Restaurant Review: Gracias Madre in West Hollywood

(posted by Emily) 

Recently, Rick and I had a chance to check out one of the newest vegan spots in LA. Gracias Madre is a fully vegan restaurant, serving Mexican-inspired cuisine. We ate at the GM location in San Francisco during the summer of 2012 and were thrilled to hear that location would be opening in West Hollywood. I stalked followed GM WeHo on social media and we finally had a chance to visit during their first week open. 

We went to the restaurant on a Wednesday night, around 8pm. Silly me to think it wouldn't be as busy at that time--it was packed! Rick and I ended up snagging two seats at the bar and ordered a margarita to split. We planned out our meal, deciding on two starters and an entree to share. 

First up were the Papas al Horno. The menu describes them as roasted potatoes with olive oil and garlic, topped with chipotle cashew nacho cheese. We had had a similar dish in San Fran, with sweet potatoes that was outstanding, and so my hopes were high for this dish. Sadly, it wasn't quite the same. While it was good, the flavors were very simple and Rick commented that I've made better potato dishes in the past. Not really worth the $9 we spent on it.

papas al horno
Our second appetizer was the Repollitos Con Queso Fundido, Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions baked in cashew cheese with garlic breadcrumbs. Let me tell you, this dish alone was worth the drive up to West Hollywood. Very complex flavors and an unexpected take on Brussels sprouts. Unfortunately, it must be a seasonal dish because it's not on the menu anymore!

repollitos con queso fundido
For our entree, we chose the Tacos. The description of the fillings led us to believe that each taco would have a mix of cauliflower, zucchini, and mushroom, topped with cashew cream. In reality, each of the three tacos had a different filling. Luckily, Rick ended up with the mushroom one, since I'm not really a fan. The flavors were clean and simple--the fresh cilantro on top was great. 

tacos with a side of beans
Overall, the meal was so-so. We had slow service for some reason (probably the intense number of customers at the time), but ended up with a free marg from the bartender for having to wait--can't complain about that! The food was fresh and tasty, but we really weren't blown out of the water. I know I was expecting an experience more like our first meal in San Francisco. And, I was bummed this location doesn't have vegan elote. When we go back, I'm sure we'll plan to order different things, to see what we missed out on the first time. We should have gone with the enchiladas, according to our bartender friend :) 

Don't worry, Gracias Madre. I'm sure we'll be back :) 


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