The Culver City restaurant scene is well into its mannerist phase, an era of sleek surfaces, theatrical settings and food that coolly defies nature. But the standard-bearer at the moment has to be the eco-intensive Akasha, where the recycled wood is sealed with beeswax, the chairs are upholstered in hemp and the waiters wear organic cotton. Akasha Richmond, who is both chef and muse here, may be one of the best-known vegan cooks in the world, a television chef and former Vegetarian Times
columnist who has been in the employ of both Michael Jackson and Barbra Streisand. The kitchen's commitment to organic, sustainable, certified, cruelty-free ingredients goes without saying, in the bakery-cafe up front, as well as in the dark, multiveneered dining room. But although you can eat as low on the food chain as you like at Akasha, and Richmond knows from a mung bean - her bowl of curried mung beans, rice and flatbread is the kind of thing you always used to hope for when you visited a hippie restaurant - her cooking is surprisingly sybaritic: curry-dusted grilled shrimp; a decent roast chicken with spaetzle; and killer sweet-potato fries. The best dessert, a salty chocolate tart, comes with soymilk "whipped cream" scented with organic vanilla. Or you could just order a plate of Niman Ranch lamb sliders sliders and what are probably the best onion rings in town. See full review.
Cuisines: New American
Payment Type: All Major Credit Cards