• August 22nd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, veggie world

    hey everyone, time for a field report from right here in los angeles! this one comes to us from monterey park, and is the first post by our new local operative, “M-E”. check it out, and learn all about veggie world, a family owned restaurant.

    I work in East LA which is an area spotted with little gems of restaurants most of which cook with animal fat- the culinary gems don’t usually leave much for the vegan to uncover. My boss is Vietnamese and while driving she saw a sign for what looked like a new restaurant, “Veggie World” and she was dying to show me the wonders of meatless Vietnamese cuisine. We went today after a rough morning in the office.

    “Veggie World, Vegetarian Restaurant” is located in Monterey Park and has a vinyl sign with the restaurant name and a little lotus flower hanging out front. We entered zen, the restaurant was empty, but it was immaculate. White walls, beautiful screen dividers, glass lazy susans on the large tables and many jade statues and gold laughing Buddhas evidencing that the patrons were devout Buddhists. The menu is extensive and has $6 lunch specials which come with soup and rice.

    I rarely get asian cuisine so my boss and I decided to go all out. I must admit I usually shy away from fake meats as I don’t remember or miss the taste of meat but I LOVE asian food so I was game for an adventure. We decided on a shredded lotus salad with carrots, fake shrimp and pork belly and yummy sauce. Really it was sweet, savory, crunchy and delicious and my boss swore up and down the pork belly tasted exactly like the real thing.

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  • May 12th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, loving hut

    loving hut is the fastest growing international vegan chain restaurant, and they recently opened up a location near los angeles in alhambra. i checked it out over the weekend with my husband and we were both blown away by the excellence of the food, the size of the portions, and the friendliness of the staff. the best i can describe loving hut’s cuisine is as asian-inspired fast food with lots of fried selections, burgers, burritos and sandwiches as well as vegetable stir frys, spring rolls and noodle bowls. the place is very affordable and everything we tried was super tasty.

    golden nuggets: deep fried breaded soy protein. $5.95

    golden nuggets: deep fried breaded soy protein. $5.95

    we started with the golden nuggets, which were basically huge chunks of seitan coated in bread crumbs and fried. they weren’t overly oily, and the coating was surprisingly light. the seitan was extra thick and wheat-meaty, and i gotta say these were quite possibly the best vegan nuggets i’ve ever had. they didn’t mess around with that fake “chicken” taste that most nuggets do, these just had a really excellent seitan flavor. not to mention the tangy mayo-style dipping sauce they came with, which was incredible!

    aulac special salad: shredded cabbage with soy chicken tossed with mint and special sauce. $6.95

    aulac special salad: shredded cabbage with soy chicken tossed with mint and special sauce. $6.95

    my husband ordered the aulac special salad, which was a massive mound of cabbage covered in mock meat strips. the chickeny strips were delicious, and the shredded cabbage was crisp and fresh. definitely a win if you are looking for a really satisfying, yet healthy salad.

    teriyaki sub: grilled sauteed soy protein on a sandwich. $6.95

    teriyaki sub: grilled sauteed soy protein on a sandwich. $6.95

    i ordered the teriyaki sub, a sandwich roll covered in vegan mayo and piled high with grilled soy meat, onions and tomatoes. this thing was so tasty—the fake steak was thick, juicy, and cooked in the most delicious teriyaki sauce. what a fucking great sandwich.

    the food isn’t the only good thing about loving hut; the service is quick and attentive, there is ample parking, the restaurant is clean and spacious, and everything is very well-priced. we had such a pleasant experience there, i know i would be a regular if i lived in alhambra.


    one last thing. apparently, loving hut is affiliated with the “supreme master”, and i’m not even sure exactly what that means, but it has stirred up quite the conversation. they did have supreme master television playing in the restaurant, which is basically a non-stop stream of cheezily produced pro-vegan programming. while some people accuse the organization of being “cultish”, it seemed harmless enough to me, and loving hut served up damn good vegan food, so i don’t really care about any of that other noise.

    go check out loving hut asap. there are tons of locations, so hopefully you live close enough to one to make the trip. and get the golden nuggets!


