Sunday, August 30, 2009

Croquer: Akasha

Akasha Richmond, renowned chef and popular author, widely known for her vegetarian recipes prepares rich and flavorful food made with organic, natural ingredients from sustainable sources at Akasha, her neighborhood eatery located in the historic Hull Building in downtown Culver City.
Keeping the principles of sustainability in mind, the building’s original steel, wood, concrete and brick arches were restored while the design materials pair with a seventies modernity to create a warm and inviting contemporary vibe.It is immediately apparent that local, organic, and handcrafted ingredients are key in Akasha's mission to make great food. Their publicized purveyors include small family farms, organic growers, sustainable and fair trade companies, and artisan food makers.
From the first sip of their signature cocktail the Akasha (Crop organic cucumber vodka, organic pineapple and cucumber juice, martini style) you can taste the love. Like a crisp bite from a garden, this might be the most refreshing cocktail I've tasted all summer.My lunch date Janine ordered the Grilled Open Faced Tempeh sandwich - two slices of toasted levain each piled with tempeh, organic swiss, avocado, daikon sprouts, caramelized onion, roasted red pepper, smoked paprika aioli, with billy bob's rice-pimento cheese. A mighty handful of crunchy sweet potato fries came on the side. This was a delicious, HUGE meal. The tempeh, something I grew to love in Oregon but rarely see on LA menus, was perfection - savory and rich, with a satisfying nutty earthiness. The accoutrements just made it better. Enough for two! Split this!
I opted for the Spiked Turkey Burger - organic turkey mixed with green olives, jalapeño, red pepper, onion, with organic white cheddar and a house made pickle. Sounds great, right? The olives and jalapeño sold me.. But have to say, I was disappointed by the burger itself. I did not taste olive or jalapeño, but definitely the onion and red pepper, bringing to mind midwest meatloaf way before an inventive turkey burger. The bun was a bit thick and spongey for me as well. I ended up eating half of Janine's tempeh (and ALL of my sweet potato fries)!The first thing you see when entering Akasha is a gorgeous bakery case of delectables, so once we were finished with lunch, espressos and mini cupcakes it was! We got one that was vanilla cake with chocolate and a carmelized banana on top. The other was a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter and chocolate on top! Both delicious... What I will get next time (that I didn't see until my way out) is the Salty Chocolate Pecan Tart! Yessir!9543 Culver Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232; 310.845.1700

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