San Diego restaurant adds CBD to menu


La Marque Coffee & Craft isn’t just your average coffee, beer and sandwich joint anymore. The Hillcrest spot is forging a new path with the incorporation of CBD oil on its menu and the addition of local personality Lauren Lawless (a contestant on TV’s Masterchef) as executive chef.

According to Plus CBD Oil’s National Educator, Maggie Frank, the local company’s CBD oil “supports and nourishes the major adaptogenic system, that all mammals possess, that most people have never heard of, the Endocannabinoid System or ECS.” This particular system regulates our central and peripheral nervous system and has a stunning number of functions, including, as Frank notes, “how we learn, focus, process information, store fat, the balance within our microbiome, how food passes through the intestines, how our smooth and striated muscle work, liver function, sleep quality and hormone production.”

So how does CBD help the ECS? “Taken orally, the nutritional powerhouse provides a unique combination of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and of course phytocannabinoids,” said Frank.

La Marque’s new menu items include a pear and gorgonzola salad with CBD olive oil; a berry chicken spinach salad with CBD coconut oil; a truffle avocado toast with sourdough, microgreens, CBD truffle and garlic infused olive oil and sea salt; and even CBD chocolate chip cookies for dessert — with CBD coffee, of course. Lawless notes that scones, eggs, brownies, and wraps with CBD are on the way.

PACIFIC chatted with Lawless about her decision add CBD to the menu, how it works and how much goes into a dish, and her future with one of culture’s hottest products.

PACIFIC: How did you get into adding CBD to food?

LAUREN LAWLESS: I myself suffer from arthritis from my work. I heard about (CBD) and tried it, and it helped a lot. I also have a hard time sleeping, and it helps with that and anxiety.

How do you incorporate it into foods?

You can do so many things with it. You can put it in a vinaigrette, your coffee, smoothies and eggs. Play around to see what tastes best. We use different flavors of CBD oil and infuse it into olive oil, truffle oil and cookies.

There’s flavors?

Yes! There’s coconut, truffle, olive oil and you can infuse it with anything! Try saffron, garlic, rosemary, and make it your own.

How much CBD is in the dishes?

7.5 mg in each menu item.

Give us a professional chef tip for working with CBD and food.

Stick to something basic you know — incorporate CBD into a recipe you know well. Then play in the kitchen and have fun with it and try new things out.

Can you taste the actual CBD in the food?

You can, depending on how you use it. If you put it into marinara or salad dressing, you won’t taste it. But straight, yes, it is an acquired taste, but nothing too strong or potent.

What’s the most popular dish on the menu?

Definitely the avocado toast. It’s perfect for people who are into fitness, gluten free and vegan. It’s’ a great dish you can switch up and do so many varieties with truffle, olive oil, mushrooms, and tomato to make it special.

What have customers been saying about the CBD menu?

Now that it’s 2018, people are a lot more open to new things and trying things that are good for their body. Some are concerned it has THC, but it doesn’t. It’s important for me to be able to educate people on CBD and its benefits, that it’s not marijuana but comes from the plant. And now, being a chef, it’s cool to be able to incorporate it in your cuisine, especially healthy food.

Do you see this expanding into restaurants or as more of a niche specialty?

One-hundred percent. I think it already should be! We are branching out into more restaurants, I’d like to get into a smoothie shop. I like to dabble, so this is something else on my bucket list.

You have a cookbook coming out?

Yes, Spring 2019.

What’s your next step?

Opening a restaurant next year with global cuisine tapas, and giving people the option to infuse their food with CBD. I also want to look into CBD dog food.

Your personal chef mantra?

To inspire the world one plate at a time.

For more info about Lauren Lawless, go to and for more info about Plus CBD Oil, go to

La Marque Café, 3590 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.550.5397,