Saturday, March 21, 2009


Still doing the raw thing, so last night the hubby and I trekked out to Alive!. By all counts, Alive! fits the criteria for being among my favorites: It's within walking distance, it's all vegan, it's cute and eco-friendly. Still, there is something I just can't put my finger on about this place. Perhaps it's that for a restaurant called Alive! (yes the exclamation mark is included), the atmosphere is rather subdued. But more likely it's that a lot of the dishes just fall flat. Here's what we had:

The first course was by far the best - the raw carrot ginger soup. Mellow, though with a bit of warmth, the drizzle of olive oil on top really brought all the flavors together. I am pretty sure that every soup I've ever gotten here has been fantastic, so should you go, I highly recommend getting one.

Next up was the flaxseed flatbreads with marinated veggies. Really, all this dish needed to make it realy good was some salt. I enjoyed everything else about it and commend them for making a "bread" from raw flax seeds that wasn't too soggy or too brittle.

We then had the fennel, apple, and walnut salad. By now you should know that fennel is one of my most favorite things, so I was sad that this salad was more about the other ingredients. Still, it blended sweet and savory quite nicely, and won me over with a yummy vinaigrette and the surprise of raisins.

The one dish I didn't take a picture of was the vegetable ribbons with marinara and "meatballs." The flavor just wasn't there for me on this one, and it realy just looked like a pile of shredded veggies with little balls made from ground nuts. Nothing special, and we didn't finish it.

Luckily we ended on a high note by getting the coconut chocolate banana torte for dessert. If you like the combo of coconut and chocolate, this is the dessert for you. Topped with coconut whipped cream and raw cacao sauce, I quickly forgave the shortcomings of the other dishes and was transported out onto Lombard Street feeling fine.

So yeah, Alive is a nice place and has some winners, but for my money, the next time I'm feeling like some good home "un"cooking, I'll be heading to Cafe Gratitude, others in tow.

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