“I just want to be happy.” he said.

The sentence stopped me in my tracks as I was taking photos of dishes at Flower Child in Santa Monica. It was a hard sentence to hear from anyone, but coming from an older man discussing his divorce, it struck a chord. I have no real understanding of what any type of separation feels like. The closest thing I’ve experienced was an extreme break up or a fast before Easter. Either way, it doesn’t compare. As I listened to the man I named Bill talk about how things were falling apart with his wife and how it was affecting their son, it was difficult to hear of his struggle—even for an competitive eavesdropper like myself. I wanted to say something to him, but what the heck do I know? I wanted to give him a smile, but he would probably consider me crazy. I know I would. Instead, I just took a sip from my Lemonade ($3.50).

I was sitting at a table outside of the restaurant after just ordering my food. Prior to being seated I walked inside the restaurant and I immediately loved the design and how the space felt like good energy; from the pictures on the walls to the details on the stairs. It felt nice here and it felt like a pleasant place to be to get your mind going in a positive direction. Maybe that’s why Bill and his friend were here. Looking over the menu, the meat-lover in me thought of ordering something to fit my usual appetite, but I wanted to try something different and opted for an entire vegetarian meal. It would be something different for me. But if a guy can go through a divorce, I think I could manage to skip meat for a single meal.

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So I did.Follow My Gut, FMG, Danielle N. Salmon, foodie, blog, LA food blog, LA Foodie, food blog, restaurant blog, restaurant discovery, eateries, food porn, where to eat in LA, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Flower Child, where to eat in Santa Monica, healthy, vegetarian, vegan, soup, lemonade, curry, tofu

As the waitress brought out my order I continued to take photos and while still listening to the conversation behind me. In my defense, our tables were so close to one another it was hard not to listen. After I finished taking photos I took a sip of my lemonade. The honey pear vanilla drink was light and faint in its taste. Within each sip I loved how the rich honey was the prominent flavor with very gentle vanilla notes weaved throughout it. The lemonade was perfectly balanced, not leaning on an overly sweet or tart side, which made it ideal. Adding to the perfection, there were free refills on the lemonade!

Excuse me as I get seconds.

As I put down my drink, I pulled the Vegetable Soup ($5) close to me. The bowl consisted of a variety of vegetables and spices including potatoes, chickpeas, celery, and cilantro. Not a single piece of meat in sight. “I think I will be ok”, I reassured myself. Spoonful after spoonful it turns out, I was just fine with the soup the way it was. I really enjoyed that it had such a light and thin broth that seemed to soak up all the flavors and accents from the vegetables. As I stirred my spoon around the bowl to pull up more of its hearty ingredients and gave them all a try, again and again it felt as if everything in the bowl was necessary without a single item seeming out of place. Although it may be common to want soup on a cold day or when you’re sick, this casual vegetable soup would be great to have even if the day and your health don’t fall in one of those categories.

The final plate to my lunch was the Madras Curry ($10) with Tofu ($4). This was the plate that made the meat lover in me nervous. I tried to convince myself that the tofu looked like chicken in hopes that it would taste that way. A few bites in and there was no convincing, but I found that I liked it. I was surprised because normally, I don’t like the texture of tofu. However, here the tofu was nicely done so that it was smooth and solid with each bite. As I grabbed forkfuls of the soft golden potatoes I could hear Bill telling his friend how surprised he was at liking his own plate. Looks like I wasn’t the only one. I decided to turn my ear off to their conversation as best as possible as my lunch came close to its end. I think me being nosy had hit its maximum. Doing so let me enjoy the last tastes of the crunchy green beans covered in the rich curry sauce and the small raisins. As I realized the plate nearing its end, I came to the realization that I was very pleased with it and my meatless lunch.

Great job Flower Child, you did the impossible.

