• July 15th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    i just can’t get enough of tony’s darts away!

    it’s the only real bar in los angeles with a vegan-friendly menu, the food is excellent, and they’ve got over 30 beers on tap. seriously, tony’s is amazing. i hit up the burbank boozer recently with a couple friends, and as to be expected, we had an excellent time.

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  • July 11th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), norfolk

    UPDATE 07/20/10: since the time i ate at red dog, chickette has changed their recipe and is no longer vegan. 🙁 red dog carries GARDEIN now though, so ask for that if you want a vegan option. also, someone left a comment saying the buffalo sauce is not vegan. i don’t know if they changed that as well, but double check and ask to see the ingredients.

    red dog saloon. beer, bar food, and the best vegan pizza i’ve ever eaten.

    a couple months ago, i was hanging in norfolk virginia and scoping out the meatless offerings. you wouldn’t think that such a small town would be so vegan-friendly, but i must say norfolk holds its own against other massive cities i’ve visited. the main stretch of restaurants i’d wanna visit runs along colley avenue, and within walking distance i found vegan sushi, vegan middle eastern food, 3 spots for vegan pizza, 2 vegan-friendly bars, and vegan tex mex. i can honestly say i’ve never seen so many options in such a small radius…it even rivaled the vegan strip mall.

    today though, i’m here to talk about red dog saloon. located on colley avenue, it has a huge tap beer selection, comfy seating, good music, and most importantly an impressive vegan menu. there is nothing pretentious about this place, and it’s definitely the most “normal” bar that i’ve ever eaten vegan food at…maybe that’s why i love it so much. there is absolutely nowhere like red dog in LA: a typical bar where shit gets rowdy at night and locals hang out for hours, plus a wide selection of delicious vegan food that is readily available.

    i spent less than a week in norfolk, but i wound up eating (and drinking) at red dog twice. both times i was kicking it with my friend and fellow vegan blogger sunny, and although we had complaints about some dishes, overall we agreed that red dog was super awesome.

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  • June 8th, 2010mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), portland

    Portland, Oregon is an is insanely vegan-friendly city. It is therefore perhaps the best place for West Coast and Midwest vegans to go on vacation for a long weekend, and is an especially good place to get away from the dry heat of a Southern California summer. It’s worth noting that just about every restaurant has several vegan options on the menu and there’s a big emphasis here on sustainability, environmental responsibility and liberal, yet fiscally responsible politics. A vegan heaven, right?

    Right on. So, it was with glee that, on our recent visit, we discovered the Hopworks Urban Brewery (or HUB as they like to be called) which not only uses no animal products in the manufacture of its beer, but also has a very, very vegan-friendly menu including a vegan cheese offering on its vegan NY-style pizzas. This, to me, is heaven.

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  • June 4th, 2010quarrygirlvegan events

    it’s gonna be a great weekend for vegans in los angeles and here is the stuff you shouldn’t be missing:

    franken's on saturday!

    first up on saturday, the frankenstand is taking over hollywood and western with its delicious plant-based sausages. if you haven’t tried this place yet, you GOTTA go. they are our #1 favorite food cart and their gourmet franks are beyond delicious. it’s also a special occasion because franken’s very rarely comes out in the daylight. seriously, GO. take my advice, and order the witch or the franken….you will not be sorry. follow @thefrankenstand on twitter for more info.

    the franken: this classic sausage will make you feel alive! with a monster blend of sun dried tomatoes and basil giving it a slightly sweet taste. $5

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  • May 22nd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    tony’s darts away in burbank has only been open for 5 weeks, and it’s already one of our favorite haunts. we’ve raved about the extremely vegan-friendly beer bar twice before, and i’m happy to report that with time it keeps getting better and better.

    first off, they’ve added 2 cask pumps to their something like 38 beers on tap. when we were there last, they were pouring craftsman (not pictured), and it was really damn good. i think it was poppyfields.

