• June 8th, 2011quarrygirlcafe gratitude, LA restaurants

    cafe gratitude in larchmont village hasn’t been open very long, and it’s already one of the best spots to eat in los angeles. the almost all vegan restaurant (one of their drinks contains honey) has a massive menu with something for everyone—raw food, cooked food, gluten-free stuff, salads, soups, tacos, sandwiches, bowls, booze, desserts, you name it! i hit up the small restaurant a couple nights ago for dinner with my friend milque, and our meal was fantastic. the cafe bustling, service was friendly and the food was delicious.

    i’m gonna spoil this blog post by starting with dessert, because it was honestly the highlight of the evening.

    i am adoring - tiramisu: nut flour cake soaked in espresso with vanilla “whipped cream” & chocolate frosting. $8

    as we’ve mentioned before, the menu items at cafe gratitude are all named with positive affirmations. while it makes for a somewhat awkward ordering process, the food doesn’t suffer, so i can’t complain. for dessert we got a slice of “i am adoring”, cafe gratitude’s vegan tiramisu, which was shockingly good. i’d heard people rave about this cake before, but i wasn’t prepared for its awesomeness. it was perfectly spongy with layers of creamy coffee-flavored frosting and a dusting of cocoa on top. if you haven’t tried it yet, the tiramisu alone is reason to check out cafe gratitude.

    i am transformed taco plate: two handmade corn tortillas with brown rice, beans, salsa verde, guacamole & cashew nacho cheese. served with a side salad with fig balsamic dressing. $11

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  • April 4th, 2011quarrygirljuicy ladies, LA restaurants

    over the weekend we visited one of the few vegan restaurants in los angeles we hadn’t been to yet, juicy ladies. it’s actually more of a juice bar or take out place than a proper restaurant, with a counter to order at and seating inside for maybe 5 or 6 people. we arrived at around 11am and were lucky enough to snag one of the few tables.

    juicy ladies may be small in size, but the menu is mighty with a great selection of breakfast items, salads, bowls and sandwiches. there’s also a full on juice and smoothie menu as well as a fridge full of grab and go meals for people in a hurry.

    juicy special burger: black bean and brown rice patty, lettuce, pickles, tomato, thousand island dressing, grilled onions and tapioca cheese on a whole wheat bun. served with mixed greens. $10.25

    my husband ordered the juicy special burger and had no complaints…

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  • January 26th, 2011quarrygirlhugo's restaurant, LA restaurants

    it’s a great time to be vegan in los angeles! this week hugo’s restaurant is introducing tons of new animal-free options, and i can say from personal experience that they are beyond delicious. they’ve permanently brought back and improved some of everyone’s old favorite monthly specials, as well as added some extra good stuff.

    the new menu will take effect in studio city today, and in west hollywood tomorrow. here is what you have to look forward to…

    vegan carbonara: mushrooms, veggie bacon and garlic sauteed crisp. deglazed with white wine and finished with scallions, vegan cream sauce, and italian parsley. $13.85

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  • October 24th, 2010quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    as far as i’m concerned, when in london, inspiral lounge in camden town is a MUST VISIT.

    the all vegetarian cafe is almost entirely vegan (they have normal milk available for coffee), and offers a huge selection of entrees, sides, and desserts. we have dined out on their main courses before (the tofu tarragon parcel and vegan lasagna were to die for!), but this time we decided to go with the “pick & mix” option. pick & mix is great because you choose a dish size for a set price, and then pick out as many sides as you want and tell the inspiral employee to keep filling up your bowl until nothing else will fit.

    full disclosure: we actually didn’t plan on eating a meal during this trip to inspiral. we’ve heard people go on and on about their famous tiramisu, and since that’s mr. meaner’s favorite dessert, we had to check it out. on our recent trip to london we went to inspiral 4 (yes FOUR) times in search of vegan tiramisu with no success. we were always just missing it, it had “JUST sold out”. argh. on our last failed attempt we thought we should at least get some food, and even though we had eaten recently, we decided to share a small “pick & mix” bowl for £3.95. there was lots of stuff to choose from…

    not only was there a full on hot bar with ALL VEGAN items (potatoes, curries, vegetables!), but also a salad case with lots of appetizing dishes.

