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Roots Gourmet is hard to pigeonhole. Is it a coffee joint or a sandwich shop? Is it a Latin restaurant that serves vegan food or a dessert place that does juice? To describe it as all of the above is the same as not describing it at all. With little more than a cash register, a few cookie jars and a mess of chalkboards flanked by a rut of kitchen equipment, the store has no real seats inside save for a few stools. On some mornings, a line of caffeine addicts snakes out the door, waiting for the barista to pour each's chosen drug. Cups aren't complete until leafy patterns are drawn into the milky froth. At lunch, sandwiches fly from the kitchen, each plate garnished with a colorful, if just a functionally decorative, side salad. Roots Gourmet, by the way, also offers a menu for dogs, and then there's the list of Latin specialties that includes thick-crusted homemade empanadas with a thimble of green tomatillo salsa on the side.
If you were to read the ingredients of the kale salad at Long Beach's vegan-friendly Roots Gourmet, you might assume that the dish was kind of lame. You'd be wrong. Comprised of raw kale, peach slice... More »
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