• May 21st, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, mary's secret garden

    UPDATE! Please check out this forum post, following a comment we received below.

    When I arrived in the USA from the UK some years ago, I immediately latched on to Costco as one of the most wonderful places on earth. There I could buy all the toilet paper, Kleenex, USB hard drives and Boca burgers I needed to survive. Costco even had 16-pack of vegan burger buns which I’d stash in the freezer along with the Boca patties so I could prepare myself a hearty snack any time I wanted. When hungry, I’d microwave the whole thing: Boca in first, then the bread bun, and I’d garnish with Vegenaise, some soy “cheese” and whatever fixings I had in the kitchen (usually tomatoes, onions and lettuce).

    I loved my Costco burger invention as it had a lot going for it: Vegan, quick to make, somewhat tasty, low in fat, highly predictable and VERY inexpensive. In fact, I used to boast to my omni friends that my burger cost around 60 cents to prepare, so it became known as a “60 Cent Burger”, and I was frequently called upon to prepare loads of them for late night after-party munchies. Anyway, more on the 60 Cent burger later, after the matters at hand.

    It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of the Pacific Coast: I live in Los Angeles where I can drive up PCH or the 101 any time I like to Ventura or Santa Barbara. Although the coastal route is sparsely populated with restaurants, vegan and vegetarian friends have been telling me for years that I need to check out Mary’s Secret Garden in Ventura as they have some of the “best food anywhere”. So, last weekend, I resolutely drove directly from Hollywood to Mary’s Secret Garden for lunch. And, boy, was the place a letdown.

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