hey everyone! just a quick and straightforward holiday reader review from D, who got his thanksgiving meal at real food daily this year. he breaks it down for us in a simple and entertaining manner. listen up!
Below are my pics and thoughts on this years RFD thanksgiving to go… for your amusement of course.Tags: field report, holiday, thanksgiving, weho
October 21st, 2010chili addiction, hugo's tacos, LA restaurants, mandoline grill, native foods, real food daily, veggie grill
did y’all know that it’s international day of the nacho (look it up)?! and to celebrate, we’re bring you a quickie list of our 5 favorite places to get vegan nachos in los angeles! you should eat some today…you know, to honor the holiday. here we go:
1.) veggie grill: uptown nachos
i think these nachos are the best, because they come with everything i love: daiya cheese, bean chili, salsa, avocado, soy sour cream, and jalapenos all on top of crispy chips. super good and SUPER cheap at under 5 bucks!
2.) real food daily: not-chos
the not-chos at real food daily are BY FAR the best thing on the menu, and i have to order them every time i go. tortilla chips topped with the best homemade cashew cheese i’ve ever tasted, along with black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, and tofu sour cream. you can add taco mix for an extra $2.75…but with an $11.75 base price, i think these nachos are expensive enough. pro tip: if you like spicy food, be sure to ask for the jalapeno cashew cheese!
3.) hugo’s tacos: vegan nacho grande
hugo’s tacos sells “normal” nachos, but if you request them with a vegetable filling and daiya cheese, they are instantly vegan. they use the italian blend daiya rather than cheddar, which may sound a little bit odd, but it’s surprisingly good! i get mine with the soyrizo, potato, and zucchini filling; along with the jalapeno hot sauce! the serving size is absolutely massive (enough for 2 people to share), yet only costs $5.92.
4.) chili addiction: chili vegan addiction nachos
what makes these nachos stand out are chili addiction’s phenomenal homemade chips and chili. the chips just taste incredibly fresh, and the chili is by far the best in town. you get a huge portion of those, plus a layer of daiya cheese, diced jalapenos, and onions for $8. if they would just melt the daiya a little, these things would be PERFECT.
5.) mandoline grill: vegan vietnamese nachos
a fresh take on vegan nachos, these don’t have any kind of fake cheese on them, but instead are covered with a creamy sriacha aioli. they also come with a healthy amount of mandoline’s amazing lemongrass fried tofu, scallions, mint, cilantro, and jalapeno. and at just $4.50, they’re an excellent value!
those are our picks for the best vegan nachos we’ve actually tried in LA, but native foods has some brand new nachos as well that look amazing:
these are definitely at the top of my list of foods i need to try. with both homemade chips and cheese, i bet they are spectacular!
so let’s all go eat some vegan nachos tonight, and show everyone that the international day of the nacho doesn’t need to include meat or dairy. weeee!Tags: nachos
i am always a sucker for a good brunch, and for ages i’ve been hearing that the sunday offering at real food daily is pretty damn awesome. so, after not eating at the restaurant for quite some time and having a great experience with their takeout food, we decided to give dining in at RFD another shot.
we hit up the weho location yesterday with a friend, and the food was tasty all around the table. i ordered the LA benedict, which came with tofu, tomatoes and spinach all atop buttery toast smothered in vegan hollandaise sauce. it was pretty expensive at just under 14 bucks, but at least the portion was large. personally, i prefer the benedict at m cafe, but this one was pretty good as well. my only complaint was that the tofu was pretty untreated—it tasted like the silken stuff just taken out of the box and sprinkled with pepper. the high points of the dish were the creamy hollandaise and the crispy bacon, i couldn’t get enough of that stuff.
my husband went with the breakfast burrito, which was a giant whole wheat tortilla stuffed with scrambled tofu, vegetables, and guacamole. it also came covered in RFD’s amazing cashew cheese (which can be subbed for jalapeno cheese upon request!). i didn’t try the burrito because it had bell peppers in it (which i HATE), but my husband said it was a bit soggy and mushy for his taste.
