About M Café
M Café is a pioneer of Contemporary Macrobiotic Cuisine. This plant-focused way of eating and living emphasizes balance and joy, and celebrates the health of the body, the mind, and the planet.
When we opened our first M Café on Melrose Avenue over a decade ago, plant-based eating was only beginning to move into the spotlight, and the plant-focused items on many menus were bland and predictable. Ingredients like kale and quinoa that are commonplace now were new to many of our guests. Today, our chilled kale salad with spicy peanut dressing is perhaps the best loved and most imitated kale recipe in the world!
Our menu is created and assembled by master chefs to offer nutritious, creative dishes that can be enjoyed daily. We draw on our Japanese heritage and our love of world cuisines for inspiration, offering a variety of tastes and textures that change with the seasons. Many items are compatible with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. We strive for balance and flavor over extreme dietary practices, and simple whole foods instead of the latest artificial invention.
We use the finest minimally-processed ingredients from local, organic, and/or sustainable sources. Everything at M Café is prepared with these ideas in mind, and without red meat, poultry, refined sugars, dairy products, or eggs.
Visit us at our restaurant on Melrose Avenue, or order online to enjoy at home. Many M Café specialties are also available at cafes and markets around the Southland.
About Our Chefs
LEE GROSS, Consulting Macrobiotic Chef:
Chef Lee has been studying Macrobiotics, traditional cuisines and alternative health since 1999. He was classically trained at Johnson & Wales University, and gained experience under celebrated chefs from around the country, and then completed an intensive two year study program in Macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute in Massachusetts. With great reverence for the relationship between food, health and the environment, he developed a new way of cooking and eating. Contemporary Macrobiotics was born.
Chef Lee has worked with a number of healthful and plant-focused restaurants, and was personal Macrobiotic chef to Gwyneth Paltrow. He has traveled the world, absorbing and adapting the best of local cuisines on several continents. He recreates traditional and modern dishes in a healthy, Macrobiotic repertoire that nurtures body and spirit.
Lee says: “Macrobiotics allows me to feel good about the food that I cook and serve. It brings integrity and wholesomeness to my cooking. Cuisine today should celebrate seasonal, locally procured produce, and be crafted with less reliance on animal products and processed foods. M Café offers a recipe for a better tomorrow”.
YUKO KAJINO, Corporate Executive Chef:
As a teenager in Nagoya, Japan, Chef Kajino was first inspired to consider a culinary career while watching television. He saw a TV show that featured all delicious-looking food and all he could think was that he wanted to eat that kind of food. Deciding he not only wanted to eat the food, but also create it, Kajino moved to Tokyo as a teenager and attended Tuji Culinary School. In 1998, he went to work at La Marée de CHAYA in Hayama and quickly developed his skills in the kitchen. After only two years he relocated to San Francisco to work at CHAYA Brasserie San Francisco. In 2010, he was transferred to Los Angeles to work as executive chef at CHAYA Brasserie Beverly Hills. He went back to SF and worked at CHAYA Brasserie San Francisco as executive chef until he was chosen as corporate executive chef in 2017.
He delivers not only a deft hand to creating this inspired cuisine, but also an intimate knowledge of the kitchen, the dining room and its guests, and overseeing all aspects of menu development. Driven by the notion that cooking has no boundaries. He is excited to collaborate with Chef Lee to create new dishes for M Café.