Saturday, 06 August 2011 13:02

118 Degrees - Raw, Organic Restaurant. Plus Interview w/ Jenny Ross (video)

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In 2005, brand new in LA, I applied to a job ad on Craigslist for a vegan cafe called Taste of the Goddess in West Hollywood, and I was thrilled when I got an interview. But this wasn't any vegan establishment - they made raw food, which was pretty foreign to me. I'm not sure if I ever had raw food before this time - it wasn't really a big deal back in Boston. Well, I got the job and worked there part-time for about 6 months until I got too busy to keep it up - I learned so much about raw food and health from the owners Jenny & Nwenna, I even did a month long cleanse (Ejuva). Sadly, Taste of the Goddess didn't remain open much longer, but the ladies behind it went on to do bigger and better things.

5 years later I finally made it down to Costa Mesa to 118 Degrees, Jenny's new restaurant that gets rave reviews from raw vegans, vegan vegans, and even non-vegans. It's located amongst some other great healthy establishments, like one of the Native Foods locations, and the interior is absolutely gorgeous. It's best described as casual-upscale - great for a relaxed meal or a special occasion. The food is stunning on the plate, magical on the tongue, and satisfying in the belly. The most memorable item I had was the Apple Pie - it was incredibly fresh and perfectly sweet - an American favorite turned ultra healthy without compromising the traditional flavors.
I enjoyed:
  • Fried Avocado Mini-Tostado
  • Mole Enchiladas
  • Living Lasagna
  • Apple Pie
  • Dulce Leche
  • Chocolate Truffles
  • Chocolate Supreme shake (not in the video, but it was incredible!)
Taste: 9/10
Unique menu & flavors: absolutely
Organic: yes
Local: yes
Healthy: very - extremely aware of allergies and most foods are gluten-free
Eco-Friendly: yes - little waste and local ingredients
Customer service: excellent
Atmosphere: beautiful, bright, comfortable, good for relaxed meal or special occassion
Location: Costa Messa location is close to highways
Parking: slot
Price: reasonable for raw food prices
Portion Sizes: medium, filling
Here's my video review and interview with Jenny Ross, executive chef, creator, and founder. She speaks on what makes 118 Degrees unique to the raw food restaurant community, why it's healthy, what makes them eco-friendly and how eating live plant-based food can change your life. *Excuse my unenthusiastic delivery in this video - definitely not my cheery self but it's a major misrepresentation of how I felt about the food, and remember that this was filmed in February 2010.

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