FRESH AND LOCAL: Pictured above is the "Viva La Vida" smoothie from Root of Life in Southeast Los Angeles. (Photo by Melissa Ponce)
Maywood Center for Enriched Studies

Review: Root of Life offers fresh and delicious food to Southeast L.A.

If you are thinking about grabbing a refreshing smoothie or a healthy meal, head over to Root of Life in Huntington Park. 

At a corner on East Florence Ave, you’ll find a small kitchen and juicery. Through the doors, charismatic baristas behind plexiglass greet customers, and a glass case lines the wall with a rainbow array of juices.

In order to accommodate coronavirus guidelines, customers may order online, over the phone, or in-person. At the moment, indoor dining is not allowed due to the current state of the pandemic.

Established in 2013, Root of Life is unlike many other food options in Southeast Los Angeles (SELA). Their menu is centered around providing options that are local and raw. With numerous fast food restaurants located in SELA, Root of Life is a rare gem that offers a wide variety of whole foods and vegan options.

Are you in the mood to give it a try, but don’t know what to choose from the menu? Start off with my personal favorite, the Monster Bowl. This smoothie bowl packs a mouthful of flavor and will leave you feeling satisfied and full. The açaí blend topped with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, cacao nibs and granola is a pure delight. 

Another delicious item on the menu is the Back to Basic waffles. This is not your average toaster waffle. Instead, it is an organic, vegan waffle paired with sliced bananas and strawberries. This hearty dish has notes of maple and is the perfect size for an on-the-go breakfast. The waffles are on the pricier end, costing around $8, but considering they are both vegan and made in-house, they are well worth the price.

Now onto the smoothie portion of the menu. Smoothies are divided into three categories on the menu: Classic Smoothies, Green Smoothies, and Fruit+Nut Smoothies. The smoothie I tried during my visit was their handcrafted Viva La Vida smoothie. This Green Smoothie has a lengthy list of ingredients, but its most prominent flavors are spinach, kale, apple, and lemon. While drinking the smoothie made me feel healthy, its strong vegetable taste may be too overpowering for some.

Root of Life has undeniably one of the most diverse options of smoothies and vegan options in Southeast Los Angeles and the fact that their ingredients are locally-sourced is a cherry on top.

 

Location: 2925 E Florence Ave., Huntington Park, Calif. 90255

Prices: Smoothies $8-$10, Lattes $3.75-$5, Juices $8-$9, Toast $4.55-$6.25, Waffles $8-$8.75, Smoothie Bowl $11-$13

Recommended items: Mi Cafecito Smoothie, Buddha Juice, Banana Split Waffle, Monster Bowl

Bonus tip: Order over the phone to avoid a wait that can be up to 25 minutes, depending on how much you order.