In 1993, chef Eric Lechasseur's wife became ill. In an effort to help cure her, he began cooking and experimenting with macrobiotics. Well, the diet seemed to work, and Lechasseur has since become a private chef to health-conscious stars like Madonna, Sting, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. Eventually, he opened Seed Kitchen in Venice, a low key, order-at-the-counter joint with a wide range of macrobiotic, vegan dishes. They serve many “burgers,” but the best is probably the BBQ tempeh, a large and completely filling creation, served on a crispy seven-grain sourdough roll with a side of coleslaw. Tempeh is a soybean cake that offers more protein, fiber and vitamins than tofu, and while it can often be a fairly wretched tasting item, at Seed, it's slathered in a slightly sweet BBQ sauce and balanced out with tomato, lettuce, vegenaise and a crunchy slice of red onion. It may be difficult to eat without causing a mess, but that can be a welcome development to vegans out there who miss the slop, dripping fun that comes along with a juicy ball of dead cow. The fries, cooked in rice bran oil, hold up surprisingly well, but must be eaten quickly to retain their best qualities. 1604 Pacific Ave., Venice. (310) 396-1604, seedkitchen.com.
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