• November 4th, 2011quarrygirlitaly, more restaurants (not LA)

    hey guys! time for another italian vegan field report by christina. this time she’s bloggin’ about an all vegetarian hostel in rome. i so hope i get to go here someday…

    The Beehive is one of my favorite hostels in the world. (Or at least the handful of countries I’ve visited, anyway!) Located just two blocks from Termini Station in Rome, this small hostel is an all-vegetarian oasis. On my first trip to Rome I was lucky enough to stay here because of a last minute cancelation. This past August, even with a month’s notice I was unable to score a spot, so if you want to stay here book well in advance. If, however, you have other accommodation and would just like some yummy vegan food, The Beehive is still a great stop. Unfortunately, due to some bureaucratic nonsense, the only meal The Beehive is able to serve is breakfast, but for afternoon and evening they offer tidbits like fresh bread with hummus and popcorn. Please note that not everything is vegan, but there are several vegan options.

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  • Seemingly, barely a day goes by that the Tony Yanow empire doesn’t further the cause of craft beer and vegan food in LA.

    Just two weeks ago we were celebrating the opening of spanking new Golden Road brewery in Atwater Village, and not long before that we were chowing down on a vegan burger at the opening night of Echo Park’s Mohawk Bend. Of course, we’ve raved many times about the neighborhood bar Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank with its energetic crowd, great beer selection and plentiful vegan food options.

    Frankly, we’d been looking for an excuse to visit all three businesses sequentially: A “Tony crawl”, if you will, for a while, and the final nail was placed in the coffin when we heard that Tony’s Darts Away had not only opened its patio up but was also serving LA’s ONLY vegan brunch with beer on tap.

    So last Saturday we set out to eat and drink as much of Tony’s offerings as we could. To begin, we opened up Tony’s Darts Away, ordering both vegan breakfast options, as well as a couple of glasses of Golden Road Hefeweizen to wash down the food…

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  • November 2nd, 2011quarrygirlvegan bakers, vegan events

    awwww shit. it’s about to get serious. if there’s one thing we vegans hold dear, it’s cupcakes (just consult the vegan sound board—5 rows down, 3 over), and this weekend the folks at urban food crawl are holding a vegan cupcake competition to find out who makes the very best in LA.

    WHO WILL WIN? you can be the judge…

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  • November 2nd, 2011mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), portland

    Back in 2009, we raved like it was 1986 about Portobello restaurant in Portland. Back then, it was a sort-of popup affair, taking over the space of a small east-side coffee shop after hours, and opening its doors to hungry patrons who usually had to book way in advance. Although our experience was stellar, we’d heard that other visitors had suffered from long waits, and the restaurant had a propensity to run out of some food items early on in the evening.

    Clearly, there was a supply and demand mismatch so something had to happen. In mid-2010 we were delighted to hear that Portobello had graduated from the intimate coffee shop and had moved into a proper space of its own, with a high-budget build-out, new chefs and a much larger staff.

    It was, then, with some trepidation that we made reservations to visit the “new” Portobello on a recent trip to Portland. After all, would its newfound influx of cash and staff affect its food? Would its new location lack the atmosphere of the old one? Would the gnocchi be as chewy and the bread be as crispy as before?

    Well, to cut a long story slightly less long we were even more delighted with the new Portobello than we were with the old one. Yes, in many ways it’s like eating at a different restaurant, but the owners have clearly maintained what’s good about the original concept and expanded it into a broader, more capable offering that moves it several notches higher in the all-vegan fine dining league table.

    The new location is in a modern strip mall in a faintly industrial area much further south than before. Across the street is a machine tool shop, and in the same parking lot is a large beer store, as well as an acupuncture clinic. Even for typically diverse PDX, this is quite varietal.

    Of course, it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, but the inside is what counts. It seems that no expense has been spared to create a wonderful dining experience. Dark woods, steel and concrete and floral designs come together perfectly to create an ambience somewhere between a casual cafe and upscale restaurant…

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  • November 1st, 2011quarrygirlhamburger hamlet, hugo's tacos, LA restaurants, two boots

    today is world vegan day, and to celebrate, a few places of town are offering up vegan specials! i’ll list the ones i know about, and if i miss anything, please leave it in the comments.

    hugo’s tacos is offering 20% off select items all day including burritos w/ soy chorizo or mixed vegetables, green tamales plain or w/ mixed veg topping or soy chorizo, salad, and frozato.

    two boots in echo park has launched a new v for vegan pizza, which comes with daiya cheese, artichokes, shiitakes, red onions, and basil & red pepper pesto.

    most surprisingly of all, hamburger hamlet is unveiling two new vegan options today: a portobello mushroom burger with all the fixins, along with ratatouille and basmati rice.

    so, game plan: breakfast burrito at hugo’s tacos, lunch at hamburger hamlet, pizza for dinner at two boots.

    let me know if i’m missing anything.

