The Nature Conservancy polled foodies in the greater Los Angeles area about their favorite sustainable restaurants. Restaurants that serve ingredients that fit some or all of the following criteria could be considered: organic, local, in-season foods, source sustainably managed seafood, or offer grass-fed and free-range meat options. Consumers responded with hundreds of nominations, ultimately crowning Real Food Daily restaurant as LA’s Nature’s Plate People’s Choice Winner.
The awards launched on April 30 and closed on June 21.
Real Food Daily, an organic vegan restaurant with locations in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Pasadena, received 58% of the votes. Bon Appétit declared “Ann Gentry, the creator of Real Food Daily has taken two different California trends – vegetarian foods, and the organic seasonal cooking popularized by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse – and come up with a cuisine that is as interesting and delicious as it is healthful.”
“I am honored to have my restaurants, Real Food Daily, win the 2012 People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award in Los Angeles. In 1993, I made the commitment to serving an exclusively plant-based cuisine to benefit people's personal health and that of the planet we share,” said Ann Gentry Founder of Real Food Daily.
Nature’s Plate Semi Finalist chosen by the public also included:
Andrei’s - Irvine, CA
A non-profit built from love and a strong commitment to support our local farms, community and personal well-being using inventive cuisine, a well-crafted bar and warm hospitality.
Border Grill - Los Angeles, CA
This hip, urban cantina from Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger features upscale and modern Mexican fare using sustainable seafood and locally grown ingredients.
Hugo’s Restaurant - Los Angeles, CA
Delicious stealthy and healthy omnivore carnivore, vegan and vegetarian cuisine in Los Angeles featuring sustainable and organic ingredients.
Pace Restaurant - Los Angeles, CA
Serving Los Angeles organic, sustainable food for more than a decade in the heart of Laurel Canyon. Offering a straightforward and uncomplicated approach to classic seafood preparations with timeless dishes that are both soulful and elegant.
Recent trends show a dramatic shift toward sourcing local foods and using more sustainable practices for farming and fishing. Nature’s Plate highlighted restaurants that are leading and supporting this trend. While the contest focused on restaurants, it was only the start of a conversation about food, conservation and The Nature Conservancy’s work with farmers, fishermen and ranchers.
Bite-sized actions make a big difference for consumers and the planet. Nature’s Plate was an opportunity for people to help raise awareness of delicious food that’s good for them and good for the planet. Nature’s Plate was brought to you by The Nature Conservancy and supported OpenTable.
“Food is one of the most personal ways we connect with nature. Support your local restaurants that offer sustainably caught seafood and locally harvested fruits and vegetables,” said Wendy Pulling, California Director of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy. “You can boost the local economy, enjoy a great meal and help the planet.”
In addition to Los Angeles and San Francisco, this state-by-state contest was presented by The Nature Conservancy chapters in Washington DC, Richmond, VA, New York (NYC), New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Florida (Miami), Washington (Seattle) and Colorado (Denver/Boulder).
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.