A favorite haunt for droves of diet-conscious movie stars, RAW is the vegan, organic, and?yes?raw culinary project of celebrity chef and showrunner Juliano Brotman. Juliano specializes in progressive, healthy spins on pretty much every kind of food?his menu encompasses pizza, burritos, sushi, pasta, French fries, and more? but his take on the All-American cheeseburger might be his piece de resistance. For starters, he molds patties out of mushrooms, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. Then, he brackets the organic burgers with wafer-thin, sun-baked bread smothered in mayonnaise forged from macadamia nuts and garnished with made-from-scratch mustard, onions, tomatoes, and avocado. According to Juliano, the delicious creation "is really just a salad in disguise."
RAW does not stop at globe-tracing cuisine; the team also doles out a medley of nourishing, ecologically responsible beverages. Herbal enzyme elixirs pack ingredients such as lemon grass, gingko, and elder flowers into lip-smacking potions. Their organic, vegan, biodynamic wines are all made with certified organic grapes, and blended cocktails such as their trio of honey-sweetened daiquiris let guests indulge themselves with little guilt. They also swirl smoothies out of organic, locally acquired produce. These can be imbued with super-boosts, such as bee pollen for B-vitamins or protein powder to help clients bench-press a forklift.
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Orchids and other indoor, household plants are the stars of this small, nondescript warehouse on Overland Avenue. The family-operated Pac 8 Orchids provides arrangements ranging from smaller, single stem plants to massive three-pronged centerpieces, each prepared on premises and by hand. Along with the titular flowers, Pac 8 carries all the necessary accoutrements, such as wood chips, topsoil and handmade planters and pots for both large and small settings. Flowers at every point of their life cycle are found here, from seedlings to full bloom, sporting the sort of natural hues that can brighten up any room of a house or apartment – and rival the prices found at the downtown Flower District.