Late Lunch at Gracias Madre, Los Angeles

I’m a bit of an Instagram whore. Not only do I spend an extensive amount of time posting pictures of food, me eating food, or me with minimal clothing, but whenever I’m sitting doing nothing, I’ll probably scroll through my Instagram newsfeed. I follow mostly food accounts that make me hungry, gym accounts that make me feel like crap (I’ve slowly unfollowed them one by one as I feel like they judge my lifestyle choices too much) and hot girls to perv on (which also makse me feel like crap, but in a nicer way).  A lot of these hotties that I follow naturally live in LA, the land of the gorgeous girls, and the one place I always see them post about is Gracias Madre.
Not only is it vegan, but it’s Mexican food. Every vegans dream. I’m not a vegan since I have a pretty steamy relationship with pulled pork and hot wings going on, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. Pass over the tacos and the tequila! 

Not only was the inside pretty, outside was stunning, which was perfect since it was smokin’ hot.

This is how I want to live – drinking cocktails and eating vegetables that actually taste good in the late afternoon sun with my gal pals, taking 249 selfies to make sure I look good in at least one of them and to show the world just how awesome my life is. Next week I will be back drinking tea indoors with my grandma and her dog. Benji always runs away when I try to take a picture with him.

Still, it was nice to pretend for a couple of hours. Although the fact that we were sat with our parents and not Steph Claire Smith probably cramped our non-existent LA cred.

The holy Happy Hour and Brunch Cocktail menus made me very happy.

And the fact that everything was not only vegan, but 100% organic.

Whilst we decided what to order, we started with Guacamole with housemade chips. Best. Guacamole. Ever. It was a mix of mashed avocado, cilantro, onion, chile and lime. It was so good that we ordered another round, as well as the fact that we had half the chips left to finish guac-less, so we kind of had to. Pretty tactical of them. Not that I minded.

Okay, so this was where I discovered that Brussels sprouts are a big thing here in LA. When the waiter recommended these, I was like oh, really, okay I guess we’ll go for that. OH MY GOD. How delicious were these? VERY.

These are called Repollitos Fritos on the menu and are flash-fried Brussels sprouts with lemon, cilantro and almond. I definitely need to make both this and the guac when I get home.

Dad ordered a cheeky Moscow Mule whilst I had a pineapple juice with cilantro to sip on, which was delicious since I couldn’t really taste the cilantro in it. (By the way, when I keep saying cilantro, that’s coriander for those who don’t know aka. everyone not American).

Ming Ming got a pot of green tea.

And Mama Bridges went for some coconut water. Hello electrolytes.

And then arrived the feast. What a beautiful sight for vegans, Mexicans and hungry Eurasian girls everywhere.

The Flautas de Camote was so good. It’s two rolled tacos filled with sweet potatoes and caramelised onions, topped with pico de gallo, guacamole, cashew nacho cheese and cilantro. I know. It’s impossible for this combination to be anything less than delicious.

We also ordered the Potatoes and Chorizo Quesadillas (obviously not real chorizo).

Next up were the tacos. Oh, the tacos. We obviously had to ordered one of each just so we could try and fairly evaluate every single on – it’s the rational thing to do. Everyone had their own preferences and their own favourites. Grilled Zucchini Verde Taco…

Mushrooms with Mole Taco… (Still no idea what Mole is but it sounds cool).

And finally, the Flash-Fried Cauliflower Taco…

It only seemed fitting to order a Tostadas to make sure we tried a little of everything. We ordered the Coconut Ceviche Tostadas since it sounded the most exotic. 

To top off our mountains of veggies and goodness, we ordered a big, fat salad. The waiter recommended the Ensalada de Frutas – Farm lettuce in chipotle vinaigrette with ruby grapefruit, avocado and almonds. I still don’t like grapefruit (not much changed within 2 days) so I avoided those pieces, but the rest of the salad was really good. I’m sure the entire thing would have been a winner for grapefruit lovers, whoever they are.

Oh, and we got even more guacamole some how, as well as some Arroz (local brown rice seasoned with cilantro and lime) and some Frijoles (seasoned black beans), all of which I couldn’t stop eating.

If I made any of this myself, it would taste like ass. It was like a dream.

We ate and ate until our little tummies (ha) couldn’t take much more. We should have planned this better since that meant we were unable to stomach dessert, and you know if dessert is off the cards then we really must be pretty damn full. We mourned over our loss of the Strawberry Cheesecake and Fudge Brownie.

Dad cheered himself up with a coffee and almond milk. I love how available almond milk is in LA. I mean, I know they have it here because it’s vegan, but everywhere in LA had it. When I ask for it in London, I’m always faced with weird, judgemental looks and lots of disappointment.

I was actually so full that I needed a peppermint tea to aid my digestion. I’m not too sure what Ming got (I want to say ginger?), but it looked insane.

I forgot to mention – we had a late lunch/early dinner since we HAD COURTSIDE SEATS TO THE CLIPPERS VS WARRIORS PLAYOFFS. Well, wasn’t this just the best day ever?

My celebrity spotting continued, but alas, it was not meant to be. I convinced myself Chelsea Handler was sat opposite me, but I think I was just going crazy, potentially from a lack of bacon. We did see the dad from That’s So Raven on the big screen though. Is that embarrassing to admit that we recognised him? Does he count as a celebrity?

Bianca’s Celebrity Spotting Count: 0.5

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