    vegan beer brat with sauerkraut, grilled onions, brown mustard, and garlic paste. $6

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  • April 25th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), norfolk

    it’s time for another vegan field report! this one, written by a brand new quarrygirl operative named steve, comes to us all the way from norfolk, virginia. here goes:

    “I was looking for a job, and then I found a job, and heaven knows I’m miserable now.” – Steven Patrick Morrissey

    It’s commonly known that every silver lining has a cloud. My silver lining was getting a job, but the cloud was having to spend some time in Norfolk, Virginia: A city of near unGoogleable veganocity. I mean, there’s not one vegan, or even vegetarian restaurant in the entire place.

    So, on my first evening I wandered the streets late at night, happy in the haze of a drunken hour, heaven knows I was miserable now…. Until, that is, I hit upon the Taphouse Grill, a nondescript tavern hidden in a side street off the main drag. I intended to grab another beer so I could forget about my hunger and hopefully pass out when I got back to my hotel.

    I walked in to a neighborhood pub: full of portly regulars downing beers (a good selection: the beer menu ran to several pages). There was a band playing by the window: Bob Marley covers seemed to be the order of the day. I sat at a table up against the wall, ordered a nice IPA and began to wish there was a ZPizza within delivery distance of where I was staying.

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  • April 22nd, 2010mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), san diego

    Stone Brewing is one of Southern California’s largest breweries, perhaps best known for its “Arrogant Bastard” brand, a beer which they say was named after me. If you’ve only ever had the Bastard, there are another 14 beers, each of which is expertly crafted and brewed. Oh, and the entire brewing process is 100% vegan so you can drink yourself silly with Stone products worry-free.

    I’ve long been a fan of Stone IPA, one of the best American style hopped IPAs available, even though it can be a little on the strong side. This means that after your fifth glass you may not be able to stand up, a fact which I gladly verified recently. Gulp. On our recent trip to San Diego, we decided to detour slightly through Escondido so we could visit the brewery and dine in the restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, which we’d heard had a few vegan options.

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  • April 21st, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    My first visit to Tony’s Darts Away pub in Burbank was a somewhat rushed affair. After reading a few things about the pub I was excited to go, but only had a few minutes to spend in the bar after driving there from the west side. So, I was delighted to be able to carve out several hours of my otherwise uneventful Saturday so I could spend much longer in Tony’s in order to drink some more beer, order more food from the menu and generally absorb more of the the vibe and scene.

    Although my initial impressions first time were very positive, would Tony’s hold up for a longer visit? Would the beers all be top notch? Would the other food items be as tasty as the one dog I’d eaten? Would the staff be as friendly? Would the other patrons be as eclectic and nice as last time?

    Well, on a bright sunny day this weekend, we settled into a bar seat and began to order my way through the beer and food menu, while chatting with the staff and experimenting a little with what I ate and drank.

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  • April 14th, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    Since I heard about a new bar opening in Burbank with OVER 30 BEERS ON TAP, a complete vegan menu, and an environmentally sustainable mission statement, I’ve become like a thing obsessed, spending hours refreshing the “coming soon” page at Tony’s Darts Away in my web browser waiting for an announcement that they are open for business. As soon as the page changed and hours were posted, I drove like a mad thing from my work in Beverly Hills to Burbank, reviewing the beer and food menu on my iPhone while negotiating CA 170.

    I can tell you that the rush hour commute was well worth it, and I’m destined to be a regular at Tony’s Darts Away. The original bar (it never really had a name, but the “Darts Away” sign outside kinda gave locals a handle by which to refer to it) was your typical neighborhood dive bar: bottled beer, Budweiser on tap, a greasy meat-based food menu and chewing gum encrusted floors and bar area.

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  • April 13th, 2010mr meanergangadin, LA restaurants

    I grew up in the pubs and curry houses of England. I distinctly recall dodging in and out of doorways on many rainy nights as I made my way along cobbled streets between The Dog and Duck and Raj Palace in East London. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a pint followed by a curry – indeed, Indian food is now the national cuisine of England!

