Saturday, April 28, 2012

Los Angeles Favorites

I am pleased to announce that all my old favorites in Los Angeles were as good, if not better, than I remembered them, so here's a quick rundown of what to eat should you find yourself in SoCal.

The All Hail Kale salad at The Veggie Grill is ridiculous.  Seriously.  So good.  You will love it and your body will love you for eating it.  I got mine with the blackened "chicken" but you could get tempeh.  Or nothing, you purist.  Kale is amazing and this is my favorite way to eat it "down south".

My favorite veggie burger on the planet, you ask?   The "I am Magical" at Cafe Gratitude.  Cashew mustard sauce....  yes!  Why is this not on the menu at CG up here???    Sigh.

Oh and the desserts there, like this chocolate mousse pie, also rule.

Sunday brunch at Real Food Daily is a MUST because you can order the "Big Ole Waffle", above, which is light and airy and perfectly sweet.  I get mine without the regular dusting of powdered sugar because it totally doesn't need it.  RFD also gives you your savory fix:

I made my own tofu scramble, choosing spinach and tempeh bacon crumbles from their long list of options.  Amazing.  And that mysterious sauce on top is something awesome I never figured out.  Just eat it and be happy.  No questions asked.

Dinner at Real Food Daily is also pretty great, although for me the large menu can be a tad overwhelming.  The burger with the works, however, is ALWAYS a good choice.  You are a fool to choose any other side besides the potato salad.  It rocks.

Lastly, RFD's dessert options are pretty great too.  Of the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, chocolate ice cream, and chocolate pudding that our table shared, the pudding was the overwhelming favorite.  Creamy, rich, and fun on the tongue, y'all!

So there you have it. Another L.A. trip in the books.  Next up, a fantastical SF discovery you have to see to believe.  :)   Have a great weekend, everyone.

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!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Two Words: Bake. Sale. Now Go!

I knew it had been a while since I posted anything here, but I had no idea it'd been almost a month. Forgive me. Life is busy (in a good way) and don't forget I'm perpetually active over at Vegan Favorites. In any case, I am off to LA tomorrow, which means plenty of good eats for me to report, but it also means that I can't attend this awesome event this weekend:

You guys, I LOVE the SF Vegan Bake Sale and I'm so bummed to miss it. It's even at the VegNews headquarters which makes it doubly awesome. I implore you to go and eat enough for you and me (and all your friends). You will be happier, and so will the House Rabbit Society, whom the bake sale supports. Bunnies need your money and you need sweet treats, so eat up. If I come back to SF and find out there were any leftovers from this thing, I am going to be supremely disappointed in you all!