Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New (To Me) L.A. Eats

I have a few restaurants in Los Angeles that I absolutely love, and I definitely hit them up on my recent trip.  But I also went to four new places this go around, and while there was a definite miss, the hits were hard hitting, proving yet again that L.A. knows its vegan stuff.

On our first night, we went to the fancy pants Penthouse at The Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica.  We were meeting up with friends who had picked the place based on the killer view and delicious eats.  Well, the view was all fogged in (damn marine layer), but the food did not disappoint - from my special amuse bouche (above), which came as everyone else got cheesy popovers, to this smokey yet bright artichoke plate entree:

That cauliflower underneath and a pine nut gremolata on top.  So flavorful!  There was also some wonderfully chewy veggie flatbread and a mixed green salad on par with the best.  Just goes to show that a call ahead to an omnivorous restaurant is always worth it.

On another day I met a friend from Riverside halfway between where I was in Santa Monica and his place.  Turns out Rowland Heights is a great in between spot, as it is home to numerous all-veg Chinese restaurants, including our choice, Happy Family.  The mushroom chicken, above, was addictively good, and the Buddha's Delight veggie plate, below, made us feel like we were maybe eating something remotely good for us.  Hooray!

Back in omnivore land, we tried True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica one night.  I absolutely loved my pizza:

The caramelized onions were the perfect sweet counterpart to the roasted kale, and the whole thing came together in a beautifully tasty way.  I loved TFK for its well-marked menu (vegan, veg, and gluten-free items abound) as well as their decent beer and wine list.  I look forward to going back one day.

The disappointment of the trip was definitely Seed.  I had heard good things and was really looking forward to trying it, but our experience was no good.  My salad (the "chop chop") was decent enough...

... but the facts that everything comes in disposable containers, and that there's no bathroom in a place charging so much for their food, both really rubbed me the wrong way.  With so much amazing vegan food just down the street in Santa Monica, I will never again make the trip to Venice just for lunch.

Next up, I return to some old faves for some new eats.  L.A. food is SO GOOD!

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