There are jail bars on the windows and the red and white paint cracks along the building’s exterior, especially around the sunrise mural that resembles graffiti. Inside, cafeteria-style tables and chairs cluster next to worn wooden booths and bumper stickers plaster the length of the wooden beam in the middle of the room. Against one wall, plastic bins of beans and sacks of supplies are stacked on top of cans and cans of tomatoes, blocking light that filters through the burlap curtains shielding the windows. A lone cupcake perches on a small dessert stand next to the register, which backs up to the window where a cook pushes out plates of steaming vegetables, tortillas, and tacos in flimsy red foil-enshrouded baskets, framed by a black chalkboard with the daily soups and specials scrawled across with chalk.
A silver bucket of chips arrive hot, thick and crispy, paired with watery, spicy salsa.
I’m in love with this restaurant—but more specifically, the raw taco: a vibrant, purple leaf topped with marinated mushrooms, a “purple haze slaw,” a mound of wispy sprouts, carrot shavings, sunflower seeds and slivers of avocado.
Things I’m not fond of: mushrooms, sprouts, raw cabbage.
Things I love: the raw taco.
It just doesn’t add up. And I’m a little terrified to try it at home for fear of creating something truly nasty. But when Erik and I went on a detox for a week, the one thing that kept us going was the thought of a being able to eat raw tacos.* After trying Sarah B’s version (since she’s never led me astray), I’m happy to say that this raw taco is just as good as the one described above, with more of a meaty punch. I kept the red cabbage and avocado and swapped out the magical marinated mushrooms for completely natural vegan ground beef and the cabbage slaw for a tangy-sweet peach salsa.
These are SO good, I think it’s worth re-inventing your idea of taco Tuesdays (or Thursdays, or everydays). It took about 15 minutes to throw together this incredibly satisfying meal.The juicy crunch of the red cabbage against the meatiness of the walnuts and the sweetness of the peach punched up by bursts of lime and salt and creamy avocado–this is Mexican food at it’s finest.
*Why eat raw food? Cooking can destroy a lot of enzymes and essential nutrients our bodies crave. I’m no expert in raw food, but I think this is a pretty good explanation of why eating raw can be beneficial.
Boyfriend rating: 9
Comments: “This should go on your list of best recipes ever.”
- For the walnut taco meat:
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon nama shoyu raw, unpasteurized soy sauce—I just used soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- dash of pepper
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- For the peach salsa:
- 2-3 small roma tomatoes diced
- ½ medium cucumber diced
- ¼ small red onion diced
- 1 medium peach diced
- juice from half a lime
- dash of cumin
- dash of garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- For assembling:
- 4 large red cabbage leaves
- 1 small avocado
- salsa such as the peach salsa we used (recipe below)
- other optional toppings: sprouts shaved carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, sunflower seeds
- Pulse all ingredients for the taco "meat" in a food processor until just combined. Don't over process or you'll get walnut butter!
- Combine all ingredients for the salsa and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Spoon some taco meat into a freshly washed cabbage leaf, pile on the salsa and a few slices of avocado. EAT!