lastly, our friend ordered an appetizer as his main dish, the blt tartine (pictured below). this was basically a blt sandwich, but served bruschetta-style on little pieces of toast rather than in between slices of bread. this is another dish i didn’t try, but it got a great review from our friend, and i don’t think you can go wrong with RFD’s tempeh bacon.
unlike some other times we’ve been to RFD, the service on sunday was great. the place was super busy, but we still got a really comfortable table and were constantly checked on by our waitress. the one huge drawback to dining at real food daily though, is that while the food is good, it is PHENOMENALLY overpriced. what would cost $8-9 at a normal vegan restaurant ends up costing $14-15. their prices are on par with madeleine bistro, but the food just isn’t quite as special. oh, and be really careful ordering alcohol. they were serving tiny little glasses of champagne at brunch that wound up costing 9 bucks a piece. let’s just say less than half of our bill went to cover food. oops.
that being said, we really did have a great brunch at RFD and i’m looking forward to going back. it’s just not something i would splurge on every weekend.
real food daily
414 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
514 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
brunch served sundays from 10am-3pmTags: brunch, weho
ladies and gentlemen, i think we have a winner…
for the past two months, we’ve been on a search to find the best vegan club sandwich in los angeles and i think our search has finally ended. i thought to myself that the contest was over when i tried the incredible club at m cafe….but surprisingly the real food daily club has it beat!
the club sandwich at real food daily is beyond awesome. first off, it’s huge…and it comes with this thick breaded seitan that’s moist in the middle and crispy on the outside, along with large strips of salty tempeh bacon. what really makes this thing though, is the bread. it’s soft and fluffy with just the perfect amount of chew. agh, so good! add to that fresh produce and creamy vegenaise, and this sandwich is a mixture of purely delicious flavors and textures.
i’m not gonna lie, there is a down side. the club at RFD is expensive as hell. i mean almost $14 for a sandwich and a small side salad?! that’s practically highway robbery. the thing is just so damn good though, i’d be lying if i said it didn’t deserve to win. it’s also worth noting that i got my sandwich to go, as eating in at real food daily can be an extremely unpleasant experience.
Real Food Daily
414 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
514 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
so what do you think? did we miss any amazing club sandwiches? do you agree with the winner?Tags: club club, sandwich, weho
Let me set the stage. One of my most critical and trusted vendors (whom my company spends a lot of dollarz with every month) invited us out for a “nice dinner in West Hollywood” with him and his wife. After I suggested a few low-end vegan-friendly places, it was clear that he wanted to take us somewhere “much nicer”. Randomly, I suggested Real Food Daily, and he said “My wife went to the one in Santa Monica and really enjoyed it. I’d love to go there!”. So, it was with much delight that we met up for dinner.
From the minute we were seated, it was clear that we were unwelcome. Each time our server approached the table she just began to ask her questions with NO preamble, loudly interrupting our conversation in such a rude way. She clearly wanted to turn the table as fast as possible, and rushed us through the ordering (clearly, we were not all ready to order). Rather than go away and come back she stood by our table looking fed up while we all placed our orders. We started with some nachos – which were pretty tasty and arrived within about 2 minutes of us ordering them (probably because they were a pre-made popular item in the kitchen).
About 5 minutes after the nachos arrived, two servers showed up with our food, and started shoving it down in front of us, moving our nacho plates out of the way or (in my case) removing it entirely, even though I was mid-bite. One guest at the table grabbed her nacho plate and was left holding it with nowhere to set it down after the entrée plates were delivered to the tiny four-top.
While the food was “OK”, it was VERY bland. There’s not one distinctive taste in any of it, and my choice (the TV dinner) I could prepare at home for a lot less than $14. During the brief time we spent there, our server never had eye contact with us once, the environment was so unpleasant that we could not wait to leave and the food so overpriced (with necessary “extras” costing $3 or more ON TOP OF entrées that were pushing fifteen bucks. One exception was the “Taco the Town” tacos, which got rave reviews.
