• February 8th, 2011quarrygirlaustin, more restaurants (not LA)

    vegan field report time! it’s another one by bess of i dream of greenie, and this one comes to us again from austin, texas. here she gives us quick reviews on 2 different places. she covers some awesome thai food at veggie heaven, as well as some vegan soft serve from toy joy. i am officially more jealous than i ever thought possible of those of you who are heading to sxsw next month. check it:

    Curry Bun: Made of flour dough outside and filled with onions, tofu, vegetable cooked in curry sauce. $2.50

    After eating and drinking my weight in vegan tacos, enchiladas and tequila, for my last meal in Austin, I decided to switch things up a bit.

    My friend and I spent the day in the UT campus area and after consulting the Compassion Over Killing Austin dining guide, opted to check out Veggie Heaven…

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  • February 4th, 2011quarrygirlkindkreme, LA restaurants

    we have been waiting for awhile, and the day is finally here! kindkreme, LA’s dairy-free ice cream parlor, is opening a second location in pasadena this weekend!

    i got a chance to scope out the new digs, and this place is even bigger and better than the original. here are some pix and things you can look forward to at the grand opening on february 5th…

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  • February 3rd, 2011quarrygirlproducts

    wow, some hardcore vegan sleuthing has gone down. we posted earlier this week on some shocking findings by mr. wishbone (you all remember him from operation pancake, right?) regarding some completely non-vegetarian gummy bears that were mislabeled as vegan at whole foods. after some digging, it appears that whole foods isn’t entirely to blame; the fault actually lies with the distributor. please read the original story here, and check out the following update from mr. wishbone:

    After reading the comment from “LE” on the gummy bear post, (“I just had some agave-sweetened gummy bears yesterday from Rainbow Acres. They had the exact same ingredients list. Sigh… should have known it was too good to be true.”), I thought that if the Rainbow Acres gummy bears were from the same manufacturer/distributor then the error in labeling might not be Whole Food’s fault at all.

    I went to Rainbow Acres and found two products: Agave Sweetened Gummy Bears and Vegan Agave Sweetened Fruit Slices. I spoke with the Greg at Rainbow Acres, and he was happy to provide me with their distributor’s name, telephone number and item numbers from their catalog. I asked Greg to remove the two products from his shelves until we could determine if the ingredient listings were correct. Rainbow Acres should be commended for their transparency and genuine desire to please their customers and do the right thing.

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  • January 25th, 2011quarrygirlvegan bakers

    there’s no shortage of vegan cookies here in los angeles, but i can say without a doubt that the oversized chocolate chip treats from mardy’s munchies are some of the best.

    the small neighborhood bakery based out of northeast LA was started about two years ago by montecito heights resident steve rossen, and his partner jana. while they only have one vegan item on the menu at the moment, it’s a damn good one and worth trying out…

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  • January 21st, 2011quarrygirlvegan bakers

    when brody’s bakery in kansas city contacted me and asked if i’d like to receive a shipment of their baked yummies, i was like, “HELL YES.” the all vegan and gluten-free company offers an insane selection of treats: donuts, brownies, cookies, bars, truffles…it’s madness! the online menu is so huge, i couldn’t even begin to decide what to order. i told brody’s i trusted their judgment and to hook me up with something good. …and boy, did they ever!

    i couldn’t even believe it when the massive box arrived, just overflowing with good stuffs. loads of rich, decadent baked goods that all happen to be vegan and gluten-free. WTF? how do they do it?

    Oatmeal Pies: Just like the ones from Little so-and-so, right down to the thick creamy middle, only bigger, better and yummier! 8 for $10

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  • January 19th, 2011quarrygirldoomie's, LA restaurants

    what happens when a skilled gourmet pastry chef gets access to the place that makes the best vegan home cookin’ known to man? fancy desserts at doomie’s!

    new orleans red velvet with buttercream frosting and whipping cream

    to contrast the fried oreos and ice cream they normally offer, doomie’s has enlisted the help of a super high class treat maker to design a dessert menu that will blow your mind. they were testing the menu this weekend and some people i know personally said the new goods are INCREDIBLE. check out the pix that doomie’s just posed to their facebook. all this stuff is available NOW.

