Find an entirely different vibe at Gracias Madre, a Mexican-vegan spot with a quieter ambience. The outside is all tree-shaded elegance, a perfect spot for the popular salad lunch. Or, the biggest crowdpleaser, flaute de camote, the sweet-potatoquinoa- guacamole dish with cashew nacho cheese. There are many chopped salad choices, green or tropical smoothies, and a variety of tortas. Madre’s Bowls are packed with everything you should be putting on your fork. Kale has taken over menus like kudzu, but cashew créma is the star here.
People who are not vegan are in the majority of diners, a surprise, but no surprise, everything on the menu is organic, cholesterol-free, and well-balanced. The salt used in all recipes is 100 percent mineral salt, claimed to be healthier than the ordinary kind in your salt shaker at home.
The tasting menu includes starters, entrées, and a dessert of Mexican Wedding Cookies, whether or not you’re interested in celebrating your own here. All this for $20.
Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert, a transgender person, kept his original name and was cheered on by a supportive family. He grew up in San Diego, went to college, but said he wasn’t as much interested in English literature as he was in his part-time cooking job. “I learned with the best chefs in both California and Mexico,” he says.
One thousand Margaritas are ordered here every day. The Puristas are the most popular, sold by the glass at about $13, or in pitchers for $60. If you have $200 to spend for a high-end drink, try the Claze Azul Ultra. The Sour Tiesel at $12, is a CBD cocktail, the beloved classic, featuring a tincture of cannabidiol.
One might see Beyoncé sipping one here, or Matt Damon biting into a taco. Paul McCartney has been here, too. www.graciasmadreweho.com