The healthy store is ironically located inside a Ben & Jerry's, but partners David Walker, Carter Murdock, and Angela Huang are obviously sincere in their mission. "This is how I eat all the time," says Huang, a vegetarian and owner of nearby Winds of Change boutique. "My customers are always asking me for nutrition advice and healthy foods, and I'm so glad I can share this with them."
While Pure's simple menu of salads, wraps, smoothies, and freshly squeezed juices reads like standard stuff, young chef Carter Murdock makes them stand out with subtle seasonings, out-of-the-ordinary pairings, and plenty of attention to detail. Even a simple mixed-greens salad -- tossed with thyme, chives, shallots, and cucumber, and spritzed with a bright lemon-poppyseed dressing ($5.95) -- is a real eye-opener.
Although raw, vegetarian options dominate, the menu also includes a tuna wrap, and while most items are vegan-friendly, crumbs of feta or Parmigiano Reggiano show up as occasional garnishes. Those bits of cheese were all it took to shove an otherwise virtuous Italian wrap (grilled squash, red onions, roasted red peppers, green olives, and mixed greens; $5.95) out of the austere realm of " health food" and into the lap of luxury. And don't even get us started on Murdock's dreamy couscous ($4.95), gussied up with cinnamon, lemon zest, almonds, dates, raisins, and shallots.
Imaginative juice combos include peach-saffron; pineapple, ginger, and lemon; and watermelon-mint ($3.95 -- $5.95); add a shot of wheat grass or E-3 live algae for $1.99. And a Protein Blast smoothie, with banana and agave nectar, features a 100 percent organic vegan protein supplement ($5.50).
For Huang, who also owns a dance and yoga studio in Moreland Hills, the café is part of a quest to promote healthy lifestyles. "Having the best quality nutrition from natural foods is just another piece in the puzzle," she says.
Currently, business is primarily carryout, although a few tables are available inside the ice-cream store and on a small sidewalk patio. Eventually, the partners hope, the operation will grow into a regular sit-down restaurant.
Pure is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday.
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