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:Tags: beverly hills, hollywood, melrose, thanksgiving
remember that vegan philly cheesesteak special at m cafe that i blogged about recently? well, the restaurant has decided to make it a “fall special,” which means right now it’s available all the time! i took the sandwich for a spin on friday (minus the bell peppers, because i hate them), and it was all kinds of amazing.
good god, this is the best philly cheesesteak i’ve ever eaten…Tags: melrose, philly cheesesteak, sandwich, seitan
oh hell yes! next week m cafe is rolling out two new vegan dinner specials: a chicken pot pie and a philly cheesesteak sandwich!
i’ll take one of each, please! the specials will run at both m cafe locations from 9/12 to 9/26 after 4pm. the dishes are actually the result of a facebook and twitter contest where m cafe fans were invited to submit ideas for “macrotized” (aka veganized!) comfort foods. i’d like to personally thank who ever came up with these two winning suggestions.
we have the recipe for both dishes after the jump, in case you wanna make them at home. me? i’ll be at m cafe on monday for dinner. pot pie, here i come! (PS: i don’t have a picture of the sandwich, but it’s gonna be stacked with thinly-sliced seitan, peppers, mushrooms, and onions then smothered melted “cheese sauce” for $9.95.)Tags: beverly hills, melrose, pot pie
shhhh! there’s a new secret item at m cafe. we already told ya all about the off-menu “loaded burger” which comes stacked with tempeh bacon and avocado, but now they’ve got even more stealthy eats up their sleeve…
photo credit: m cafe
buy 4 big macros and get one for free? yes, please! same goes for the chopped salad, detox juice, 3 item deli salad combo, and macro meal all month at m cafe.
just a heads up that to help you out with your new year’s resolution (if in fact your resolution is to spend more time eating out at m cafe), the restaurant has launched a new discount card just for the month of january. here’s how it works…Tags: beverly hills, deal, discount, melrose
so i guess you can file this under “bad news” and “good news.” as of today, m cafe’s culver city location has shut down and a trusted source tells me that native foods will be taking over the space. I CANNOT WAIT. while i am sad to see m cafe go, at least an awesome vegan restaurant will be replacing it. FINALLY, a native foods in LA with proper parking and seating. you gotta admit, the westwood location is a bit awkward.
m cafe lovers can still enjoy their awesome vegan food at the melrose and beverly hills locations. our heart goes out to m cafe, and we wish them the best…but this cloud appears to have quite a silver lining. let’s all cross our fingers.
special thanks to my anonymous informant!Tags: culver city, rumors!, west side
October 8th, 2010chili addiction, hugo's restaurant, LA restaurants, m café, pizza cookery, tony's darts away
Okay, so we’ve already posted about the best vegan and best vegetarian restaurants in Los Angeles, but sometimes we vegans HAVE to eat in omnivorous restaurants. That’s a part of life. What’s interesting, though, is when we find meat-serving restaurants that we WANT to eat in. That’s a whole different story, and LA has a few outstanding omnivorous establishments that go out of their way to cater to vegans. Here are our favorites, updated from last year’s list.
The first time I heard about Tony’s Darts Away, I thought somebody was messing with me. I mean, a craft beer bar with an over 50% vegan menu? C’mon, people, who are you kidding? When I stepped into Tony’s on the night it opened I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I was awake and not dreaming. First off there was a HUGE selection of California craft beers, including many of my favorites and some that I’m very glad to have discovered. Next up, there’s a menu with a ton of awesome vegan offerings including a build-your-own vegan dog with three different sausage flavors.
Seriously, what better way to wash down some awesome vegan food than with an equally awesome craft beer? Tony’s Darts Away is one of the best places to open in Los Angeles in years. Vegans, omnivores and everything in between should not hesitate to check it out.
Although firmly omnivorous with its menu items, Chili Addiction is a vegan’s delight in every way. At any given time there will be at least two vegan chili dishes available, and the selection of vegan dogs, burgers, sorbets, fries and plain ol’ chili is to die for. This is one of those places where everything on the menu is so good that you have real trouble deciding what to order. I usually go for an order of Chili Mac, and a dog or burger sometimes with a side of chili fries to share, and everything I’ve ever had has been top notch.
In fact, I think Chef Johnny, co-owner and genius behind the award-winning dishes at Chili Addiction, could be one of the most talented and under-rated chefs working in LA right now. If he’s in the counter-service restaurant when you visit, he’ll happily give you a taste of anything on the menu as well as run you through the ingredients and even explain the concept behind the dish. On a recent visit I enjoyed some amazing hominy chili while Chef Johnny explained how he had come up with the recipe and how he was challenged to get the hominy texture “just right”. On another occasion, I enjoyed the best vegan sorbet of my life, and Chef Johnny took delight in telling me about a special machine he had obtained to make it!
