Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dazzling Caesar salad at Cafe Gratitude - HOPE LEE
  • Hope Lee
  • Dazzling Caesar salad at Cafe Gratitude
If you look hard enough, finding a vegan Caesar salad in Los Angeles isn't that hard to do. However, finding a good vegan Caesar salad often is. In fact, not many restaurants serve vegan Caesars worth mentioning, and of this select few, perhaps none are better than the plate called Dazzling at Cafe Gratitude

The Dazzling does in fact dazzle, thanks to an oil-free dressing made from cashews, capers and ground pumpkin seeds. This dressing distances itself from other vegan Caesars not by what's in the recipe, says Cafe Gratitude executive chef Dreux Ellis, but by what's intentionally left out.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Orange oatmeal smoothie bowl - CHERYL GROFF
  • Cheryl Groff
  • Orange oatmeal smoothie bowl
The best part about having breakfast at San Pedro raw vegan eatery NV-DA (pronounced "nuh-dah," which according to their site means "the sun and the moon" in Cherokee) is the way you feel after you eat there. Opened in December by former Cru employee Stacey Jackson, NV-DA Market serves smoothies, smoothie bowls, coconut yogurt, coffee, granola and parfaits that'll leave you with a pep in your step, but not the caffeinated one you're used to. Instead, you marvel at a fresh, satiated-yet-not-stuffed feeling. 

The size of the (organic, raw, vegan) bowl of goldenberry granola — made on-site with almond butter, coconut nectar, buckwheat groats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Himalyan sea salt, goldenberries, banana slices and homemade almond mylk (yes, with a "Y") —  looked like something off the children's menu before you ordered, but once you finish, you realize you're full. And not in that "I can't move for the next half hour" sort of full, but in the way that makes you want to walk to Long Beach, just because. An hour later, you're alert, aware and satiated, which makes you think a granola bowl might be a better start to your day than bagels and coffee.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Airport food

Real Food Daily Does Vegan Airport Food

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Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM
Real Food Daily at LAX - DEREK RATH
  • Derek Rath
  • Real Food Daily at LAX
Vegan cuisine, such as it is, at Los Angeles International Airport is no longer confined to bananas and over-salted peanuts as Real Food Daily, owned by Ann Gentry, has been operating a fourth location at Terminal Four since December.

As expected, the menu is a bit smaller than the other three Real Food Daily eateries (West Hollywood, Pasadena and Santa Monica). That said, the menu is more than enough for any traveler as RFD LAX serves four smoothie flavors, six juices, coffee, tea, a breakfast burrito, No Huevos Rancheros, a kale Caesar salad, a Southwest salad, not-chos, a spicy BLT, a tofu veggie wrap, a club sandwich, the RFD burger and four bowls. In addition, similar to the other locations, you can pick two, three or four items to create your own bowl.

But you're at LAX, which means you should order the LAX bowl. 

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  • Amazon
Some say vegan cabaret singer, dancer and actress Mistress Ginger is nothing more than a stage persona created by someone named Justin Leaf. That same rumor also says Leaf - a 37-year-old Minneapolis, Minn., resident with a degree in dance performance from Juilliard - is the real author of a recently released cookbook titled Mistress Ginger Cooks! Everyday Vegan Food for Everyone

But if that's the truth, then how did the person claiming to be Mistress Ginger know so much about the book? Recipes for stuff like Swoop-me-up smoothies and Gingersnatch cookies aren't common knowledge. And her answer regarding her stint as a dominatrix is specific enough to convince even the most skeptical skeptic.

Based on her answers, it's safe to say Mistress Ginger exists - and she's got a new vegan cookbook. In it,  we learn how to follow a vegan diet that allows for sweets such as Pound-Me Cake while still allowing us to fit into our tights.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

veggie dog at Dodger stadium - DOV RUDNICK
  • Dov Rudnick
  • veggie dog at Dodger stadium
The Help/Contact Us portion of Dodgers.com has a form to fill out that allows people to ask questions about baseball. Or something like that. Who knows, really, because an email sent in the early portion of May asking for help with information regarding vegan options at Chavez Ravine was never returned. Thankfully, when baseball teams don't respond to emails, there's the Internet.

A Google search of "Dodger Stadium vegan" brings up a site called VeggieHappy.com that details the herbivore options at major league ballparks. According to the Los Angeles Dodgers listing - updated in 2013 - vegan sloppy Joes, called Sloppy Janes, and veggie burgers are available "at Field Level Aisle 22." 

