this is very bad news for LA vegans who like to class it up. XIV, the home of uber fancy vegan-friendly tasting menus, has shuttered according to eaterLA.
while we only ate there a couple of times, XIV was THE place in los angeles to get cushy vegan food. it offered special occasion perks like no strictly vegan restaurant can or does—creative cocktails, celebrity customers, and overpriced extravagance.Tags: fancy, hollywood, xiv
time for another quick and no-nonsense reader review from D (our correspondent who wrote about the RFD thanksgiving meal last month). this time he writes about one of the best places in los angeles to get a fancy (and i mean FANCY) vegan experience, XIV restaurant. we have reviewed their vegan tasting courses a couple times on this blog, and we’re sad to report that while they still have plenty of vegan options, the default meatless tasting menu is now vegetarian instead of vegan. D checked out the new menu recently with some friend, and here are his thoughts…
Last year we went once or twice to XIV for some of our “special occasions” because they had an entirely separate vegan tasting / a-la-carte menu (with a wine pairing option to boot!). And it was a hip fancy Hollywood spot, so it felt like we were hip or cool or some bullshit like that.Tags: fancy, field report, quick bites, xiv
We were invited there last week with some carnist peeps. Here’s my 2 cents…
xiv restaurant in west hollywood is probably the only place in los angeles where vegans can get a true high end dining experience. created in partnership with celebrity chef michael mina, and with a modern interior designed by philippe starck, the swanky sbe restaurant is the epitome of gourmet fanciness. unlike most high rollin’ eateries though, xiv offers an entirely separate vegan menu with many entree items and the option of an 8, 11, or 14 course tasting. naturally, dining at xiv is not cheap—even for vegans the average price of meal with alcohol is around 100 bucks per head. but hey, what the hell, sometimes you just gotta treat yourself. and that’s exactly what we did last week.
Tags: alcohol, cocktails, tasting menu, west hollywood
dineLA restaurant week! it’s all the craze! it’s when fancy-schmancy dining establishments in los angeles offer specially priced 3 course meals that normal people can afford…and it’s happening NOW (october 4-9 and 11-16)! although at first glance, the online menus of participating restaurants show almost no vegan options, don’t let that discourage you…there is plenty for us to eat!
this post comes courtesy of a very awesome quarrygirl.com reader, emily west hollywood, who started calling up dineLA restaurants and sussing out their vegan options. we now have the following list of places that have been contacted, and whether or not they can cater to us herbivores. we will keep updating this list, so tell us in the comments section if you have any more info.
here is what the restaurants had to say when asked if they would accommodate vegans for dineLA:
akasha said “no problem,” but maybe call in advance so they can make a note about dessert. (i can personally vouch for this place…i went to their dineLA week in january for lunch and it was incredible!)
bazaar by jose andres said “yes,” they will give vegans access to a tapas menu with many options. plus, they are an “all olive oil kitchen, no butter!”
bella cucina italiana said “no problem and no need to call ahead.”
bld said “yeah, they will make it happen. just call ahead and let us know you are vegan so we can get ready for you.”
border grill sure thing, “come and tell your server when you arrive.”
buddha’s belly santa monica said “yup, they can make things vegan.”
checkers downtown said “sure, no problem.”
cache restaurant and lounge the chef said that they were willing to veganize, but for the things that would be left out it might not be worth the money.
chaya downtown said “NO, we won’t change anything.” (bitches)
ciudad said “no problem at all, we would be happy to oblige, no need to call ahead.”
craft said “sure! we can adjust our menu for vegans, just call ahead and we will make a note…”
grace restaurant said, “sure. our menu can be modified for vegans. no problem.”
fig seemed to think it would be fine, but call to make sure.
ford’s filling station apologetically said “no, we usually can accommodate vegans but we actually don’t even have a veg dish on the dinela menu.”
ivan kane’s cafe was they checked with the chef and said, “he would be happy to take care of vegans. there are several things he could make.”
il fornaio said, “sure, things could be modified to be made vegan.”
la botte said “no sorry, but there is vegan stuff on the regular menu.” (i doubt this however, because i ate at la botte once and they were COMPLETE DICKS when i tried to order a dish a without cheese. they said the chef wouldn’t allow it. i shan’t return, ever.)
loteria grill hollywood said “no, we can cater to vegetarians but we will not modify the menu for vegans.”
larchmont grill said “no, but there are vegan options on the regular menu.”
le grande orange is a big NO. (pfffft…meanies)
luna park said “no,” but they were very apologetic.
the must wine bar said “yes of course we will adjust our menu, just tell your server as soon as you arrive.”
rush street said they are in, and will replace dessert with a cocktail.
susan feniger’s street said “yes! but please tell us a day in advance so we are ready.”
taste said no.
wolfgang puck bistro said no, and might i add, they were VERY CUNTY on the phone. “i don’t know if you’ve looked at the menu, but every item contains meat and/or dairy…so NO.”
xiv said “yes we would be happy to allow a dineLA vegan menu…just call ahead.” (i highly recommend you take advantage of this offer…i have had the tasting menu at xiv and it was AMAZING!!)
oooh, and just a side note about xiv: they will be offering their vegan menu after dineLA at 20% off through december 15th! you need to get over there and try it, because the food is absolutely extraordinary…and the discount makes it much more affordable.
