By Ash Nave“There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.”
-Annie Leonard, Creator of The Story of Stuff
With plastic pollution continuing to suffocate our ocean and threaten marine life, we need Ocean Friendly Restaurants more than ever.
In 2021, 40 million tons of plastic was wasted in the U.S. and only five or six percent of that plastic was actually recycled, according to a recent environmental report.
Each year, roughly 11 million tons of plastic enter our ocean. And while our ocean has become the punching bag of plastic pollution, disadvantaged communities are suffering as well.
In fact, most oil refineries, plastic manufacturers, landfills and incinerators are located in low-income neighborhoods, which means these communities are constantly exposed to high levels of harmful toxins.
However, one of the most efficient ways to stop plastic waste is by stopping it at the source. Which is exactly what our Ocean Friendly Restaurants program does.
What is an Ocean Friendly Restaurant?
Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFRs) is a program created by the Surfrider Foundation that puts a [non-plastic] fork in plastic waste. While plastic waste is complex in many ways, this program tackles the problem head-on by working with local restaurants to cut out single-use plastic.
And these are the results we aim for:
- Reducing plastic pollution in the ocean
- Reducing toxic chemical consumption from plastic containers, cups, cutlery and straws
The OFR program also works to conserve water and energy as well as offer locally sourced food to customers.
It’s a win-win for everyone, including our beloved ocean. And truthfully, we love highlighting restaurants that are committed to making an impact. They deserve all the recognition and more.
So, what OFRs can you go to in LA?
1. The Butcher’s Daughter
The Butcher’s Daughter is a 100% vegetarian restaurant located on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice. A plant-forward juice bar and cafe, this OFR takes pride in their daily-changing menu and impressive range of vegan and gluten-free options.
Along with their commitment to reducing plastic waste, The Butcher’s Daughter also has a goal to “improve wellness by improving lifestyle.” And we couldn’t agree more!2. Belles Beach House
Belles Beach House is a true Venice gem that offers a beautiful selection of Hawaiian-inspired bites with a taste of Japanese cuisine. And even though this restaurant is located in Los Angeles, this venue transports guests to a tropical paradise.
What makes this restaurant unique is that owners Nick Mathers and the Wish You Were Here Group value authentic cultural experiences and create exactly that at Belles Beach House.
3. Bluey’s Market & Cafe
Bluey’s Market & Cafe is a well-known dining destination for healthy food, rich coffee and all of the beach vibes. Located on Berkeley St in Santa Monica, this restaurant offers a casual, homely space with both indoor and outdoor seating.
At Bluey’s, they prioritize bringing locally sourced food into the kitchen so that guests never have to sacrifice quality for convenience.
4. Firestone Walker - The Propagator Venice
One of the coolest industrial spaces on the west side, Firestone Walker is a restaurant and bar serving up house-brewed ales & Central Coast wines.
Founded by two brothers-in-law Adam Firestone and David Walker, they’ve created a space where “brewing for tomorrow” in pursuit of the perfect beer means minimizing their impact on the environment first.
5. Felix Trattoria
Felix Trattoria is a traditional Italian restaurant located in the heart of Venice [California]. Inspired by the culinary roots of regional Italy and made with the freshest ingredients from California’s best family farms, this dining destination truly embraces the philosophy of seasonality, warm hospitality and true Italian cuisine.
6. Crudo e Nudo
Known for their sustainable seafood menu, Crudo e Nudo is an Italian-inspired restaurant in Santa Monica that sources local fish from sustainable purveyors so guests have full access to delicious and dynamic ingredients.
They believe, “It’s our responsibility to create the future we want to see: one where small businesses work together to build a sustainable economy that feeds our community in many ways.”
7. Rustic Canyon
Rustic Canyon is the first member of the Rustic Canyon Family and is a Michelin-starred restaurant located on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica.
Serving a regularly changing menu, Rustic Canyon offers a unique selection of farmers’ market-inspired dishes using ingredients from local farmers, ranchers and fishermen.
8. Huckleberry Bakery and Café
Huckleberry Cafe is a local artisan bakery and cafe where friends, family and food enthusiasts can come together and enjoy breakfast and lunch dishes that are all made on site.
Like other members of the Rustic Canyon Family, Huckleberry uses only the best ingredients, including organic flour and other pantry staples, Valrhona chocolate, farmers’ market produce and GMO-free dairy, meats and poultry.
A cool and casual spot for upscale French-Asian cuisine, Cassia is another member of the Rustic Canyon Family and is a partnership between husband-and-wife.
Located on seventh street in Santa Monica, Cassia celebrates the culinary heritages and experiences of Southeast Asia by sourcing the best quality ingredients from local farmers.
10. Sweet Rose Creamery
Being part of the Rustic Canyon Family, Sweet Rose loves sourcing their ingredients from local, organic and regenerative farmers. They even make everything from scratch in their Santa Monica kitchen.
11. Gasolina Cafe
Gasolina Cafe is a seasonally-driven and sustainably raised cafe bringing Spanish influence to the culinary streets of Woodland Hills.
Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with reservation-only paella nights, Gasolina Cafe takes pride in their locally sourced food selection.
More about the OFRs near you…
Are you ready to try an Ocean Friendly Restaurant in LA? Use this OFR Map to find the closest spots near you.
And if you’d like to get involved with this program, here are a few volunteer positions available:
- Social media coordinator
- Restaurant sign-up coordinator
- Restaurant registration coordinator
- And more!!!
Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “OFR volunteer inquiry” and we’ll get back to you ASAP. We can’t wait to hear from you!