Adventures in Veganism: Organic, Raw, Vegan Fun at NV-DA Market
Cheryl GroffOrange oatmeal smoothie bowl
The best part about having breakfast at San Pedro raw vegan eatery NV-DA (pronounced "nuh-dah," which according to their site means "the sun and the moon" in Cherokee) is the way you feel after you eat there. Opened in December by former Cru employee Stacey Jackson, NV-DA Market serves smoothies, smoothie bowls, coconut yogurt, coffee, granola and parfaits that'll leave you with a pep in your step, but not the caffeinated one you're used to. Instead, you marvel at a fresh, satiated-yet-not-stuffed feeling.
The size of the (organic, raw, vegan) bowl of goldenberry granola — made on-site with almond butter, coconut nectar, buckwheat groats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Himalyan sea salt, goldenberries, banana slices and homemade almond mylk (yes, with a "Y") — looked like something off the children's menu before you ordered, but once you finish, you realize you're full. And not in that "I can't move for the next half hour" sort of full, but in the way that makes you want to walk to Long Beach, just because. An hour later, you're alert, aware and satiated, which makes you think a granola bowl might be a better start to your day than bagels and coffee.
Your mental state isn't the only heightened aspect of your body: Your teeth are smooth and your tongue feels fresh. More than likely, this feeling of cleanliness stems from the chunks of Granny Smith apples in the orange oatmeal smoothie bowl. (But then, they are preaching to the converted.)
The cashier will tell you that the orange moon smoothie tastes like an Orange Julius, but he's wrong. And you don't care because memory tells you that an Orange Julius is far too sweet for your adult palate. This doesn't. Instead, the orange moon — made with banana, orange, dates, almond mylk and vanilla — is mixed with the aforementioned apple chunks, buckwheat groats and goldenberries and topped with shreds of coconut.
The green apples are tart, but not in an overpowering way, while the coconut shreds provide a nice contrast to the Granny Smiths and the healthful amount of goldenberries. Perhaps someone could have told you the bowl isn't really a bowl and is really a large smoothie cup, but now we're being picky.
You didn't sample your friend's green protein smoothie — made with banana, kale, ginger, celery, dates, sunflower seed sprouts, lime and water — because celery is the work of the devil. That said, she loves the chunks of dates at the bottom of her cup and you love dates at the bottom of your cup, so maybe you'll get this smoothie next time and ask them to exorcise the celery. (See: above parenthetical comment.)
NV-DA Market: 407 W. 6th St, San Pedro; (310) 722-4141.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.