• December 5th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    what a sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad fucking day. it looks like the awesome vegan spot on sunset has finally called it quits. after much speculation and a totally strange ad hawking the business on craigslist of all places, the vegan spot has silently and calmly closed its doors…leaving hungry unsuspecting herbivores like me totally fucked on a friday night. (we are so used to grabbing vegan spot take-out!)

    maybe i should have seen it coming. the last 3 times we tried to get take-out, they were closed. first, it was “due to renovations,” unbeknownst to me. next, a few days later, it was closed “due to the holidays.” now, it’s just closed due to being fucking closed. for days, the phone has been ringing through to an answering machine. for criminy’s sake, even yelpers have started to notice.

    i drove by for myself and the place was boarded up. the lights were off. the phone rang straight to a fax machine. those chef salads and cheesey sandwiches that i dream about were nowhere to be found. ugh.

    the vegan spot as of 9pm pst, 12/05/08. R.I.P. we miss ya already.

    the vegan spot as of 9pm pst, 12/05/08. R.I.P. we miss ya already.

    i guess the vegan spot has been in dire straights for quite some time. ever since they threw the biz up for sale on craigslist, their stability has been totally suspect. maybe this market proved to be just as unkind to the plant-eaters as it was to everyone else…and the vegan spot had to eventually shut its doors. what can i say, rent on on sunset surely ain’t cheap.

    let’s reminisce a bit, eh? i will show you some of the stuff i last ate there….so you can feel as bad as me.

    vegan reuben: tangy blend of corned beef, tofu cheese, sauerkraut, thousand island and soy mozzarella on a warm toasted bun. $9.95

    vegan reuben: tangy blend of corned beef, tofu cheese, sauerkraut, thousand island and soy mozzarella on a warm toasted bun. $9.95

    this sandwich was bloody awesome. greasy condiments, meaty soyness and sweet sauerkraut made for the perfect combo. i only got to eat it once, and i still can’t get it out of my head. god, this sandwich was killer.

    bbq tempeh sandwich: sloppy joe tempeh and soy mozzarella on a sandwich roll. $8.95

    bbq tempeh sandwich: sloppy joe tempeh and soy mozzarella on a sandwich roll. $8.95

    the deceased bbq tempeh sandwich was also a winner. slathered in fake melty cheese, tangy bbq sauce, and stacked with protein…it gave all other vegan bbq sandwiches in los angeles a run for their money.

    i will miss the fuck out of you, vegan spot.

    what sucks most is, i should have seen it coming. the vegan spot started to tank right at the announcement of its sale. the chef salad went down hill, and some dishes started showing up totally jacked. for instance, the chicken rice bowl:

    chicken rice bowl: brown rice, chicken strips, tomato, onion, spinach and lemon with a side of tamari. $7.95

    chicken rice bowl: brown rice, chicken strips, tomato, onion, spinach and lemon with a side of tamari. $7.95

    the description above sounds alright, huh? yeah, but my bowl came with no onion, no spinach, no tomatoes and no lemon. instead…it came with a fat serving of bell peppers, cucumbers and uncooked cashews for some reason. this dish was totally inedible. i’m sad to say this was actually my last time eating at the vegan spot, my old favorite restaurant. i tried to give them another chance tonight, but they were closed for the 4th time in a row.

    oh fucking well. at least pure luck survived their accident. they give me hope for vegan restaurants in los angeles.

