Planet Raw

Los Angeles, California


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I went to this restaurant this week for my birthday and I had a wonderful experience. The atmosphere is delightful with beautiful and healthy orchids on every table and all along the counter and there are lots of vine plants hanging from the ceiling. I absolutely loved my meal and I wish the recopy for the grilled cheese sandwich was in Juliano’s cookbook (he is a very nice man by the way, very kind to my friends and I). The food is not typical raw food, it is definitely gourmet style. While I don’t have any problem spending money on fancy food, I don’t like that this food is so inaccessible to many people because of the prices. Raw food probably shouldn’t be much more elitist (forgive the term) that it already is. But I do have to say that this upper-middleclass citizen enjoyed her meal, even with the pangs of guilt, and will probably return. I guess I accept that even raw foods restaurants can have that gourmet culture. Everything seemed perfect to me (well except that I don’t eat honey and it was in a lot of things) but I can afford it.

rating star

The food is excellent with a sense of style and a very new approach to cuisine. It is a very calming and relaxed environment. But it is a place that is good to go to if you are not the one paying because it is a bit pricey. However, although the portions appear small, they are very substantial and filling! (And of course it is not cheap because the preparation of the cuisine is quite labor intensive)

Image for Steve Carlson

rating star

Since this restaurant was originally listed, the prices here have gone through the roof; with entrees averaging in the $25 range, and micro-sized appetizers go for about $8-10. So plan on spending at least $40 with tax/tip. And add another $8 if you want a beverage and another $8 for desert.

But the prices aren't my biggest issue with this place, rather it's the very mediocre food and the small portion sizes. Also, the much-heralded and much-ballyhooed Juliano oversaturates his food (in my opinion) with too much salt, spices, and oils. This is raw food? Maybe technically, but there's other places out there that are a lot cheaper, A LOT better tasting, and more authentically raw than this farcical excuse for raw food cuisine.

And that's too bad, because the place has a great location, just east of the heart of downtown Santa Monica, California! And the concept is ideal for those health-and-body conscious beach babes. But I'm sorry to say that many people that stumble in there will probably think that the food at Juliano's Raw is somewhat representative of typical raw cuisine, when it's not, in my mind.

rating star

I had my first experience there this last week. It was exceptional. I really loved the fresh juice mix, the seawitch sea vegetable soup, and the salad which was more than salad. The atmosphere made me feel like I was in a small eclectic town. The servers were friendly and funkily dressed. Nice atmosphere. Almost expensive but not. I was full after my meal and refused desert. Such good energy. Loved it and will definitely go back! I hope they expand in physical size and menu (more non nut variations would be appreciated). Great Place - Long Live Juliano's.

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