    I’m regretful that Indian food hasn’t really taken off that well in the USA, but most cities have a pretty good choice of excellent restaurants these days, and one of the best in LA is Gangadin in Studio City. We’ve raved about this place before, and couldn’t resist hitting it up again, but this time with a twist: We’d hit up a pub first just like back home!

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  • April 10th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, pizza fusion

    pizza fusion is awesome. it’s the only place i can think of in LA where i can relax with some friends and eat daiya-covered pizza, while enjoying beer after beer on draught. as if that isn’t reason enough to head over there ASAP, now the hollywood location is offering some amazing giveaways in honor of “earth month,” to provide some extra incentive…

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  • March 6th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, veggie grill

    it took them a little while to get their license, but as of yesterday, the veggie grill on sunset is finally serving up bottled beer as well as red and white wine.

    beer at veggie grill

    they currently have 2 beers from new belgium brewing (fat tire and mothership wit) as well as both red and white wine from mas. i dropped by this afternoon and grabbed a bottle of the mothership to accompany my lunch, and while it wasn’t my favorite beer on earth, it was definitely pleasant.

    so as if the terrific chili and burgers weren’t enough to get you out of your house and over to veggie grill in this horrific weather, you now have the added temptation of alcohol. 🙂 veggie grill is one of the VERY few all vegan places in LA to serve beer, so let’s show them some support. maybe if we buy enough of it, they will put some beer on tap. (i can dream.)

    veggie grill weho
    8000 W Sunset Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90046
    (323) 822-7575

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  • February 14th, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, mao's kitchen

    In our inaugural Pub ‘n’ Grub, we stumbled from a student infested Irish sports bar to Native Foods, in the “scenic” district of Westwood, under the shadow of the UCLA campus. This time around, we decided to shun the down-to-earth college vibe and go for something a little more quixotic, perhaps exotic and certainly chaotic: LA’s Melrose Avenue. Also, in celebration of Chinese New Year, we decided on an Asian angle too.

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  • February 7th, 2010mr meanerUncategorized

    As Sister Margaret said to Maria in The Sound of Music: “When one door closes, another opens”. The door above has, thankfully opened and what lays behind it is very special indeed. Exactly a year ago today, I first heard about a new brewery opening in Eagle Rock yet couldn’t find out anything at all to corroborate the rumor. To be honest, on that day I was more focused on heading over to Doomie’s “all you can eat” swan-song event at Southgate, where one of our favorite chefs took over an art studio and cooked his entire stock of food following the closure of his space at Roberto’s Club in Chinatown.

    Now, though I’m very pleased that I can drown my sorrows of Doomie’s demise at the brand, spanking new Eagle Rock Brewery. Often rumored, sometimes previewed and certainly heavily anticipated, Eagle Rock Brewery has been teasing me since November as I’ve enjoyed their brews in most of the bars I frequent. I’ve had the XPA or Mild in Verdugo Bar, Blue Palms, The York, BoHo and (of course) Pure Luck and every time I’ve very much appreciated the taste and quality of the brew.

    The brewery is located in an Eagle Rock industrial park, at the intersection of Delay Drive and Roswell Street (sounds like a cold-war era space alien conspiracy thing, right?) and has no exterior signage, so be very careful to note down the exact street number of the building, or you’ll be lost forever.

    Finally, after two years of construction and LA County Dept. of Building Safety bullshit, Eagle Rock Brewery opened the doors of their tap room this past Friday. Now, a tap room is a special place. It’s not a typical bar per-se, and there’s rarely food (although Eagle Rock Brewery thoughtfully puts out pretzel bowls for the customers), but you do get to enjoy the brewery’s beers served by, and often in the presence, of the brewers themselves in the shadow of the brewery.