    Loving Hut
    621 W. Main St.
    Alhambra, CA 91801
    Tel: 1-626-289-2684
    Fax: 1-775-628-8037
    Open Tue – Sun (11:00 am – 9:00 pm)

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  • May 27th, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), seattle

    seattle is sooooo the land of wonderful vegan food. if only it had better weather and an industry in which i was employable, i’d surely move there. even without those things, it’s so tempting to leave my sunny so-cal atmosphere and job stability for the rainy pacific northwest—with its overabundance of meatless eateries and brew pubs where cask ale flows (that seem to be inevitably taken for granted by locals who’ve grown accustomed to such pleasures).

    EXAMPLE: while in seattle, i stumble into a random hotel restaurant for some late-night eats, and the menu happens to brag about it’s vegetarian options. it doesn’t stop there—the friendly server knows all about the difference between vegetarianism and veganism, and assures me that i’ll be taken care of. even in liberal hollywood, i’ve not seen this type of vegan acknowledgement. sure there are some la omnivore establishments that cater specifically to my kind, but other than that, whenever i ask about animal stock in my entree, i’m greeted with a completely clueless dumfounded gaze…to the point at which i don’t even bother eating at places that aren’t specifically vegan-friendly, for the most part.

    but in seattle, even in the confines of a hotel bar/restaurant, i still feel completely safe, and possibly even understood. for instance, dragonfish.

    tofu veggie roll: tofu, cucumber, kaiware, avocado, cilantro, and yama gobo $8

    dragonfish yakisoba: soba noodles tossed with vegetables and your choice of chicken or tofu $13

    this food was bloody incredible. i’m talking “11pm, late night snack, hotel bar food”…not “6 pm, i sought this really cool vegan restaurant out, and wanted to try it food.”

    yeah, this shit was on-point…and hassle-free for a passing hotel-diner vegan-customer like myself. the food itself tasted good, i trusted it, and it arrived in no time. what else could i possibly ask for when my meal was pushing midnite?

    plus, i’d never even tried tofu sushi before. forget that lame, boring avocado & cucumber roll—finally some sushi i can identify with! my only guff with these rolls is that they may have spoiled me; hopefully i can continue to appreciate old school sushi from here on out.

    yep, dragonfish totally brings it….especially for so little $$$$ in the late night hours. if you want a post-dinner snack in downtown, or if you are a vegan dining with picky omnivores, this is definitely a spot to add to your list.

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  • May 27th, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), seattle

    quarrygirl.com has moved to seattle, at least for the next few posts. we recently took a trip there for mr. meaner’s birthday, and were so absolutely overwhelmed with all the vegan options, we thought the least we could do for us, them and you was to blog all about it. plus, it gave us a really good excuse to eat like 5 meals per day. bam.

    first up, the legendary teapot vegetarian house. in the mid-90’s, before i ever met my husband, seattle was his home…and this was his favorite vegetarian restaurant. suffice to say, when he first showed me around the city in late 2005, this was virtually our first stop. our subsequent/most recent trip to seattle was no different. we arrived via virgin america, had a few pints in a lovely brew pub, and made a beeline for the teapot vegetarian house.

    steamed dumplings: traditional northern chinese dim-sum made of fresh diced vegetables and spices hand wrapped in an envelope of flour. steamed and comes with a dipping sauce of vinegar and sesame oil. our pride and joy. $6.95

    broccoli tofu: a perrenial favorite, fresh crunchy chunks of broccoli florets stir fried with slices of wheat gluten in dark, savory sauce. $13.95

    fried wide noodles in dark sauce: we use wide rice noodles, fresh bean sprouts, scallions and add a delicious dark rich syrupy sauce to make this traditional Singapore “roadside” dish. $8.95

    i must admit, despite my pleasant encounter with the teapot in ’05, this time i wasn’t expecting much. 2 and a half years later, i consider myself a much more seasoned vegan-restaurant-connoisseur, and my disdain for the los angeles vegan thai food boom has made me the ultimate skeptic toward any faux-meat asian cuisine. but, as usual when i take a vehement stand against something, i was completely proven wrong. this restaurant was fucking spectacular—inventing each dish as it went along, not borrowing from or copying any other asian vegan restaurants. this place left me genuinely impressed and wanting more.

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