Gracias Madre, located in the trendy West Hollywood blocks of Melrose Ave, offers a flavorful variety of Mexican-American delicacies for a vegan or vegetarian consumer. For anyone who follows a vegan lifestyle, it is hard to find a decent restaurant that doesn’t take away from the savory experience of eating Mexican food.
For a Tuesday evening, the upscale restaurant hosts an almost full house of laid-back locals mostly enjoying a drink and appetizer while engaging in a conversation.
The indoor sitting area includes a bar in the far right corner occupied with adults in stylish business clothes and surrounding table and booths. The outdoor area holds a much more relaxed atmosphere with tables of two crowding the entrance and colorful plants scattered around the terrace.
While the menu offers little variety—creating a Mexican inspired menu without meat is not an easy task—the appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages are ideal for a light dinner.
To begin, the waiter will most likely offer a non-complimentary guacamole and chips which sadly lacks the tangy flavor expected from a common party appetizer. The complimentary bland green and red sauces do not help the already dull start.
Despite the initial shortcomings, the restaurant redeems itself with the “gorditas.” The appetizer includes two potato-masa patties infused with mild spices and topped with shredded cabbage, warm salsa verde, freshly sliced avocado, and cashew cream.
To accompany the fulfilling appetizers, the “quinceanera” is a refreshing raspado cocktail spiked with tequila blanco and agave nectar with a sweet touch kiwi. The concoction is perfect for a late afternoon or early evening unwind after a long day at the office.
With a satisfied appetite, the dreaded bill comes at a high price. But, what do you expect? It costs a little extra to dine in the chic WeHo neighborhood. Overall, the restaurant serves as a laidback evening getaway for an unreasonable price.