    in the end, we settled on a little bowl filled to the brim with steamed quinoa, roasted potatoes, cabbage salad, and chickpea curry. it was nothing short of divine. the potatoes and curry especially were so perfectly cooked and seasoned.

    i could eat this kind of food 7 days a week, no problem. simple ingredients, but so well executed and beyond tasty. the more intricate entrees at inspiral are just as good, but sometimes it’s nice to get back to basics.

    on top of having fantastic food, inspiral’s view is the dog’s bollocks! you sit overlooking regent’s canal and camden market…so lovely!

    honestly, i think i will visit inspiral every time i go to london. it’s just so comfy, delicious, and charming…not to mention, in a great part of town. i wish we had somewhere like this in los angeles—a cute little cafe with a mix of healthy and decadent food, killer desserts, alcohol, and coffee. all vegan.

    i fucking love inspiral!

    inspiral lounge
    250 Camden High Street
    Camden, London NW1 8QS, United Kingdom
    020 7428 5875
    Mon-Thu 10:00 – 22:00
    Fri-Sat 10:00 – 2:00
    Sun 10:00 – 23:30

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  • September 19th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), seattle

    chaco canyon cafe is a sweet little restaurant in seattle that’s 95% organic, and almost entirely vegan (they offer dairy milk for coffee). the menu is huge–they’ve got soups, salads, sandwiches, bowls, raw entrees, breakfast items, and even desserts. we popped in for lunch on our recent vacation to the pacific northwest, and were impressed with the cafe’s charm and delicious food.

    tofu scramble sandwich: turmeric seasoned tofu with onions, mushrooms and spinach, grilled on rye bread, with sprouts. served a la carte. optional soy cheese for additional charge.

    much to my delight, breakfast is served all day at chaco canyon, so we started off with a tofu scramble sandwich. it came on grilled rye bread and was topped with loads of tumeric tofu, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and sprouts. so freaking good. the tofu was perfectly flavored, and not too mushy. hot little nuggets of soy, just they way they should be. the vegetables were fresh, and the bread was warm and crispy. i’d definitely order this again.

    the basic bowl: brown rice or quinoa and black beans with either our peanut sauce or garlic tahini.

    next we shared what’s probably the most simple item on the menu, the basic bowl. this comes with brown rice or quinoa, black beans, and your choice of sauce. we ordered it with brown rice and tahini, and it was excellent. just so well prepared with soft sticky rice, plump beans, and creamy sauce. love, love, loved it.

    there were tons of vegan desserts to choose from as well, but we decided to pass on those since we were saving ourselves for mighty-o. next time i will definitely try out some of the cakes at chaco canyon though, as well as their vegan reuben made with field roast!

    inside, the cafe is super cute and cozy. you order at the counter, and there’s comfy booth seating where they bring you your food. oh, and they have BEER ON TAP. what’s not to love about chaco canyon?! i know i’ll be back.

    chaco canyon organic cafe
    4757 12th Ave NE
    Seattle, WA 98105
    Mon to Fri 7am to 9pm
    Sat & Sun 9am to 9pm
    Now serving
    Sunday Brunch 9am – 3pm

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  • March 10th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed

    vegan food is popping up all over the west side, some good and some bad…just last week i wrote about a newly opened vegan restaurant in venice that i wasn’t very impressed with. luckily for all you beach peeps, there is an excellent macrobiotic restaurant called seed on pacific avenue, serving up healthy all-vegan meals seven days a week.

    seed has been open for 4 months, and while i’ve only eaten there twice, everything i’ve tried has been awesome. my first visit was just days after they opened, and i went back for a second time last week. i was happy to discover the food was just as delicious and it was great to see a healthy crowd of beach-goers chowing down on vegan fare.

