• April 12th, 2011quarrygirldelivery

    sometimes it’s hard to be a vegan. no, not the “i’m a celebrity and i can’t find vegan cookies so i’m gonna start eating eggs” kind of hard, i’m talking about the “i’m stranded at my 9 to 5 and i’m too busy to take a lunch break” kind of hard. you know how it is—it’s a hellacious week, you’ve got no time to dine out, and you’ve eaten every last bag of pretzels from the office kitchen. enter bling bling dumpling.

    the small los angeles based catering company delivers handmade dumplings full of local, organic ingredients straight to your home or office.

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  • March 21st, 2009quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    for vegans who find themselves in london on the hunt for a quick meal, i highly recommend popping into one of the many itsu shops located around the city. itsu offers japanese-style light fare including sushi, soups and salads that as they say on their website is “full of goodness & won’t make you fat.”

    while the menu at itsu has a lot of icky fish on it, they do have some great vegan options that are a welcome break from all the heavy chips and curry i’m used to consuming while in the uk. we always make sure to hit up itsu at least once when in london for their delicious dumpling soup…we even like it so much, we figured out how to make it at home here in los angeles.

    itsu dynamite vegetable dumplings with miso broth. £4.95

    itsu dynamite vegetable dumplings with miso broth. £4.95

    when ordering the dumpling soup off the menu, be sure to specify that you want it with miso broth. the miso broth is vegan, while some of the other soups at itsu contain bonito (fish). although you can’t see them in the picture, the vegetable dumpling soup comes packed with fresh vegetables including spinach, mushrooms and bean sprouts, all atop a big pile of fat udon noodles and stacked with plump and juicy vegetable dumplings and crunchy seeds. everything that’s shoved into this soup is fresh and amazing, my only tip would be to eat the dumplings first because if they get too soggy they start to disintegrate. this stuff is so bloody yummy, it will have you wondering why you haven’t been eating it every day for years. seriously, so simple and so good.


    in addition to a really stellar vegan soup option (don’t forget to specify that you want vegan miso broth!), itsu offers a damn good salad.

    hip & healthy: avocado, itsu salad, tenderstem broccoli, itsu rice with chives, soy pumpkin seeds, beetroot angel hair and shallot dressing. £4.25

    hip & healthy: avocado, itsu salad, tenderstem broccoli, itsu rice with chives, soy pumpkin seeds, beetroot angel hair and shallot dressing. £4.25

    the hip and healthy is packed delicate leaves, perfectly prepared vegetables, hearty seeds and even fluffy white rice. it’s seriously a produce lover’s dream…all so fresh and tasty. while the vegetable dumpling soup with miso broth is by far the best thing i’ve ever tried at itsu, the hip and healthy salad is a perfect choice if you don’t want to stagger out with half a gallon of liquid in your belly.

    to sum it up, itsu is a great choice if you are looking for a nourishing and tasty vegan meal in london. it’s one of our regular uk haunts, and i always feel energized and guilt-free, even after eating a ton. the japanese have got the healthy and simple food down. eating this food will make you feel so good, you won’t even miss the fried and greasy chips or oil-filled indian food.


    one thing to look out for, if you are eating in and not getting your food to go…be sure to hit up one of itsu’s SHOP locations, not one of the RESTAURANTS. the shops are quick with a vegan-friendly menu and have cute little booths to eat at. the restaurants are larger and offer a mainly fish menu, with the soups and salads only available for takeaway. basically don’t bother with the restaurants. check out the itsu website for all the shop locations…they are seriously scattered all over london. the pix in this post are all from the piccadilly shop. address and hours below.


    so hit up itsu! because as they say, “you can eat lots without guilt, sorrow, and pain”! woo!

    167 Piccadilly
    London W1J 9EG
    T: 020 7495 4048
    F: 020 7495 4645
    Mon to Fri: 10am – 8pm
    Sat & Sun: 12pm – 5pm

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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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  • April 17th, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), recipes, soups, vegan stuff

    every time i go to the uk, i try new and wonderful food that i wish i could take back home to los angeles. well guess what? turns out i can!

    spicy dumpling noodles (the quarrygirl version): steamed vegetable gyoza, asian vegetables, udon noodles, and miso broth

    on a recent trip to london, i felt so out of my element. i was wandering the streets looking for any one of the vegan restaurants i’d so carefully researched online…none of which i was finding. to make matters worse, i was with my ex-vegetarian (now vegan) english husband who was kindly patronizing me as i promised to show him all the “vegan friendly” restaurants i’d bragged about finding in his hometown that he’d failed to notice, because he must have been blind!

    2 hours later…no vegan restaurants. he’s late for a meeting…and his stupid american-girl-of-a-wife, who doesn’t even know from which direction the traffic will be crossing, is aimlessly pulling him around the west end looking for a restaurant that understands the difference between vegan (vg) and vegetarian (vo). disaster.

    15 minutes left before the lunch window slams shut and my husband has take off, we happen across a little shop called itsu on regent street, and he convinces me to give it a try. completely pwned, i agree, and follow him in and try to make the best of the situation.

    and boy am i glad i did!

    recipe after the jump…

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