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  • October 29th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pizza, the vegan spot (closed)

    UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.

    as you probably know, lately i’ve been having a passionate love affair with the vegan spot in silver lake. especially since there’s been so much talk about them going up for sale on craigslist, i feel that it’s my duty to eat there as much as possible, meaning i’ve been stopping in a couple times per week. in a quest to try everything on the vegan spot’s menu, i order something new almost every time i go, and am continually amazed at their ability to make each dish even better than the last. the vegan spot is frickin’ incredible.

    french bread pizza: tomato and basil. $6.95

    french bread pizza: tomato and basil. $6.95

    "turkey dinner" sandwich: thinly sliced and freshly prepared "turkey" layered with cranberry stuffing, basil and soy cream cheese on toasted herbed focaccia. $9.95

    "turkey dinner" sandwich: thinly sliced and freshly prepared "turkey" layered with cranberry stuffing, basil and soy cream cheese on toasted herbed focaccia. $9.95

    portobello sandwich: portobello mushroom, spinach and aoli served warm off the grill. $9.95

    portobello sandwich: portobello mushroom, spinach and aoli served warm off the grill. $9.95

    blta: maple smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado served with aoli on your choice of toasted 6 grain, bavarian rye or sourdough. $8.95

    blta: maple smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado served with aoli on your choice of toasted 6 grain, bavarian rye or sourdough. $8.95

    as you can see, all this shit was really really good. i don’t think i’ve ever tried so many things at one restaurant and have them all be so unbelievably tasty. i’ve been eager to try the pizza from the vegan spot for quite some time, because all the fake cheese in their other entrees has been very melty. i was anxious to see if the soy mozz would be equally impressive. of course, it was! the single serving pizza was the perfect meal, stacked with incredible gooey real-tasting cheese, thick juicy tomatoes and fresh basil. i was rubbing my tummy for hours after eating this.

    just look at the melty cheese!

    just look at the melty cheese!

    next up, the turkey dinner sandwich was something unlike any food i’ve ever tasted. huge, thick salty strips of fake turkey (imagine that delicious pre-packaged deli-sliced tofurky and multiply its tastiness by 1000!), small cranberry chunks along with soft cream cheese and garlic sauce. seriously, this was better than any thanksgiving i’ve ever had. plus, they served it up with a side of spinach leaves drenched in the most amazing dressing. you have to try this meal out to believe me. nothing i can write will possibly describe how well a turkey dinner can be consolidated in a vegan sandwich. nothing short of magic.

    the portobello sandwich was also extremely succulent. a plump and juicy meat-a-licious mushroom went with the crusty and oily foccacia so bloody well. not to mention the slightly-wilted greens in the middle which soaked up the mild grease from the bread perfectly. this sandwich was all around super. the perfect healthy-ish junk food: maybe a little heavy on the oil, but balanced out by the fact that the main attraction was a portobello (basically no calories).

    lastly, the blta was of course awesome as well. taking the blt one step further, this vegan version consisted of bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado. everything was top notch, and this sumptuous version took the old sammy to a new level. mostly thanks to the fake maple bacon that the vegan spot has invented. it borders on the sweet side, but is still completely irresistible. so much salty-meaty flavor combined with grilled bread, fresh tomato and creamy avocado makes for ultimate sandwich bliss. this entree sounds more simple than the others, but it is every bit as tasty.

    so, if you can’t tell by now, i’m kind of obsessed with the vegan spot. i hope they aren’t going anywhere soon because their food is fucking crazy good.

    get over there and try out something. everything i’ve had on the menu is awesome.

    oh, and in case you need the menu, here it is.

    page 1
    page 2

    for now, the vegan spot definitely has the best vegan take-out, the best sandwiches, and the best fake cheese in town…full stop. 😀

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  • October 18th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    update! since the time of this post, these amazing chocolate twinkies are available for order from no whey vegan bakery. i highly suggest you get a batch! now, read on…

    i absolutely love chocolate. it’s the best. if i see a chocolate dessert, it takes every bit of will power i have not to devour it. i’m pretty glad to be a vegan, meaning i can’t eat most of the tempting chocolate treats that i encounter in day to day life. because if i could, i’d be a hell of a lot fatter.

    i also love vegan twinkies. so imagine how excited i was to learn last week that la’s most famous vegan twinkie baker, jenn shaggy had whipped up a special batch of her legendary treats in double chocolate flavor. yep, chocolate cake and chocolate frosting…my dream come true. i booked it to the vegan spot to pick up some of the goods as soon as i could, and while i do love everything on the vegan spot’s menu, this time i was just coming for twinkies. they were even better than i could have imagined.