    saisai donburi macro bowl: kabocha, kale, shitake, arame, bean sprouts, daily bean, sauerkraut, balsalmic miso sauce all over organic brown rice. $11.95

    saisai donburi macro bowl: kabocha, kale, shitake, arame, bean sprouts, daily bean, sauerkraut, balsalmic miso sauce all over organic brown rice. $11.95

    the food at seed is masterfully crafted by celebrity chef eric lechasseur, who used to be the chef de patisserie at m cafe. seed’s macrobiotic menu is actually really similar to that of m cafe…tons of bowls, burgers, paninis and japanese vegetables…just without all the dead fish. a lot of my friends actually prefer the food at m cafe, arguing that seed’s food is a bit more bland. i don’t necessarily agree with that, and i’d rather eat at seed any day because it’s a 100% vegan restaurant.

    i recently hit up seed with my husband on a double lunch date with eric and diana from happycow.net. i ordered the saisai donburi macro bowl, which was overflowing with more delicious vegetables than i could handle. it came with the option to add tofu, tempeh or seitan at an additional charge, but all the plants in this bowl were enough for me. i gotta say this was the freshest, lightest, tastiest meal i’ve had in quite a while. everything was incredibly delicate and just oozing with healthy flavor. the organic brown rice was extremely soft and fluffy, i ate every bite of it even though i tend to leave my rice behind. the bowl came with a tangy miso sauce that i forgot to even pour on top! that’s right, it was so good i forgot to liven it up with the sauce. i think i will order this every time i go back to seed.

    my husband got the blackened tempeh burger which was huge and very hearty.

    blackened tempeh burger with sauerkraut: lettuce, tomato, onion, sauerkraut, house mango salsa and mustard-vegenaise spread serverd on a wheat bun with a side of viaigrette coleslaw. $9.95

    blackened tempeh burger with sauerkraut: lettuce, tomato, onion, sauerkraut, house mango salsa and mustard-vegenaise spread serverd on a wheat bun with a side of vinaigrette coleslaw. $9.95

    while the burger was excellent, the flavor combinations weren’t my favorite. i like sauerkraut and tempeh, but i didn’t really like the mango salsa and mustard vegenaise. i think overall this burger was just too sweet for me, and my husband agreed. although i know tons of people who claim this is the best thing on the menu. ah, to each his own.

    eric and diana ordered a side of sweet potato fries to share, which were so fucking awesome. i am just bummed i forgot to photograph them. seriously, they were the one thing at the table that didn’t taste insanely healthy and they were really good in a guilty pleasure sort of way. thin and incredibly crispy around the edges, but soft and fluffy on the inside. perfect fries indeed.

    for the four months that seed has been open, i’ve been dying to try their soft serve ice cream. it’s on the menu, and i’ve heard that it exists, but it hasn’t been available the two times i’ve dined at seed. happycow eric informed us that it’s usually only available when chef eric is present, because the recipe and machine are so complicated. what? seriously? vegan ice cream so special that it can only be made when a celebrity chef is on hand? this made me want it even more. now i have another reason to get back to seed asap, as if the saisai donburi macro bowl wasn’t enough. i will let you know if i ever get my hands on some of that elusive soft serve ice cream.

    so if you haven’t been to seed yet, got check them out. like i said before, they serve up high-quality m cafe style food, but without the disgusting dead fish. definitely worth a visit.

    oh, and check out their happycow.net rating while you are at it…they’ve got a really high score. and join happycow if you haven’t already; it’s like the non-shady and vegetarian version of yelp.