However, VeggieHappy.com needs updating because Sloppy Janes and veggie burgers are no longer available at Field Level Aisle 22. At least that's what the cashier explained during the May 10 day game against the San Francisco Giants. This sucks because if you aren't sitting in Field Level Aisle 22 but you think there are vegan sloppy Janes waiting for you at Field Level Aisle 22, you'll make the trek from wherever your lame seats are to Field Level Aisle 22 only to discover you walked down a bunch of stairs and sideways through a sea of drunkards, children and slowpokes only to purchase a veggie dog that you could have got 20 yards away from your section.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Denise Herrick Borcert
  • Mayim Bialik
As if holding a doctorate degree in neuroscience from UCLA, starring on the hit television shows The Big Bang Theory and Blossom and being mother to two sons wasn't enough, Mayim Bialik has just published a cookbook. Titled Mayim's Vegan Table, the book includes more than 100 recipes. Bialik celebrates the release of her book with an appearance Monday at Mohawk Bend. The event - part of the restaurant's Authors Worth Celebrating series - features four courses from the book and some discussion from the now 38-year-old Los Angeles native about each dish.

We caught up with Bialik to ask how her cookbook came about and whether she's nervous about having her recipes cooked for a large group of strangers. Sadly, we never answered any of her responses with "whoa."

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spicy mint noodles - RYAN RITCHIE
  • Ryan Ritchie
  • Spicy mint noodles
Thai Vegan's website describes its Santa Monica location as a "kiosk," but the restaurant is more like a food truck without wheels. Which is to say you order from a tiny window, there's a chalkboard menu, you can eat either in the sun or under the shade and if you aren't careful you can walk right past it.

That said, you should not walk right past the restaurant - opened in 2011 by by owner Ratree Boonpatara   - because then you wouldn't get to try the pineapple tofu fried rice, which is pretty much the greatest four-word combination in the English language. Not surprisingly, this dish doesn't disappoint. 

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg - COURSESY: LUSTY VEGAN
  • coursesy: Lusty Vegan
  • Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg
Being vegan sucks for lots of reasons, but nothing sucks more than having that first conversation with a potential mate regarding your diet. Sadly, there's not an app that can teach you how to explain what seitan is without sounding like a freak. But now there's a book for that as, chef Ayinde Howell and writer Zoe Eisenberg have teamed to create The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and the People Who Love Them. The 80-recipe book includes tips for how to create vegan meals that meat-eaters won't complain about.

Lusty Vegan is slated for an October release, but those looking to form an inter-dietary relationship need not wait that long, as the authors are hosting a pop-up diner at G2 Gallery in Venice tomorrow, Thursday, June 5.

The evening includes a five-course meal featuring balsamic and truffle mac-and-yease; citrus and salt-pickled fennel salad; hearts of Baltimore crab cake with garlic dill aioli; filet de soy with blood orange and Napa cabbage slaw; and fresh biscuit strawberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream. All of the courses except for the mac-and-yease, Howell says, are included in the book. Also included are stories about how Howell and Eisenberg (both vegan) have never dated another vegan, which seems sort of impossible when you consider Howell's parents went vegan before his conception, meaning he has never consumed meat or dairy.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Coffee menu at Kitchen Mouse - B. RODELL
  • B. Rodell
  • Coffee menu at Kitchen Mouse
A vegan café is perhaps a cliche of gentrification, but the block on which Kitchen Mouse just opened in Highland Park already had a vintage clothing store, so was well on its way to being an oasis for the neighborhood's newer residents. But it would be hard not to love Kitchen Mouse, a café in an old storefront that does the shabby/cute/almost vintage thing very, very well. 

Kitchen Mouse, which opened on Figueroa St. on May 13, is owned by Erica Daking, who also owns a catering company of the same name. Daking worked in a small restaurant outside of Rome after culinary school, then turned to private cheffing when she moved back to Los Angeles. For the past two years, she's been doing mainly production catering, and has grown her business to employ 20 people. The next logical step for her was a café.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

avocado jalapeño cheeseburger at Ahimsa - HOPE LEE
  • Hope Lee
  • avocado jalapeño cheeseburger at Ahimsa
It's not that there's anything wrong with ciabatta bread; in fact, there's plenty right with it. However, when you order the avocado jalapeño cheeseburger at Ahimsa Vegan Café in Long Beach, don't expect to taste avocado, jalapeño, Daiya cheese, tomato, the homemade patty, romaine or mayonnaise on the first bite. Or the second. Or maybe the third. That's because the La Brea Bakery ciabatta bread that the avocado jalapeño burger is served on is so large it takes a while before you get to the patty.

Thankfully, the trip to Ciabattaville is worth the wait, as the homemade patty has a smoky richness definitely not found in the freezer section at your local grocery store. In fact, the garbanzo-based burger kind of has a meat-esque flavor to it, which at other restaurants can be either delicious or disgusting. As someone who hasn't eaten flesh since Thanksgiving 1997, I'm here to say it's the former.

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