The Native Foods Cafe

scorpion burger

For those of you chasing your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, this is the article for you. I am here under protest. I hate eating healthier. It’s one of my least favorite things. I mean, sure vegetables are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but a salad is always better with a medium rare steak draped on top of it. That being said, my beautiful, brilliant younger sister is getting hitched in June to a wonderful man and those pictures last FOREVER. Not just my lifetime. No, no. My grandchildren and their grandchildren and possibly their grandchildren are going to see these photos. I mean, it’s not a matter of looking good (I always look good) it’s a matter of looking svelte and sophisticated and at the moment I am neither.  I need those descendents to look at that photo and say the words, “Wow, great Grandma Molly was super fine.” Or something to that effect in whatever slang is popular at that time.   If they utter the words, “Woah! Who the hell is that?” I will rise up from the grave and rip their eyeballs out of their heads and eat them.  No one wants that.

So in the name of being super hot, I’m eating more vegetables and hiking mountains more often. I’m even taking fancy classes where spandex clad former dancers beat you up with tiny weights and ballerina bars. It’s awful.  I’ve even said no to cake recently. To cake! For those of you in the same boat, I present to you my favorite veggie burger in LA, The Scorpion Burger from Native Foods Cafe in Culver City. (They’ve got other locations, but I’ve never been there. I’m not sure how their Scorpion Burgers compare.)

native foods

Yes, I know. It’s not a pretty burger. Square faux meat patties fill no one with pangs of desire even if they are described on the menu as “homemade blackened Tempeh.”  But just shut your eyes, grab a hold of it and dig in. They get the spices on this thing exactly right. The sweetness of the carrots and onions blend really well with the creaminess of the avocado and the tempeh gives it just the right amount of savory to make the sandwich really work.  It’s called the Scorpion Burger because of it’s “spicy” chipotle sauce, but I’ve always found it needs a couple slugs of hot sauce. Actually I think all vegan food improves with a couple slugs of hot sauce.  Whatever you do, do not get the optional vegan cheese on top. I’ve had silly putty that tasted better. It is unbelievably disgusting.

All of their burgers come with a side, so if you’re feeling virtuous get their kale salad. If you feel like you’ve already ordered a veggie burger, dammit, and that’s about as good as a person can get, get the sweet potato fries. They’re lovely.


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