Chili Addiction has parking out back, and is only steps from the Beverly Center in West Hollywood so there’s really no excuse to go there and eat. Just do it, you won’t be sorry.
it’s no secret that we love pizza here on this blog. I mean, who doesn’t? There would have to be something wrong with anybody that didn’t love a perfect crust, tangy sauce, fresh toppings and a yummy vegan cheese, right? Well, assuming that you’re on the same page as the above, you need to get over to Pizza Cookery in Woodland Hills ASAP. Unceremoniously accessed through a side entrance of a somewhat decrepit 70s-era shopping mall awaits some of the best vegan pizza you can get, as well as an environment and ambiance that feels more like Old Chicago or New York than deep in the 818. A combination of funky retro styling (old cast iron soda vending machines) and sawdust on the floor along with faux-gas lamps everywhere really evoke an intimate atmosphere that’s as suitable for a first date as it is an office party.
The menu is hugely vegan-friendly with a selection of salads and breads most of which can be made vegan. Everything is stunningly fresh and very well prepared, from the vegan caesar salad to the amazingly tasty and filling cheesy rolls. The pizza crust is soft and chewy, while the brick oven takes care of nicely charring the bottom. All the toppings were bright and colorful and the sauce and Daiya cheese mixed perfectly together.
Pizza cookery is the best pizza place in LA that serves vegan pizza and is dine-in. You’ll feel like you’re in a real pizza parlor of yesteryear, and leave very full and very satisfied.
With a totally vegan menu except for fish, M Cafe has a chic urban appeal, backed up with an A-list of ingredients (and clientele) all layered over an efficient kitchen and fair pricing, considering how great the food is. While the last year or two M Cafe’s items have been prepared by kitchen staff rather than chefs, their menu items are still some of the best in town.
The Big Macro is arguably LA’s best vegan burger. The broccolini pepporochini is without a doubt LA’s premier broccolini, and the Vegan Benedict is constantly voted one of the “best” breakfast items on any local menu. There are plenty of vegan options at all times of the day, and the rotating menu constantly keeps one coming back for more. The deserts are out of this world, along with some of the best vegan tiramisu known to humanity. Check it out!!
With two locations (West Hollywood and Studio City), and a full-on meat-oriented menu, one might be surprised to find that the Hugo’s chefs have created some seriously innovative vegan cuisine. Not only do they have loads of options, but the menu has several clearly marked animal-free alternatives, as well as dishes that can be optionally veganized. If you can get past the trendy atmosphere, long waits and constant celebrity sightings you’re in for a vegan treat.
Although I’ve long been a fan of the tofu scramble, I also love the Very Green Casserole (one of the best vegan burgers I’ve ever tasted atop stewed vegetables and sauce in a pot) as well as the salads, tikka masala veggie patties, stir-frys and wraps. Make sure you specify “VEGAN” clearly when you order, while the restaurant is extremely vegan-friendly, there may be butter hiding in unsuspecting dishes.
Since the last time we voted Hugo’s onto this list, they’ve introduced some astounding vegan specials that rotate in and out, and usually stay on the menu for a week or two before being replaced with something new. This is a very welcome addition, and the specials have been some of the best vegan dishes we’ve eaten anywhere.Tags: breakfast, chili, pasta, pizza, sausage, top 5
babycakes goodies that m cafe currently stocks include 5 different cupcake flavors, brownies, macaroons, cookies, biscuits, muffins, and crumb cakes. wowza!Tags: cupcakes
it’s no secret that m cafe has one of the best vegan burgers in town. but did you know that in addition to the delicious whole grain patty, tofu cheese, and awesome sauce, you can get your burger with avocado and tempeh bacon?! ’cause YOU CAN!
i recently stopped by m cafe and got one of their burger/fries/lemonade combos. i tried the avocado & bacon variation of the big macro and i can tell you it is super yum! m cafe really does have some of the best tempeh bacon, so adding it to the already delicious burger was a special treat. and i admittedly haven’t been to m cafe in a while, so i was especially surprised to see they have sweet potato fries! the fries are served with a tangy aioli – which was really good BUT they were so delicious and well-seasoned i ended up just shoving most of them into my mouth sans-dip.
i definitely recommend the tempeh bacon burger – and with the combo it’s a pretty sweet deal!Tags: beverly hills, burger, culver city, melrose
heyo! this is just a quick informational post to let y’all know that m cafe has launched a new summer grillin’ to-go menu that they will be offering at all 3 locations through labor day…and unless i’m missing something, it’s ALL VEGAN! (no fish, woo woo!)
the new menu is the perfect go-to food source for any summer bbq, picnic, or party…and features items like big macro patties, seitan cutlets, buns, chili beans, soy cheese slices, and desserts.