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  • October 31st, 2011quarrygirlother, products

    you may have already heard, the peeps over at lollihop have launched a surprise vegan snack box shipment in honor of world vegan day (that’s tomorrow!), and they sent me a sampler!

    it came overflowing with all kinds of healthy goodies that taste delicious and cover some of the important bases: high in antioxidants, high in fiber, and low in sugar. a variety of bars, chips, pretzels, water, hand sanitizer, and even STICKERS! yes, i would like to receive one of these every month.

    i think this box would make a cool gift…especially from an omnivore parent to a vegan college student. you know, it’s such a cute and healthy little care package—what’s not to love?!

    the thing is, the last chance to order a vegan box from lollihop this year is 11/1 (that’s tomorrow!), so don’t slack if you want in on this.

    for more info, hit up lollihop.

  • October 31st, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mendocino farms

    this is all kinds of exciting! mendocino farms, my favorite LA sandwich shop, is launching a new location in my hood on november 3rd and they’re letting me send FIVE readers (with their +1’s) as guests to their private complimentary pre-opening event this tuesday from 6:30-8:30pm.

    one of the many insane vegan sandwiches on mendocino farms' rotating menu

    while the restaurant isn’t exclusively vegan, at the party they’ll be serving up tempeh club sandwiches, wheatberry fingerling and fingerling potato salad, israeli cous cous, and possibly a vegan potato salad as well…all cocktail style! the latest mendocino farms shop (they’ve already got locations in downtown LA and marina del rey) will be at 7100 santa monica blvd, right next to target. i am super stoked that they’re opening this week, and look forward to consuming many many many vegan sandwiches in the future.

    so who wants to go to the pre-opening party with a guest and eat free food?! we’re picking 5 winners, so the odds are better than ever. the rules are simple…

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  • October 30th, 2011quarrygirlhugo's restaurant, LA restaurants

    …that’s right! the vegan tofu caprese potato pancake sandwich is comin’ back for the holidays!

    the special will make its 2011 hugo’s debut wednesday 11/2 at the studio city location, thursday 11/3 in weho, and wednesday november 16th in agoura hills. we’ve blogged about this sandwich before, and it’s ridiculously good. it’s a double decker stacked with firm tofu, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil all sandwiched between thick fried potato pancakes. this time around, hugo’s is also adding the option of gluten-free flatbread. i think i’ll stick with the fried potato. anyways, go check it out…and be sure to specify you want it vegan.

    check out hugo’s website for hours and locations.

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  • October 30th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), rhode island

    we love pizza! time for a pizza field report all the way from rhode island by tamar of the curveball. i have eaten a lot of vegan pizza in my time, and this stuff looks insane. check it:

    If you’re vegan and enjoy thin-crust pizza, and find yourself in Providence, RI, do yourself a favor and find your way to Nice Slice on Thayer Street.

    The photo does not do this pizza justice. First, let me start with the crust. It is a thin whole wheat crust, but not overpoweringly whole grainy tasting. The texture is top-notch. Biting into it, there’s that perfect combination of chewiness and crispiness. My omni boyfriend and I shared a margherita and a BBQ vegan chicken slice and we both agreed – the best vegan pizza we’ve ever tasted…

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  • October 29th, 2011LA restaurants, spitz

    hey guys, you know the drill! time for another quick bite from trishells. this one is about a vegan-friendly happy hour in downtown LA.

    this past weekend i hit up one of my favorite joints with one of my favorite vegans, @greatbrittania. spitz not only has great food but also has a happy hour that runs all weekend long. *glug glug glug* even though they serve some pretty gross meat selections, when you order at spitz you can be pretty confident about ordering vegan. not only does the menu clearly mark the vegan items but when you order and they put it in the computer you see a big red “VEGAN” come up on the screen that makes me smile every time.

    the offerings are minimal but think quality, not quantity. falafel and veggies come in the forms of wraps, sandwiches and salads that are full of flavor…

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  • October 28th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, shin bbq (closed)

    a meaty korean bbq restaurant in hollywood has shut down! oh shit, turns out it was the only korean bbq place in LA (that i know of) with not just legit vegan items, but insanely good vegan items. like, bucket-list good vegan items. i’m talking about shin bbq. the website is still up; but the restaurant has been closed during business hours, the twitter account has been deleted, yelpers are saying they’re out of business, and the phone rings through to a disconnected message. thanks to veganinla for the tip. i know i’m gonna miss the fuck outta shin bbq’s vegan food. a moment of silence for the seitan bulgogi.