    double chocolate vegan twinkies

    double chocolate vegan twinkies

    i was lucky enough to be handed a box of 5 beautiful chocolate vegan twinkies by the gifted baker herself and i couldn’t help but ask how the hell she does it. she wouldn’t let me in on the secret twinkie recipe, but she did tell me that she loves experimenting with flavors making different style twinkies for all occasions. a wizard in the kitchen at only 23 years old, i’m really hoping jenn shaggy opens up her own restaurant some day. from twinkies to dorritos, she has figured out a way to make anything vegan. i highly recommend checking out her blog, where she shares a few of her recipes.

    back to the twinkies. they were off the hook. they didn’t taste anything like limp, packaged twinkies from when i was a kid…instead they tasted like the most decadent chocolate cake filled up with creamy sinful frosting. they were so delicious that my husband refused to believe they were vegan, i mean they were just too incredibly rich.

    chocolate frosting holes

    chocolate frosting holes

    the frosting was even better than the stuff in jenn’s normal vegan twinkies, which are delicious as well. but what can i say, i am obsessed with chocolate. i highly recommend that if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, you have a full glass of soy milk at your side. the cake is just so moist and flavorful, each bite goes down well with a cold sip of vanilla milk.

    they don’t photograph quite as well as normal twinkies, especially when cut in half because it’s brown frosting against brown cake. but trust me, what they lack in looks they more than make up for in taste! i munched down three in one sitting and then had to stop myself. a very fortunate co-worker was given a bite of my twinkie (i only had 5, it’s not like i could spare a whole one) and i didn’t tell her it was vegan until she had already raved about how awesome it was. a testament to the twinkie.

    so, go to the vegan spot and get some twinkies! now! they are awesome. and be sure to try whatever flavors you can. the standard ones are delicious, but not nearly as savory as these chocolate babies. and keep track of jenn as well, who knows where her desserts will show up, and you gotta be there to try them.

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  • October 13th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.

    a big thanks to foodeater for sharing this news via twitter a few hours ago. i wouldn’t have known otherwise.

    apparently, the legendary vegan spot on sunset is up for sale. for fucking SALE. that’s right, the restaurant is listed with the price of a whoppin’ $75K on none other than the trusted real estate source craigslist.org. you heard me right. craigslist. the place you’d normally go to sell your old TV, find a roommate, or get some hot m4w/ww4m/t4mw action is now the same site you can hit up to buy your fave vegan restaurant. ahhhhh…the wonderous internet.

    here is the link to the craigslist post.

    roast beef and cheddar in all its vegan glory!

    roast beef and cheddar in all its vegan glory!

    and here is a picture of the post for you to click on, in case it’s been deleted by the time you read this.

    so why, then? why is a restaurant that makes the best vegan sandwiches in town, meals that everyone and their mom has been blogging about, up and selling themselves overnight? i don’t have the answer. all i know is we should all get over there and eat like 8 million sandwiches. pronto.

    funny, i was just at the vegan spot last night, would you believe? and i was already half way through writing a post about how in just one week since my last glowing review, the portions and quality of the food have gotten even better (which i didn’t think was possible)! i tried some new stuff, tried some old stuff, and it was all better than anything i’d tried before.

    starting with the new stuff. for those of you who love melty vegan cheese that tastes exactly like real cheese, i recommend the quesadilla. the vegan spot switches it up and makes their quesadilla with mozz instead of cheddar, which is a totally welcome change…especially combined with with red onion, spinach and mushrooms. absolutely divine.

    quesadilla: spinach and mushroom quesadilla layered with soy mozzarella and red onion in a whole wheat tortilla. served with a side of pico de gallo. $8.95

    quesadilla: spinach and mushroom quesadilla layered with soy mozzarella and red onion in a whole wheat tortilla. served with a side of pico de gallo. $8.95

    i’ve had myself some pretty impressive vegan quesadillas, and this is by far the best. the vegan spot’s amazing ability to capture the essence of melting cheese doesn’t stop at just the sandwiches. they’ve got it nailed between a greasy tortilla as well. and all the vegetables in this thing were nothing less than scrumptious! i could have eaten like 8 quesadillas at least. fuck you, vegan spot…your food is too awesome for mortals.