MENU AFTER THE JUMP —->Tags: burger, seitan, summer
as the seasons change, so do the salads at m cafe.
i hit up the melrose location recently and noticed that with the turn of spring, the celery root salad and winter vegetables were gone.Tags: tempeh
as you probably already know, the club club is an ongoing series of blog posts where we ruthlessly attempt to seek out the best vegan club sandwich in los angeles. so far we’ve hit up follow your heart, flore, casa de tree, and mani’s bakery…all of which boasted quite impressive double-decker sandwich offerings. tonight’s sandwich comes to you from m cafe, and i am pretty sure if we had to declare a winner right now, this would be it.
granted the m cafe club is a bit on the expensive side, and clocks in at over 11 bucks…but the taste and quality of this thing can not be beat. it’s much lighter than the other clubs but comes packed with the finest and most memorable ingredients. the avocado is always soft and creamy, the carrots are paper thin, and the other vegetables are fresh beyond belief. add to that some completely spongy yet lightly toasted bread and the best tempeh bacon i’ve ever had….whoa!
plus each sandwich comes with a side of your choice (not pictured), and the deli salads at m cafe are amazing. depending what’s in season, there are usually tons of good options, but i can never stray from the epic peanut kale (ask anybody who has tried it—-it is insane!).
as you can tell, i’m a little blown away by the m cafe club sandwich…..and i have been since the day i’ve tried it. but this contest IS FAR FROM OVER! leave your favorite vegan club in the comments section and we will be sure to review it. it’s a tough job, but that’s why i’m here.
m cafe de chayaTags: beverly hills, club club, culver city, melrose, sandwich
check them out on melrose, in beverly hills, and in culver city!
i can’t believe i have been going to m cafe de chaya for ages, and only recently did i start ordering off the specials menu! seriously…the mac and cheese, pizza, and holiday feast have all been amazing, and today’s breakfast special was no different. unlike the heavier foods i just mentioned, today’s morning feast consisted of soup, vegetables, and tofu all beautifully presented bento-style.
i seriously LOVE eating my food in compartments, i don’t know why, but it gives me such joy. the sauces and vegetables were all delicious, and the tofu was perfectly cooked. sigh…like most of the specials at m cafe, i really wish this was on the regular menu.
oh, and the meal started off with a warm cup of vegan miso soup, which was perfect for this rainy morning. it’s hard to find fishless miso when dining out, so try this stuff if you get a chance. it was full of cubed tofu, soft seaweed, and huge succulent mushrooms. so lovely.
i highly recommend you stray from the standard m cafe menu and try the special on your next visit. i am always pleasantly surprised. 🙂Tags: breakfast, hollywood, japanese, melrose
UPDATE 1/10/10: i just heard that the culver city m cafe is running this pizza special on wednesday nights after 5pm! yay!
as if there aren’t enough places to get delicious vegan pizza in los angeles, you can now add m cafe de chaya on melrose to the list! on saturdays only, after 5pm (that means right now), the restaurant is offering a pizza night special for just $10.50.
i hit up m cafe on melrose this evening to try the special out on its very first night…and wow, i was very impressed. first off, the pizza is huge. m cafe is usually pretty expensive, but at under 11 bucks this pie is more than enough to feed 2 people. secondly, the crust is incredible. it’s ultra thin and crispy, and baked on the premises. it reminds me of gourmet pizza that one would find at a super classy joint. thirdly, all the ingredients are top notch and full of flavor. from the generous sprinklings of fresh basil to the hearty rustic marinara, the pizza is all so divine. oh, and lastly the whole thing is covered in daiya, the best vegan cheese around.
i think it’s safe to say, m cafe really hit a home run with this vegan pizza. while our options are plentiful in LA, i can’t think of another restaurant where you can get such a high-quality artisan pie at such a low price. it truly is amazing.
m cafe is open until 10pm tonight, so i suggest you get over there and eat some pizza like NOW. if you can’t make it this evening, be sure to hit them up next saturday. i really want to make sure this special stays around, because it’s so fucking good.
m cafe melrose
7119 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
BTW, as far as i know this pizza is only at the melrose location. only on saturdays. only after 5pm. correct me if you hear differently!Tags: daiya, melrose, pizza
holiday cheer right on your plate or sent home with you in a box—that’s what you can expect from m cafe de chaya over the next couple days.
before you ask: ….hell no, m cafe is not open on december 25th! but today and tomorrow they are running a holiday roast special that will help warm you through this dreadful 60 degree cold front, and get you ready for santa’s birthday. have i mentioned before how much i love holiday food? i ordered m cafe’s special last night to go, and while it was a bit overpriced, i loved every bite of it. you can see it pictured above in all its take-out box glory, and below i attempted to make it a little more picturesque.
the price tag was pretty hefty on this entree, but i assure you, so was the portion size. a long sliced seitan loaf came resting on an large bed of fluffy mashed potatoes and chunky bread stuffing. the seitan itself was absolutely exquisite, just the right amount of chewiness with a slightly burnt skin. and i’m usually pretty grossed out by cranberry sauce, but i was a fan of m cafe’s. the ginger added a whole new biting dimension to offset the sweet flavor.
overall, i really can’t fault the quality of this dish. for a quick holiday meal, it really delivered. the only complaint i have, is that it was pretty expensive. i chalk that up to, “oh well, what isn’t expensive at m cafe?!” right, right? we are talking about a place that charges over 10 bucks for vegan breakfast.
anyways, i know this special is going on at the melrose storefront today and tomorrow, so check it out if you get a chance…if you like holiday food, i highly recommend this. m cafe has weird xmas eve hours, so call ahead. oh, and also call ahead if you are in bev hills or culver city…i’m not sure what the deal is w/ those locations.
may you have a happy holiday, and eat all the roast-ish type foods as you possibly can. i know i will!
m cafe de chayaTags: holidays, melrose, seitan
7119 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90046