Harlow

People often ask me why I don’t weigh 500 pounds, seeing as I eat out ~500 times a week, and the answers I give them vary depending on my mood–I run 10 miles a day (lie), I only eat three bites of each dish (lie), I carry around a pygmy goat in my handbag to assist with plate cleaning (unfortunately a lie), I have a tapeworm (hopefully a lie).

But the truth is that when I’m not eating rich, fatty, salty, buttery, sugary and/or extravagant meals, I’m eating green. Green juices, green smoothies, green tea, green salads, green steamed kale with quinoa, green soba noodles with green pesto, green chocolate cake. Er, scratch that last one. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of a plant-based diet, even though I only act on those beliefs roughly 50% of the time, due to my job description. (Jen’s official job description: Eat everything you see, with the exception of gas station food.)

So when I’ve had a rough stretch of deviled quail eggs, steak tartare, lamb meatballs, pork belly sandwiches, and smoked beef tongue with sweetbread croutons, I give my stomach a much-needed spa day at this Hawthorne haven, where you can cleanse your digestive system’s pipes with chlorophyll-laced lemonade, freshly-grated ginger tea, jalapeño and cilantro-spiced Shaman smoothies, and honey, cayenne and echinacea-infused Wellness Toddies. And that’s just the beverages side of the menu.

Food-wise, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more appealing menu on the “health food” end of the eating spectrum. It’s mostly vegan but not stringently so, eggs make regular appearances in vegetable-laden scrambles and atop the kale and stewed black bean huevos rancheros, and when you order the quinoa cocoa flour pancakes with fresh raspberries and candied pecans, your vegan or dairy butter preference is requested.

The lunch and dinner menu’s rice and quinoa-based bowls and raw salads and pastas are beautiful and virtuous, and you can’t help but get the warm fuzzies when reading the Mighty Bowl foonote: “We believe everyone deserves a warm, healthy, organic meal. Harlow offers the Mighty Bowl on a donation basis. No one is turned away. Suggested value is $7.”

While Harlow’s lovely little Pearl District sister restaurant-inside-a-yoga-studio Prasad efficiently squeezes tons of tiny tables into a space the size of a hot yoga sweat puddle, Harlow has room to relax and spread out, almost feeling too big for the smattering of small tables, communal tables, and window bars that fill the airy dining room. But the extra wiggle room allows servers plenty of leeway so nobody bumps their elbows as they deliver Mason jars of blood-red carrot beet apple ginger juice and marionberry blueberry spinach Popeye smoothies, and the uncluttered  floor plan undoubtedly pushes the space sky-high on the feng shui-o-meter.

So stop by sometime and say hi, I’ll be in the window bar nursing a Manifesta green juice and a Betty bowl with quinoa and avocado cilantro cream (okay, and an egg on top, I’m only human). We can do some wheatgrass shots, share a plate of raw zucchini “pasta” with lemon basil cashew “alfredo” sauce, talk about our new aerial yoga class or running route, and exchange green chocolate cake recipes. You know, healthy people stuff.

Details

Cuisine: Vegan

Owner: Karen Pride and Brittney Galloway

Atmosphere: Wide open space with casual counter service, a relaxed neighborhood crowd, and a prime location right in the middle of the Hawthorne hubbub (read--great people watching)

Outdoor seating: No

Best Seat: Hawthorne Boulevard-facing window bar, if you're a people watcher

Noise Level: Normal

Dress Code: Casual

Bring the Kids: Yes, there's even a kids menu (12 and under) with oatmeal walnut pancakes, Littlest Dragon Bowl, mac 'n cheese, and peanut butter and jelly smoothie

Bathrooms: Back of the restaurant, behind the bar

Parking: Street parking is free and can be challenging to find along Hawthorne Boulevard, but head up a side street into the residential neighborhood and you'll find a spot

Cocktails: Yes

Beer: Yes

Wine: Yes

Teetotalers: More juices, smoothies, wellness elixirs and tea and coffee drinks than you could ever hope for

Coffee: Trailhead Roasters

Tea: Foxfire and Townshend's

Ideal Meal: Shaman Smoothie, The Rita green juice, ginger shot, coconut cider, oatmeal banana pancakes, Betty Bowl, Arcadian scramble

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Vegan Friendly: Yes! A thousand times yes!

Gluten Free: The kitchen is 100% gluten free, beer on tap has gluten

Good for the following occasions: Digestive Spa Day, Vegan Date Night, Healthy Supper With Friends, Brunch, Green Juice Break, Power Lunch

Reservations: No

Take-Out: Yes, everything is available for takeout, and there's a cold case on the west wall with to-go cold juices, kombucha, salads, etc.

Delivery: No