Last visited: July 19, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC (Mount Pleasant/Main Street)
Address: 1829 Quebec Street
Price Range: $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 4 (for what it is)
- 100% raw, vegan & organic
- Mini organic supermarket
- Vegan/raw/organic industrial kitchen
- Live food/retail produces
- Vegan/Vegetarian friendly
- All natural/local ingredients
- Home made
- Extensive menu
- Home made desserts
- Nut environment
- Dairy free
- Eat in/Take out
- Accepts MC/Visa/Interac
- Mon-Sun 9am-9pm
**Recommendations: Mexi Spirals, The Ridiculous eaten WITH The OMG together, and The Heart Cookie. I didn’t try the Pizza or Masala Burger, but I’m confident in recommending them because they were recommended by my server that knew what she was talking about. A burger and pizza just sounded so boring to me so I passed, and I regret it. The other half of her recommendations, which I took, were easily the best things I had here.
Follow Me Foodie goes to another raw, vegan and organic restaurant? That’s two times in one month! Are you feeling okay? Yes, and I’m relatively healthy (I hope), and probably more so after this experience!
Yes, rub your eyes! I am dining raw vegan… again! No, it doesn’t mean I’m turning into a Lululemon girl who asks for dressing on the side and plants her own herbs (although I do plant my own herbs), but I am exploring a somewhat new world for me.
For those of you that have been following my dining adventures, you saw this coming didn’t you? I did mention OrganicLives in my blog post for Gorilla Food and that I still needed to try it. So I are my words and decided to actually try it. I mean how can I compare the only two 100% raw, vegan, and organic restaurants in Vancouver if I’ve only tried one of them? So to be fair I made an equal dent in both menus… which was quite pricey. As I said in my Gorilla Food post, this lifestyle is hard to keep up.
Just to state what perspective I’m coming from, I should tell you that I’m not a raw vegan, vegan, or vegetarian and I could never be any of the above. On the other hand I do enjoy my vegetables and raw vegan food excites me because of how creative it can get. I love nuts, seeds, and coconut, so I probably prefer a high fat raw vegan diet as opposed to the low fat one. Ha! Go figure. But these are healthy fats, and when eaten in moderation, it’s fine…. just like everything else.
I’m also “rating” this from a flavour perspective and the realm of raw vegan food alone and not comparing it to cooked non-vegetarian food to be fair. Well at least I tried not to compare.
OrganicLives is very different from Gorilla Food, in ambiance and food. It’s more sophisticated, gourmet, and eclectic. I personally enjoyed OrganicLives more than Gorilla Food and I think overall it’s just better suited for my taste and style. It is a bit pricier, but I still saw more value in the items I was getting, just because for the most part they tasted better. The menu just had more thought and the recipes seemed well put together with more flavour, variety and creativity. I didn’t feel like I was eating the same stuff in different forms, which is kind of what I felt like I was doing at Gorilla Food.
The kitchen is huge and it’s actually a professional industrial kitchen, unlike the homey basement like kitchen seen at Gorilla Food – see here. OrganicLives operates as a restaurant, mini organic supermarket and online retailer. They even host raw, vegan and organic workshops for those who want to learn and even cook this type of food. The atmosphere is very casual, spacious and industrial, but what they’re offering speaks higher than what the space suggests.
I do take an interest in this healthy and nutrient rich cuisine, although I wouldn’t chose it as a lifestyle. I appreciate food in general and the craft that goes into making it, and raw vegan food is challenging to master.
I was actually quite surprised that Follow Me Foodie had a raw vegan, vegan, and vegetarian readership, but after my post on Gorilla Food… it turns out it does! Thank you for reading by the way because most of the stuff I write on you can never try. Anyways I don’t want to leave anyone out, and exploring the Vancouver food scene, or just any food scene, is one of the goals of this blog.
I’m taking a bit of a risk, but I would recommend my carnivorous readers to try OrganicLives if you’re open to the idea of trying raw live organic food. The food wasn’t too difficult to warm up to even if you’re a stranger to this cuisine. Mind you, there were hit and miss dishes, so ordering is key and you do have to be very selective… or you could possibly never trust me again.
