• November 22nd, 2011quarrygirlvegan bakers

    hold the phone! clara’s cakes, one of our favorite bakeries, has started offering vegan mexican wedding cookies (aka russian tea cakes?)! they’re ridiculous: rich, moist, powdered sugary, littered with nuts, and scarily real tasting.

    mexican wedding cookies. $12 per dozen.

    they’re 12 bucks per dozen which is a steal, considering this is one of the best tasting baked goods i’ve eaten in ages. to order, email clara at info@claracakes.com!

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  • November 21st, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, m café

    have you been following our massive list of vegan thanksgiving options in los angeles? if not, you should check it out because we’ve posted several updates and the holiday is fast approaching. for instance, today is the last day to place your orders for an m cafe take out thanksgiving meal. and speaking of m cafe, they’ll be offering an in store thanksgiving roast meal for dinner at both locations now through wednesday. they invited me to try it over the weekend, check it out:

    thanksgiving dinner roast: savory sliced seitan, homemade pan gravy, signature stuffing, brocollini, mashed kabocha squash with cous cous, cranberry relish. $17.50

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  • November 19th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), philadelphia

    hey everyone, today we’ve got a field report by my good friend kevin mudrick all about the newly opened vedge restaurant in philly. the upscale establishment is all vegan and offers the kind of fine dining that makes me wanna take a trip east just to eat there. for more kevin, check out vegan brew.

    From the outside – a short block and a half from the walnut-locust subway stop. Didn’t really get any interior shots but the place is beautiful – lots of very nice wood on the walls, etc. The bar is magnificent and fancy-looking.

    The menu. Lots of small plates so you get varying tastes. Between the two of us we got 1 from the dirt list (roasted sunchokes with smoked paprika aoil), 3 “plates” (grilled seitan, steak spice seared tofu, and the wood grilled maitake), 2 “for the table” (truffled fingerling fries and crispy cauliflower), and 2 desserts (trio of ice cream & choco taco)

    The beer list is much improved over the old Horizons. Nice mix of local & belgian stuff – Rochefort 8 for instance is arguably one of the best belgian strong dark ales in the world! We chose to skip alcohol tonight as the Philly Marathon is this weekend. I didn’t take a picture of the “drinks” because I don’t really care about them.

    Complimentary bread & spicy olive oil with a pesto. Good, though I wish the bread was warm.

    Below is ruffled fingerling fries on top (good) and roasted cauliflower, kimchee cream, black vinegar on the bottom (phenomenal – one of the best appetizers I have ever had)…

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  • November 18th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away, vegan events

    this is way too good to pass up! mark your calendars, people. on monday november 21st our favorite pub, tony’s darts away, is donating half the proceeds from all vegan sausages all day to the beagle freedom project.

    eat a vegan dog to save a beagle dog monday at tony's darts away

    seriously, don’t miss this chance to eat the best vegan food in burbank and help out one of our favorite charities. and bring lots of friends! if you aren’t familiar with the beagle freedom project, they focus on saving dogs from labs—these are animals that have spent their entire lives in a cage. the proceeds from the event at tony’s will go directly to the SPANISH 41 rescue: the rescue of 41 beagles from a laboratory in spain…

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  • November 16th, 2011mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), san diego

    Talk to any vegan who visits San Diego regularly, and you’ll immediately get their answer to the all-important question:

    Does Pokez or Ranchos have the best Mexican food?

    While I have a very clear preference, answering the question is a little like answering somebody who asks: “Should I buy a Ford Explorer or a Mini Cooper?” Those cars are designed for entirely different purposes, and the two restaurants are different enough to warrant a similar analysis.

    In this case, rather than write yet another typical review of each, here’s a shoot-out comparison of several categories, with the inevitable “winner” chosen by adding up the wins and losses. Here we go:

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  • November 15th, 2011quarrygirlvegan events

    well this is exciting news! the team behind urban food crawl, LA’s weekly downtown vegan restaurant tour have now launched a weekly silverlake walking tour that will take place on sundays. i don’t know exactly which restaurants they’ll be hitting up, but highlights include savory calzones, tacos, german street food, and sweets! sounds pretty incredible, right?! tours are $65 and last for about 3 and a half hours, and you can get your tickets here.

    but that’s not all! as a pre-thanksgiving special, urban food crawl is offering a discount weekend when both of their tours will be only $48.75. check it out! have any of you guys ever been on these tours? what do you think? walking and eating local vegan grub for multiple hours sounds like my perfect day!

