Note: This is raw food. Nothing you’re eating has been heated above 118 degrees, nor does it contain any animal products. Typically, to enjoy raw food you must be more impressed with how good something is for you than how good it tastes, and that’s a concession we appreciate. But at Mooi, situated in Echo Park’s historic Jensen Recreation Center, chef-owner Stephen Hauptfuhr works un-cooking magic. He fashions cashew cheese-stuffed jalapeños with a serious kick and mole-slathered yellow corn tamales that we’d say rival those at some authentic Mexican restaurants. A broccoli and cheese soup made with a tangy nut-derived cheddar rated a 9 on the rich-and-satisfying scale (heat would have made it a 10). Raw or not, the desserts here are phenomenal: Rotating offerings include a dense hazelnut-butterscotch brownie and a selection of raw ice creams. The decor is a whimsical mishmash of flea market finds. » 1700 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. L-D Tue.-Sat. No alcohol. Raw Food $$ 

Photograph courtesy