SunCafe Organic Cuisine used to be a tiny hub for plant-based food, seating only 38 people. However, SunCafe's vegan fare is now moving out of the nursery into a new, larger home on Ventura Boulevard that is triple its original size. This grown-up SunCafe is opening to the public Wednesday.
The SunCafe menu features things such as a raw Pad Thai made with golden beet noodles, and a creamy mac and cheese made, of course, without cheese.
"I focus a lot on international comfort food," said chef Roy Elam, "favorites people think they can't eat at a vegan place."
The menu has adapted for the new location, changing up old staples and expanding into new territory. SunCafe now has seven vegan pizzas, from the "Supreme" with marinara, bell peppers, vegan chorizo and cashew cheese, to the "Farmer's Market" with white sauce, figs, tempeh bacon, arugula and a balsamic reduction.
Most of the vegan replacement ingredients are made in-house, including several different vegan cheeses, a meatless chorizo and an all-raw burger.
Ron Russell and Rebecca Smith co-own SunCafe. They have been looking for a larger location for more than two years. When Zach's Cafe closed up shop, Russell and Smith jumped at the chance for a new space.
Russell and Smith restored the 1920s ranch-style house using reclaimed building materials to keep the decor in line with their philosophy. Gates, shutters, door handles and benches came from Beverly Hills homes that were demolished. French doors were added, and the hardwood floors were refurbished.
The new SunCafe also features a large outdoor patio with tables, couches and chairs. The patio alone is larger than the old location.