• November 19th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), philadelphia

    hey everyone, today we’ve got a field report by my good friend kevin mudrick all about the newly opened vedge restaurant in philly. the upscale establishment is all vegan and offers the kind of fine dining that makes me wanna take a trip east just to eat there. for more kevin, check out vegan brew.

    From the outside – a short block and a half from the walnut-locust subway stop. Didn’t really get any interior shots but the place is beautiful – lots of very nice wood on the walls, etc. The bar is magnificent and fancy-looking.

    The menu. Lots of small plates so you get varying tastes. Between the two of us we got 1 from the dirt list (roasted sunchokes with smoked paprika aoil), 3 “plates” (grilled seitan, steak spice seared tofu, and the wood grilled maitake), 2 “for the table” (truffled fingerling fries and crispy cauliflower), and 2 desserts (trio of ice cream & choco taco)

    The beer list is much improved over the old Horizons. Nice mix of local & belgian stuff – Rochefort 8 for instance is arguably one of the best belgian strong dark ales in the world! We chose to skip alcohol tonight as the Philly Marathon is this weekend. I didn’t take a picture of the “drinks” because I don’t really care about them.

    Complimentary bread & spicy olive oil with a pesto. Good, though I wish the bread was warm.

    Below is ruffled fingerling fries on top (good) and roasted cauliflower, kimchee cream, black vinegar on the bottom (phenomenal – one of the best appetizers I have ever had)…

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  • October 27th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    stop what you’re doing, check your calender, and schedule some time quality to eat at seed bistro. the west LA restaurant is brought to us by the folks who opened seed kitchen in venice—vegan chef eric lechasseur and his wife, macrobiotic counselor sanae suzuki. unlike the casual beach cafe though, seed bistro is a classy joint; and at barely two months old, it’s already arguably the city’s best vegan restaurant.

    seed bistro is the first restaurant in LA proper to serve a varied menu of exceptional vegan organic food along with alcohol in an elegant atmosphere. with its moody lights and sleek ambiance, it reminds me of my favorite fancy vegan restaurants in NYC (think candle 79, blossom, or franchia). food wise, there’s something for everyone on the dinner menu—from “meat” and potatoes, to salads and sushi, to raw items and a four or six course tasting menu prepared by chef eric for $45 and $60 respectively. the restaurant is also open for lunch during the week, and serves casual fare such as burgers, bento boxes, and salads.

    we hit up seed bistro recently for the six course tasting menu, and it was a meal i’ll remember forever. we opted to sit in the bar area, which has limited seating, and watched eric prepare everything while he chatted with us the whole time. so what did we eat? tons! check it out:

    course one: cucumber jicama roll (raw), coconut shooter with turmeric, kelp noodles and butternut squash (raw), paella ball with romesco sauce.

    course one was a trio of light dishes including a sushi roll, a coconut “shooter”, and a paella ball. i started with the roll and worked my way left across the plate. the raw sushi was outstanding—shreds of jicama acting as rice mixed with avocado and carrot, with paper-thin sheets of curled cucumber holding it all together. the shooter was equally as impressive: a raw blend of coconut turmeric soup, avocado, squash, and kelp noodles…a smaller version of a raw entree available on seed’s menu. i finished the plate off with two bites of paella ball, a delicious fried mound of rice with a mild and creamy romesco sauce.

    course two: roasted farmers market beets with grapefruit and avocado.

    course two was a small plate from seed bistro’s a la carte menu: roasted beets with avocado and grapefruit. this dish embodied seed’s style: “back to basics” cuisine made with top notch ingredients and prepared extremely well. the flavors really popped, and my husband and i both agreed that we hadn’t had a salad this good in ages.

    course three: grilled trumpet mushroom, forked mashed potatoes, grain mustard sauce.

    course three was a contender for my favorite of the night (though i can say that about two other courses as well!). thick meaty trumpet mushrooms were perched atop fluffy fork mashed potatoes, topped with field greens and garnished with grain mustard. un-fuckin-believable. the mushrooms were fat and juicy, and the potatoes were rich and perfectly seasoned. this course was epic—i couldn’t believe i was only half way through…

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  • September 12th, 2011quarrygirlfatty's & co, LA restaurants

    this is such great news! fatty’s, one of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in LA, is officially re-opening thursday evening after a 9 month hiatus. we are so freaking stoked. the restaurant sent us sneak peek of their new menu, which we’ve posted below, and it includes many of our old favorite dishes as well as loads of new vegan options. in fact, fatty’s has shifted its focus from being a vegetarian restaurant with vegan options to having a mostly vegan menu with a few dairy options. how rad is that?!

    if you haven’t been to fatty’s yet, trust me: get over to eagle rock and treat yourself. it’s one of the very few nice/fancy/gourmet/classy joints to get a vegan meal in los angeles, and the food is positively stunning.