    1604 pacific avenue
    venice, ca 90291

    open daily
    10 am to 9 pm

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  • November 3rd, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    recently i took a little tasting tour of new york city, what’s considered to be by many the best vegan-friendly place in the usa, right up there with portland. i had a whole list of neat restaurants i wanted to try, and couldn’t even begin to fit them all in. i mean, check out happycow or supervegan, there are just sooooo many. over the next few posts, i’ll be bringing you several installments of quarrygirl eats nyc, and tell you about all our cool (and not so cool) dining experiences.

    of all the well-reviewed eateries, one place i knew i absolutely had to check out, was sacred chow. it came with a very high recommendation from the folks at vegan-la, and was said to serve the best breakfast ever. unfortunately, i went on a friday just before noon without realizing that they only offer breakfast/brunch on the weekends. it all turned out for the best though, because the lunch was out of this world. i’m sure i missed out by not trying their brunch, but hey, it just gives me another reason to return to nyc!

    weekday special bowl: sliced western tofu, soba noodles, tahini, greens and broccoli

    weekday special bowl: sliced western tofu, soba noodles, tahini, greens and broccoli

    although sacred chow wasn’t serving up the weekend brunch when my husband and i visited, they did have a weekday special bowl that was customizable. they had different proteins, carbs and vegetables to choose from all served up in a pipin’ hot little package for i think around 8 bucks. we opted for the western tofu on soba with a mixture of collard greens and broccoli. it was absolutely delicious.

    the entire bowl was filled with succulent vegetables and the most firm and luscious tofu ever, all slathered in the creamiest of tahini sauces. the waiter even brought us and entire bottle of squeezy hot sauce, which we used to drench everything in the bowl. the soba noodles were cooked just right, and there weren’t too many of them…which was great. so many times in restaurants, bowls come almost filled to the top with carbs, with a pitiful amount of protein and vegetables that look more like a garnish. not this sucker. it was freakin’ filled right up with the good stuff and the noodles were almost an afterthought. just enough to swirl around and soak up the yummy sauce, without being overwhelming.

    the best thing about this bowl though, was definitely the western tofu. i’m talking huge firm slices that had a completely different texture than the tofu i’m used to. i don’t know how sacred chow made such a simple dish so mouth-watering. hearty long strips of protein grilled on each side and bursting with flavor. if you are ever in manhattan, you gotta try this.

    next up, we decided to share a hero sandwich, also made with western tofu. mmmMMMMMmmm. just as good as the bowl, for sure.

    grilled western tofu hero: thickly sliced western tofu, dill soy-mayonnaise, mixed greens served on a toasted french baguette with chow slaw, pickle, and casein-free mozzarella

    grilled western tofu hero: thickly sliced western tofu, dill soy-mayonnaise, mixed greens served on a toasted french baguette with chow slaw, pickle, and casein-free mozzarella

    the photograph doesn’t really do this sandwich justice at all. there was so much thick and tasty tofu inside, and some of the best vegan cheese i’ve ever tasted. not to mention the insane dill mayo, this sammy was off the hook! crusty bread, creamy sauce, melty cheese and spongey yet crispy tofu made for the yummiest combo ever. and the chow slaw was incredible as well. i think it was cabbage mixed up with a mystery concoction of curry powder, vegenaise, and other savory flavors. this hero is one of my favorite sandwiches ever. seriously, the same irresistible tofu from the bowl above took on a completely new life in this dish. it would be hard for me to return to sacred chow and order something else. it so hit the spot.

    on top of all the great food, sacred chow also has a very sweet and inviting atmosphere. oh yeah, and TAP BEER! not to mention tapas, tons of wine, and a huge selection of baked goods, including cupcakes, bars and brownies. that’s right, there really is nothing not to like about this place. if i lived in nyc, i’d be hitting up sacred chow AT LEAST once a week. seriously, we need more joints like this in los angeles.

    groovy sacred chow interior

    groovy sacred chow interior

    so while i’m bummed that i didn’t get to try anything off of the huge appetizing brunch menu, i’m glad i got to try some of the awesome lunch items at sacred chow. eating there was one of the highlights of my trip, and knowing i missed out on brunch just means i HAVE to return.

    so remember this place when you are in new york city, and make it your mission to eat here.

    sacred chow
    vegan bistro – tapas, wine and beer on tap
    227 sullivan street
    nyc, ny 10012


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