• December 30th, 2009mr meanerlondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    When I dined at Saf a few weeks ago it was all I could do not to move back home to London on the spot.

    You see, Saf has not only some of the finest vegan cuisine available in Europe, but also one of the continent’s first organic cocktail bars, designed and occasionally hosted by internationally renowned mixologist, Pursip. We took advantage of a lazy, sunny Sunday morning in late-Autumn to hit up Saf and enjoy their popular “Pure Sundays” vegan roast, and one or two innovative organic cocktails.

    From the moment we walked in the door, we knew we were somewhere special. The expansive space, large tables and looooong cocktail bar were teetering on the outer edges of understated grandeur, while at the same time being intimate and homely. A cheerful server welcomed us, offering “any seat in the house” (one of the privileges of being a jet-lagged early-arriver) and recommended we start off with a special cocktail. We ordered the “VIOLET and TONIC – an ultimate refreshing take on the G&T”, which turned out to be organic gin, french tarragon, pear juice, violet liqueur, lime, fever tree tonic water, with an edible pansy flower plopped on top.

    I think this is one of the best cocktail photos I’ve ever taken, yet it really doesn’t do justice to this subtly stunning blend of spirits and mixers. Organic mixologists like Pursip will be the chefs and DJs of the next decade – with mysterious creative powers that make you feel awesome.

    Anyway, to the FOOD. As it was around noon (a little too late for breakfast, marginally too early for lunch), we opted to go straight down the middle with our dining options, lending a breakfast-stye vibe intersected with a Sunday roast to our table. Go figger.

    I opted for the “Country Breakfast”, a scintillating pile of tofu scramble all mixed up with sun dried tomato, basil and caramelized onion,with three hunks of fresh baguette drizzled with olive oil. The baby greens and potatoes (not shown in the picture) added some volume and delicate textures to the robustness of the scramble, leading to a most satisfying meal.

    The other meal at the table was the absolutely stunning “Sunday nut roast”, with roast potatoes, parsnips, kale and apple sauce and red wine gravy doing their best to cover a huge chunk of tasty nut roast – just oily enough, but firmly healthy-tasting.

    Both meals were gone in seconds – food this good doesn’t hang around on a plate for too long, and goes down so well that one can easily fill up rather quickly. As did we!

    If you’re ever in the Shoreditch area of London, or have a couple of hours to spend, take the tube to Old Street and walk to nearby Saf where you’re pretty much guaranteed a warm reception, cold cocktail and hot meal in a totally vegan restaurant you’ll never forget. Saf will be on my itinerary every time I visit London from here on out.

    If, like many readers of this blog, you live in Los Angles, I wanted to take moment to say that Saf is really what Real Food Daily should be – after all, there are many similarities: A three letter name, being out of the way but in a cool part of town, modern decor with nice ambience, seriously organic, entirely vegan etc.

    The crushing difference, though, is that Saf manages to pull off the most difficult of feats: to be a trendy, happenin’ and hip restaurant while at the same time giving truly personal service and astounding food in an un-rushed environment with KILLER cocktails.

    Ann should go and pay Chad a visit: she has much to learn.

    Saf Restaurant
    152-154 Curtain Road
    Shoreditch London EC2A 3AT

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  • April 18th, 2009quarrygirlfranken's, LA restaurants

    yo yo yo los angeles vegans, if you are in town tonight, be sure to hit up the frankenstand! the all-vegan hot dog cart is one of our favorite places to eat, and they will be out in full force this evening from 5:30pm for vegan drinks at the little bar!

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  • April 4th, 2008quarrygirlurban living

    i try to avoid hollywood boulevard at all costs. the stench of vagrants and the irritating tourists who stop every few steps to goggle at stars on the walk of fame are enough to drive any LA native crazy. unfortunately, i find myself there quite often, usually attending a concert at either the music box or the avalon.

    and as all experienced concert-goers know, when attending a gig, the band usually doesn’t start until hours after the doors open. so rather than standing in front of an empty stage surrounded by assholes and drinking 8 dollar beers, i usually spend those hours wandering around hollywood boulevard looking for a bar.

    luckily, a couple months ago, i happened upon this place:

    the frolic room

    the frolic room is a great little dive bar, located at hollywood and vine, right next to the pantages theatre.
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