so there you have it, your vegan-friendly dineLA options! get out there and eat at some fancy restaurants over the next week, YOU DESERVE IT. let’s support these places for catering to us…PLUS, why should omnivores have all the fun when it comes to cool restaurant discounts?!?!
to avoid hassles, be sure to call ahead for dineLA and make a reservation…and check out this post on LAist.com with tips for making the most of your experience. happy vegan eating!Tags: dinela, discount, gourmet
finally, finally, finally, there’s high end vegan dining available in los angeles. in a city with so many options, vegans are used to real food daily being a “fancy” place with its small portions and $17 burgers. now thanks to celebrity chef michael mina and restaurant group sbe, la vegans can dine amongst the affluent and enjoy a 5 star meal off an entirely animal-free menu at xiv on sunset boulevard.
xiv offers a tasting menu experience, where everyone at the table orders the same thing, and several small plates are served throughout the evening. each individual plate is $8, so the bill adds up quite rapidly. like most other upscale restaurants, the xiv menu contains unspeakable dishes such as caviar parfait, crispy pork belly and even foie gras terrine. however for herbivores, xiv offers an entirely separate 100% vegan menu with 27 courses to choose from. the vegan menu isn’t available anywhere online (until now) and they only present it upon request. i don’t know why they keep it so hush hush, because it’s absolutely amazing. as of now, i think it’s la’s best kept vegan secret.
while it’s not a habit of mine to eat at restaurants that serve the disgusting meat items mentioned above, the vegan menu at xiv is so impressive that i had to give it a try. plus, i really would like to support whole-heartedly any elitist eatery that puts such an effort towards creating an animal-free menu. my husband and i decided to hit up xiv last weekend, along with another fine couple, lex and kristin of vegan-la, who had already been to the restaurant and could show us the ropes.
after some incredible ginger beer and hendrick’s cocktails, our table of four started with the japanese mountain caviar, which looked so much like actual caviar that lex had to assure me that it was in fact vegan.
i’m still not sure exactly what japanese caviar is made of, but it’s one of the tastiest and most unique vegan dishes i’ve ever tried. it looks eerily like fish and even has a salty taste, but it’s so light and fluffy, i swear it will win you over. the plate was both delicious and well-presented and came garnished with delicate and fresh asian vegetables.
for a second course, we chose the cauliflower tempura, which really was incredible. it had a very distinct taste that none of us could put our finger on, until kristin exclaimed, “oh my god, this tastes EXACTLY like cheetos!” sure enough, she was right. that old-school cheesy flavor came rushing back to my brain and i tasted it in a whole new way. these were like fancy little fried califlower cheetos. totally insane.
next up was the salt and pepper bok choy. that maybe seemed a bit boring by the description, but i gotta tell you it was unbelievable. the baby bok choy was light, fragile and seasoned to perfection atop the thinnest and most delicious glass noodles.
the next course, and quite possibly my favorite, was the pine nut terrine. this dish consisted of a small nutty block along with crisp sheets of flatbread and a cranberry sauce. a high-class pb & j sandwich, if you will.
our next dish was supposed to be the grilled fennel with curry and sea beans. unfortunately, they were out of that but supplied us instead with a delicious broccoli sushi cake with chillies and greens. the little rice patty was incredibly tasty, and the sauteed chillies added a definite punch of heat.
we next ordered the hen of the wood mushrooms. this was absolutely divine! the mushrooms, broccoli, and fried little bits of god-know-what-were all cooked absolutely perfectly.
for our last course we had the stuffed brussels sprouts. these came with a fine mix of vegetables, and were stuffed with some truly incredible and savory insides. you can’t really see it in the picture, but the little brussels sprouts were absolutely tiny and so perfectly filled, so much skill must have gone into the preparation.
when it came time to order dessert, we really didn’t care for the options advertised on the menu. the two choices consisted of mostly fruit, and we were in the mood for something a bit more decadent. lex asked the waiter if the chef could make us something vegan and extremely chocolatey. of course xiv came up with some of the best sweet-tooth-satisfying stuff i’ve ever had.
the chocolate leather consisted of long strips of luscious confection sliced into thin and malleable sheets. this was all drizzled with creamy caramel sauce and garnished with a thick chocolate ball that burst out with flavor the moment it was crunched. seriously. one of the best fucking desserts i’ve ever tasted.
the food at xiv is absolutely mind-blowing, so naturally the prices are as well. our 8 course vegan meal along with cocktails ended up costing the four of us a whopping $360. while that may sound like a lot, i can tell you it was definitely worth it. i mean, just have a look at the menu:
to all my los angeles vegan friends, i really can’t recommend xiv highly enough. the quality and ambience are completely unmatched. such skill goes into preparing each dish, and the food is created by a truly masterful chef. the atmosphere and service are also incredible, as you would expect from an extremely high end sbe establishment.
so make a special occasion out of it, throw caution to the wind, and head to xiv for an extremely high caliber vegan tasting session. now we too can finally enjoy a 5 star dining experience like all our meat-eating friends.Tags: asian, bok choy, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, caviar, chocolate, dessert, hollywood, sbe, sushi, tasting menu