Gracias Madre’s sweeping bar allows guests to drop by anytime for one of Eisner’s cocktails.
The flautas comprise rolled tacos stuffed with sweet potatoes and caramelized onions.
Gracias Madre’s gorditas are potato-masa cakes topped with green salsa, avocado, and cashew crema.
The resto’s décor highlights include colorful pillows and high-vaulted ceilings that nod to Mexican heritage.
Guests can choose to dine inside or alfresco via the restaurant’s adjacent patio.
La Cuidad mixes tequila, dry vermouth, maraschino, and orange bitters together.
From the folks behind buzzed-about Café Gratitude comes Gracias Madre—LA’s first vegan-Mexican restaurant serving up chef Chandra Gilbert’s all-organic dishes rife with bold cultural flavors. An equally delicious, good-for-you beverage program spearheaded by Jason Eisner complements the cuisine.
Start by tasting Gilbert’s delectable small bites like marinated mushrooms, potato-masa cakes with green salsa and avocado, or baked Brussels sprouts with caramelized onions. Then, treat your palate to one of the savory mains on the menu: chilaquiles comprised of tortilla chips cooked in a spicy tomato salsa; sopes topped with a host of mouthwatering fixings including pineapple habanero salsa and guacamole; or spicy mole enchiladas loaded with mushrooms and cashew cheese. Mexican sides like rice, beans, and tortillas can play perfect accompaniments.
Once you’ve had your share of spice, satisfy your sweet tooth with Mexican wedding cookies topped with chocolate coconut ice cream, or homemade flan accented with burnt sugar caramel. Whatever you order, wash it all down with a classic Mexican sip like horchata or seasonal aguas frescas.
When it comes to booze, one of Eisner’s thirst-quenching concoctions won’t disappoint. Prepared with locally sourced and housemade ingredients, his cocktails—such as El Guey Aguanta, which mixes mezcal with rice milk horchata, vanilla cinnamon syrup, and grated canela—are healthier yet satisfying. There’s also the La Rosa, assembled with tequila añejo, lime, pomegranate grenadine, and a chili-covered lime garnish. Even the requisite margaritas take a unique turn: Eisner’s Flor de Jamaica comprises tequila blanco, curacao, agave, lime, and a hibiscus float.
The restaurant’s décor also nods to Mexico’s heritage with wooden tables, 80-year-old olive trees, high-vaulted ceilings, brick walls, and colorful accents. Though the resto’s first outpost is based in San Francisco, its dedication to health, sustainability, and seasonal ingredients served in a casual atmosphere is a perfect fit for LA. 8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-978-2170
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC WOLFINGER/ERICWOLFINGER.COM