Studio City’s Sun Cafe: Vegan in the Valley


I am not a Vegetarian.  Nor am I a Vegan.  I like great meat entrees, fish specialties, chicken on the grill or fried.  So, you normally don’t find me in those kind of establishments.  But recently my food wine and travel colleague Rachel Weil insisted we dine at a vegan establishment she thinks the best of its kind in Studio City  (in the valley, but part of Los Angeles.)  This paragon of virtue is the Sun Cafe, which specializes in Organic Cuisine.

When this lady insists, as she did, that this was a fantastic restaurant, I relaxed a bit and agreed to try it for dinner.  She wanted me to know that the Sun Cafe had won several awards — like Best Raw Food Restaurant in Los Angeles and Third Best Raw Food in the World.  Who knew?  They also were voted Best Raw Restaurant in Los Angeles at the World Vegan Day Festival.  So this becomes a variety of forewarned means so you can relax a bit and take off your jacket.

I sadly have to inform you that the Sun Cafe has no wine license and is engaging in an ongoing battle with the city to acquire one.  All wine selections are my choices to accompany the dishes and are identified with a  marking of **.

Relaxed, maybe but that didn’t mean I failed to google the restaurant, or check out Yelp comments.  I did. I quickly ascertained that I wanted to try one of their superfood shakes which received glowing marks.

We tried one before dinner and a presentation was made of this Cacao Superfood Shake, made with goji berry, cashew and agave.  I loved, in effect, the dark chocolate, and admired the wild berries filling out this shake.  Readers, it was wonderful!  I could have made it the entire meal, and next time I will try it for dessert.  You have to taste this concoction which would be a best seller if they bottled it at the Sun Cafe.

We split a Caesar salad, made from crisp romaine lettuce, tomato, garlic, pecan, cheese, etc.  I, to be honest was shocked at how good this was.  Rachel had it before so enjoyed most of it while I tried an avocado soup.

To pair the wine with the salad I would try ** Cielo’s Honey Pie Wine, from the Woodstock Collection. Throwing at you  flavors of fresh honey, tangerine and ripe Georgia peaches,  the palate offers a well balanced array of fresh fruits combined with a subtle creamy texture and lengthy  finish.  This is one of my favorite white wines.

Now with the soup *I* would try** Wedell Cellars (Edna Valley)   2010 Wedell Cellars “Enhancement” Rose of Pinot Noir .  I tasted this lovely wine at the Central Coast Wine Classic and admired it.  Otherwise I would have enjoyed Wedell’s 2008 Hillside Chardonnay.  This wine with Burgundian tones would have helped my soup  to improve its flavors.

For my entree, I selected the Pad Thai.  Made from raw kelp noodles red cabbage, tomato cilantro (which I asked them to leave out), cashews and a zesty tahini sauce.  ** I think I would pair this with Wedell’s Petite Sirah blend, which is a substantial, dense, full-bodied, whopper style of wine loaded with pure black fruit and vanilla  If too heavy for you I would suggest trying a Pinot Noir from Wedell.  They are very highly rated, and I find it a soothing experience every time I get to enjoy Wedell wines.

Rachel tried the Lasagna Bolognese for her entree, and although I had a couple of bites, I think she would have probably selected a Pinot or a smoother not so big Merlot.

Since this was my first visit, and I wanted to try as many offerings as I could I selected a cheesecake for dessert, with had both cacao and coconut.  Couldn’t finish it, so brought it home for this evening.

A great presentation, and ** I enjoyed it with the Roxo Tradicional 2008.  Subtle offerings of cocoa, coffee and baked berry cobbler are woven into this balanced wine with accompanying  spices to mind.

See for yourself.  Sun Cafe is on Ventura Boulevard where it becomes Cahuenga, and nearer Universal City than the not that far Studio City.