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Incoming Dr. J's cafe promises healthy, healing foods

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013, at 03:14PM
via Charles Tien

Renderings for the future Mr. J's Vibrant Café.

A new vegan restaurant coming to 4th and Main streets will be based on the food beliefs of a holistic health practitioner -- who's also a frozen food producer and cookbook writer.

Dr. J's Vibrant Café, named after owner and executive chef Dr. Juliet Tien, will be serving dishes free from what she says are harmful ingredients, including caffeine, dairy, wheat and sugar. According to Dr. J's website, Tien's health beliefs were a result of growing up in Taiwan and suffering from multiple food allergies, yeast and parasitic infections.

"She was also overweight, to the extent where classmates would nickname her the 'little pig.' This set her on a course toward a lifestyle and way of eating that would not only help her lose weight, but rid her of the allergies, yeast and parasitic disorders."

Tien's bio states that she then went on to receive a doctorate from UCSF in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, and later worked as a professor in her field at UCLA.

Dr. J's Vibrant Café will be Tien's second restaurant in L.A. She used to run one in Westwood but that location has since closed.

The Downtown spot, located inside the Medallion building, will hold approximately 100 seats and is expected to open in summer 2013. It will include a tea and smoothie bar, a small grocery section and an outdoor patio.

Restaurant owners say that the 2,700 square foot space will be turned into a "haven of natural comfort and rustic charm" by L.A.-based architect Kevin Tsai, who will be largely using refined wood and accents of greenery.

Brigham Yen reports that Dr. J's will serve Asian/American fusion dishes that highlight organic ingredients and are heavy on the veggies and soy. The dishes will combine "macrobiotic, Ayurvedic and gluten free principles" to create "100 percent" clean food.

Construction is expected to begin on the space laster this month.

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