The farm-to-table movement has expanded in LA and across the country in the past few years, which is great for our palates and the planet. Here are a few of our favorite Clean Plates-approved eateries that stand out in their dedication to preserving Mother Earth—from on-site gardens to composting kitchens, these restaurants give her the respect she deserves.
Amazing brunch, worth the wait | 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Not only is Zoe Nathan a world-class pastry chef, she and husband Josh Loeb take an acute interest in preserving the planet: Huckleberry’s garden grows strawberries, blueberries, chives, and other herbs for the mouth-watering pastries. When they can’t source from their parking lot patch, the two shop at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. There’s an abundance of vegetarian items on the menu and a good selection of vegan soups as well. Good luck steering clear of her beautiful buttery pastries!
Real Food Daily
Vegan cuisine a carnivore will love | Various locations
Ann Gentry, founder of Real Food Daily, takes a step beyond veganism at her restaurants. She uses biodegradable to-go containers, composts kitchen scraps, and is certified by the Santa Monica Green Business Program. Gentry’s standards for the cuisine are as high as they are for the environment; stop by brunch for the no-hueveos rancheros or the RFD benedict and you’ll see what we mean.
M Café de Chaya
Asian-inspired Macrobiotic | Various locations
Based on the philosophy of contemporary macrobiotics, M Café offers delicious meals made without using refined sugar, dairy, eggs, meat, or poultry. Their consciousness includes using organic food sourced from local, regional farms and using only biodegradable materials for their to-go packaging. Do your body and the planet a favor and take an order of the popular kale salad with spicy peanut dressing for a sunny picnic in the park.
Committed to local sourcing | 2493 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
When it comes to locavorism, this restaurant lives up to its name with locally sourced, usually organic cuisine. They’ve got an organic salad bar priced by the pound, recycled and 100% biodegradable packaging, and a very un-LA lack of water bottles. Pair that with the good vibes, nice staff, and a gorgeous patio, and you’ve got a great neighborhood restaurant fit for the most discerning tree hugger.
Gourmet local cuisine and deli | 3823 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
The laid-back Eastside hotspot might not be the Mecca of fine dining, but its sure does boast plenty of Earth-friendly eats. Forage not only sources from local farmers but also from certified home gardeners, and the menu changes daily depending on what the neighborhood has to offer. A true reflection of the area’s commitment to good, clean, fair food, Forage is a great bet to celebrate Mother Earth.
Image of Huckleberry’s blueberry tart by Krista Simmons.