I have a friend from LA-acting-school-days who looks a lot like Sigorney Weaver. I mean ridiculously like Sigorney Weaver. So, for the sake of this post, we will refer to her as Ms. Sigorney. One of our favourite haunts in LA was the Westwood Native Foods Café. The first time we ventured there together, Ms. Sigorney spotted Timothy Olyphant having lunch with his family and nearly lost her s**t she was so excited. When we both went back to our respective islands (Vancouver and Australia), she would send me messages asking me to meet her at Native Foods. I once replied that I would make the journey if she could promise that Timothy Olyphant would be there – preferably wearing a cowboy hat. She offered to show up wearing the cowboy hat instead. Native Foods is seriously the kind of place you dream of when you’re far, far away from Los Angeles.
Today, as I went into Native Foods for the first time in a couple of years, I wished Ms. Sigorney and her cowboy hat were there when the ridiculously large plate of Native Nachos was placed in front of me. Seriously, this dish is huge and I had previously only shared it. But it was also so delicious that I had to ask a waiter to take it away before I made myself sick, eating past endurance!
Native Foods is the institution I point everyone to when they display a distrust of vegan food. I can’t blame them, because there is a lot of bland, unimaginative, or heavily processed vegan food out there. Also, I grew up in a country where vegans and vegetarians are largely distrusted as possible creatures from out of space. What I love about Native Foods is that everything is so fresh and even the tempeh and seitan are made on site. No nasty chemically processed and plastic packed fake meat at Native! And then there are the free refills, which are my downfall, especially when it comes to the Watermelon Fresca. If I hadn’t devoured so much of my delicious nacho plate, I probably would have stolen off with the peanut butter parfait too…..next time….