• Come Together. Right Now. Over Me.

    August 10th, 2009mr meanervegan stuff
    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi.

    Forty years ago this weekend, The Beatles walked across a pedestrian crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, London and signaled the end of the Swinging Sixties. Their iconic, final Abbey Road album was about bringing things together – after all, it begins with John Lennon’s anthem for togetherness, “Come Together”, and ends with Paul McCartney’s appropriately titled “The End”. Sometimes, the best things in life mean so much more when brought together than enjoyed on their own, just like the final recording sessions of The Beatles.

    Take my favorite things: vegan food, awesome music, special beer and good friends. Bring them together, give them to me in abundance and I’ll be as sound as a pound.

    I write this post replete from all of the above, following this afternoon’s visit to what is arguably LA’s best bar, The Verdugo in Glassel Park. The Verdugo is usually a late-night haunt for us, it being dark, candle-lit and having an innovative beer menu. Today, though, we were spoiled with not only some amazing beers, but the a visit from Hot Knives, the “out there” vegetarian bloggers, chefs, beer experts and all-around-cool-dudes who had brought along a streamlined, but very effective vegan food menu. They called it the Gnosh Pit, and oh boy, did we GNOSH!


    The bad news is that Hot Knives has a very limited engagement with Verdugo – only two days. The good news is that you can catch all this again NEXT Sunday 16th (although the menu items may vary from what we describe here).


    Let’s talk about the food. First, they approached the occasion from a tangent, offering five menu items – two entrées, two sides and a dessert. With two entrées, the good news is that you’re going to eat not one, but two signature dishes:

    Vegan BBQ Bun.

    Vegan BBQ Bun.

    The “BBQ Bun” was a force to be reckoned with – Oyster mushrooms roasted twice and soaked in sweet vinegar spiked BBQ sauce, served between a soft, seasme-seeded bun.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi with Seeded Cole Slaw.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi with Seeded Cole Slaw.

    The “Bahn Mi” was ready to kick you in the fucking face (time and time again) with fresh green chilies, cilantro, spicy curry seitan (the best I’ve had in a long time) and crusty bread. It was HOT, TASTY, CRUNCHY and so amazing that I ate two and wished I’d taken another home for dinner.

    Fresh Chips.

    Fresh Chips.

    Yeah, and the sides were also out of this world. Taking potato chips and making them special is rather tricky, but the Hot Knives dudes made it happen. The chips were sliced thin, fried hot and fast and served with kim chi dipping sauce. They vaporized from the table in about eight seconds, if that’s any evidence of the their delectability.

    The cole slaw (pictured above with the bahn mi) had purple cabbage, green cabbage and some other stuff, all served in a tangy sauce with the perfect combination of crunch and mush. These guys know how to make a coleslaw hater become a coleslaw lover.

    Lambic Pop.

    Lambic Pop. (That's what she said!)

    On to the end, the desert was out of this world. Frankly, Lambic is not to everybody’s taste – it’s like a cross between raspberry daiquiri and a hard beer. The Lambic Pops (ignoring the phallic representation) could have been a meal in and of themselves. What an amazing idea?!

    The Hot Knives Dudes making our epic feast

    The Hot Knives Dudes making our epic feast

    The Hot Knives folks were so nice — after every visit (and there were many) to the food area we were served politely, told to “tell our friends” and given food and a friendly attitude to die for. I’d do this every weekend (or every day) if my work schedule and liver allowed it.

    Ah, the food. Well, that’s just one item of convergence we’re talking about here – the next is music. Talking of The Beatles, as we sat down to enjoy our Fresh Chips, George Harrison came over the PA system with his eponymous “For You Blue” from the album recorded a few months before Abbey Road. Yeah, he probably wasn’t singing about the erect, blue Lambic Pops, but the music was great and the pops were cold, so who gives a shit? The Beatles were followed by Dandy Warhols, Velvet Underground and many of my favorite bands in tight rotation.

    Ok, we have food and music, let’s talk about beer. In fact, after several Pliny The Elders (strangely the very first post on this site), I’m not going to talk very much about the beer, except to say that with 20+ beers on tap you can find one of LA’s best beer selections at your beck and call. Just show up at Verdudo, read the beer menu and let your designated driver take you home. Enough Said. Remember to check in advance, though, which beers are vegan. Most of the craft brews served here are, but better to be safe than carnivorous.

    Outdoor Patio at Verdugo Bar

    Outdoor Patio at Verdugo Bar

    Food, music, beer, FRIENDS – yeah, what was originally a 45 minute stop over on the way somewhere became a 2+ hour chillin’ session when we ran into the awesome Foodeater of To Live and Eat in LA . We talked about friends, food, beer, and stuff we wouldn’t post in a family oriented blog (I’m serious). Upon leaving, our perspective of what’s important in life was firmly reinforced: Awesome food, great music, special beer and good friends.

    For more updates about what’s going on at Verdugo Bar, follow them on twitter…. @verdugobar

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19 responses to “Come Together. Right Now. Over Me.” RSS icon

  • How am I supposed to “come by and say hi” if I don’t know who you are? Silly quarrys!

    I heard about this event and was thinking about going. I will definitely be there next week.

  • I was there! It rocked. I’ll be back next weekend… I’ve met quarrygirl, you will know her as she’s the hottest chick there. Sadly she’s married 🙁

    But the food really was out of this world. I ate three of those pops and they went straight to my head. The dude serving them warned: “don’t give this to a kid”.

    I agree on the event: beer, food, music and friends. I hope Verdugo do more of these vegan events.

  • Looks good, but someone should tell them it’s “banh mi.”

  • Mel: you’re right… I left the spelling the way it was in the menu, assuming it was some westernized version of the original word. Might change it….

  • May have to stop by to check out the Lambic pop. I loooove lambic but have never had it in it’s frozen form. Intriguing!

  • Damn, this food was so fucking good. No way around it but to curse. I could have (should have) eaten two more banh mi before I left.

  • that bbq bun is one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen.


  • Food looks delicious! I can’t agree with you more…there’s not much better than great music, even greater friends, and some leisurely time to talk over good food.

  • Oh man, I WANT this.

  • I was there on Saturday! What time did you go? I was there at around 3:30. I only got the bbq sandwich. Maybe I should go back and get the banh mi.

  • Alex and Evan are great. I met them at craft beer fest in echo park. Solid homies.

  • wow. just wow.

  • so who’s coming next weekend? jennifer? vegetarian? come on people.

  • Wow! This sounds amazing, and this bar is really close to my house! Must make mental note to go on Sunday.

  • I hate to tell you but Pliny The Elder is not vegan. I was devesatated when I found this out. The brewmaster at Russian River Brewery says that he uses Gelatin in all of his beers. Sucks!!

  • I was WRONG! I am so excited. There is an update on barnivore.com that says:

    “Blind Pig, Damnation, and Pliny the Elder on draught in bars, or in bottles = good
    Anything else (primarily only in bottles – these are barrel aged mostly sour beers) = bad
    Anything served in their brewpub in California = bad”

    AWESOME. Pliny the Elder back on the list!


  • I just got back from the bbq and LOVED it. The lambic popsicles were the best. Although the fresh potato chips were pretty good, too. And the bahn mi. Okay, I can’t pick my favorite. Such friendly group of people. Really great vibe. Thanks for the good food!

  • GAH, I’m so mad that I missed it all. 🙁 Sounds so amazing!

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