Cru ~ Silverlake, Ca.
Sat. evening Bo and I decided we should go out for dinner (as though THAT were something new ). What was new is where we went. We wanted to go somewhere we'd not been before. Now, before becoming Cru, the restaurant was called Jade and we had enjoyed a really good meal there. The reason it's now called Cru is because they'd gotten a new chef who we met. (Sorry, forgot her name).
Bo ordered: salad containing strawberries, cucumber and mint. He said it was extraordinary. Of course, I had to taste-test and I agree. Everything was combined perfectly to create a rather exotic taste. The dressing was quite subtle yet added to the dish. ($10)
He also ordered the fresh spring rolls with dipping sauces. They were o.k. The obvious ingredient were enoki mushrooms and I'm thinking maybe daikon radish as there was a hint of spiciness and some type of green. Nothing really great but, I would have them again. The "peanut" sauces was what made us want to eat them more than anything. THAT was really good! ($8)
To drink, Bo had the peach juice from the "daily specials" board. Quite good. ($5)
As there was no room for more food yet, we tend to love the desserts, he brought home the banana split. By the time we got home it was pretty melted and the three flavors of "ice cream" (vanilla, orange, raspberry) had blended. He didn't seem to have trouble eating it. I had one spoonful of the raspberry "ice cream". It tasted like a normal sorbet. Very fruity flavor, smooooth and delicious. ($10)
For me: I had the MOST delicious Ravioli Cruda. I have to say it was probably the best entree I've ever had at a raw food restaurant. It was light, with an herbed cheese filling in a jicama wrapper. Now I'm looking at the menu it says a "fresh heirloom tomato sauce". Guess I missed that as I don't remember ANY tomato sauce BUT, whatever sauce was on it, I just wanted to lick the plate. It was sooooo good! ($15)
I didn't know (wasn't told) a side salad came with it, so I'd ordered a half-size of the house salad. Mediocre at best. When the one came with the entree I sent it back. ($7)
To drink I had the Ginger Limeade. Now THAT was a treat, especially if one likes ginger. The ginger itself was minced into the glass. ($3)
To take home, for dessert, I had the Key Lime "Pie". The manager, Lilah, told me it was more like a mousse rather than a pie and they'd have to put it in a cup. Sure, fine. Well, got it home and it filled half the cup. Pretty good. Good enough I had no problem eating it all.
All in all a good experience. Service was interesting. When we arrived there were two other couples there, one couple being journalists from Spain who were doing an article on the restaurant. After we sat down, Lilah came out and turned directly to the couple seated by the door, sat with them a bit, then turned back to the kitchen. The female journalist pointed us out to her and she immediately brought us menus.
The restaurant is lovely. Dark wood tables with benches along the walls. The chairs were comfortable. The doors were open to let in the cool night air. The problem with that is, it's right next to the sidewalk and anyone walking by with a cigarette...
You can find there menu on their site: http://crusilverlake.com/. Parking is atrocious. We found parking immediately up the street this time as someone was leaving. Last time, when it was Jade, we drove around for a good 15 minutes before parking across the street at a retail center. Is it worth it? YES!
All-in-all, the experience was good. I'd definitely go back for the Ravioli Cruda and request a side of the strawberry salad with it instead of the house salad AND the ginger limeade.
Cru: 1521 Griffith Park Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca. 90026. (323) 667-1551. http://crusilverlake.com/
Rachel Carr is not only the executive chef, manager, and has designed a completely new menu, she has changed the decor and has created an entirely different restaurant experience.
Every time I go, I end up in conversation with numerous other diners; the intimate atmosphere and small dining room seem to encourage this (although I'm never loathe to talk to strangers). As is the case with most raw restaurants, the majority of the diners aren't raw but are fascinated with the range of tasty dishes that can be made from organic, whole fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts. This is especially the case at Cru as it draws from a very urban, hip neighborhood-identified Silverlake and Echo Park population that enjoys its restaurants but isn't limited to raw or vegan.
I agree with Revvell about the house salad; the dressing is quite understated. I prefer my own salads with very light dressing usually just nonsweet fruits blended together, but, when at a restaurant, I expect something more unusual ... and tastier.