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  • January 12th, 2011quarrygirlcarvel ice cream, LA restaurants

    this is just a heads up to let everyone know that the carvel ice cream in beverly hills makes make vegan versions of old school ice cream cakes, including the cookie puss! it’s seriously too good to be true…their cake page is insane, and they can all be veganized. i have never had a vegan ice cream cake, but i’m freaking dying to try one. all i need is 14 friends to help me eat it. :/

    this is a vegan classic cookie puss that carolyn from the healthy voyager got for her birthday. i’m totally jealous.

    vegan ice cream cakes are available from the beverly hills location only, so give them a call or send them an email to order your cake. they responded to my email almost immediately!

    carvel 90210
    421 N. Rodeo Dr.
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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  • January 7th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), philadelphia, vegan bakers

    it’s that time again…for a vegan field report! this is the third one to come to us from kris of veganscraps, and she blogs about an entirely vegan bakery called sweet freedom located in the uncharted (by quarrygirl) territory of philadelphia. damn, it looks good! i have added this to my list of places to hit up when i finally make it to philly for an epic weekend of eating and drinking with vegan brew. check it:

    Alas, I got to visit a bakery I’ve been wanting to for a while now! Sweet Freedom Bakery is located in the artsy city of Philadelphia and it is the city’s first bakery to bring a vegan healthy take on our favorite goodies! The items they offer are 100% Vegan as well as Gluten, Corn, Wheat, Peanut, and Soy free as well, while never using any Unrefined Sugars. Naturally I had to check it out while in Philly (it was my first stop from the train station!)…

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  • November 30th, 2010quarrygirlCobblermania, LA restaurants, vegan bakers

    hey everyone! time for a reader review by leigh about an awesome all vegan los angeles cobbler stand called cobblermania. i’ve never tried their food, but this place appears to be a bit of a moving target, operating everyday at the NE corner of la brea and venice…as well at various farmers markets including hollywood, mar vista, torrance, culver city, downtown LA, and san dimas. the best way to track these guys down/get their hours is to call (323) 316-4793. i called them at 8:30pm on a weeknight, and they picked up and were ready to answer any questions about their schedule. from the looks of this review, they are definitely worth checking out. i know i am gonna make it a point to visit them soon!

    Cobbler Mania is a cobbler stand on the NE side of the intersection between La Brea and Venice and it promises to be “So Good You’ll (Want To) Slap Somebody!”. They’re not out there every single day but they were today and were prominently displaying a tempting “$5.00 Cobbler Sale” sign…

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  • October 12th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    they are always thinking of great new offers over at native foods, and now they are introducing “native days”: a monthly celebration of the environment, animals, and good food.

    on october 12th and 13th (that’s today and tomorrow, people!) they will be giving away tons of freebies including FREE DESSERT and an exclusive DVD to customers. details after the jump!!


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  • September 2nd, 2010quarrygirlhugo's restaurant, LA restaurants

    september is a great month by any measure. fall (the best season ever) is upon us; it’s cooling down outside, and pretty leaves are starting to fall off the trees. the crazy summer is fading away, yet the cozy holidays are ahead. this september is particularly awesome though, because it marks the 30th birthday of hugo’s, one of our favorite restaurants. and to commemorate this occasion, they are offering a very unique specials menu which celebrates the food of the past, while looking forward to the food of the future. meaning: there are tons of old school, meat/dairy-heavy dishes, but EVERY ONE THIS MONTH CAN BE VEGANIZED! partaaaaaay!

    yesterday i was fortunate enough to try out 7 (yes, SEVEN) of these 10 brand new specials craftily created by chef nabor, and all i can say is…i know i will be a regular customer at hugo’s this month. these dishes need to be eaten several more times, by me, before october comes and they are no longer available.

    vegan pasta carbonara: house made pasta cooked with veggie bacon, house-dried smoked mushrooms, scallions, garlic, parsley, chili flakes, white wine and a vegan cream sauce. $13.50

    first up i tried the vegan pasta carbonara, an animal-free version of a hugo’s classic. the original comes with prosciutto, bacon, and parmesan cheese—while the new version is loaded with veggie bacon, house-dried smoked mushrooms and a vegan sauce made from sunflower seeds. my oh my, this dish blew me away. chef nabor’s secret recipe of homemade pasta, topped with all the goodness of meaty mushrooms, scallions, parsley and chili flakes was almost too much to handle. anyone who craves a hearty, creamy meal would be pleased by the vegan carbonara. i’m so thankful that hugo’s decided put a cruelty-free spin on this favorite dish. BTW the mushrooms are what make it; they are pure magic, i tell you!

    next up, i tried a veganized version of the “caprese potato pancake sandwich,” which came with sliced tofu rather than cheese.