To my utter embarrassment, the person that invited us there, and paid for the meal had only a couple of bites of his food. I asked him if everything was OK, and he said “well, it seems to be all bell peppers and rice – not very good at all”.
I’ve always disliked RFD, even after giving it many, many chances to succeed for me. There are no positives in my mind, but plenty of negatives: Rude staff, indifferent service, expensive and useless valet service, expensive and bland food, cramped tables crammed together, pre-made food that arrives WAY too quickly for it to be freshly prepared, an atmosphere of omnivores “trying” vegan food with vegan/trendy/vegetarian friends and a general shitty vibe about the entire place.
I was terribly embarrassed that I suggested RFD as a dinner location for somebody generous enough to invite us out, and drive all the way from Santa Monica with his wife to spend time with us. I HATE RFD, and I will NEVER go back, EVER. Fuck their brunch, screw their servers that rudely interrupt conversation and damn to hell the fucking valet that left me standing there for 10 minutes in awkward conversation.
Real Food DailyTags: mexican food, seitan, tacos, west hollywood
414 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
a couple of weeks ago, i had the pleasure of eating a much anticipated lunch with fellow vegan blogger, foodeater of to live and eat in la. we had been planning a meal of epic proportions for quite sometime and finally chose real food daily in west hollywood as the location for our feast. after all, it’s pretty fancy and very well-reviewed. plus, i never get a chance to go there because mr. meaner, my dining partner and the other half of this blog, fucking hates the place!
since we considered the lunching of quarrygirl and foodeater a pretty special occasion, we decided to share a decadent appetizer to start, the better with cheddar nachos.
i have heard a ton of good things about real food daily’s nachos, and i can add to the hype by saying they were very tasty. the plate was huge and overflowing with crispy chips, black beans and guacamole. we just about finished it all off between the two of us, and i seriously have no idea how we still had room for any entrees.
although we ate them right up, i gotta say, somethings about the nachos were a let-down for me. the cashew cheese wasn’t anything like real cheese; it had no melty texture, it was more of a just a yellowish sauce. plus, we ordered jalapeno cheese, and while there was a slight hint of flavor, it really wasn’t spicy at all. while the cashew sauce wasn’t bad, i was just expecting something more thick and well…cheesy. similarly, the tofu sour cream was a little disappointing. it was drizzled over the top of the nachos, when i was wanting something more like a big blob of sour cream. the guacamole and black beans were perfect though, and the nachos were overall yummy, even if they weren’t what i expected. worth 12 bucks?…maybe.
after piling half a ton of nachos down my gob, i decided to stick with the mexican theme and order some enchiladas.
i love ordering mexican food whenever i can, because in most restaurants the stuff is riddled with chicken fat and lard. real food daily’s fine-dining take on the classic enchiladas was pretty decent. the soft corn tortillas were delicate, filled with all kinds of unusual vegetables, and slathered in a rich red sauce. again, the tofu sour cream was almost nonexistent and a little disappointing. the guacamole and the salsa were amazing, as was the light and healthy-tasting enchilada filling. i can’t even place what it consisted of, but i know it was a blend of RFD’s delicious crumbled tempeh and assorted vegetables including onions and chilis. although this was a million miles away from the old-school mex enchiladas i’m used to, it was still tasty in its own right. but honestly, not worth 14 bucks.
the lovely foodeater went a completely different route with her entree, but i will let her tell you all about it when she does a write-up on her blog. going into this lunch, i definitely planned on getting some dessert, especially since my last birthday cake from RFD was so bloody delicious. unfortunately, though, we were so full after all the nachos and main courses that we just couldn’t stomach it. oh well, i guess that just gives me an excuse to go back.
