• August 28th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    friday update, after the post.

    if you read my blog, there are probably 2 things you know about me: 1.) i hate bell peppers and 2.) i loooOOOOoooOOOove pure luck. the very first time i ate there, i knew i had something special: fancy tap beer, the best vegan food ever, great service and a funky chill atmosphere. i often found myself relaxing at a window table, bathed in sunlight, about 1/2 way though my second pint of craftsman as a steaming hot plate of potato pals was brought to my table and lou reed’s transformer drifted through the speakers…thinking, this place is just way too good to be true.

    i’m beginning to believe i was right.

    torta: sauteéd jackfruit "carnitas", plus pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, tomatillo salsa, sliced avocado and vegan mayo on a grilled rustic roll. $9

    torta: sauteéd jackfruit "carnitas", plus pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, tomatillo salsa, sliced avocado and vegan mayo on a grilled rustic roll. $9

    ahhhh…the torta, pictured above. this photo was taken months ago, before the restaurant started going downhill. please notice: a plastic order number to the way upper left, a 20oz beer next to it, and a generous serving of potato pals with the entrée (at no extra charge, mind you)! these things have now all gone…they don’t exist at pure luck anymore, and neither does the window that’s lighting them.

    you see, on july 19, 2008, a fucking truck plowed through the window and wall of pure luck, fatally wounding my favorite eatery. i was hopeful at the time that they’d get the shit repaired stat, but unfortunately since the accident i’ve seen the best employees leave, the portions reduced, and the atmosphere sacrificed. plus they haven’t even bothered to fix the window. even before that awful day, they had switched from counter to table service…a decision that formalized the once-super-chill establishment and led to many an awkward moment between me and my plastic-carrying/no-cash co-workers. (splitting the check sux.) anyways, the truck barreling through the restaurant seemed to be the last straw. pure luck jumped the shark; the shit officially hit the fan. i’m so sad. and so over it.

    let’s take a look at what changed.

    the first thing i noticed after that dreadful day, was the portions got smaller at pure luck and the prices (kind of) increased. i say (kind of) because, they didn’t officially. it used to be a sly trick to order the unadvertised potato pals as a side dish, and the staff would happily comply. well, after the accident, the staff still happily complied…but for a dollar more. an extra dollar, that was never mentioned, just sitting there on the bill. the portion of potato pals (or any side for that matter) also shrunk a great deal. don’t believe me? see for yourself:

    angélica's garbanzo salad sandwich $7

    angélica's garbanzo salad sandwich $7

    before the truck crashed into pure luck, life was good and this sandwich was awesome! so much vegenaise and so many chickpeas! they forgot to put the tomato on, but that problem was promptly fixed when i questioned my waitress. plus, a HUGE pile of potato pals—subbed for fries, no worries, no extra $$. let’s jump forward one month to after the truck went through the window:

    todd's bbq sandwich: bbq jackfruit "pulled pork" with pickles, onions and vegan mayo on a rustic roll. $9 (or $10 to my surprise with potato pals!)

    todd's bbq sandwich: bbq jackfruit "pulled pork" with pickles, onions and vegan mayo on a rustic roll. $9 (or $10 to my surprise with potato pals!)

    totally disappointing. not only am i forced to pay a premium for my favorite side…but the quantity is reduced! both the side and the main dish are considerably smaller. i know this, because one of my insatiable carnivorous co-workers even noticed…”hey, isn’t this bbq sandwich much smaller than it was like last week?” uggggggggh. the last thing veganism needs is “the best vegan restaurant in LA” recruiting meat-eaters by serving them tiny portions at a high price in a darkened restaurant that appears to be undergoing demolitions. oh well.

    …at least the beer is a good deal, right? NOT ANYMORE! first pure luck tried to spoil the fun by raising beer prices for 16oz pints AND 20oz pints, each by a dollar. then they changed the plan and stopped offering 20oz pints all together. in the old days you could get a 16oz for $5, and a 20oz for $6. now, after all the blackboard erasing and price-changing fuckery, a 16oz is still $5 and an 18oz is $6. 20oz beers are no longer available. sigh. to beer drinkers like me this is a huge setback. not to mention the selection of brew on tap is constantly dwindling, and they tend to be “out” of the better beers more frequently. i can tell you, it’s not what it used to be.

    and to be fair, it’s not just the sides, or the beer…but the portions themselves are getting smaller. check out the difference in the fresh noodle salad. it used to be a plate of spinach with a mound of tofu and other good shit on top…now it’s an entire bowl full of spinach, with a skimpy amount of tofu & toppings sprinkled on. totally disappointing.

