There is a really great group of people that has started an "experiment in giving". The idea is that you can come in and be treated specially. You have no obligation to pay. You will be served as a guest and with the mind set that "guest is god". The idea is that you will be treated so well that you will want to help others and pass on the good. You will be given a bill for $0 no matter what you eat. I've had the best sandwich I ever had here. If you feel so inclinded, you may pay for the next person's meal; kind of like "Pay it Forward".
There is a community chest devoted to giving people oppurtunites to do good deeds. Be sure to ask about that.
You should take your friends.
Seva Cafe goes on in the coffee house called Royal Cup on Saturday nights from 5pm to 10pm up until early 2007. You can go at any other times for a really great cafe experience. There's some artwork in the wall and the owner is a very nice guy.
You can read about the inspiration for the idea on my Ahmedabad, India pages
The experiment in Long Beach has taken a hiatus. But, we are looking for new places to reopen this concept. Until then, here is a comment about the pay-it-forward model and "gift econonmy"
Run mostly by volunteers, our meals are cooked and served with love, and offered to the guest as a genuine gift. To complete the full circle of giving and to sustain this experiment, we leave it to the guest to pay it forward, expressing their goodness in whatever way they wish. One immediate option is to contribute toward the cost of serving a future guest. In keeping this chain going, the generosity of both guests and volunteers helps to create a future that moves from transaction to trust, from self-oriented isolation to shared commitment, and from fear of scarcity to celebration of abundance.
Favorite Dish: make sure you try the Seva Chai. It's an indian style tea; you can have it cold or hot. It's a nice blend of milk, tea, cinamon and more. You can get some really great soups and some of the best sandwiches I've ever eaten. They use toasted panini bread. The Eggplant delight is my favorite sandwich. No meat is served, but the food is still great.