente texture. Lightly dressed with a peanut sauce inflected with chili and a dash of rice wine vinegar (?), the chewy kale tastes more like an indulgence than a penance.

Below: toothsome French lentils, nice and shallot-y.

California Girl permitted us a ration of carbs in the form of these sesame noodles.

Chef Friend in New York goes gaga over sesame oil. Just a touch of it enhances nearly anything, she says. She would love M Café de Chaya's sesame noodle salad. Dressed in sesame paste and a generous dousing of sesame oil, they are made all the more delish by the rawness of the sesame seeds, shredded carrot and cabbage. I enjoyed everything I tasted at the macrobiotic M Café de Chaya, but the sesame noodles won. Go carbs!

M Cafe de Chaya
7119 Melrose Avenue at La Brea