On the table:
- These almost bite-size Mexican inspired rolls are full of fresh veggies & cilantro, enrobed in our tomato-basil cheese, wrapped in an sun dried tomato cape and finally finished with a drizzle of our hot sauce $8
- This is the one savoury item that I would actually crave, come back for, and highly recommend, whether you’re raw vegan or not.
- It had the most flavour out of everything I tried and that was all thanks to the combination of tomato-basil cheese and hot sauce.
- It was almost like a taco salad meets a salad roll and it looked like sushi, it actually tasted better than their “Sprouted Pecan Sushi” which I ended up ordering as well.
- The sun dried tomato cape tasted like a firmer chewier sun dried tomato soft tortilla shell. It kind of reminded me of fruit roll up since it’s dehydrated, but it’s not sweet or sticky.
- It was traditional taco salad vegetables (lettuce and tomatoes) wrapped with tomato-basil cheese which tasted like tomato-basil cream cheese. That was the highlight.
- It was creamy and rich with cheese, spicy and sweet from hot sauce, and fresh and crunchy from the vegetables.
- The sauce wasn’t that hot, but it was sweet initially and then spicy at the end. It reminded me of Korean Gochujung sauce. It’s as spicy as a medium salsa, which isn’t too spicy, but there is a flavourful kick.
- There’s a strong cilantro after taste and it was almost a Mexican-Asian inspired “sandwich wrap” to me.
- It would have been even better with avocado and it’s not hard to replicate with non-raw vegan ingredients, but I enjoyed it and I would order it again.
- This is the best way to experience the unique flavours of OrganicLives… A great combo of crackers & breads with hummous, tapenade, our cheese trio and mushrooms stuffed with sprouted Hunza walnut pate $14
- This is a favourite and good as a shared appetizer, but not everything on it was great and the stuff you wanted more of, they gave you very little of.
- I wish it showcased the appetizers they actually offered though, because none of these items were available a la carte.
- It did have good variety, and I’m glad I tried it, but I wouldn’t care to really order it again.
- The dips and spreads were served with their house made Life Crackers, raw cucumbers and raw watermelon radish slices.
- Life Crackers – 4/6
- The crackers are dehydrated, so they’re almost like soft crackers with a slight crunch. They have an initial crunch and then a soft chew to them, like dried garlic would.
- They’re made with pureed cabbage, carrots, and lots of other vegetables, except for tomato. Apparently people are really allergic to tomato. It could have fooled me though because I found it a tad tangy and thought there was sun dried tomato in it for sure.
- There’s also flax seeds, oregano, rosemary, herbs and spices and it was savoury, and a bit sweet initially from the carrots, but predominantly savoury, nutty and herby.
- I enjoyed them and could eat them alone.
- Mushrooms stuffed with Spicy Sprouted Hunza Walnut Pate – 2/6
- I wasn’t keen on this because all I could really taste was the raw mushroom and then some spice.
- I just couldn’t help but to crave the flavour of cooked stuffed mushrooms.
- The hazelnut pate just added to the bittiness of a raw mushroom and I think a “cheese” stuffing would have been much better.
- There were some hazelnut and walnut crumbs and it was creamy and a bit crunchy in texture, but not so nutty in flavour.
- The nut flavours were just a bit overpowered by raw mushrooms and the spiciness of the pate, which kicked in after.
- Macadamia Nut “Cheese”, Brazil Nut “Cheese”, and Sundried Tomato “Cheese” (Top left corner)
- Macadamia Nut “Cheese” – 1.5/6
- It tasted like pureed wet macadamia nuts and it wasn’t savoury or anything.
- It was my least favourite because it could have been half cooked mushy white rice if you didn’t know what it was. I wouldn’t think “cheese” at all.
- Brazil Nut “Cheese” – 3/6
- This was actually savoury and it tasted like pureed wet Brazil nuts.
- I’m usually not a fan of Brazil nuts, but this wasn’t oily and it was almost like wet crunchy walnut paste.
- There wasn’t much of a difference between this and the Macadamia Nut “Cheese”, except that this was more savoury and of course made with a different nut.
- I normally enjoy Macadamia nuts better, but in this case, this was better.
- Sun Dried Tomato “Cheese” – 4/6
- This was by far the best of the 3.