    not to be outdone, the vegan burger at the vegan spot is as good as any i’ve eaten before. it rivals m café, follow your heart and all our favorites as the best vegan burger in town. luscious, hearty, and most importantly homemade, this patty brought it. SO GOOD. i could eat like ten of these. oh, and for an extra buck you can add SOY CHEESE. mmmmmmmmmmmMMMMmmmelty and wonderful; beyond worth the $1.

    veggie burger: our own veggie burger patty served with a side of thousand island, lettuce, tomato and red onion. $8.95

    veggie burger: our own veggie burger patty served with a side of thousand island, lettuce, tomato and red onion. $8.95

    this thing was off the chain. it seems like every single thing i order from the vegan spot menu is better than the thing i tried before, without fail. i would put this right up there with their other cheesy sandwiches.

    oh, and did i mention, the same chef salad that i raved about last week has gotten even better?
    it’s more (fake) meaty and much, much huger. you gotta check it out. i’m sure the other salads rock as well…i just can’t help but get this one every time. here is a pic of the latest version.

    chef salad: romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, "turkey", roast "beef", soy mozzarella, maple pepper "bacon" and croutons. served with ranch dressing. $9.95

    chef salad: romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, "turkey", roast "beef", soy mozzarella, maple pepper "bacon" and croutons. served with ranch dressing. $9.95

    that salad launched me into a 6 hour food coma and the best sinking feeling of my life. well done. even more fantastic than last time.

    if you haven’t tried the vegan spot, haul your ass over there as soon as you can. it’s quickly becoming my favorite restaurant, although i’ve never actually dined in and they don’t serve beer. what can i say, the food just speaks for itself. so good.

    so, on a final note: anyone who has some money, click on the about page of this site and send me an email. i’m thinking that if enough of us get together, we can buy this awesome vegan restaurant and eat ourselves into oblivion.

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  • October 8th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.

    because i can’t find it anywhere else online, i’ve taken the liberty of posting the menu for the the vegan spot in silver lake right here. check it out.

    well, i’m happy to report that i have some good news today. not everyone in this town is raising prices and cutting their menu down. the vegan spot on sunset has expanded their menu (it has practically doubled in size!) and everyone agrees the food keeps getting better and better. seriously, i couldn’t believe my eyes when i walked in and the big chalk board was filled with more delicious items than i could ever possibly try. the modest hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop now offers salads, soups, bowls, burritos, nachos, pizza, wraps and breakfast…oh my! i knew i would have to live it up. starting with a ginormous salad.

    chef salad: romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, "turkey", roast "beef", soy mozzarella, maple pepper "bacon" and croutons. served with a side of ranch dressing. $9.95

    chef salad: romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, "turkey", roast "beef", soy mozzarella, maple pepper "bacon" and croutons. served with a side of ranch dressing. $9.95

    this is the best salad i’ve ever had. full stop. i’m sure it wasn’t the healthiest by any stretch of the imagination, but it was just soooOOOOOOoooooOOOOOo delicious. filled to the brim with fake meat, piled high with mounds of mozzarella and garnished with huge slabs of fresh avocado…it was decadent. i barely even used the ranch dressing, as i didn’t want to mask any of the salad’s wonderful flavors. there was so much good protein in there, but i think my favorite had to be the maple pepper “bacon.” perfectly grilled and seasoned, it was a great compliment to the cold slices of “turkey” and roast “beef.” beyond yum.

    because i was such a huge fan of the roast beef and cheddar sandwich, i knew i’d have to give the philly cheesesteak a whirl (with no bell peppers). what i found in this sandwich was vegan junk food perfection. the greasy fake meat and melty-licious soy mozzarella were even better in this sammy than in the roast beef and cheddar…which i didn’t think was possible.