    oh, and the atmosphere. yeah, that sucks now. at first, after the accident, it was charming like, “what a great restaurant, they are pulling through even though a truck smashed into them!” now a month later, it’s just annoying like, “why is this place always so fucking dark and why is there nowhere good to sit.” oh yeah, and TONS of flies get in and swarm around your food now, because they haven’t repaired the damage properly. one window went a very long way. sad. sad. sad.

    pure luck window, before and after the crash

    pure luck window, before and after the crash

    as you can see, pure luck is totally bumming me out. as if all this accident-related and price crap wasn’t enough, they fucked with the menu as well. each dish used to come with a side of fries or a cesar salad. now, they just serve your meal with a boring spinach italiany salad instead. i haven’t bothered to order it, i was pretty disappointed when i saw my friend’s wrap arrive with a tiny mound of spinach and some see-through dressing. i prefer to remember the wonderful wrap and side in their former glory:

    kristen's carnitas wrap: jackfruit "carnitas" with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and césar dressing, wrapped in a flour tortilla. $8

    kristen's carnitas wrap: jackfruit "carnitas" with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and césar dressing, wrapped in a flour tortilla. $8

    when i ate that wrap i wish i’d have known that it was a shrinking commodity: the new wraps are much smaller and their side salads are waaaaay boring. ugh. if only i could have the old pure luck back.

    more injustice after the jump.

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  • July 23rd, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, news, pure luck (closed)

    quarrygirl on laistit’s true—that was me you read about on laist.com the other day, when i broke the news of the accident at pure luck.

    sorry i have been a too busy to answer your countless emails recently—i’ve been overwhelmed fielding all the offers like book deals, celebrity appearances and free food. not sure what my next move will be, now that i’ve “made it”. if you want to re-live all the excitement of my major media mention, you can catch my laist feature here. and i will post the article below as well….for your sake.

    JULY 22, 2008

    Truck Crashes into Pure Luck Restaurant

    Around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning as staff at Pure Luck were closing the Bicycle District/HelMel vegan restaurant down, a truck rammed through a window. Local vegan blogger, quarrygirl, visited for a meal later on Saturday only to find the restaurant closed. “Why does this shit have to strike at the best vegan restaurant in town. boooooo,” she blogged. According to one server, as luck would have it, no one was hurt and the restaurant is still open for business during regular hours as they work to fix the window and damage.

    thanks laist, for the recognition. i know i deserve it, but it still feels great. and for all you trying to reach me to congratulate me, don’t give up! 🙂

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  • July 21st, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    the good news is, pure luck is still open…for now. the bad news is, a truck did in fact crash into the building and cause structural damage. early early saturday morning, what appeared to be a drunk driver drove through the wall, taking out several bike racks on the way! pure luck re-opened much later that day with plywood hung up over the windows and broken wall area. despite the unwelcoming appearance (who wants to eat in what looks like a disaster zone), the place was bustling when i visited. let’s hope they can get it fixed without having to close down for very long! good luck, pure luck!

  • July 19th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    UPDATE! pure luck has re-opened for now. they have plywood over the broken wall. it’s still pretty fucked up though. hopefully they won’t have to shut down. explanation here.

    pure luck sign

    noooooooooOOOOOOoooOOOOooooOOOOOo! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?! i headed down to my favorite vegan restaurant today (pure luck, as you probably know) only to find out it was CLOSED! not just closed, but the windows were smashed and the wall looked like it had been driven into by a truck or something. the place was a mess! what a tragedy. why does this shit have to strike at the best vegan restaurant in town. boooooo.

    rest assured, i will be calling them constantly to find out when they re-open. 🙁 for now, my thoughts go out to the mgmt and staff. not fair that such a wonderful place should encounter any mishaps or have reason to shut down, even temporarily.

    meanwhile, i’ll leave you with some of quarrygirl’s fondest memories from the best restaurant in town.

    potato pals at pure luck vegan restaurant
    potato pals – my personal favorite

    jackfruit carnitas tacos at pure luck vegan restaurant
    jackfruit “carnitas” tacos – better than the real thing

    1903 lager at pure luck vegan restaurant
    and of course, pure luck’s amazing tap beer. craftsman 1903 pictured here.

    we already miss you, pure luck!!! COME BACK!!!!!!!

    pure luck interior

    if you wanna reminisce some more, see what else we ate in the past. boo hoo hoo.