  • October 28th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mohawk bend

    stoked! now mohawk bend, the massive beer bar and vegan-friendly restaurant in echo park, is now open at noon on saturdays & sundays for lunch. if you’ve been to mohawk, you probably know that it can get crazy busy at night (think 1-3 hour wait times!), but we checked the bar out last weekend at noonish and it had a much more chilled out and relaxed vibe. plus, a new vegan lunch option: bangers and mash!

    vegan sausage & mash, cabbage and potato, barney flats stout gravy, mustards. $14

    lemme preface this by saying, i love vegan bangers and mash. i have eaten it all around london, but i’ve never had a version of it here in LA…

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  • October 27th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    hell to the yes. starting this weekend tony’s darts away, our favorite vegan friendly pub is open early on weekends, and they’ve got a brand new brunch menu…not to mention a new outdoor patio!

    hours on saturday and sunday now start at 10am. see you guys there for some scrambles and brews? vegan menu after the jump…

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  • October 27th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    stop what you’re doing, check your calender, and schedule some time quality to eat at seed bistro. the west LA restaurant is brought to us by the folks who opened seed kitchen in venice—vegan chef eric lechasseur and his wife, macrobiotic counselor sanae suzuki. unlike the casual beach cafe though, seed bistro is a classy joint; and at barely two months old, it’s already arguably the city’s best vegan restaurant.

    seed bistro is the first restaurant in LA proper to serve a varied menu of exceptional vegan organic food along with alcohol in an elegant atmosphere. with its moody lights and sleek ambiance, it reminds me of my favorite fancy vegan restaurants in NYC (think candle 79, blossom, or franchia). food wise, there’s something for everyone on the dinner menu—from “meat” and potatoes, to salads and sushi, to raw items and a four or six course tasting menu prepared by chef eric for $45 and $60 respectively. the restaurant is also open for lunch during the week, and serves casual fare such as burgers, bento boxes, and salads.

    we hit up seed bistro recently for the six course tasting menu, and it was a meal i’ll remember forever. we opted to sit in the bar area, which has limited seating, and watched eric prepare everything while he chatted with us the whole time. so what did we eat? tons! check it out:

    course one: cucumber jicama roll (raw), coconut shooter with turmeric, kelp noodles and butternut squash (raw), paella ball with romesco sauce.

    course one was a trio of light dishes including a sushi roll, a coconut “shooter”, and a paella ball. i started with the roll and worked my way left across the plate. the raw sushi was outstanding—shreds of jicama acting as rice mixed with avocado and carrot, with paper-thin sheets of curled cucumber holding it all together. the shooter was equally as impressive: a raw blend of coconut turmeric soup, avocado, squash, and kelp noodles…a smaller version of a raw entree available on seed’s menu. i finished the plate off with two bites of paella ball, a delicious fried mound of rice with a mild and creamy romesco sauce.

    course two: roasted farmers market beets with grapefruit and avocado.

    course two was a small plate from seed bistro’s a la carte menu: roasted beets with avocado and grapefruit. this dish embodied seed’s style: “back to basics” cuisine made with top notch ingredients and prepared extremely well. the flavors really popped, and my husband and i both agreed that we hadn’t had a salad this good in ages.

    course three: grilled trumpet mushroom, forked mashed potatoes, grain mustard sauce.

    course three was a contender for my favorite of the night (though i can say that about two other courses as well!). thick meaty trumpet mushrooms were perched atop fluffy fork mashed potatoes, topped with field greens and garnished with grain mustard. un-fuckin-believable. the mushrooms were fat and juicy, and the potatoes were rich and perfectly seasoned. this course was epic—i couldn’t believe i was only half way through…

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  • October 26th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), new york

    remember that vegan pizza bus tour we were freaking out about, that took place earlier this month?! man, i wanted to go on that so bad. luckily one of our readers, nicole, did go on it…and she sent us a review of the tour. i can’t wait to visit NYC and hit up all these places…

    October is national pizza month, and to celebrate, Scott’s Pizza Tours arranged a special all-vegan tour inspired by Scott Wiener’s vegan brother (and co-guide) Jon. Scott’s Pizza Tours is one of the most unique and highly rated tours in New York City, and currently the number one NYC tour on Yelp! Scott himself is certainly a pizza celebrity in his own right– all the staff of the pizzerias we visited regarded Scott warmly, as if he were family. Scott is truly and his pizza knowledge and enthusiasm is unmatched. Scott’s just starting to dabble in speciality pizza tours, and this vegan tour was his 2nd all-vegan pizza tour ever, following a sold out walking tour this past December.

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