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Native Foods Brings the Vegan to Santa Monica

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Elizabeth Daniels 7/12

A most appropriate fit for Santa Monica, Native Foods started to serve those around Ocean Park and Santa Monica College this past Tuesday, July 3. Unfortunately the only initial reviews on Yelp come from nine people who were at the pre-opening party, which is a great recipe to build a solid reputation going into the first few weeks. The vegan chain that started in Palm Springs in 1994 finally opens its third location in LA at one of the centers of Vegan and Vegetarian culture, Santa Monica. Office workers, local residents, and students now have a number of unique options along Ocean Park, such as The Counter Burger, Novel Cafe, and Il Forno Trattoria. There's parking in the back as well as number of great patio tables out front.

According to a pre-opening party report by SuperVegan, apparently founding chef Tanya isn't involved with company and that the new owners are lawyers based in Chicago that aren't even vegan. This might be the reason that food has been tasting differently in recent visits, explains SuperVegan. With 2011 sales at around $15 Million, the company has stated that they plan to open 15 locations around the country in 2012, and newly opened SoCal locations include Westwood, Newport Beach, and Santa Monica.