    I’m used to gritty tap-rooms with oafish brewers (the large, white guy type with a long beard) who begrudgingly serve a dribble of lukewarm beer in the bottom of a tasting glass, yet I’m pleased to say that Eagle Rock Brewery was quite the opposite. The tap room has a proper bar with stools, shiny stainless steel taps and comfortable tables for you to sit at with your friends.

    When we were there, a very nice lady served our beers and was overjoyed to be telling us about the brewery’s new products, as well as give tasting notes.

    Talking of tasting, we were lucky enough to sample all three of the brewery’s current taps:

    Revolution XPA: (a TLA for eXtra Pale Ale) This refreshing beer has a good balance of tangy palate with a delightfully hoppy finish. Although it’s absolutely tasty, I can’t help thinking there’s an IPA (India Pale Ale) in there waiting to get out, and I think this brew – above all their others – has the most promise for some very interesting variations (double hopped, anybody?!).

    Solidarity Black Mild: The archetypal English mild: A session beer (meaning one can drink a lot of it without falling over) – low in alcohol and very malty. My late grandfather used to drink pints of this ad-infinitum back in the 60s and 70s. Malty ain’t my thing particularly, but this is actually quite drinkable. I could see several of these disappearing rather quickly in a typical afternoon session!

    Manifesto Eagle Rock Wit: Now you’re talking. This beer tastes like something you’d find in a Bavarian Beerkellar (and I mean Bavaria, Germany not Bavaria, Kansas). It’s a white beer, very wheaty at the base and somewhat cloudy. There’s a citrus edge throughout followed by a smooth, flowery ending – probably because of the coriander and rose petals (yeah, they add rose petals – what a great idea!).

    In case you’re missing the vibe here (it took me a while), Eagle Rock Brewery has a neo-Soviet cold war angle: Revolution, Solidarity, Manifesto and “Beer for the People”, along with the eagle and wheat logo. This written and visual imagery takes me right back to Vladivostok in the early 60s, and drinking on a street named Roswell is the icing on the cake.

    You can take a tour of the brewery during opening hours and there’s a Beer Education Series, where they explore and teach the fine art of brewing. In the next workshop, the brewers will explain about malts and how they affect the taste of one’s beer. You don’t have to be a brewer to appreciate these classes, but you have to be a beer lover for sure.

    Wherever you run into Eagle Rock Brewery – be it in your local bar or a visit to the tap room, you’ll enjoy what you find. The beers are up there with the best, and there’s a dedicated and friendly team to bring it all together. Eagle Rock Brewery: We have HIGH expectations of your future, and I’m sure there will be many supporters of your business. Keep the beer flowing.

    Fiiiiinally, the beers are not clarified with animal-based finings (so are completely vegan). The fact that Ben Ling’s Pure Luck serves it is good enough for me.

    Eagle Rock Brewery
    3056 Roswell Street
    Los Angeles, Ca 90065
    Tap Room Hours Open To Public:
    Friday + Saturday 4-10pm
    Sunday 12-6pm

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  • February 1st, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, native foods

    Very, very few decent bars serve food suitable for vegans. The best we can usually hope for is french fries or a limp salad, and even then the chances of them being vegan are usually 10-1 against. Likewise, most vegan restaurants don’t have a beer and wine license, let alone the city certificate and capability to make you a gin and tonic to sup down with your Gardein burger.

    So, while a bar can serve up some alcohol and a vibe you’re in the mood for, your favorite vegan, or vegan-friendly restaurant can feed you until you’re full, butthere are very few that can do both. What’s a boozy vegan to do?

    Well, we set out to find a range of cool bars in LA that are no more than a few steps away from some of the best vegan restaurants in town. Figuring that one might go for a beer or cocktail before dining, we start with the bars first.

