Walking into Dynamic Health and Wellness on the H Street NE strip, you wouldn’t immediately know you had come across a takeout joint. But once you move past the African instrument displays, racks of Malian clothing and pamphlets promoting the health benefits of colonics, there’s Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar, tucked away in the very back.
This is a no-frills operation, clearly tended with love. Plantains, peaches and papayas are carefully piled on a shelf behind the counter. A wipe board displays the daily dishes and drinks, and a refrigerated case is stacked with bottles of house-made juices. Chef-owner Khepra Anu, a raw-food devotee for more than a decade, is mostly self-taught, though he did study under raw food pioneer Aris LaTham.
Since December 2011, the 40-year-old Petworth resident has been offering a small, ever-changing vegan menu of juices and raw foods, meaning that they have never been subjected to temperatures of more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit. (Raw food adherents believe that this lack of heat in the preparation process helps the produce retain health-promoting enzymes.).
Using fruits and vegetables largely sourced from Albert’s Organics in Bridgeport, N.J., Anu has crafted memorable dishes that should win over diners who have never had an uncooked meal more complicated than a salad. Even though nothing is baked or fried here, it will take several minutes for your meal to be assembled.
Photo courtesy of My Mom’s Recipes And More.