Although I subscribe to an alternative diet, I don’t consider it particularly restricting. I don’t tend to have problems eating out and at this point, friends and family easily and graciously accommodate my pescetarian diet. Having tried vegan cuisine, the same friend who took me to Native Foods asked us to join her for dinner at 118 Degrees, a raw food restaurant.
118 Degrees derives its name from the maximum temperature a food can withstand while still being considered raw. Beyond 118 degrees Fahrenheit, raw foodists consider the food to be cooked, which they believe strips food of its natural nutrients and can be harmful to our bodies. This conjured up images of carrot sticks, apples, salads, and sashimi.
Located in The Camp shopping center in Costa Mesa, 118 Degrees is appropriate amongst vegan cafes and restaurants, animal friendly salons and clothing stores, and a scuba diving school. While perusing the menu, my friend warned us that this isn’t the place to get stuffed with food.
Trying raw cuisine for the first time, Devin and I decided to share the Trio of Enchiladas which came accompanied with a salad topped with marinated tomatoes. To make the wrap of the enchiladas, vegetable puree is dehydrated in a thin layer reminiscent of fruit leather such as Fruit Roll Ups. The first enchilada encompassed marinated tomatoes and sweet corn and was very sweet and refreshing. Second enchilada was spicy and was made up of thinly sliced zucchini. The third enchilada with its portobella mushrooms and avocadoes had a deep earthy flavor. I really liked the woodsy flavor of the portabella mushrooms, but I think my favorite was the tomato and corn enchilada. Drizzled atop the enchiladas were guacamole and sour cream made from pine nuts.
My friend, having tried several dishes off the menu, decided to get something new and had the Macadamia Coconut Curry Wrap. Similar to the enchiladas, the thin wrap was made from dehydrated vegetable puree. This wrap encased a vegetable and yellow curry mixture and was topped with a slightly spicy sauce.
For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Strawberry Fondue. The vanilla dip was made from pine nuts and I don’t remember what was in the chocolate sauce (maybe carobs? we ate at this restaurant back in August 2008). The vanilla pine nut had a very woody flavor and was thicker than the chocolate.