    vegan tofu potato pancake sandwich: tofu, sliced heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and Kalamata olive relish between two crispy potato pancakes. $12

    i knew i would love this the moment it arrived at the table, and one of the hugo’s peeps quickly explained to me, “this is our vegan version of the double down.” brilliant! instead of being the grossest sandwich known to man, this little beauty took the healthy/vegan route, and was absolutely delicious! it came with two perfectly crispy potato pancakes serving as “bread”, with thick slabs of tofu and in-season heirloom tomatoes in the middle. not to mention fresh basil leaves, and chunky kalamata relish. to die for! and just LOOK at how beautifully crispy the potato cakes were… (i can assure you, they tasted even better!)

    by this time i was working up quite the thirst, so i quenched it with the september special basil ginger lemonade.

    basil ginger lemondade: fresh agave-sweetened lemonade blended with fresh basil and ginger. $3.25

    it was like sweet summertime in a glass, with hints of lemon, basil, and spicy ginger. extra refreshing and packed with a punch, this was one tasty beverage.

    onto the rest of the food, starting with the melanzane parmigiana (made vegan!)…

    melanzane parmigiana (veganized): layers of deep-fried crispy breaded eggplant, filled with tofu ricotta. topped with mushroom-vegetable bolognese sauce and daiya cheese. served with mashed potatoes and sauteed leafy greens. $13.50

    this meal by default comes sprinkled with real cheese but with one quick request to your waiter, you can get it daiya-style. it tastes like a very traditional scrumptious italian dish—layers and layers of rich, deep fried breaded eggplant atop eerily convincing tofu ricotta. it’s got the most amazing and luscious vegetable bolognese sauce as well; why anyone would get this almost entirely vegan dish with a dab of real cheese escapes me! the daiya tastes incredible, so be sure to specify vegan. it also comes with a side of hugo’s signature dairy-free mashed potatoes and sauteed leafy greens. perfection!

    the last entree i sampled was the “new age” version of hugo’s world-renowned pasta mama

    new age pasta mama: a vegan version of our signature classic represents our move toward plant-based recipes which better supports the health of the planet.: house-made pasta with scrambled organic tofu, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and Hugo’s seasoning blend $11

    the normal pasta mama is served on hugo’s a la carte breakfast menu, and features a mix of fresh pasta, scrambled eggs, garlic, parsley, and parmesan cheese. this new age version is even better, and comes with scrambled tofu, bread crumbs, and the same delicious herbs and spices.

    the soft crumbly tofu really does taste eggy (in a non-nasty way), and i was eating this stuff up like crazy. so, so, SOOOOOOOO good. this only re-affirms my belief that hugo’s can successfully veganize ANYTHING, and their best work is always on the specials menu…so be sure to order from that whenever possible.

    just as i was reaching a maximum fullness, i was offered a chance to try this month’s “trio of sweet delights”. after all the amazing tastes i described above, i just couldn’t say no. within seconds, chef nabor appeared at my table with an gourmet style dessert platter that was nothing short of stunning.

    a trio of vegan sweet delights: a slice of torte Setteveli - Chocolate cake with hazelnut frosting and Frangelico liqueur. Poached pear in Port and sweet Marsala wine. Crispy rice paper basket with sorbet. $10

    the trio of sweet delights was all kinds of fancy. this is the type of dessert i’d expect to see on an upper class tasting menu. i mean—torte setteveli, poached pear in port, and sorbet in a crispy rice paper–come on! (beware, you must specify you want this vegan, otherwise the sorbet component will contain animal products.) the best of the 3 desserts, OF COURSE, was the torte. we are talking a homemade mini slice of cake filled with chocolate, topped with hazelnut frosting and frangelico liqueur. i die!

    hugo’s has really outdone themselves this month with the specials, and i am so happy that every single one can be veganized. be sure to get over to the restaurant this september and check them out!

    hugos’ restaurant
    8401 Santa Monica Blvd.
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    (323) 654-3993
    12851 Riverside Drive
    Studio City, CA 91607
    (818) 761-8985

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  • June 16th, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, madeleine bistro

    I wish I lived closer to Madeleine Bistro (or, rather, I wish it would move closer to me).

    I’ve been known to find any excuse to be in Tarzana around brunch time on the weekends, so I can pop in and grab a donut, benedict, phillet-no-phish and a sumptuous dessert before going about my day. In fact, many people I know usually frequent Madeleine Bistro for the extensive and good value brunch menu (only served at weekends, but the lunch menu served during the week has many of the same items on it).

    This last weekend, I had occasion to celebrate a palindromic birthday and could think of no place I’d rather be than Madeleine Bistro for dinner. I teamed up with three other ravenously hungry people and we set about eating our way through the menu. After all, and statistically, I’m over 50% through my palindromic birthdays, so this was a night to celebrate.

