I don’t know about you, but every time I get an inter-Department Delivery in an orange envelope it’s usually something like a boring circular from HR or a “policy update” from the legal department. Imagine, then, how delighted I was to be sent such an envelope from Hot Knives containing not some pointless corporate drivel but a sneak peek at one of the recipes from their very first cookbook, “Salad Daze”.
Now, Hot Knives (a.k.a. Evan and Alex) are known to us as the genius chefs behind both the Verdugo Bar Patio sessions of summer 2009, as well as the inaugural event at the pre-opening of our local pub, (and favorite bar in all of LA) the Surly Goat early last year. In fact these vegetarian, highly vegan-friendly chefs create such amazing dishes that we have been known to chase around after them like a couple of Grateful Dead fans from the 80s.
If we had one criticism, though, it’s that there are way too few opportunities to experience their dishes – they don’t cook at enough events! So, the best bit about getting the sneak recipe preview wasn’t so much the preview itself, but the news that Hot Knives are publishing a cook book of some of their best recipes, so we can make their original and inventive dishes in the comfort of our own home. Truth be told, on occasion they will post a recipe or two on their blog, but nothing beats having everything at your fingertips in a good cookbook.
The recipe they sent to us was called “Magic Shroom Dust”. The description alone blew us away (abbreviated here):Tags: bacon, cookbook, hot knives, mushrooms
July 30th, 2009vegan cheese
unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about this national bacon craze that’s been going on. people are putting bacon in donuts, chocolate, and other places you’d never have imagined. companies are designing purses, wallets and even bandages with bacon designs. bacon seems to be EVERYWHERE, and there is just no escaping it. well guess what, just because bacon is fucking disgusting animal flesh doesn’t mean that vegans can’t get in on the fun. redwood foods lets vegans join the action with a bacon-flavored cheezly. that’s right, one of our favorite vegan cheeses has taken the bacon plunge.
i spotted this cheezly with “added bacon style pieces” when i was at food fight in portland, and i just knew i had to give it a try. i smuggled the block back to LA in my carry-on and cracked into it a few days later. i can’t even tell you how excited i was to try vegan bacon cheese. it sounds so wrong, i knew it had to be right.
when i opened the cheese, it looked like a normal white cheddar block, but with tiny little bits of bacon sprinkled throughout. redwood foods makes a really top notch vegan rasher, so i had pretty high expectations for this. i tried a bite of the cheese raw, and boy it sure tasted bacony! it was a little crumbly, with a strong cheddar flavor combined with a great salty bacon taste. so far, so good.Tags: bacon, cheezly
if you are a vegan in los angeles, i sure hope you’ve hit up purgatory pizza by now. the already-popular new york-style pizzeria started selling awesome vegan pizzas using teese cheese from chicago soy dairy in february, and now just one month later, they are known throughout town for having the best vegan pizza around. the quality of the crust, sauce and now vegan cheese is above and beyond all competition. as far as i know, they are the only pizza joint in los angeles using teese, which is fairly hard to come by, but by far the best brand in the united states.
imagine my excitement when i learned that in just a few weeks purgatory pizza has been so successful with the vegan cheese that they have also decided to start offering fake meat toppings as well. i was even lucky enough to attend a limited tasting-party to try out the new stuff…oh what a treat! the result: tons of new fake meats atop delicious teese pizzas, ending in a food coma of epic proportions.
all the pizzas we tried are pictured below. results were varied, but my favorite was by far the field roast sausage. it had a really meaty texture and tasted surprisingly like real pizza sausage that i remember from when i was a little kid…right down to the crispy edges and embedded fennel seeds, this stuff was unreal.
the pepperoni was decent, but in my opinion it didn’t have the wow factor of the field roast sausage. lightlife products tend to be great for what i want to make at home, but just don’t do it for me when they are offered at restaurants.
same again with the lightlife bacon…it was tasty, but not something i would splurge on for a pizza topping.
purgatory also tried out the tofurky sausage as a pizza topping, which was definitely a worthy field roast opponent. this stuff was really good…but it sliced up into little disks, not globby clumps like the field roast sausage. something about this wasn’t as authentic to me, although i would definitely order it if i saw it on a menu.
lastly, was the ham and pineapple which, i won’t lie, i didn’t even taste. pineapple on pizza has never gone down well with me…but the other folks tonight seemed to enjoy it. the ham was the lightlife brand of meat, so i assume it was similar to the pepperoni and bacon.
again, in my mind, the clear winner was the field roast sausage. i honestly usually don’t like fake meat on pizza, but this stuff was so good, i think i’d order it every time.
sorry, readers. i don’t mean to get your hopes up too early or anything…because for right now the vegan meats aren’t available at purgatory pizza just yet. whatever scored best at tonight’s tasting test will hopefully be available soon though, and i will let you know as soon as it is. i’m hoping they at least go with the field roast sausage because that was my absolute favorite!
until then, you will have to suffer through with just vegetable toppings on the best vegan pizza in los angeles. speaking of which…i brought home some teese pizza with mushrooms, tomatoes and chopped garlic for my husband, who missed out on tonight’s festivities, and the stuff warmed up and melted like a charm. turns out vegan pizza is just as good leftover as normal pizza.
so whether you eat in or takeaway, purgatory pizza is the place to go for vegan pizza in la. they have the meltiest cheese and a load of vegetable toppings. once they get the fake meats come, they will be UNSTOPPABLE. vegans, if you haven’t been to purgatory pizza yet, you are fucking CRAZY. put it at the top of your list.