As the dinner ended, I put my fork down and walked away from my table to go to the restroom to wash my hands. Up the beautiful stairs and to the restroom I still thought about Bill and how he seemed like he just wanted to fast-forward time to when he was in a better place. As I left the restroom, luck let us cross paths. I let him know that I had heard his conversation and wished him the best going through his situation. Underneath the restaurant’s beautiful light fixture he expressed his gratitude. I walked out of Flower Child happy that I had a meal that was opposite my usual and that I enjoyed it. Even more, I walked away somewhat glad that I got to interact with a person during a difficult time. Ultimately, it felt like Flower Child is more than just a restaurant that offers plates to fit any palate. It’s also the type of restraint that opens the door to conversations between strangers. In the end, I drove out of Santa Monica feeling ok and I can only hope that Bill is too.

Follow Them.
Address: 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 382-2901
Hours: Daily – 11:00am to 9:00pm
Social: Website, Facebook, and Instagram.

This Meat Lover Went Vegetarian and Got More than She Expected at Flower Child
Customer Service9
Pro Eats
  • Food tastes great
  • Friendly staff
Con Eats
  • Can get crowded quickly
8.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

12 Responses

  1. missreverie

    Free refills? Hot soup? This is so my place, Danielle! Heheh. I didn’t know you’re a competitive eavesdropper. I’m basically a champion at it. Not to boast, but I do this so naturally. But that I suspect is solely because of the way my ears are designed. Somebody said I have huge ears. So everything seems to get amplified and I’m the kind who can’t stand sounds of even the moderate kinds unless I’m enjoying the moment. Basically, I can be a pain in a loud person’s rear end. Hahah. I really liked how you approached this post, with the story about the man and his divorce. What I like best is that you approached him after and gave him a warm dose of positive words. I think that is beyond lovely. A causeless kindness in people is something I find deeply inspiring. It makes you love humanity and that being kind can be such an easy thing to do! I love this about you. You are such a sunshine and I hope that you are having a lovely week there with or without meat 😀 xoxo

    • Danielle N. Salmon
      Danielle N. Salmon

      Are you telling me that I’ve been in the presence of eavesdropping greatness and I never knew it?? That makes me adore you even more and pray that we can hang out sooooon!!! I appreciate your kind words about approaching him. In the end it felt like it probably meant just as much to me as it did for him!

  2. Clarissa

    Sounds delish – honey pear vanilla drink? Yesh please. I’m glad you spoke to Bill – I think all too often we’re afraid of what a stranger will say when you approach them (about anything really), but I bet that more often than not, those people remember our words and they have more of an impact than we think <3

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Danielle N. Salmon
      Danielle N. Salmon

      Clarissa, that is so so true and I really think I was nervous to say something but so glad I did and your words on reaffirm that. And yes the honey pear vanilla was booooomb!!!

  3. evolvewithmary

    I just want to be happy??? 🙁 I might be a competitive eavesdropper, we should start a support group. I don’t eat meat, I only eat fish for protein so when I go out to dinner people are always wondering what I’m going to eat. It’s not a big deal to me, I eat tons of salads and side dishes and am always super satisfied but not eating meat is challenging for most people. All that to say, you are one brave woman Danielle, somehow you were able to quite the “meat lover in you” and devour some tasty looking veggies. That Madras Curry with Tofu looks like the jam, I’m so happy, you said something to Bill. I’m sure appreciated it. Sometimes its just nice to know that people care and we aren’t alone in the world

    • Danielle N. Salmon
      Danielle N. Salmon

      I think there should totally be a support group for people like us who don’t know how to mind our own business and stay out of other people’s conversations lol! I would totally be just like your friends patiently waiting to find out what you would eat at a restaurant but to hear that you do a lot of fish and salads is awesome. You so know what works for you and it’s beautiful Mary!

  4. behgopa

    Groovy design on the steps. Lol I like to eavesdrop, too. It’s especially interesting to eavesdrop on a table having a first date or something lol….or if they’re having an interesting argument.

    I’m such a meat lover, but I try to cut back. Flower Child sounds like a nice alternative on those days. The soup looks so hearty and delish.

    • Danielle N. Salmon
      Danielle N. Salmon

      People listening on convos like that are so crazy yet incredibly captivating!!! You and I are so much alike and that makes me wanna hang out to do that together!!! Flower Child was such a nice location and a great place to go to even if it is just to take a break away from all the meat!


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