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”.
ATSUSHI KENJO, Executive Chef:
Chef Kenjo’s mother inspired him to pursue cooking as he was growing up in Japan. After graduating from Seishin Culinary School at the age of nineteen, Kenjo refined his craft in restaurants in Yokohama City and Kanagawa. He moved to the U.S. in 2000 to work at Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills, and advanced through the kitchen ranks to become Executive Chef at CHAYA’s Downtown LA gem. In 2015, Kenjo was chosen as Executive Chef for CHAYA’s macrobiotic sister restaurant, M Café.
Chef Kenjo is excited for this new style of cooking, after 20 years as a chef in fine dining restaurants. He has embraced the Contemporary Macrobiotic philosophy and delights in collaborating with Chef Lee to create new dishes for M Cafe.
M Café is the younger sister to CHAYA, a family business known for four centuries in Japan and over three decades in California. Experience CHAYA’s modern izakaya flair in Venice, compatible with your pescatarian diet: