June 21, 2007

Casa de Tree [Torrance]

My recent vegetarian lunch trend brought me to Casa de Tree, a Japanese vegan/vegetarian bakery and cafe. In addition to daily lunch specials, sandwiches, and salads, Casa de Tree also sells baked goods such as breads, donuts, cookies, and an occasional fruit tart. On top of that, everything is organic.

Though I was tempted by the plump, decadent carob donuts, we opted for a more sensible lunch of the corn-mayo bread, curry bento box, and a small serving of the kiriboshi daikon w/potato salad. The bread bun was chock full o' corn with a hint of mayo to set off the sweetness. It was light, though it would've gone better with a soup to offset the dryness of the bread. We couldn't finish the salad, but only because the potatoes were overcooked and covered everything else with an unpleasant grainy starchiness.

We were impressed with the accuracy of the katsu in the bento box, which came complete with the fat marbled in. The curry had notes of coconut milk in it and was thus more Thai than Japanese. The flavors were subtle and the dish as a whole was a little more sweet than it was savory.

Pullman loaves of white bread are sold in halves or wholes and sliced to order. I chose slice width #3 and found the bread too dense for my pb&j. The dough was dry, which made the eating the crusts feel as if we were chewing on cardboard. We also tasted a sourness, which is uncommon in white bread. Not recommended.

Our experience at Casa de Tree was hit-or-miss, though you cant help but feel good after eating vegan, vegetarian, and organic.

Casa de Tree
2543 Pacific Coast Hwy, Suite E
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 784-0455

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