    Hurling caution to the wind, we started out with some assorted small plates, salads and appetizers while we waited for the alcohol buzz of the organic lager and wine to settle in.

    Classic French onion soup, crouton, farmer's cheese. $7

    First-up was the “Classic French onion soup”: I’ve only ever had this type of dish once before in my life – in Paris (of all places) where I managed to find one with no meat stock in it. Well, Madeleine’s take on veganizing this dish is incredible. The soup is a hearty gathering of tangy onions and garlic in a rich sauce that one practically chews rather than sips. Sprinkles of “farmer’s cheese” on top made my day. If you’ve never had French onion soup, this is a must-have experience I can tell you.

    Classic mac 'n cheese, bacon bits. $13

    Next came the “Classic Mac ‘n’ Cheese”, a dead ringer for the non-vegan dish, but with a twist I’d never seen before: “bacon bits” that were made out of thinly sliced, crispy mushrooms. They went perfectly with the gooey cheese and chewy macaroni, leading me to rate this as one of the best vegan mac n cheeses I’ve ever eaten. And I’m something of a connoisseur by now, for sure.

    French lentil salad, chardonnay cheese, spring mix, green goddess dressing. $10

    We got a “French Lentil Salad” to share, which came with spring leaves and something called “Chardonnay Cheese”. Despite the fact that this dish looked like a phallus it was gone within seconds. I took some leaves, spicy lentils and cheese and ate them all together in one mouthfull, and without a doubt this was one of the highlights of the evening, and I’m not sure I’ve ever said that about a salad before!

    Porcini-crusted tofu scallops, shiitake-green bean ragout, carrot syrup. $13

    Continuing in the vein of small plates, we ordered the “Porcini-crusted Tofu Scallops” which were undoubtedly the most surprising dish of the night. We were treated to round, crispy tofu “scallops” in a very, rich mushroom sauce along with perfectly cooked vegetables. There were four people at the table, and we had one scallop each: left to me I’d have eaten all four and ordered another plate as well! They really were that interesting. Crispy on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside. This is right up there with the best of Executive Chef Dave Andrerson’s “how the hell do they do that?” dishes, along with the donut and souffle (of which more later).

    Red beet tartare, warm tofu cheese crouton, cucumber, balsamic glace. $13

    We also grabbed a “Beet Tartare”, which has to be one of the most astounding vegan dishes available anywhere in the world. I’ve known people travel to LA from the Bay Area and beyond, purely for a fix of this menu item. And I can see why. Cool, thinly sliced cukes, a warm fried cheese crouton topped with finely chopped red beets not only looks like a work of art, but it tastes like one too. There are few adjectives to describe this creation so, in common with the rest of the menu, I usually just advise you to get one into your life (and, by eating, out of it again real fast) as soon as you can.

    Chicken-fried seitan, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable medley. $13

    Surprisingly, we had room for entrees, so we ordered the “Chicken-fried seitan” for one of our guests who happened to be an omnivorous girl from The South (a tough customer for any dish with “fried” and “chicken” in its name, for sure). After eating the whole thing, she proclaimed “That might be the best Fried Chicken I’ve eaten outside of Dixie, y’all” (actually, I’m doing a caricature of what she said, but you get the idea. She liked it for sure).

    The "Bigger Macque" (two no beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese...) $11

    Although I love fine dining with nice wines and great company, a superb addition to the entrees at Madeleine’s is the “Bigger Macque”, and no matter what the occasion I always find an excuse to order one. This sandwich is a loosely based facsimile of the well known fast-food item, which has been served to billions and billions of poor bastards, but just better. In every way. You have to get one of these at some point in your life, just as I have to get one of these at some point in every visit to Madeleine’s.

    Phillet no phish (panko-crusted seitan, cheese, tartar sauce, whole wheat bun) $10

    As if by magic, the corollary to the above dish also arrived at the table: “The Philet no phish”, another cheeky take on crappy fast food, incredibly elevated to fine dining status. Yeah, I had a nibble of that too: crispy seitan, cheese and tartar sauce. Another amazing dish.

    Rustic mashed potatoes. $5

    Other things on the table at that point included a healthy portion of “Rustic Mashed Potatoes”, a perfectly cooked heap of creamy mash covered in gravy as well as a side of “Pan-roasted cauliflower”.

    Pan-roasted cauliflower. $6

    It’s safe to say that if I could make mashed potatoes or cauliflower this good, I’d probably never leave my house and would OD on the deadly cocktail of cauliflower and mash, when eaten by the ton.