- It had the most flavour and it was creamy and tangy with strong sun dried tomato flavour.
- It wasn’t tart though and it was balanced out with pureed pine nuts, almonds and basil.
- I would have been happy with this as a dip alone.
- House made Yam Bread, and Sesame Onion Crackers (Top right corner)
- House made Yam Bread – 4.5/6
- For what it was, it was great. It’s a very soft, dense, tender, non-chewy, and moist bread and it’s the texture of sliced polenta, without the flavour of it.
- It’s almost flimsy because it’s so moist and it’s sweet from the yams, but not like a dessert sweet.
- There’s lots of herbs, lots of pureed yams and I could enjoy this alone.
- Sesame Onion Crackers – 4.5/6
- This was just a sample and I could have used more of them.
- It was a soft dehydrated sesame cracker and it was very garlicky, nutty and savoury and actually not that sweet at all.
- It’s not those crunchy honey glazed sesame crackers, but a savoury soft sesame cracker.
- Olive Tapenade (Bottom left corner) – 3.5/6
- It was good, but in the realm of all olive tapenades (which are almost always raw and vegan anyways) it was okay.
- It was very salty and quite oily and made of pure pureed olives with some added dill for an herby flavour and lemony notes.
- It was creamy and rather smooth in texture, and it tasted like a simple puree of Kalamata olive recipe.
- Zucchini Hommous (Bottom right corner) – 3.5/6
- This tasted more like traditional hummus compared to the zucchini hummus at Gorilla Food, which I wasn’t a fan of – see here.
- This could pass for actual hummus, and there was no bitter zucchini skin flavour. I could have had it tangier with lemon because it wasn’t really.
- It was creamy, smooth and a bit more fluid than real hummus but it wasn’t runny.
- I could almost taste a hint of curry in it with some garlic and it reminded me of an Indian style hummus. I liked it!
- The first living soup that I created many years ago is still one of my favourites and has become that for so many of our guests. A rich and creamy delight made for every season full of Carrots, Avocado and a Crème de Coco $5
- With a description like that how could I not order this?
- I think it’s fair for the price, but it looks a lot more flavourful and richer than it really is.
- The flavour doesn’t really match the way it looks or the description.
- It’s served chilled and the entire time I ate this soup I kept having to remind myself that it’s raw. Therefore the flavours of the vegetables used will never develop or become as sweet as they would be cooked.
- It was very smooth, creamy and thick, but it’s not as heavy, rich or substantial as it looks.
- It’s as thick as a pureed acorn squash soup, but since it’s raw, the creaminess isn’t as creamy as a cooked acorn squash soup.
- It’s minty initially and then sweet from the carrots and squash, and even minty in the aftertaste. It was almost refreshing and it doesn’t look like it would be.
- It was textured with pureed raw vegetables and I could taste broccoli, carrots, squash and I think cucumber in the base.
- There’s lots of herbs and it’s full of dill and perhaps a hint of curry, but it doesn’t taste Indian at all.
- It was herby in flavour and has a slight heat, but it’s not spicy, or that sweet or savoury.
- I couldn’t taste any avocado, or the buttery rich texture of it, and I thought it would be much more flavourful than it was.
- I’m glad I tried it, because curiously would have killed me, but I wouldn’t care to order it again and would enjoy half the bowl before I got a bit tired of it.
- The colours are gorgeous, the presentation divine and the flavours extraordinary. Red, Gold and Chioggia beets with a hazelnut, crimini and shallot filling garnished with caramelized shallots and a side summer salad with lemon-tarragon dressing $15
- This was delicious if you don’t think of it as ravioli and more like a salad. It’s a 4/6 as a salad, but not as ravioli.
- If you think of it as raw-vegan ravioli, it’s still very unexpected and doesn’t even really resemble a ravioli.
- I found it slightly pricey and I wouldn’t be full off of this as a main alone and it would get quite repetitive.
- If you order this, which is good to try, I recommend it as a shared appetizer and to treat it as a salad.
- Have you had raw beets? Well the flavour is subtle and not sweet when it’s raw.
- The ravioli “skins” were raw and crunchy sliced beets and it was hard to not think how much better they would be if they were candied and cooked.
