Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area Cambridge

Life Alive, Central Square, Cambridge


Restaurants & Bars 7

Life Alive, Central Square, Cambridge

MichaelB | Oct 27, 2010 12:59 PM

This is the new branch of a Lowell restaurant - it just opened in the old Hollywood Express space in Central Square. I tried it with a friend today and it was surprisingly good! It's totally vegetarian and a vegan would have no problems here either, although they do have some egg and dairy on the menu. Most of the entrees come as a large or small bowl or as a wrap - I had "The Lover" and my friend had "The Goddess." (If you don't like earth-mother-ish names you are SO out of luck here.) These turned out to be very similar - a bowl of shredded or chopped and very lightly cooked carrots, beets, broccoli, and greens over very good brown rice with a slightly gingery soy dressing. The Goddess has tofu and the Lover has shiitakes; not sure how they decided who got which.

Everything was very fresh and well-prepared; I'd try the other dishes, although I might steer clear of the flax oil and the sprinkles of nutritional yeast. It's not especially cheap - the large bowls and wraps are just under 10 dollars and the small bowls around 6 dollars - but I think that's a reflection of the prep-work involved and the cost of using good produce, and perhaps of the real estate as well. I got the large bowl and boxed up half of it to go (is it wrong that I'm thinking it would go really well with some char siu?!?) - next time a "demi" portion would be plenty, although big eaters might want the full size.

There's also a big menu of smoothies (the Eros Alive, the Loco Coco Alive, etc.) - my friend tried a Chai Alive and it was pretty tasty, although wicked pricy at 6 dollars - and a juice bar, as well as some coffee substitute made of dandelion, beet, and chicory roots. Hmm.

Very friendly staff, and they seemed pretty together considering how recently they opened. The space itself is very nice - light and open, with a long ledge with stools spanning several windows, and some tables (a little cramped-looking) in the corner. Minor detail, but they use very nice bowls and some rather cool water glasses. Plenty of carved wood and LOTS of buddha figures (seated, reclining, etc.) everywhere, always a plus. They also have a nice selection of books on eastern philosophy, wellness, etc. on that window ledge if you feel like reading as you eat. It's obviously not a place that will appeal to everybody (one of my co-workers visibly blanched in horror as she read the take-out menu) but they clearly know what they're about and seem to know how to make it work.

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