DTLA Vegan: Wild Living Foods

If you haven’t tried pumpkin seed chorizo, or seasoned almond and sunflower pate prepare for a rite of passage. With elements of walnut pesto, marinated kelp and sun dried tomato-coconut wraps, Wild Living Foods on 8th and Main is and innovative idea catering to a new tribe of people who are more receptive than ever to adopting a healthy urban lifestyle.

Owners/vegan-preneurs and husband and wife team, Liz Sanchez and Rich Torres, are paying homage to their Native American heritage and vegan lifestyle with Wild and it shows in every detail.  Here you won’t find fryers or ovens. They use only dehydrators and nothing is prepared over 118 degrees.

The Perfect DTLA Elixir

For little over 10 years, Liz and Rich have been running businesses in DTLA, but didn’t see many options for the community where one could just go and grab a quick vegan meal. They had to drive away to get the foods they wanted. So they took action. Liz and Rich have the vision and the right team to make sure Downtown has a hip new gathering place to grab wholesome plant-based food.

Journey of the Uninhabited

Liz tells the story of a journey from meat eater to vegan growing up in and out of the doctor’s office to no avail. Nothing was healing her. Then after having watched a gruesome factory farm video at age 13 she initially set off on “the path” by cutting meat out of her diet, completely eliminating meat and her health problems too. By age 18 Liz was full vegan and since she’s been able to influence those around her into making the healthy transition. Including healthy hubby Rich, who she introduced to a living food lifestyle as well. Now a DTLA “green power” couple with the same beliefs in veganism, they have cultivated a stronger bond in their relationship and in their business endeavors.

Rich talks about the quality of ingredients and the highly experienced chefs that make all the difference. Including Executive Chef Belinda Wei, who received her formal education from Le Cordon Bleu and has been living in Los Angeles for the past 14 years, paving the way for allergen-free foods while at restaurants like Café Gratitude, The Springs, and Erewhon Market. Chefs Alex and Abel Gomez (also husband and wife) serve a diverse menu of dishes incorporating warm kelp noodle pasta, quinoa bowls, and signature salads filled with medicinal herbs, seeds, flower tops and berries such as ashwagandha, coco kefir, moringa, and Goji.

Food of the Gods

“Food of the Gods,” as they aptly titled. Wild’s menu commences with modern day tribal markings; NON-GMO, Gluten Free, Organic and Peaceful followed by a trail of warm soups and small plates of “chips and guac”, Spring Rolls and even a popular DTLA favorite, Avocado Toast.

Then the menu takes you on a leap of faith with dishes labeled Sushi, Burgers, and Pastas but as much as you may expect these dishes to be filled with animal products, added sugars, gluten, and preservatives, they are not, instead they are filled with everything but, and everything ALIVE. The Spicy Tuna Roll for instance, is almond tuna, barbecue kale chips, spicy chipotle mayo, avocado, red cabbage, and leafy romaine lettuce.  The Pablo Burger is a house made burger patty stacked with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles, served with homemade ketchup, mustard, and cashew cheese. Both an interesting marriage of flavors that make your body yearn for more, want to forget and wonder why there are even meat dishes in the world, at all.

Food is SpiritAt any given time of the day, Wild Living Food fills with the untamed enthusiasm of DTLA as it moves us closer and closer to a future of healthy options. The neo-Pueblo painted eatery created by artist Jaque Fragua, with walls ornamented with messages “FLY LIKE AN EAGLE” and “HELLO ALL MY RELATIVES” is a dance for your eyes and a journey into the past with a tribal vibe offering food prepared in a way that keeps you close to nature.

There is no dairy, yet there is still ice cream?

Yes and No. Actually, it’s dairy free Gelato made from coconuts with all natural ingredients combined into your favorite flavors; cookie dough, mint chocolate-chip, and almond butter to name a few.

Wild offers The Remedy Bar spearheaded by Santino Rice, a Living Plant-Based Chef and television personality best known for his appearances on Project Runway, On The Road With Austin & Santino and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Santino guards this realm where you design your meals, along with tonics blended into healthy mixes like the Twelve Tribes; a Chai Tulsi Brew, turmeric powder, twelve organic mushroom mycelium, ginger and a few other ingredients. Warm. Creamy. Satisfying. Spiritual.

If you’re looking for a body cleanse but don’t necessarily want a week of just juices, they’ve created a “cleanse with food package”, a convenient way to plan out your weekly purging ritual.

The indigenous nature of Wild is the passion behind Rich and Liz, a couple that really believes in the healing powers of foods. Together they have created accessible, hip, new, nutritional holy ground on the border of the Historic Core and Fashion Districts of DTLA. Their plan is to continue to build and take Wild Living Foods throughout the nation exposing more people to foods that have healed and bonded them. With the energizing, healing foods they have to offer, they are sure to have enough endurance for the task. Wild Living Foods is located at 760 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014.


Lailah Morid

Lailah Moridzadeh graduated from CSUF with a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism, and a minor in Radio-TV-Film. Her life path and skills led her to running a business as an insurance broker and vegan coach helping people become healthier, wealthier, with more time and money freedom to reach their full potential in life. Visit GetVeganLifeInsurance.com and HealthyVeganCoach.com for more information.