    Lemon-rosemary seitan, cauliflower crepe. $13

    Our last entree of the night (we were getting pretty full by this time) was the intriguingly-named “Lemon-rosemary seitan, grilled asparagus crepe” which was like nothing I’d ever eaten before. Tangy, perfectly chewy seitan, was laid to rest on a fluffy crepe filled with creamy cauliflower. Let me tell you, the combination worked perfectly. The lemon and rosemary fired up one’s mouth, and the cool, creamy crepe rode in to save the day with a creamy after-texture and after-taste to die for.

    Shockingly, we found room for desert (I’m still not sure how, but Madeleine’s is one of those places I can go to, eat myself silly and feel perfectly content — never over-stuffed and certainly never needing more).

    classic cheesecake, raspberry coulis, whipped creme. $11

    We enjoyed our deserts dim-sum style, so we all had a bit of each just to prove how cosmopolitan we are. First-off was the “Classic Cheesecake”, another perfectly made dish sitting proudly on a delicious raspberry coulis with a tuft of whipped creme topping. I was told that the birthday candle was inedible — the only thing in the place I would not therefore eat.

    strawberry shortcake, almond cake, rhubabrb ice cream. $12

    I was delighted to also try the “Strawberry Shortcake”. It has strawberries. It is a cake, but this was not a short order — a huge brick of fluffy and spongy cake arrived and was consumed before our attentive server got back to the kitchen to bring our next dessert item: “Bananas Foster Split”, a tremendous triumvirate of bananas, hot fudge and whipped cream, with an order of ice cream and chocolate sauce thrown in for good measure. Another amazing dessert, another plate emptied to shining within seconds.

    Banana foster split, hot fudge, whipped creme. $10

    Finally, my favorite desert – not only of the evening, but of all time – arrived from the kitchen like an angel from a heaven: “Chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream”. I tell you, this dish knows how to make an entrance! There are two ramekins, one containing stone cold ice cream, and the other containing a crispy-crusted chocolate souffle with gooey chocolate sauce inside. Just eat a bite of chocolate (which is oven-hot) with a bite of ice cream, and your mouth will thank you for an eternity.

    chocolate souffle, vanilla ice creme. $12

    I’m remembering my last birthday with such fondness: A three course meal, book-ended with the heretofore unattainable French Onion Soup, and rounded off with a another uniquely French creation: Chocolate Souffle is an experience to savor for a long time. As I know I and my guests also will.

    Executive Chef Dave Anderson’s creations are at the arc of vegan cuisine, second to none and lovingly prepared and served. Whatever your occasion to dine out — or even if you don’t have an occasion — you really must try Madeleine Bistro if you’ve not been yet. For a quick and informal time, show up for the weekend brunch and dine on scrambles, doughnuts or the Bigger Macque. For a family occasion or intimate dinner, make some reservations and dine away the evening with one of the best menus on this good earth, superb service and an atmosphere that only a family owned and run restaurant can deliver.

    See you there!

    Madeleine Bistro
    18621 Ventura Blvd
    Tarzana, CA 91356
    (818) 758-6971

    Hours of Operation

    Wednesday through Thursday
    Lunch: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
    Dinner: 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm

    Lunch: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
    Dinner: 5:00pm – 10:00pm

    Brunch: 10:00am – 3:00pm
    Dinner: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

    Brunch: 10:00am – 3:00pm
    Dinner: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

    closed Monday & Tuesday

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  • April 11th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, millions of milkshakes

    update 2/11: we’ve heard that millions of milkshakes no longer offers vegan shakes. 🙁 they now have some kind of milk alternative shake, but it isn’t vegan. sad, sad, sad.

    FINALLY, millions of milkshakes in weho has legitimate vegan milkshakes, and they are INSANELY DELICIOUS!!!!!!

    vegan milkshake with temptation ice cream by chicago soy dairy and oreo cookies.

    as of this week, millions has started serving up completely animal-free shakes made with none other than chicago soy dairy’s incredible temptation ice cream. i stopped in recently for a vegan chocolate/oreo cookie shake, and my mind was officially blown. i was drinking this shit up like daniel plainview, and you could not stop me. it was thick, rich, sugary, and creamy as can be—absolutely heavenly.

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  • March 20th, 2010quarrygirllas vegas, more restaurants (not LA)

    well it has been a while since our last vegan field report from red velvet in las vegas, but i am happy to report that our operative is back in sin city and has even more delicious food to share with us.

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  • February 5th, 2010quarrygirlproducts, vegan bakers

    last week we brought you the news of frozen cookie dough by luscious organic desserts, and today we want to let know about another one of their brand new products: frozen brownie batter.

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