Eating to Live on the Outside: Cilantro Live!

Well, it’s Friday and you know what that means? Time to once again test the waters of restaurant Americana—and we’ve got a cool restaurant on deck this week! Cilantro Live is quite similar Eating to Live on the Outside favorite Pure Food and Wine; all raw, loaded with phytonutrients, and looking delicious. So, enough stalling—let’s see we what we got!

First up are the soups and salads—no surprise here. The first soup to catch my eye is the self-titled Cilantro Live; made with avocado, cilantro broth, and diced tomatoes. Okay, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see why I picked this one…the avocado! But it’s not just that, cilantro is a great herb and the combination of all three ingredients sounds scintillating. The Autumn Wild Rice also looks cool; it’s got tomato broth, wild rice, kale, and mushrooms. Kale! Dr. Fuhrman would be proud. And yes, the rice is a bit of a concession, but, at least its not refined white rice. I can live with it.

As for the salads, I’m digging the Baby Spinach; primed with red onion, marinated Portobello mushrooms, pine nuts, and pink grapefruit. Pretty unique sounding—right? I’m curious about this one. I wonder what the flavor combination tastes like. Hopefully good, because this salad is concession-free—sweet! Speaking of unique, try some cactus! Yeah, that’s right, I said cactus. The Nopalitos is prepared with cactus, avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro. The avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro are cool—but cactus! Hey, it’s worth a try. Have any of you ever eaten cactus?

Okay, here are some cool appetizers and wraps. The Nori Rolls are neat. They’re sushi-like; nori seadweed rolls stuffed with daikon sprouts, red peppers, cucumbers, avocado, wild rice, and a carrot-pine nut pate. As a fan of sushi, this is right up my alley, although the rice is a concession. I also like The Cilantro Live Guacamole, its pretty simple; salsa fresca and flax seed crackers. Now, I’m not sure if flaxseeds crackers are a concession or not. I’ve never tried them before, so, in this case curiosity can kill the cat…meow! The Buenos Vida wrap is looking good too. For starters, all the wraps are made without tortilla, instead, everything is wrapped in a lettuce—I do this at home! And it’s cool to see an actual restaurant doing it too. Leads me to believe I’m not all that weird. The Buenos Vida is put together with cilantro pate, wild rice, house almond cheese, and salsa fresca. Again, that pesky wild rice is the concession.

Now, if you haven’t noticed yet. Cilantro Live has lots to offer, so let’s continue—shall we? The entrees and the specials are awesome! I really like the Roma Raw-Violis; made with Roma tomatoes, pine nut-basil cheese, and topped with pesto sauce. Stuffed tomatoes are great! The concession here would probably be the pesto sauce. Every pesto sauce I’ve ever eaten is made with olive and according to Dr. Fuhrman, olive is hardly health food. The Mole Enchilada is cool too. It’s prepared with a lot of different ingredients; raw corn tortilla, banana, Mexican wild rice, sesame seeds, and a sauce made with three different red peppers, fruits, and spices. Sure, the concession is the tortilla and the wild rice, but, this dish is just too interesting to pass up. What do you think?

In addition to all this wonderful food, Cilantro Live also boasts an extensive list of raw juices, smoothies, desserts, and candy—yes—I said candy! Yeah, I’ll skip the dessert and candy. Instead, I’d just make one of the juices or a smoothie my sweet treat. Let’s scope them out. Well, the juices definitely don’t look like the junk they sell in supermarkets. These juices are thick and look like they’ve retained a lot of fiber and nutrients, same goes with the smoothies. Okay, the Cleansing Cocktail looks good; it’s made with beet, carrot, apple, celery, and parsley. I’m also feeling the Wild Berry smoothie; its blended almond milk, agave, and berries. With both of these they’re might a concession lurking in there somewhere, but there’s plenty of phytonutrients to ease my worries.

Cilantro Live has four locations in California, so, next time you’re in the golden state, I think they’re certainly worth a visit. But first, check out Cilantro Live’s menu and let us know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Send an email to, or, blow up the comments.
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Jenny - July 6, 2007 9:44 PM

My Mom and I were so excited to see your review of this restaurant. We live a block away from one location and it is a family favorite. We try different dishes every time but the Cilantro Live soup and Coconut Lime water is always on our table. Watch out for the dehydrated Flax Seed crackers, they are spicy!

Lillie - July 7, 2007 7:31 PM

I'm from Utah, sorry to say we don't have a Cilantro Live restaurant here. However, I make the flaxseed dehydrated crakers. I asked Dr Fuhrman about them a few days ago, he said to be sure to count the crackers as nut and seed portion of diet. I agree they are wonderful!

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