    In the mid-90s I used to frequent an archetypal student bar half a block from the UCLA campus in Westwood. Back then it used to be called “Maloney’s on campus” and was a dirty, rough and tough bar that only the brave would survive. Hard drinking, $2 Jack Daniels chasers and the cheapest beer east of Santa Monica or West of Beverly hills was the order of the day. Add in 100 or so rowdy students (mostly making out), loud football games on old TVs and you pretty much get the idea.

    A few years ago, Maloney’s closed down allegedly with the assistance of the LAPD (all those under age drinkers must have been a business risk, if indeed that’s why they closed) to be replaced with a facsimile bar in the same building called O’Hara’s. We’re talking cleaner facilities, nicer staff, better food, flat-screen TVs and even a tap beer menu that’s more than a Miller Lite keggerator stuck in the corner of the bar.

    These days, the students are all still there, but seem better behaved and there’s a strict ID check in progress – even I get my ID scanned and I’m as old as the grand canyon. If you’re lucky you can settle into a comfy chair at the low bar, and get a great view of the TVs and friendly bartenders. There are super value 1 liter beers ($8.00) and the happy hour delivers suds for under 5 bucks a pint. Add a reasonable wine selection with full-on cocktail capabilities and you can have a great time drinking away in this relaxing, dark environment. If you’re super lucky, you might meet your future wife there (as happened to a friend of mine) or for the single ladies find a wealthy, cute foreign student to hook up with (I’ve heard that happens too).

    After you’ve filled your skin with beer, a mere hop skip and jump away is one of LA’s greatest vegan fast-food restaurants: Native Foods. I usually hit up O’Hara’s around lunchtime when it’s relatively quiet (before the big games start) then just as it starts to get crazy slip away to Native Foods, just after their lunch rush, around 2:30pm.

    Of course, in between O’Hara’s and Native Foods is the busy Westwood branch of Whole Foods Market, with a parking lot adjacent to the bar. Although I’d never condone others to do the same, I usually park at Whole Foods before my beer, pop in after the pub to get some groceries, shove ’em in my trunk and then head to Native Foods for lunch. This seems to confuse the parking attendants (who presumably think I’m a slow shopper) so I’ve never been ticketed or towed, and have parked, for hours on end, in expensive Westwood for free.

    Of course, if you’re a vegan living in LA you will have heard much about Native Foods, and have probably even been there on a few occasions. The restaurant, though, has been upgraded lately and is now twice the size, which is a great job as the menu has also been upgraded with some mouthwatering new items from Chef Tanya’s repertoire.

    What is the ideal thing to eat after filling your belly with beer? An Oklahoma Bacon Cheese Burger, that’s what. While the inebriated jocks back in O’Hara’s are clinging to the wall with one hand and stuffing meat and cheese into their faces with the other hand, you can be stuffing YOUR face with an entirely plant-based burger that’s as tasty as they come.

    oklahoma bacon cheeseburger: thinly sliced original seitan, melted cheddar, caramelized onions, crispy tempeh bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomato and topped with crunchy battered dill pickles chips. $9.95

    Layer upon layer of Chef Tanya’s seitan under home-cooked tempeh bacon that’s topped with vegan cheese and smothered in a creamy sauce will knock your socks off. Add in some of Native Foods’ exclusive hot sauce, a side of spicy fries and you’ll have the same “I’m full” buzz as the O’Hara’s customers, but with none of the guilt.

    native fries: thinly cut potatoes cooked in pure vegetable oil and dusted with a fun blend of garlic and spices. $2.95

    The pub-grub style of Native Food’s menu is uncanny: They have chicken wings, nachos, chilly cheese fries, tacos, tons of burger options and healthy salads. If only they had a full bar and a bunch of drunk students I could avoid the 300 yard walk from O’Hara’s.

    Do enjoy a happy afternoon in Westwood for Pup ‘n’ Grub: you know it makes sense!

    1000 Gayley Ave
    Westwood, CA 90024
    (310) 208-1942

    native foods
    1110 1/2 Gayley Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    (310) 209-1055

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