Some dishes are home runs. I've recommended the ravioli at Cru as among the best dishes that Rachel creates (on these pages somewhere, too, I think). Others are ho-hum; one night I was there, the Caprese Pizza was without any discernable taste even though it looked beautiful and certainly mimiced the look of what I've had in Italy. They were quite gracious, however, about taking it off the bill when we returned it.
The Key Lime Pie is excellent ... always. As is the ice cream, especially if you get it with chocolate sauce. I wouldn't recommend taking any of the desserts to go, however. I've tried and they just aren't the same if for no other reason than -- in the case of the Key Lime Pie -- it's served in an individual ceramic tart plate and there's no to-go equivalent.
I know Woody Harrelson likes the cuisine so much that they catered his meals recently when he was shooting a movie locally. For those of you who like to eat where stars do, that might be the recommendation you need. For the rest of you, Revvell's and my thumbs-up will hopefully bring you in for a taste test!
p.s. Revvell -- since we ate there together when it was Jade, I think an update date should occur!
Also, you can see my comments here: http://rawfoodtalk.com/showthread.php?t=28883
Last edited by RawTruth; 07-16-2007 at 03:27 PM.
Let us know when. I'm ready for more of the ravioli any day or night.
Originally Posted by RawTruth
You got it. Will travel for ravioli! I even hobbled in with my broken leg -- it's set to be freed today, so I'll walk normally in your honor. TTUS
Originally Posted by Revvell
Glad to see a review of Cru (and a website link, yay!) Thanks both of you for the info! I've heard good things about it but never made it there.
Well, the banana split got me, now I'm definitely going to Cru when I'm down in SoCal this weekend
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men."
I may see you there. Be sure to say hi!!
Hint: the coconut ice cream is the BEST. Be prepared, though, it is just one scoop and not cheap. But, then again, how many times do you get to eat raw ice cream? That's the time to splurge gastronomically and financially is my philosophy.
I'm going here on Saturday. Can't wait!! Looks like I'll be ordering the raviolis...and the brownie a la mode sounds good too.
Let us know how you like it and OH! If you meet Laila, ask her why she didn't call me back to be on my show. Let's put some pressure on 'er, eh?
Hehe, will do Revvell...btw - is that the name she would know?
oh, WOW! I want to go there!
Which name? Revvell? Well, uh yeah, that's my name. LOL Whether she remembers or not is a different question.
Originally Posted by Vegan Princess
I strongly suggest the coconut ice cream and the key lime pie (if Rachel's made it) -- they're far superior to the brownie, IMHO.
Originally Posted by Vegan Princess
Have a great time! Will you be in town on Saturday the 18th?
If so, there's a great potluck taking place in Santa Monica: www.rawfood.meetup.com/202
Thanks Rawtruth. Unfortunately it's just a quick weekend trip down. I never thought LA would be a mini vacation for me when I lived in San Diego, but now that I'm in SF it is. Planning on hitting Juliano's on Friday night too.
I was soooo dissappointed when Jade turned to Cru. My partner and I used to drive all the way from Ojai just to visit Jade. The menu was very creative and unique, but more reasonably priced than Juliano's. I LOVED the squash blossoms, the salads with various cheeses and the ginger coconut noodles. And the ice cream was excellent.
Now, Cru sells all your basic, everyday raw meals -- pad thai, ravioli, etc. and all with flavors we can easily recreate in our own kitchen. Kind of a yawner for me. I ordered the pad thai and had to ask them to bring me like two extra servings of sauce because it was basically daikon radish or parsnip noodles with very little sauce. We won't be making the drive anymore. Plus, Juliano's just lowered their prices, so we'd probably be visiting there until Gratitude L.A. opens up.
Raising Baby Raw
I loved Cru! I thought it was much tastier than Juliano's and I've eaten at Juliano's 3 times. I had the ravioli with a cream sauce and shitake mushrooms. My friend ordered the bento box. Both were absolutely delicious! And the brownie sundae was great as well...the brownie had a nice soft texture. I wish I could go back and try other things on the menu. I was very impressed. And I enjoyed the decor. I just was a bit sketched out by the neighborhood!