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  • November 14th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), san diego

    we go down to san diego pretty often, and for ages people have been urging us to check out ranchos cocina. the small mexican restaurant has two locations (one in ocean beach and one in north park) and although it serves meat, it boasts a massive vegan-friendly menu with everything from breakfast to dinner and specialty products like daiya and mock chicken & steak. we visited the north park outlet for an early lunch, and i can safely say that it was better than most vegan mex options in LA.

    we arrived at around noon and were quickly seated. the waiter was friendly and helpful, and brought us a basket of chips with unlimited salsa. great way to start the meal. the salsa was superb too: packed with heat and super chunky. for my entree, i went with a combo plate that came with rice, beans, and 2 bean enchiladas for $7.95. it’s worth noting that this normally comes smothered in daiya, but i opted to get it plain…

    Combo plate w/ rice and beans: Bean Enchiladas topped with sauce. $7.95

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  • November 13th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, larchmont bungalow

    recently i got an email from a vegan restaurant consultant alerting me new animal-free options at larchmont bungalow. she explained that the vegan menu was small but expanding (we have it at the bottom of the post) and that the restaurant would love my feedback. i can’t wait to check it out! i haven’t made it over there yet, but one of my readers did. here’s D‘s review:

    So the local hip larchmont eatery has adopted some new vegan friendly fare; Along with the purchase of one of these they ask for you to score a feedback card… and if you take part, you get a free coffee beverage. So it seems like they are taking it pretty serious.

    green vegan enchiladas: marinated five grain tempeh, sauteed spinach, caramelized onions, vegan mozarella and topped with roasted tomatillo salsa with guacamole, pico de gallo and black beans. $13.55

    I asked what was most popular and landed on the enchiladas… $13 ain’t cheap, but I got a free coffee which was nice.

    Taste: The enchiladas are kind of a healthier, drier version of the enchiladas “special” you can get on occasion at flore. Not that that is a bad thing, per se. They were REALLY tasty. The tempeh was perfectly cooked, Daiya mozz on top, the house made tomatillo was great and the guac smoothed the flavor. As I noted on the aforementioned feedback card, I would give the dish a 4/5 for taste.

    Glad to see some more vegan options around town. I was also told the vegan breakfast burrito is great, so I will have to check that out next time.
    word.

    here’s a look at the menu…

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  • November 12th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), north carolina

    hey dudes! today’s vegan field report comes to us from reader george nickle who recently hit up the all vegan plant restaurant in asheville north carolina. i come from LA, a land with many vegan options, and i am freaking out over this place. it looks amazing. we need more fine vegan restaurants in this town.

    Asheville, NC has been one of my favorite places since the 90s. So when Plant was mentioned in the field report about VegFest 2011 on Quarry Girl back in August, I knew I had to go next time I was in NC. I finally had dinner at Plant last week.
    Plant is Asheville’s first all Vegan restaurant, and two bites in I decided that it is one of the best Vegan restaurants in the country. I was immediately reminded of my fine dining experiences at Millennium in San Francisco and Candle 79 in NYC. After being open just a few months it compares favorably to both!

    The restaurant is conveniently located in downtown Asheville and has a simple, elegant modern interior that doesn’t detract from the real star of the show: the food. The food on other guests’ plates draw the eye as you are shown to your seat. By the time I sat I wanted to try everything I’d seen.

    It was less than an hour before closing so my partner and I ordered from the dinner menu. He ordered the Nightly Soup, which was a creamy potato, and I had the Flame & Herb Seitan Skewers.