- The sauce is pretty much olive oil, but the olive oil is extremely fruity, high quality and delicious.
- They topped the ravioli with dried caramelized shallot chips which added a nuttiness and slight sweetness which was highly desired and needed.
- Each ravioli was filled with a good amount of hazelnut, crimini and shallot paste and it was almost like their nut pates.
- The filling had a very dominant shallot flavour, a little garlic, onions, a bit of raw mushroom, crumbs of crunchy hazelnut, and and then some sweet date flavour as a binder.
- It was the perfect balance of savoury, sweet and nutty with a little spice from the raw shallot at the end.
- It was very nutty, crunchy and aromatic all together and it had good flavour, the filling being the best part.
- This would have been better with a “cheese” aspect since it is “ravioli”, or even some type of sauce to make it more like a main than a salad.
- I would have settled for a rosemary infused honey glaze on the beets topped with their raw vegan “cheese”.
Thai Coconut and Yam Curry – 1.5/6
- All the flavours of Thailand combined in creamed coconut and yam base with an amazing medley of veggies make this a daily favourite for many, served with tossed Thai infused veggie coleslaw and our famous crackers $16
- Again, with a description like that how could I not order it? I heard good things about this too, and I really did not get it and found it overpriced.
- It was served with 2 pieces of Life Crackers which I described in the Tapas Platter above.
- Thai Coconut and Yam Curry – 1/6
- It doesn’t taste anything like Thai coconut curry and it was more like a chilled spicy red bell pepper and tomato soup topped with salad bar toppings.
- It wasn’t that thick or creamy or sweet with coconut and it just seemed spicy without any other flavours to develop it.
- I found it quite bland and the yam didn’t lend itself to its sweetness or even really the texture.
- I continuously had to remind myself that it is raw so it won’t be as creamy or sweet.
- It had no lime, basil, or lemongrass flavours to imitate a Thai flavour, nor did it have a curry, cardamom, cumin, or coriander flavour to imitate an Indian style curry.
- I actually treated it as soup and it was less thick and flavourful than the Carrot Avocado Velouté.
- I just found the raw chunks of avocado, red pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, lettuce, and almond pieces quite random and I really didn’t see the hype for this.
- I wanted to love this, but I would have never guessed this was a raw vegan interpretation of Thai Coconut and Yam Curry.
- Thai Infused Veggie Coleslaw – 3/6
- This was the redeeming factor.
- It was shredded carrots and I think daikon with cilantro tossed in a Thai salad dressing. I was told it was “Italian dressing”, but it tasted nothing like Italian dressing.
- It tasted very nutty and creamy and there’s no nuts in it, but I couldn’t put my taste buds on what it was.
- The texture was almost like potato powder and the dressing tasted oddly like mashed potatoes, but it was really good!
- It’ll drive me insane to figure out what it was, but it wasn’t tangy and not like a vinaigrette, but more savoury with lots of olive oil.
- I think it could have been a savoury basil coconut sauce.
- I wish they tossed some shredded green mangoes, sesame seeds and basil leaves in this. It could have been even better as a raw green papaya salad to match the Thai theme.
- The Full Medley, all three of our fabulous flavours for sharing $ 21
- Sprouted Pecan, A perfect storm with sprouts, veggies, avocado and mango $ 7
- Sprouted Walnut, All about fresh cucumber, cilantro, avocado and carrots $ 7
- Sea veggie & rice, A medley of sea & ground veggies wrapped in our “rice” $ 7
- The Spouted Pecan is the most popular and if I were vegetarian I would prefer traditional Japanese vegetarian sushi to this.
- This just tasted like plain raw vegetables wrapped in a chewy nori wrapper.
- It was very crunchy, full of fresh crisp vegetables, but hardly any mango so I couldn’t taste its sweetness or flavour at all.
- I couldn’t even taste the sprouted pecan and it was a bit mushy without any pecan flavour or nuttiness.
- The flavours and execution just seemed like something I could make at home. I give it that it was pretty and presented nicely.
- It was served with a very tangy and semi-sweet ginger juice vinaigrette that wasn’t so great. It had a strong ginger flavour and was perhaps spiced with nutmeg (?) and it was a bit strange.
