The Soma Center Cafe

A visiting friend of ours, professing that he "hated hippie food," ate his way through half the menu at Soma before he realized that what he was consuming was 1.) organic, 2.) vegan, and 3.) raw. We'd like to say he was a permanent convert to whole foods, but back home in New York he was instantly swallowed up again by a fleet of hot-dog carts. Still, he was our acid test, and we too occasionally find ourselves pondering the possibility — as we spoon up our bowl of quinoa soup or bite into a lettuce leaf wrap, a walnut-pate-stuffed tomato, or a homemade dairy-free cookie — that food that's good for you can also taste incredibly good. The Soma Center is one part yoga studio, one part meals-on-wheels, two parts wireless café, with a dash of dinner-club and afterhours party thrown in, and it's run by the nicest people on the planet. They'll deliver a daily raw food lunch to your door if you live in the neighborhood, but it's much more fun to stop in for a cup of fair trade coffee and a bowl of granola while the world dance class is going on in the front room, or to sit in the sun on the patio watching butterflies flitter through the potted pineapples. Soma puts on gourmet/vegan/raw/slow food dinner parties with wine tastings on an irregular basis, plus other events of an alternative nature, so call for their latest schedule.

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