    FLAME & HERB SEITAN SKEWERS sour cream · tostones · greens . $8

    The presentation was beautiful. The Skewers came with two pieces of plantain, which I didn’t expect to go with them but did. They were caramelized and crunchy on the outside, breaking apart to reveal a warm gooey center. The Skewers themselves were large knots of perfect seitan spiced with herbs that were just tangy enough without being overpowering. They came on a bed of wonderfully fresh greens and a dollop of “sour cream” that complemented the flavor of the herbs.

    NIGHTLY SOUP $6

    The main thing you find with your first bites (or sips of that amazingly creamy soup) of food at Plant is flavor! Everything tastes as if there is more to it than meets the eye.

    For my entree I had the Smoked Portobello Steak. Again, the presentation was lovely, a mix of colors and textures arranged on stark white plates. Halves of grape tomatoes glistening in light dressing and mingling with fresh basil were off to the side. It tasted as good as it looked. Again, lightly tangy with enough flavor to make you hungry but not overpower the senses.

    SMOKED PORTABELLO STEAK* spinach & garlic · crisp loaded polenta · grape tomato salad · v1 steak sauce. $15

    Tender sauteed spinach mixed with bits of garlic hid under the thick Portobello Steaks, drizzled with “v1” sauce that tasted just like the A1 you remember. And those steaks were thick, juicy and filled with a rich balsamic vinegar flavor that only enhanced the smoky mushrooms. Complementing them were triangles of crispy polenta. Divine!

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  • you don’t wanna miss this. hot knives, our favorite local bloggers/chefs/cookbook authors are taking over space 15 twenty in hollywood this weekend and throwing a vegetarian (mostly, if not entirely vegan?) event featuring tons of eastside vendors. they’ve got you covered from street food to baked goods, band appearances to cookbook signings, sodas to condiments, posters to records. not only does it sound amazing on paper, but so many of our QG favorites will be there including clara’s cakes, plant food for people, and elf cafe. not to mention the band YACHT in person, DJing and selling merch.

    here is the run down on the booths that will be at the event:
    YACHT, the band, selling records and merch like their new Shangria-LA T-Shirt.
    Plant Food For People, a Highland Park food collective infamous for jackfruit tacos and vegan tamales.
    From the Robins Nest, home-crafted jams, jellies and awesome baguette sandwiches.
    SaSo, a handmade, small batch hot sauce that you need in your pantry.
    Complicated Dance Steps, a local freak-beat tape label will peddle their wares and mix records.
    A fall menu of herbal and spice-infused sodas poured by Eden’s Herbals.
    Echo Park Books, publisher of the “Art Time Punks” an archive of the infamous Part Time Punks club posters.
    Elf Cafe, making available for the first time ever to-go jars of its signature harissa.
    Clara’s Cakes, teen baking blogger phenom selling vegan treats.** for a list, see the bottom of the post.
    Marriage Records, the Portland-based record label represent the Northwest with a smattering of recent indie releases.
    Golden Wings and Rosie’s Vintage will be showcasing groovy threads for you Lady Knives.
    Hot Knives will be DJing with Claire L. Evans of YACHT and demo-ing how to make Thanksgiving Pop-Tarts,
    and will be giving out free Thanksgiving Trifecta Pop-Tarts to anyone who brings a book or buys a book for them to sign!

    aaaaah this sounds like it could be one of the best vegan events of the year—that vendor list is blowing my mind. the whole thing goes down at:

    space 15 twenty
    1520 n. cahuenga blvd.
    los angeles CA
    sunday november 13th from 11am – 4pm
    FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
    i will race you guys to the cookbook line for a vegan thanksgiving pop tart!

    **i talked to clara from clara’s cakes to find out what treats she’d be bringing. right now the list is: pumpkin spice gobs, chocolate chip cookie covered oreos (THEY RULE!), neapolitan cupcakes, and pumpkin muffins. can’t wait to try ‘em all!

