by Chrissy Iley
Gracias Madre is a vegan Mexican restaurant newly opened in West Hollywood. It is opposite the famous Craig’s restaurant and almost as celebrity fuelled.
It’s very easy to be a vegan in Los Angeles. Even Craig’s, a high end restaurant, has plentiful vegan options. What I’ve noticed recently is the rise of vegan chic to accommodate the massive increase in the amount of vegan actors and general rich people. They want somewhere edgy to hang. Somewhere that’s not homespun or hippy.
Gracias Madre, a sister to Café Gratitude is such a place. The chicerie is open all day, and packed all day. The bar is hugely vibrant with wonderful cocktails, mescal tequila concocted with beautiful freshly squeezed juices, spices and other gorgeous things.
I had La Rosa – tequila, lime, homemade pomegranate grenadine, baked apple bitters, and a chilli encrusted lime wheel. My friend had Lel Guey Aguanta – mescal, almond milk horchata, vanilla cinnamon syrup, crushed ice, grated canela – which was like a delicious alcoholic dessert. Speaking of which, they do an amazing vegan flan for dessert which you could never tell was not made with dairy.
For proper food though I had flautas de camote – rolled tacos filled with sweet potato, caramelised onion, guacamole, cashew nacho cheese and cilantro. These were great. My friend had flash fried Brussels sprouts with lemon, cilantro and almond.
And then we shared sopes con pina – two massa cakes with guacamole, pineapple, salsa, pickles and beans. Which were also good although the Brussels sprouts and flautas were better.
The guacamole seems to be made from the freshest, juiciest avocados ever grown.
The space itself is indoor and outdoor, a giant patio on the outside and a beautiful wood and tiled indoor space that has a constant buzz.
8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Tel: 323-978-2170. graciasmadreweho.com.