1326 east 1st street
los angeles, ca 90033
323 262 5310
open everyday 6pm – 11pmTags: bacon, downtown, field roast, ham, pepperoni, pizza, sausage, teese, tofurky
UPDATE 9/17: as of sunday 9/20, THE VEGAN BRUNCH IS BACK!!! please go support flore cafe! we don’t want to see this brunch go away again!
UPDATE: unfortunately, due to slow business, the all-you-can-eat vegan brunch at flore cafe has been discontinued. you should still get over there ASAP though, as most of the brunch items are available on their menu.
in breaking los angeles vegan news, flore cafe in silverlake is now offering an all you can eat vegan brunch for just ten bucks every sunday from 10am to 3pm. they kicked it off today with an epic breakfast feast, and i was there to enjoy it.
flore cafe has sparked a bit of controversy on this site in the past, mainly because it occupies the same space as our all-time favorite restaurant, the vegan spot, which no longer exists. the only major grouse i’ve had with flore cafe in months prior is in regards to its decision to sell eggs in what used to be an entirely vegan restaurant…and also it’s owned by the same person who owns flore, an entirely vegan restaurant down the street. well, that issue doesn’t even come into play for the sunday brunch. everything offered is 100% vegan, and there wasn’t a single egg or blob of cream cheese in sight. pure, animal-free, sweet & savory goodness.
my husband and i showed up mid-morning, and the place was already buzzin’ with people. we piled our plates high with tofu scramble, french toast and breakfast potatoes…and even ended up going back for seconds! the orange juice and coffee were flowing like water, and we didn’t want for anything. tons of our friends went throughout the day, and all of them said the crowd was hoppin’ and the food was excellent.
i could really get used to a totally vegan all you can eat brunch in los angeles. flore cafe has stepped it up a notch and everyone should check out this sunday meal.
while i still miss the vegan spot more than ever, it’s great that flore cafe has decided to leave out the eggs and offer a cruelty-free brunch for us los angeles vegans. go and eat it up!
today the many brunch offerings included:
tofu scramble, french toast, waffles, potatoes, fresh fruit, bread & jam, coffee and orange juice.
check out the trays and trays of food, lined up right next to the health code department grade A on the window. flore cafe did raise a question today though (and lex of vegan-la also noticed) when they didn’t provide new, clean plates for each trip up to the buffet line. that could result in contamination and raise some eyebrows with the health inspector. i myself, go with the flow, though. that didn’t stop me!
i filled my plate with the mainly the tofu scramble and vegan bacon, both of which were out of this world! i’ve written about flore cafe’s tofu scramble before, and this stuff was just as good. the chunks of tofu were thick, not all mushed up like in most scrambles, and it came with a generous helping of spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. the vegan bacon was really small and crispy, and had an absolutely delicious smokey taste. the fact that you can take all you want of this for ten bucks is total highway robbery.
i also got a slice of flore cafe’s french toast. i’ve never had any kind of vegan french toast before, but i can tell you this was better than the real thing. there was a thin slice of really nicely fried bread beneath an absolutely delicious cinnamon batter. i topped it all off with some maple syrup…total perfect decadence!
i asked for a vegan twinkie when i purchased my plate, but the dude behind the counter told me that they no longer stock them. total bummer. so no more vegan spot, no more vegan twinkies. wtf! i’m just so glad that flore cafe came up with the all you can eat brunch…it’s definitely something that will keep me coming back for more, no matter how disappointed i may be when my favorite stuff drops off the menu. and for all you twinkie stalkers, i hear from sources that they are available at native foods.
bottom line is, los angeles vegans, the flore cafe brunch is truly incredible! head over there on sundays from 10am to 3pm to get your share of all-you-can-eat 100% vegan awesomeness. you won’t be sorry, and the food is fuckin’ great.
flore cafeTags: bacon, breakfast, brunch, french toast, potatoes, silverlake, tofu scramble
3206 w. sunset blvd.
los angeles ca 90026
all you can eat sunday vegan brunch. 10am to 3pm, ten bucks per person!
i got some sad news today when i logged onto myspace. it looks like one of our favorite los angeles vegan restaurants, doomie’s home cookin’, is closed until further notice. they alerted us via their myspace blog, and i for one am very upset about this.
let’s hope this closure is due to something really trivial, and doomie’s will be up and running again in no time. until then, i will just keep craving their tap beer and vegan BLT.
seriously doomie, come back soon, really fucking soon. the vegan community needs ya.Tags: bacon, blt, doomie's, downtown, los angeles, sandwich