In the summer, I reviewed the health-conscious Mexican restaurant Tocaya Organica and promised I’d be back to try their one dessert: a vegan waffle ice cream sandwich. Well, I finally had it, and although it looked delicious, it paled in comparison with other vegan desserts I’ve had and with Tocaya’s savory offerings.
The name “ice cream sandwich” is a little misleading, since I doubt anyone eats this thing with their hands. You’d be a mess. But the ice cream is indeed sandwiched between two churro waffles. These waffles have the cinnamon-y flavor and sugary dusting of a churro (a Spanish or Mexican fried-dough pastry). But they lack both the light fluffiness of a good churro and the crispiness of a good waffle.
As for the vegan vanilla ice cream, it’s made by Craig’s, a restaurant in West Hollywood that is known more for its “scene” and celebrity sightings than its food. Nevertheless, they make their own vegan ice cream and apparently provide it to other eateries. I was not a fan. It had icy chunks in it, which suggests it was sitting in the freezer for too long.
So Tocaya’s dessert was a bust. But their burritos and bowls continue to impress me with their fresh taste and healthy preparations. I recently went to the Tocaya in Venice Beach and had a breakfast burrito made with a tomato-infused tortilla and a non-dairy horchata made with almond milk.
Horchatas are usually dairy-free since they’re traditionally made with rice milk, so I’m not sure why Tocaya felt the need to make theirs with almond milk. But it was tasty. If you like almond milk and cinnamon, you’ll enjoy it.
One thing I love about Tocaya is that their leftovers make great next-day meals. Here’s a leftover half of a fajita burrito that I reheated in a skillet and topped with salsa, Cholula, and minced cilantro.
If you love Mexican food but don’t love the cheesy, dairy-laden, gut-bombing kind, give Tocaya a try and don’t save room for dessert.
TOCAYA ORGANICA, 1715 Pacific Ave., Venice, CA 90291