In 1999, when I was a senior in high school, I bought RAW: the UNcook Book. When I brought it back to our normal west-central Wisconsin home, my mom and sister didn’t quite know what to think. At that point, neither did I really, as the recipes seemed to take hours of prep time (soaking, sprouting, fermenting, oh my). But everything looked so good. So pure. So fresh. And, so colorful. I was mesmerized by the vivid images more than the text of the recipes. I wanted to eat the creations in this book; I just didn’t want to uncook them myself.
Fast forward almost 10 years later: I found myself sitting out on the patio of Juliano’s Santa Monica restaurant – Planet Raw, where there was a potted orchid centerpiece on every table – with my sister (who I never thought would go raw before me) and a dear friend from college. We were ready to take the place for a full-bellied taste test.
The menu went on forever. For someone like myself, who has been raw for almost a year and is limited in Boulder’s raw-dining-out scene, to have such an extensive menu was indeed overwhelming, but incredibly gratifying. There is so much more than just salads at this joint (although the salads are fab, too).
As a resident of LA, my sis frequents the place and made plenty of recommendations accompanied by great displays of audible emotions and the swooning look of bliss on her sweet face when she described her love for the Bacon Western Double Burger (complete with fries and ketchup and mustard) and the Pumpkin Tortellinis. Oh, and don’t forget the Pizza and the Fat Chez Melt…
We got one of all of the above, and additionally, the Tijuana Taco, the Blood elixir, a coconut and 3 desserts, including and (sadly) limited to: the Apple Tortellini, Chocolate Parfait and The Orgazmatron (which, btw, failed to deliver). We immediately (and sorely) wished that we had extra extendo stomachs so that we could savor more of the Pumpkin Tortellinis. The Apple Tortellini dessert was severely incredible.
We left happy and beaming. Ebullience, I dare say. The creativity and energy of Planet Raw is boundless. It’s a must eat if you ever find yourself in downtown Santa Monica in need of good vibes and tantalizing nourishment.