Eat it Raw at the Zen Center

By Kelli B. Kavanaugh

Special to The Review

The Detroit Zen Center has expanded its kitchen and now features gourmet raw food, herbal, medicinal Korean teas — and a food co-op that sells fair trade bulk foods and all-natural household cleaners and body care products.

“It’s a tea house, organic cafe and organic co-op, all in one place,” says director Monk Myung ju Sunim Hillary Moga, who also serves as the cafe’s head chef.

The trio is housed in the Zen Center’s newly-renovated lower level, at Casmere and Mitchell,which includes hand-made wooden tables and a heated floor upon which guests may sit on mats.

“It’s a very nice atmosphere,” says Myung ju.

The cafe, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, specializes in what Myung ju characterizes as “gourmet, West-coast-style raw food — 100 percent organic, and local when available.”

Translation: Nepalese curried lentils over sprouted quinoa pilaf, for example.

Entrees range from $8 to $9 and a three-course table of the day meal will run $13 to $15, including an entree, soup or salad and a dessert.

The kitchen is staffed by monks and Zen students and the entire operation is not-for-profit; all proceeds benefit the Zen Center’s garden and sustainable construction projects.

For more information, call (313) 366-7738.

(This article first appeared in

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