overall, the food i had on this visit to real food daily was very tasty. it wasn’t incredible or spectacular though, and not worth the insane prices. i sooooo don’t mind paying a lot if i am getting something really special, and RFD just didn’t quite deliver. plus, they sat us at a really crappy table next to the bathrooms and kitchen, and there was a huge distracting ruckus going down right on the other side of the wall. the service was great though, and the presentation was beautiful, so i will definitely be back to real food daily to give it another try.Tags: enchilada, mexican, nachos, west hollywood
last week i turned 24, and while to me getting older is a kinda depressing thought, i took it as an excuse to completely gorge myself on vegan cake.
i haven’t had a birthday cake since i was 18…back in the day when i was still a vegetarian. i used to love the gooey dribbling frosting and moist chocolate sponginess—all stuff i’ve half-way written off since becoming a vegan. luckily for me, i have the most awesome co-workers who went out of their way to surprise me with a delicious vegan cake from real food daily and 3 bottles of specialty beer. what a gesture!
the cake was out of this world. everyone in the office was going at it, and nobody had a problem with the fact it was vegan. in fact, the cake was GONE, no leftovers, in like 30 minutes. usually we order cake from sweet lady jane’s, and when we do, a few slices always get thrown out. not with the real food daily cake, uh uh. people were coming over from different departments, wishing me a happy birthday just so they could sleaze away with a slice of me cake! it was great watching omnivores enjoying the vegan dessert. and trust me, i got plenty of it to myself—two big slices that sent me into a food coma and rendered me useless for the rest of the day. mmm. chocolate-peanut-buttery goodness.
i know we at quarrygirl have had some unkind things to say about real food daily in the past (sometimes they blow), but none of those feelings spill over into my review of their cake. i don’t really know how expensive this was because it was a surprise, and i don’t know how the service was because i didn’t pick it up…but i DO know that my bday cake tasted incredible and looked beautiful. people were questioning, “how do they make it so soft and moist?”, “are you sure this doesn’t have eggs in it?”, “omg how do they make this taste just like real cake?” and then it was all gone. and everyone was full.
i highly recommend real food daily for a stellar, tasty birthday cake. i may even have to give them another shot and eat there again.
and a big shout out to the peeps who bought me this cake. if you ever read this, you rule!
Tags: birthday, cake, chocolate, dessert, peanut butter, rfd, veganmofo
Sometimes, I think I’m the luckiest guy on earth. Realizing our then-apartment in West Hollywood was a five minute walk from one of LA’s premier vegan restaurants: Real Food Daily. This place has such cachet that everybody from Moby to Nicole Richie have chowed down on its much-hyped, overpriced and bland food, served in about the most unfriendly environment possible.
But, the arrogant owners and servers here don’t care — why should they? The place usually has a 15-20 minute wait at peak times and at the prices they charge probably brings in a tidy profit due to all the fashionable faux-vegans that frequent the place.
The restaurant is full of people who take a million years to order (if you’ve never been to a vegan restaurant before, it can be confusing ordering a protein that hasn’t been butchered to death). Actual quotes I’ve heard from patrons are:
- “Does the burger actually taste like a real burger?”
- “What is Satan?” (sic)
- “What do you have that will remind me of a chicken salad?”
- “Is that, like, soft tofu? Like in Pho?”
Seriously. This is Hollywood. You’re in an ‘in’ place that people will go to out of pure curiosity value, and because the renewed social focus on being outwardly environmentally friendly is all the rage (leave your Range Rover in the garage, and derive your Prius to RFD, please!). The beef I have with RFD is on multiple counts. First, the tables are cramped and waaaay too close together. How do you think I picked up those juicy quotes above? Second, the staff are usually dismissive and nasty and will absolutely REFUSE to seat two people at a four-top table, even when the place is next to empty.
Also, I once put my name on the list for a table and was asked to “Wait outside”, while others came in after me and were encouraged to sit at the bar while waiting for their table. I hate that! Also (and, yes, food comments coming up after the jump) I’ve been there four times in my life, and each time the bathroom has had no soap in the dispenser… each time I’ve told my waiter and NEVER has it been replenished.Tags: rfd
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