Real Food Daily: 514 Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica
Cost: $12.95 (vegan bacon cheeseburger, side salad included)
Image Source: blogger's own
I've been getting a few requests to start reviewing other types of burgers, other than the standard 'bacon cheeseburger'. I just wanted to take the time to assure the burger purists out there, by no means am I 'selling-out'. It's just once in a while, I might throw in a random review here and there just to quell and satisfy my 'other' supporters' cravings for "healthier" burgers.
I happened to be in the Los Angeles area for Thanksgiving holiday, and had an opportunity to review a vegan bacon cheeseburger at Real Food Daily, "New World Vegan Cuisine" in Santa Monica. Based solely on the multitude and quality of reviews on the restaurant's website, I was expecting a very high caliber meal. I arrived during lunch time on the day after Thanksgiving, and the place was bustling.
Verdict: As mentioned, my expectations were certainly high (just read the reviews on the website). I ordered the RFD burger with "the works" which added tempeh bacon and avocado. I was imagining my best veggie burger to date. Instead I was served something completely different from what I imagined.
I guess I wasn't expecting a hard, untoasted bun with a red play-doh shaped patty with this cheesy imitation vegan-cheese sauce sloppily squirted on the burger - so sloppily it flopped onto the edge of the plate. As many of my readers will know, I don't "stage" my photo-documentation, and I try to capture how the burger was served before me as accurately as possible.
Although the bun definitely did not lack structural integrity, I wonder if the establishment realized actually how stale the bread was. The patty, more of a puree (which resembled play-doh in color and consistency) immediately squished out of the sides upon handling. I ended up scooping the patty with a fork and eating the bun completely separate. Needless to say, the burger was not even dressed with any condiments, except for the tomato and avocado (no lettuce) unless you count the salad with tahini sauce. The ketchup, which I presume to be organic (read 13 August 2006: Too Healthy review) was served on the side, despite the lack of fries.
The burger was definitely not a favorable, nor flavorable experience. Maybe healthy food isn't really supposed to taste "good". I had the opportunity to sample a couple of other dishes that afternoon as well, and I will conclude that RFD does not meet my expectations.