6.9 Mile Placerita Canyon Hike, Then Vegan Food

Throughout the months, I’ve made a conscious effort to do at least one trail each week. It’s not much but at least it keeps the blood pumping and the experience is far more interesting than running around in circles around my block or god forbid — on a treadmill in the gym like a hamster in a cage.

Over the weekend I completed the Placerita Canyon Firebreak Trail — a 6.9 loop that takes a sensible three hours to complete. It starts off with a series of fire roads — groan-inducing inclines that are shadeless, steep and seemingly never-ending.

Seriously grumpy because of the fire roads

Seriously grumpy because of the fire roads

An eventual cool breeze saved us from prematurely turning back, but I would not recommend doing this trail during the middle of the day. All the online guides for this hike had the same warning but we blatantly chose to ignore it.

But three hours, a deep tan and aching muscles later — we headed back to the city for my craving of choice — vegan food at Cafe Gratitude.


Lately I’ve been obsessed with macrobowls. They’re a medley of grain, dark green vegetables, pickled picks, seaweed and the occasional nut. The “I Am Whole” is a colorful toss of sea vegetables, kale, steamed quinoa (or brown rice), house-made kim chee, carrots, teriyaki almonds, and sprouts with a tahini-garlic sauce. Remarkably filling considering the size and it just felt 100% guilt-free.


Clark opted for the “I Am Hearty” — a vegan “pizza” with sun-dried tomato marinara, pesto, olive tapenade, Brazil nut parmesan and ricotta cheese on an onion-sunflower crust.


The meal was finished off with a vegan cashew/coconut ice cream sundae drizzled with chocolate sauce — a gem considering that I’m mildly lactose intolerant. (I’ll still eat dairy-based products, but my stomach is never too happy afterwards)

What a beautiful, vibrant meal to celebrate completing a gruesome summer trek in the mountains.

Cafe Gratitude
639 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles