The BayLeaf Cafe in Palo Alto came highly recommended by Nora over at Country Sun Natural Food, also in Palo Alto. (Note that they spell it “BayLeaf Cafe”, rather than “Bay Leaf Cafe”.)
So for about two weeks following that recommendation, we tried to get in to the BayLeaf Cafe for a meal. Any meal - dinner, lunch, midnight snack, mid-afternoon snack. It didn’t matter. It seemed that every time we went, the BayLeaf Cafe was closed.
It turns out that they have a rather … interesting … schedule, particularly during the mid-week, but it’s worth accommodating their schedule and going when it’s open. Because the food is very, very good.
According to their website, “The BayLeaf cafe was founded in Palo Alto downtown in November 2002. The goal of the cafe is to provide tasty and healthy food using organic ingredients, contribute its share in creating a sustainable earth for all.”
The food at the BayLeaf cafe is entirely vegan, and predominantly organic, although it is not primarily raw.
It is, however, extremely yummy. And the portions are generous. Particularly by trendy Palo Alto, California standards.
Today I had the Avocado Sushi Roll appetizer (avocado, cucumber, black and white sesame, ande sushi rice rolled in roasted seaweed, and topped with some sort of yummy crunchy flakes), and the chick pea curry, which was fragrant, flavourful, and altogether lovely.
I also got to taste their “Creamy Avocado” sandwich (avocados layered with tomatoes and soy cream cheese). The bread was fabulous and crusty although, again, obviously, not raw.
If you are 100% raw, the pickings are slim, but it is entirely possible to eat 100% raw at the BayLeaf Cafe. Their salad, for example, consists of “assorted baby lettuce leaves, frisee, spinach, arugula, red chard, mizuna, radicchio, tat soi, mustard and tomatoes”, and is only $4.00! Ask for a side of avocado and such, and you have quite a decent meal.
And their focus, raw or not, is far more in line with at least my philosophy of our role vis the earth and the animals with which we share it than most other restaurants.
And then there are the desserts. Oooh la la, the desserts. The most yummy, decadant, entirely vegan ice cream sundaes I have ever seen!
So despite the slim raw pickings, this all-vegan restaurant gets two thumbs up.
And the waitress, Cory, is a sweetie.
520 Ramona Street
Palo Alto, California
Here are their eclectic hours:
Tuesday: 11:30am-2:30pm; and 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Wednesday: 11:30am-2:30pm; and 6:00pm to 9:00pm