I usually roll my eyes at anything advertised as raw food or vegan. Neither of those labels indicates that a meal will be balanced, healthy or taste good. In LA “healthy” food trends have arrived to the point of ground goji berries and activated cashews being considered a full meal. No mames.*
But of course I like eating raw vegetables, and sometimes I don’t feel like eating meat, so I appreciate finding unique options to eat that way on a hot day in LA. In this case, I found Oaxaca Raw Living Food at the Mar Vista farmers market. Oaxaca and raw foods don’t naturally align in my mind. Oaxaca is definitely the spot for food markets, and when I was there I bought all kinds of produce and ate tropical fruit every morning. But it’s more known for hearty, laborious dishes like mole that definitely happen over the stove. I was curious what Oaxaca Raw would mean.
Sergio is from Tlacolula, home to one of the Oaxaca central valley’s biggest outdoor markets. I’ve been twice and loved it. “It’s today in fact!” he reminded me on Sunday. After moving to LA he worked for years in raw food restaurants. He changed his diet, and liked the way it made him feel and look. Eventually, he decided to put his own spin on raw foods.
The menu is not necessarily more Oaxacan than it is Mexican inspired. There are nut and veggie tacos, a veggie burger made with seeds and nuts with tumeric jicama sticks on the side, and a few sweet cacao treats. I ordered the enchiladas, made with a flax seed & coconut tortilla and covered in a mild dried chile salsa with cashew cream. Inside it was filled with a mixture of nuts, raisins, green olives, parsley and lettuce. The tortilla was a little flimsy, but overall there was spice to balance the sweet, a nice crunch from the lettuce, and for the first time ever, I found an enchilada to be refreshing.