  • June 4th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    as many of you may know, i’m on a quest to eat the entire pure luck menu…one item at a time (with the exception of maybe one salad that really isn’t my style). sorry, no jackfruit carnitas in this post, but i promise to feature some next time.

    avocado, chips and salsa: sliced ripe avocado and fresh pico de gallo salsa served with made-to-order tortilla chips. $3

    pure luck césar rolls: avocado, tofu, onions and romaine lettuce rolled up in a flour tortilla, topped with our césar dressing. $5

    césar salad with tofu: romaine lettuce with grilled tofu, sliced avocado, onions, croutons and lemon-garlic césar dressing. $8
    (they forgot the avocado!)

    in pure luck fashion, of course, all this food was amazing. the appetizer was hearty for 3 dollars, and the homemade chips were soooooo tasty. you can tell these weren’t from a bag—they were flour tortillas cut into triangles and cooked (fried probably, but i try not to think about that). i wish all restaurants would take a tip from pure luck and prepare their chips this way.

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  • May 7th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    maybe it’s out there somewhere, but i’ve not been able to find the menu for the wildly popular vegan restaurant pure luck anywhere online! 

    so, as a service to the public, i’ve taken it upon myself to scan the menu and make it available to you all from your very own home. if you haven’t been to pure luck yet, i can’t recommend it highly enough.

    PURE LUCK MENU (inside)

    PURE LUCK MENU (front and back)

    now you can order pure luck food in advance for take-out, or if you are like me, sit and stare at the menu for hours, plotting what you will have on your next visit and wishing you were sitting in the restaurant RIGHT NOW.


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  • May 4th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    i can’t get enough pure luck. seriously. it’s by far my favorite restaurant. and so far, in my quest to try everything on the menu, i’ve never once been disappointed.

    burrito: a large flour tortilla stuffed with beans, rice, fresh avocado, tomatillo salsa and grilled tofu. comes with a side caesar salad. $9

    torta: grilled tofu, plus pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, tomatillo salsa, sliced avocado and vegan mayo on a grilled rustic roll. (also with a side caesar salad.) $9

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  • April 20th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    are you sick of reading about pure luck already? too bad! because until i’ve tried everything on the menu…i’m gonna keep writing about it and providing you with pictures.

    carnitas taco combo plate: soft corn tortillas filled with jackfruit “carnitas”, topped with diced onions and cilantro, and our fresh tomatillo salsa. $8

    fresh noodle salad: cold rice noodles on a bed of fresh spinach, topped with tofu and peanuts, bean sprouts, basil, onions and a sweet cilantro-lime dressing. $8

    well, i went back to pure luck this weekend, and let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint! the service was great and i finally got to try the much-talked-about “carnitas” made from jackfruit. sounds weird, i know, but it was wonderful. it will be very hard moving forward in my quest to try everything on the menu, not to back out and just continue ordering the carnitas tacos.
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  • April 14th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    tofu pesto sandwich:
    grilled tofu and fresh basil-spinach pesto on a rustic roll, with romaine and onions and vegan mayo.

    pure luck is hands-down my favorite restaurant in los angeles. it’s great. they have a delicious 100% vegan menu and an impressive selection of quality tap-beer, none of which is over-priced. they truly are one-of-a-kind.


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  • March 30th, 2008quarrygirlpure luck (closed)

    as a vegan imbiber, i can’t think of any place more wonderful than pure luck. it’s probably the only place you won’t see me bitching and complaining about on this blog. in fact, the absolute worst thing that really irritates me about pure luck is that they aren’t open on sunday. because if they were, i would be there right now.

    first off, unlike most vegan eateries, they have amazing tap beer. not that budweiser bullshit, i’m talking about the real thing—at a great value. a 20 oz. glass of craftsmen ipa only costs $6, a very competitive price (especially in a vegan restaurant!!!), considering the quality and the quantity.

    pure luck beer

    but as an ardent drinker, even fancy & cheap beers are auxiliary when it comes to my enjoyment of pure luck. what sets this establishment apart is the amazing and unique food. they don’t resort to the same tired menu as many vegan spots in los angeles (faux meat piled onto noodles with lots of salt). it seems any restaurant that has the word “vegan” in the title serves basically a carbon copy of a thai menu, with the substitution of seitan for meat, and the addition of french fries. thankfully, not pure luck. instead, it offers up new and tasty creations like fried gnocchi “potato pals” and spring rolls wrapped in flour tortillas.

    potato pals

    pure luck spring rolls

    i am making it a point to go to pure luck every saturday, and order something new each time until i’ve had everything on the menu.

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