Finding a delicious restaurant in Los Angeles can be difficult among the city’s thousands of dining options. To help readers narrow down their search, the Daily Bruin will review restaurants located along main streets near UCLA each week.
Don’t be deceived by the name – the Butcher’s Daughter boasts an all-vegetarian menu by shifting the key ingredients from meats to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Instead of deterring customers, the healthy appeal of the all-in-one restaurant, cafe, juice bar and gift shop keeps it bustling throughout the day. Nestled on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard between rows of palm trees and picturesque murals of Venice, the Butcher’s Daughter‘s wholesome cuisine and laid-back beach vibe make it the ideal spot to catch up with friends over brunch, coffee or a light dinner.
The simple exterior and foliage-lined entrance of the quaint brick building draws customers into the interior, which is the true hidden gem.
Garlands of leaves, plants hanging from the ceiling and potted succulents give the sensation of picnicking in a spacious garden. Skylights flood the restaurant with natural light during the daytime and dim lightbulbs create a relaxing atmosphere in the evening.
Communal tabletops add to the inclusive setting that disproves a locals-only attitude in Venice. Waiters in matching striped aprons gave suggestions on the menu and offered refills from glass bottles containing water sprinkled with mint leaves.
The restaurant features different breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus that change seasonally to cater to vegetarian palates without limiting its creativity. It’s satisfying to break open a poached egg over avocado toast or bite into a perfectly ripe berry from a fresh acai bowl at the Butcher’s Daughter for breakfast or brunch.
Along with a wide array of breakfast and brunch foods, the Butcher’s Daughter also features lunch and dinner options with artisan ingredients not found in a typical restaurant. Salads include crispy shallot, goat cheese and mint pistachio vinaigrette. Familiar meat-lover sandwiches like the BLT and Reuben use vegan adzuki bacon and cracked black pepper fennel “pastrami” as a substitute for meat.
Stone-oven pizzas, which cost $18 but are ideal for sharing amongst friends and splitting the price, are baked until the cheese melts over a slightly crispy crust.
Out-of-the-ordinary yet tasty ingredients such as pear, spicy red pepper and fig jam garnish the pizzas, replacing basic toppings such as pepperoni and sausage with healthier vegetarian alternatives. The Mixed Mushroom pizza balances the peppery taste of fresh arugula leaves with the meat-like texture of mushrooms and a firm layer of savory mozzarella.
The butternut squash risotto is a carefully arranged dish also priced at $18, seasoned with a vadouvan spice that complements the sweetness of the squash. Bursting cherry tomatoes and a soft poached egg contrast with the squash’s creamy texture. While categorized as a large plate for one person, it’s a great dish to share with the table.
An endless selection of cold-pressed juices, raw smoothies, teas, lattes, coffees and cocktails range from $1.50 for a Babyccino to $12 for a cocktail. The Juice Flight allows the indecisive customer to sample four of the 13 assorted juices. The freshness of the fruits and veggies is apparent in the cold-pressed juices, though the consistency was too watered down.
While the meals are as garden-fresh as the decor and equally delicious, the single servings are expensive considering I paid about $18 for one portion.
Although Abbot Kinney is about a 20-minute drive from UCLA, try it on a day away from the Westwood bubble. The chic vintage aesthetic provided a homey ambiance while enjoying a high quality vegetarian meal.