    philly "cheesesteak": thinly sliced and freshly prepared roast "beef" and grilled onions topped with soy mozzarella and toasted warm. $8.95

    philly "cheesesteak": thinly sliced and freshly prepared roast "beef" and grilled onions topped with soy mozzarella and toasted warm. $8.95

    now i know in the past i did a bit of bitching about the price of the vegan spot’s sandwiches. well, i just wanna say they get better and better everytime…now i don’t care how much they cost. to get a sandwich like this for under ten bucks is a damn good deal. i highly recommend if you go to the vegan spot, you get one of their hot sandwiches. the cold ones are nothing to scoff at, but the hot ones are just out of this world and very special. while i was very impressed with the fake cheddar, the fake mozzarella totally blew my mind. maybe it’s because i prefer mozzarella anyway, or because i am such a huge pizza fan…either way, this is some of the best soy mozz i’ve ever had. it pasts the test of tasting good cold, and melting right up. i cannot WAIT to go back to the vegan spot and try out their pizza. so much good stuff on the menu.

    being a burrito freak and in love with tofu scramble, of course i also ordered the breakfast burrito. it definitely hit the spot and did the trick.

    breakfast burrito: tofu scramble, avocado, pico de gallo, maple pepper "bacon" wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and served with a side of fresh fruit. $6.95

    breakfast burrito: tofu scramble, avocado, pico de gallo, maple pepper "bacon" wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and served with a side of fresh fruit. $6.95

    the fact that it was like 8pm didn’t stop me from craving this breakfast burrito, so i was very pleased to see that the vegan spot serves all its breakfast items all day. this burrito was positively scrumptious and filled with some of the best tofu scramble and fake bacon i’ve ever eaten. since when did this tiny little sandwich shop start churning out the best selection of vegan food in the city? i may have to go to silver lake every weekend just to eat here. seriously, it’s that good. and this burrito is a steal for only $6.95!

    of course, a guilty, gluttonous, junk food spree at the vegan spot would not be complete without indulging in their signature dessert: VEGAN TWINKIES! i have been obsessed with these wonderful vegan twinkies for quite awhile (made by jenn shaggy), so i was ecstatic when i saw that they were in stock. these things sell out super fast, so getting the chance to eat them is a rare and lucky occurrence. it pleases me to tell you that the other day they were as fresh and tasty as ever.

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    i’ll never get over how these vegan twinkies are like a thousand times better than the real thing. they taste like an actual sponge cake filled with rich and creamy vanilla frosting. very far from the cruddy little vacuum packed pastries they are emulating. trust me, whether you like regular twinkies or not, you gotta try these.

    so overall, the vegan spot is vegan fast food at its finest: cheesy dishes, huge sandwiches and scrumptious desserts. i seriously can’t wait to go back and get my teeth on some nachos, pizza, or vegan chili. they really do have everything. and all of it tastes awesome.

    the vegan spot
    3206 west sunset blvd.
    los angeles, ca 90026

    323-667-0116

    Vegan Spot on Urbanspoon

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  • August 17th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.

    update! since the time of this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED, but these amazing twinkies are available for order from no whey vegan bakery. i highly suggest you get a batch! now, read on…

    well, you may have already read my last post…the one where i ventured into uncharted territory, in search of vegan twinkies. although i struck out the first time, i kept trying and eventually found them. damn, they were so worth it.

    vegan twinkie from the vegan spot

    vegan twinkie from the vegan spot

    you see, jenn shaggy is a fellow vegan blogger, who also bakes professionally for the latest hip vegan eatery to grace my fair city with its presence, the vegan spot. her vegan twinkies and cupcakes are so popular that they are getting tons of yelp buzz and are selling out within days of delivery. i feel lucky to have caught her twinkies when they were available.

