Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting fresh and raw with friends: CRU (II), Silverlake

The Hungry Hungry Hungry Hippo, Kat and I went to CRU (again) to celebrate Kat's birthday by noshing on delicious (raw / vegan) treats and gulping sipping our own vino. CRU is not only vegan (and more than half raw), but also entirely organic and gluten-free. Chef Rachal Carr's creations are inspired by a variety of cuisines including Italian, Thai, Tunisian, Indian, and Mexican. The menu changes seasonally so we were excited to see what was on the late winter line-up.
The Hungry to the third power Hippo HHHH selected a very fitting Kumbaya red for our harnessing-your-inner-chi dinning. No corkage fee = score!
 We started off with the raw mezze platter ($13) consisting of apple beet salad (with raw honey, mind you), fig pate, flax crackers, kale, cashew cheese, olives, and tzatziki. It was an explosion of fun flavors and great to nibble on.
 Raw Mezze Platter: Fierceness is always welcomed

We got a hot appetizer as well: the crispy polenta cakes ($13) with sauteed mushrooms, apples and arugula was the group favorite. I questioned the flavor combination, but it was really a grand slam with the savory and just a touch of sweetness from the apples. The polenta was perfectly crispy on the outside with the innards having a texture and taste of something like ricotta.The chive oil drizzled throughout the mixture really brought everything together.
Crispy Polenta Cakes

For my main dish I selected the pesto raw ravioli ($15) stuffed with herbed cashew cream, and topped with a lemony arugula salad. Divine. Arugula is officially my favorite choice of salad greens now. I liked the contrast between the smooth creamy cashew "cheese" with the lemony tang from the oil, zest and dressing on the arugula salad.
Yap, that's a raw ravioli!

Kat and HHHH went with the raw Chorizo Tostada ($13) for their main course. It was presented with radish cabbage slaw, raw vegan chorizo, and salsa criolla on a corn tostada shell. The chorizo flavors and textures - minus the bits of suspicious mechanically processed fatty pork gristle found in regular chorizo - were spot on and delicious. About half way through the tostada both the HHHH and Kat happily groaned they were stuffed.
 Raw Chorizo Tostada

1521 Griffith Park Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 667-1551


Gastronomer said...

Your food porn and happy words are putting me in the mood for raw, vegan, gluten free fare! I will try this place. Mark my words.

Banana Wonder said...

Gastronomer - I hope you do, and tell me about it! I love CRU!

gourmetpigs said...

I've been curious about this place for a while. I guess I haven't been able to bring myself (and convince others) to go eat raw, but I'm going to have to, at least out of curiosity, soon enough.

Banana Wonder said...

burumun - the good thing (to tell you friends) is that only half the menu is raw so you can try a combination of things. Enjoy!