- As a sushi lover, I couldn’t help but to really want real sushi after this.
Trust me, it’s not because I have a sweet tooth that I am recommending the desserts. It’s not that hard to make raw vegan desserts taste good, so I find it’s usually a solid bet, and it was. A vegan and raw food diet often includes coconut and nuts, and those items are ideal for desserts. For this reason, I highly recommend their desserts because they were actually good and I would come back for them, raw vegan or not. They just happen to be more impressive than some of the savoury items, and I like savoury food too.
- If you love, like or ever think about chocolate then this is all about your chocolate fantasy… sharing is caring though $7
- Raw vegan or not, this is an amazing chocolate torte.
- If you’re a chocolate lover, this will make you very happy, and I’d say it’s a must try!
- I’m usually not a fan of chocolate tortes that are almost all ganache, but this one was amazing.
- It’s chilled and actually sweeter than expected and it’s very rich and indulgent so its best shared. It’s a pretty small slice, but the flavour is big!
- The quality of chocolate was unreal. It just coats your mouth with a thick layer of intense cocoa flavour and it tastes like real chocolate from a South American cocoa plantation.
- It’s unlike any chocolate I’ve tried before, except for a raw block of chocolate I’ve had from a cocoa plantation in Panama. It tasted exactly like that!
- It was slightly bitter and rich with cocoa flavour and I could taste the cocoa beans and it was almost like bittersweet chocolate covered espresso beans in intensity.
- It’s chilled, but as it melts in your mouth it leaves a residue of high quality chocolate with a flavour that lingers long after the chocolate is gone.
- The crust was soft and crumbly, but not chewy and it was made with I think dates, chocolate, cocoa, and Brazil nuts or almonds.
- Follow Me Foodie Tasty Twist: Well I have to give credit to the server for inspiring this idea, but eat The Ridiculous and The OMG together! It’s like a Bounty Bar in gourmet creamy tart or pie form! Amazing!
- We dare you not to say it…coconut is a personal obsession of mine and not just because it is the single greatest food on the planet. This is love at first bite and coconut cream forever after $7
- I love coconut, and I say OMG all the time… so this had my name all over it. Needless to say, I loved it! Definite “OMG” material!
- If you like coconut cream pie, chances are you’ll fall in love with this. Think coconut cream pie meets an unbaked cheesecake.
- This really reminded me of a heavenly raw vegan Coconut Lime “Cheesecake” I made – see here.
- It’s a very smooth, creamy, fluffy and almost a mousse like filling with a rich coconut flavour and it wasn’t too sweet.
- It melts in your mouth and was quite fluid and I think it’s just made of pure coconut cream, milk and perhaps cane sugar or agave syrup.
- The crust was a coconut, date and nut crust and it was almost like a granola bar crust. I loved it and enjoyed that even alone.
- The slice is pretty small though and I could have very easily had two, especially since it didn’t seem that rich or heavy although I’m sure it’s just full of high fat coconut cream. Yum!
- Overall I probably prefer the Coconut Lime “Cheesecake”, or the Avocado Pie at Gorilla Food, which was just a bit more exotic and unique.
- Personally I love coconut more than chocolate so I liked The OMG better than The Ridiculous, but they’re both a must try and it’s comparing apples to oranges.
- Follow Me Foodie Tasty Twist: I’m repeating myself, but I have to give credit to the server for inspiring this idea, but eat The Ridiculous and The OMG together! It’s like a Bounty Bar in gourmet creamy tart or pie form! A must try!
- Don’t leave without trying one of these, or just take some to go.
- They look plain and boring, but they’re delicious and a must try.
- This is not a chewy or soft cookie and it would have been better if it was a bit chewy. You can’t cut it and you have to break it with your hands and it’s very hard and thick.
- It tasted like it was made with 50% Brazil nuts crumbs, 30% almonds crumbs, and 20% ground coconut, and every aspect of it was nutty and delicious!
- I love nuts and coconut and this was almost like a very sophisticated oatmeal cookie but 100% better and I like oatmeal cookies!
- I’m not even a fan of Brazil nuts and I almost thought it was made of all almonds, but the extreme crunch factor was definitely from the Brazil nuts.