    jenn emailed me the same day she dropped off the batch of piping hot treats, and within 12 hours, they were almost totally sold out. i high-tailed it from my job in hollywood, across town, to buy up the remaining pastries. that meant 5 twinkies at 3.50 each, $17 plus tip of vegan sweets on my lunch break. with only a $20 in my wallet, i couldn’t even afford a sandwich. whatever, it was totally worth it. i just hope jenn saw her rightful share of that small fortune.

    the twinkies were chilled when i got them into my car, and i couldn’t resist opening the box and digging into them then and there. oh, so much better than hostess..sweet confectionery bliss. they were crafted perfectly—tiny holes in the sponge cake oozing with frosting.

    the presentation was spot on, identical to the childhood treat…but the taste was above and beyond.

    goowey details after the jump.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • August 14th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.

    the east side is to los angeles as portland is to america—a vegan mecca where the restaurants (compared to other areas) seem too numerous to count, let alone eat at. maybe that’s why it took me 2+ months to finally check out the latest sandwich joint, the vegan spot since it opened in may. that’s right, it wasn’t the mixed reviews that stalled me from visiting, nor the fact that it’s located inconveniently far away from my pad—it was the fact that other restaurants needed to be tried first: flore, elf and cru, all legends in my mind. as it happened, flore is the only one i got around to eating at before the vegan spot. a love of twinkies took me there prematurely when i read on jenn’s blog that she was officially baking homemade vegan versions of the hostess treat especially for them. unfortunately (and let it be a testament to the twinkies), they were totally sold out when i got there. so my accomplice and i had to settle for some sandwiches, no dessert. damn.

    "roast beef" & "cheddar" sandwich, comes with coleslaw. $8.95

    "roast beef" & "cheddar" sandwich, comes with coleslaw. $8.95

    the “roast beef” and “cheddar” sandwich was a must order. it’s the most reviewed menu item on yelp…and when googling the restaurant, it’s the one item i saw repeatedly mentioned. was it worth the hype? sure, i think it was. the sandwich was hot, the vegan cheese was deliciously melty, the fake meat was tasty and juicy, and the onions topped it off perfectly. the portion itself was small though, and it came with a kind of pitiful side of purple coleslaw. i will definitely be ordering it again, i just fear that it may turn off non-vegans, ’cause it’s not a great value. it’s so weird how places like m café can get away with it, but with the vegan spot it seems irrational. location, ingredients and atmosphere are everything. i guess that’s why i feel it’s justified to pay $12 for a homemade big macro with an organic side salad, but feel skeptical forking over $9 for a fake beef and cheese with slaw. hmmm. anyway, you’ve read the logical bit…now think with your taste buds and just know you’ve gotta at least try this.

    soooo tasty. on to the club. this also came with a side salad of slaw.

    club, with coleslaw. $9.95

    club, with coleslaw. $9.95

    a tad meh. i hoped because it was more $$$ than the beef and cheddar, that it would be more satisfying. i was wrong. i shared both sandwiches with mr. meaner, and found myself always looking for an opportunity to swipe an extra bite off the beef and cheddar. weird that this sandwich was a dollar more. cold on normal white bread, it had nothing on it’s melty-licious rival. that being said, it still tasted great….about $8 great.

    while $8 great is pretty impressive (especially for a cold sammy on store-bought bread), it isn’t $10…which is what i paid. not to dwell on m café…but if you are gonna overcharge me, give me a guilt-rackingly decadent side. organic kale, soba noodles, chickpeas with protein are perfect—not shredded slaw. this dish was tasty, but not so tasty that i didn’t covet the hot sandwich that cost less.

    i know the vegan spot is brand-spanking-new. the food is good and the annoyances are forgivable. that being said, i can’t wait to go back and get my VERY OWN “roast beef” and “cheddar” sandwich, along with some vegan twinkies. i will savor bite after expensive bite.

    thank god (or whatever) for silverlake. may there be many more entirely vegan establishments for me to love, hate or be ambivalent about. good or bad, restaurants where i can eat anything on the menu are few and far between…and they make me feel slightly more like a human.

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