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  • November 10th, 2011quarrygirldenver, more restaurants (not LA)

    on our visit to denver 2 years ago, the all vegetarian pizza parlor city o city was one of our favorite finds. about a month ago we returned to colorado, and were happy to find that the small pizza shop and bakery had expanded to take over the space next door and even added a brunch menu. of course, we had to try it. (please note the restaurant’s website is under construction but i’ve got a copy of the new menu right here!)

    we hit up city o city at around 9am on a saturday morning and the place was already bustling, but we were able to get a seat at a long communal table in the middle of the restaurant. my only complaint is that the table was pretty fat and they seated us across from each other, so it felt like we were dining far apart. the food was amazing though…

    vegan breakfast burrito: scrambled tofu with potatoes and pinto beans smothered with green chile or gravy. $7

    my husband ordered the breakfast burrito made vegan style: scrambled tofu, potatoes, and pinto beans rolled up in a tortilla and topped with chile or gravy for seven bucks. burritos never photograph very well, but this thing was excellent. not enough places put beans in their breakfast burritos, but they’re so good! other restaurants, take note.

    the burrito was on the medium size compared to some of the beasts i’m used to, but it was packed full and definitely filling. the chile on top was delicious, but i’d be interested in trying it with gravy next time.

    speaking of gravy…

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  • November 9th, 2011quarrygirldoomie's, LA restaurants

    for more info on the secret menu, please see the bottom of this post.***

    ever since i ate that life-altering vegan big mac and discovered doomie’s has a secret menu, i have made it my mission to try everything on it. since it’s pretty giant and not actually written down anywhere, it will be tough to track my progress on the secret menu, but i’ll try! i started on sunday with the “buffalo chicken sandwich”.

    buffalo chicken sandwich: breaded buffalo chicken nuggets, hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and ranch dressing. served with fries. $8.95

    oh jeez. i have tried almost every sandwich that doomie’s has to offer on the normal menu, and as far i’m concerned, this beats them all. SO GOOD…

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  • November 8th, 2011farmers market, LA restaurants

    as you probably know, fatty’s in eagle rock (one of our favorite vegetarian spots in LA) recently reopened. we haven’t gotten over there yet, but our field reporter patricia went this weekend and loved it. check out her post:

    hurrah for the return of fatty’s!!! over the weekend my partner and i finally got around to checking out the (somewhat recently) reopened fatty’s and i am happy to report that the food was even tastier than i remembered. we decided to share a bunch of stuff so we could sample as much as possible and ended up with an amazing six course meal with a nice bottle of red wine to go with it.

    when our wine arrived we were also presented with a delicious dish of complimentary kale chips. light and salty these were a great snack to have while we looked over the menu.

    walnut croquette: a pan fried paté of organic walnuts, butternut squash, and cumin, served with fennel slaw and orange vinaigrette! $12

    the first thing i knew i had to have from the menu was the walnut croquette. this little guy was astounding. crunchy and flavorful with a delicious orange vinaigrette. in my experience when restaurants serve any kind of orange sauce it pretty much tastes like orange corn syrup. not at fatty’s, no sir. this was a slightly creamy, tangy, citrus dressing that i could eat on pretty much anything…

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  • November 7th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mendocino farms

    mendocino farms finally opened up in west hollywood last week, and i wasted no time in getting over there. i hit them up on saturday for lunch, and like every meal i’ve had at mendo, my sandwich was predictably awesome.

    Vegan Shawarma: Mediterranean chickpea shawarma, with a bean puree, vegan tzatziki, red onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and shredded romaine on a grilled honey wheat tortilla wrap (vegan tortilla available on request) $9.25

    there were 3 vegan sandwiches to choose from: chickpea shawarma, a spicy soyrizo wrap, and an indian dosa. i went with the shwarama (sauce on the side), and loved every bite. just be sure and specify that you want a vegan tortilla, because the wheat ones at mendocino contain honey. super fresh ingredients and a light falafelly shwarama that wasn’t too meaty…

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  • November 4th, 2011quarrygirlvegan events

    latest updates: m cafe updated!

    the luckiest turkey on earth

    it’s that time of year! thanksgiving is fast approaching, and while most of the country is planning epic meals of death, it’s time to start thinking about our cruelty-free celebrations. consider this a running list of vegan thanksgiving options in LA for 2011. as more restaurants release details, i’ll update the post. so keep checking this link. and if i’m missing anything, leave it in the comments!

    list after the jump –>

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