Organic Vegan Cuisine

About RFD

Ann Gentry has spent the past twenty-five years striving to raise the standard of plant-based cooking in this country. Ann is the creator, founder and operating owner of Real Food Daily, the only restaurant in the Los Angeles area that serves a 100 percent plant-based menu using foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods. Bon Appétit magazine declared “Ann Gentry, the creator of Real Food Daily has taken two different California trends – vegetarian foods, and the organic seasonal cooking popularized by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse – and come up with a cuisine that is as interesting and delicious as it is healthful.” With three locations in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Pasadena, California, Real Food Daily has “developed a loyal following”, from the someday to the everyday vegetarian, celebrities, trendsetting young eaters with sophisticated palates to the mature diner seeking gourmet health supportive cuisine.

Ann was born in Tennessee and grew up in a home filled with delicious food and a love of entertaining. She became interested in plant-based cuisine in New York City during the 1980’s and in the cause and effect relationship between the health of her body and the foods that she ate. Fusing the essential elements of Eastern macrobiotics with her own American culinary style, her distinct “gourmet whole food cuisine” was born.

In 1986, after relocating to Los Angeles, she became the personal chef to actor/director Danny DeVito and created the idea of a home food delivery service that served truly healthful and creative meals. From 1988 to 1992 Real Food Daily thrived as a home delivery service and garnered many loyal customers.

In June of 1993, Ann opened Real Food Daily, the restaurant, in Santa Monica. Antithetical to the dreary perceived notion of a vegetarian restaurant, RFD’s décor of blond wood, clean lines, cozy counter space and eclectic art perfectly complements the innovative style of Ann’s gourmet whole food. The West Hollywood location opened in 1998 and has been written about in numerous publications, praised not only for the food but also for the light and modern vibe and the recycled rich teak wood used on table tables, counter bar and throughout the dining room. A third location opened in Pasadena in May of 2012.
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Ann Tells The History of RFD

Opening day. Although I had operated RFD as a successful home food delivery service for five years, we were stunned that a crowd of 100 people showed up, without advertising, on our very first day in the restaurant business—June 21, 1993. Customers were drawn in by the inviting, stylish space, and they were even more excited about the gourmet vegan cuisine. While some people had discouraged me from opening a restaurant limited to vegan foods and organic produce, I was convinced that enough diners wanted to eat whole foods in a restaurant they could trust. From opening day to the present, they’ve proven that hunch was right—in both good times and bad.

Temporary setback. In January 1994, only seven months after opening, a serious earthquake struck Los Angeles. While nobody at RFD was hurt, our building was: The parapet fell into rubble in front of the restaurant, and it took four months to clean everything up. In the meantime, RFD was inundated with phone calls, handwritten messages, and business cards left at the front door asking when the restaurant would reopen, with several people asking how they could help. Read more »

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