Wild Living Foods, the casual and stylish “Neo-Pueblo” inspired plant-based all-day restaurant located at the corner of 8th and Main in Downtown LA’s Fashion District, is now open. Wild Living Foods is the passion-project of husband and wife team Richard Torres and Lizbeth Sanchez. The concept is inspired by the couple’s “Food Is Spirit” philosophy, with the goal of educating others about the power of clean food and its healing qualities.
“We created Wild Living Foods after being motivated to make clean food more convenient for the many who desire a healthier lifestyle but don’t have access or are dissuaded by current options. LA is a mecca for healthy cuisine, but we kept hearing from those in our community how inaccessible so much of it was. Wild Living Foods is food by the people, for the people and we’re hoping to encourage our guests to enjoy a lifestyle where they live dirty, eat clean—seven days a week,” says Richard and Lizbeth on the motivation behind founding Wild Living Foods and the void they hope to fill in the Downtown LA dining community.
With over 40-years of combined experience cooking gourmet plant-based cuisine, the culinary team is led by executive chef Belinda Wei, chef de cuisine Alex Gomez, and sous chef Abel Gomez (husband of Alex). Serving a diverse menu including dishes such as warm kelp noodle pasta, quinoa bowls, and signature salads like Ojai Ranch and medicinal herb salads, all dishes will highlight local, organic ingredients. Wild Living Foods will also feature a wide variety of grab-n-go items made fresh each day, throughout the day, giving locals living and working in Downtown LA and adjacent neighborhoods the opportunity to eat clean, feel energized, and keep powering through their busy schedules.
Spearheading the beverage program is Santino Rice, best known for his appearances on Project Runway, On The Road With Austin & Santino and RuPaul's Drag Race. In line with Wild Living Foods philosophy that “Food is Spirit” with medicinal benefits, Rice is introducing a wide assortment of: juices and tonics that target various improving digestion, building natural immunities, and detoxification; healing elixirs that assist with one’s mood, performance, and breathing; and creamy milkshakes made with power foods and activated smoothies made with superfoods and other active ingredients.
The 2,800-square-foot space features a bright and beautiful Neo-Pueblo design, anchored by a large, multi-wall, hand-painted mural by artist Jaque Fragua from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. His work features elements inspired from traditional Native American ceramics, blankets, and other motifs of traditional design, bridging Neo-Pueblo aesthetic with the all-natural, earth-based dishes offered. In addition, owners Liz and Richard worked with local artisans and craftspersons to create many of the other unique and stunning design elements by-hand, including the entire back wall of Wild Living Foods which is covered with reclaimed wood from vintage wine barrels, hand-cut and stained. In addition, the space features original 1928 vintage Malibu Potteries tiles running along the salad and remedy bars. Malibu Potteries tiles were only produced in limited supply at the original factory just east of Malibu Pier, from 1926 to 1932. They are famous for also gracing countless historic homes and buildings in Los Angeles, including the Adamson House, The Mayan Theatre, and Los Angeles City Hall.