- The cookie doesn’t taste greasy or oily like Brazil nuts do.
- It didn’t have any cinnamon flavour or any spices, but it was just incredibly crunchy (use your back teeth crunchy), very dry and crumbly, and simply amazing.
- It’s not a bad dry either, but just a toasted ground nuts dry.
- The chocolate is the same amazing high quality bittersweet chocolate used in The Ridiculous and that was the sweet factor to this cookie.
- I was literally cleaning up every crumb of the cookie by pushing down on them with my fingers on my plate. It was great!
- We had a dear friend that brought in a dear friend of his that is an apple pie aficionado from New York to sample the pie… she declared it the best in the world $7
- This looked more appetizing than the Fresh Apple Pie at Gorilla Food. I didn’t try either, but this actually looked pretty good… next time!
- These were so cute! I think it’s the same coconut crust used for THE OMG made into cookies and then filled with chocolate ganache.
- This is possibly a combination of The Ridiculous and The OMG, but I’m making assumptions since I haven’t tried them… yet!
Oh, yum yum yum!!! I have been a vegetarian for over 12 years but have recently had to start to eat a little bit of chicken for health reasons….. I can’t wait to go here though….. I’ve read about it and have been meaning to go there for some time now. Thanks for the great photos and for exploring alternative restaurants even if they wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice…..
@Jayda Home – wonderful!! I’m so glad I can try something you’ve been wanting to try!! I didn’t know I had vegetarian/vegan readers so I definitely wanted to start giving you guys more posts too! I’m excited for you to try this place and don’t miss out on dessert! Do you eat fish or seafood?
OMG, when i started reading this, i was totally reminded of the raw vegetarian place the girls from Sex and the City visited where Samantha first met Smith Jared.. or Jared Jared the first time around lol
i find with most vegetarian options you really have to bump up the herbs and spices since you can’t use things like animal byproducts… no surprise that the mexi rolls were the best since their cuisine is usually packed with tons of flavours and spices! the ravioli is GORGEOUS!
i’m kind of sad that the pecan sushi wasn’t great – it definitely looked delicious and had a lot of potential!
@Linda – omgomgomg I know exactly which episode you’re talking about!! Hilarious!!! Yes, the pecan sushi I had high hopes for so I’m happy I didn’t order the medley with all 3! The colour are beautiful and you’re right about the spices and herbs!
sounds and looks MUCH better than Gorilla Foods – will definitely have to try it!
@Kathryn – oh good! let me know what you think! I think you would like it better too… but just be selective with the menu and it can get a bit pricey.
Yes I like seafood and fish….. but eating meat will certainly make things easier when travelling in France and Europe. In the French countryside they look at you very strangely when you tell them you are a vegetarian…. it may be more accepted in Paris and in the south, but in Burgundy it is considered very strange. The area where we have our house is very famous for it’s wine (of course), but also for it’s goat cheese (chevre), escargots and beef.
so glad you got a chance to try this spot out! your post makes me feel like i’m eating there vicariously through you. it definitely looks like a step up from gorilla food. now i’m curious if any staunch meatatarians are considering giving raw food (or even just vegan food) a shot based on your experiences.
@JaydaHome – i was JUST going to say that!! In Marseilles there was lots of great fish! I’m so jealous of your second home!!!
@k – oh good!! That’s what I try to do!!! Make you taste it through your screen!! lol just as long as you keep an open mind… this is pretty good.. but you have to let go of the “it would taste better cooked” idea.. it’s hard! Start with desserts 🙂
Bruno is from Marseilles so we go there quite often to visit family….. yes, the fish and fruit and vegetables are so delicious….. I love how people in the Mediterranean really understand food and wine.
@Jayda Home – it was hard for me to find a non-touristy place there, but next time I’ll know who to ask! Great Moroccan food there too! 🙂
Wow – thanks for the post. I actually LOOOOVE the ravioli, and personally give it a 5/6. I will definitely try the OMG cake.
@Amy – No problem! I actually like the ravioli too and thought it was better than good, but I had to think of it as a salad rather than a ravioli. That’s why I said “4/6 as a salad” lol. I think it was because I was expecting something more substantial. Have you tried their Mexi Spirals?! Yum! I heard the burger was good too!