    paella: Trumpet, oyster and shitaki mushrooms, wild rice, corn, hearts of palm, heirloom tomatoes, olives and sweet peas with saffron. $18

    official word from fatty’s and a peek at the menu after the jump…

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  • August 27th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    best news ever! next week LA proper is finally getting it’s very own upscale vegan restaurant: seed bistro. the brainchild of chef eric lechasseur, seed will focus on gourmet and macrobiotic cuisine, with many gluten-free, raw, and sugar-free items. healthy fancy food that tastes delicious? yes, please!

    photo via seed bistro's facebook page

    seed bistro is set to open on monday at 5:30pm, here’s a peek at the menu and how to make a reservation…

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  • August 24th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, xiv

    this is very bad news for LA vegans who like to class it up. XIV, the home of uber fancy vegan-friendly tasting menus, has shuttered according to eaterLA.

    RIP: pine nut terrine. cranberry, cardamom, flatbread. $8 (one of the finest dishes in my blogging memory!)

    while we only ate there a couple of times, XIV was THE place in los angeles to get cushy vegan food. it offered special occasion perks like no strictly vegan restaurant can or does—creative cocktails, celebrity customers, and overpriced extravagance.

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  • August 18th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    oh man, i really wish i was eligible to win my own contests! LA’s newest upscale vegan restaurant, seed bistro, is giving away a dinner for 2 at chef eric’s tasting table to one lucky quarrygirl commenter.

    the prize includes a six course dinner prepared by chef eric on seed bistro’s opening night—monday, august 29th at 8pm. the value of the dinner is $60 per person, but seed will comp the winners up to $75 per person to include alcohol. that’s a $150 value! epic! please note that gratuity is not included…so if you win, tip and tip well.

    the chef’s tasting table is a “sushi bar-esque” raised counter that only has room for 6 guests at any given time, so to occupy 1/3 of it on opening night would be quite an honor!

    here’s how to enter…

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  • August 16th, 2011quarrygirlfatty's & co, LA restaurants

    it looks like i’m a little bit late to the game on this one, but apparently there’s a weekend pop up event going down at the shuttered fatty’s in eagle rock for the rest of the month! “charlie puffer at fatty’s” takes place on friday, saturday, and sunday evenings through august and features fancy cuisine and wine pairings by chef jonathan harootunian.

    photo credit: charlie puffer’s posterous

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  • August 7th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    this is such exciting news! los angeles has been in desperate need of a fancy vegan restaurant, and it looks like we’re finally getting one! this month chef eric lechasseur (the same dude who brought us seed kitchen in venice) is set to open seed bistro on wilshire.

    from the looks of the press release, this new restaurant is going to be amazing.

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  • June 29th, 2011quarrygirlvegan events

    this is the moment i’ve been waiting for…finally, a vegan secret supper club in los angeles! “a moveable feast” is a limited seating, gourmet, underground dinner series created by kim garr of c’est la vegan/c’est la v bakeshop and alix bannon of cute and delicious/vegan bake sale that takes place once a month at a secret location. they implement a “pay what you want” policy, with the suggested amount being between $75-$125. for that you get a stunning 5 course meal along with a signature cocktail (non-alcoholic version available) in an intimate speakeasy setting. their next dinner, which will feature mediterranean cuisine, is scheduled for july 9th at 7pm somewhere in studio city. you can make reservations via email, but there are only 6 spaces available, so act fast!

    i was lucky enough to attend the inaugural movable feast last month, and i can honestly say it was one of the finest meals i’ve ever eaten. six guests gathered around a long dining table, made friendly conversation, and enjoyed course after course of incredible vegan food for over three hours. here’s a look at what we ate. special thanks to little vegan planet…who took all the amazing photos in this post, except the one of the lemonade!

    homemade lemonade, served alcoholic or non

    upon arrival, guests were served a glass of homemade lemonade with or without alcohol. i ordered mine sans the booze, and it was absolutely lovely. cool and refreshing, perfect for a warm evening.

    course #1: home baked bread served with mushroom lentil pate, vegan goat cheese and artichoke pesto

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  • May 31st, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, madeleine bistro

    there’s never a dull moment in the madeleine bistro saga!

    last week we were mourning the closure of LA’s high brow vegan restaurant, and now just days later it appears as though they’re already planning an “encore weekend”.

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  • May 24th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, madeleine bistro

    saturday was a big day. it was not only the mr.’s birthday, but it was supposed to be the day of the rapture (what a jip that turned out to be!), and most importantly it was the day before the closing of our favorite restaurant…madeleine bistro. of course we made it a point to eat there. after all, it may have been our last meal on the planet (what a way to go!), plus madeleine offered the kind of fancy food befitting of a birthday celebration, and we wanted to dine there one last time. now it’s all gone, and it pains me to write this post!

    naturally we went nuts with appetizers, sides, entrees, and a double serving of dessert. i couldn’t move after the meal, but man, the deliciousness was so worth the pain of over-eating. though the restaurant is now closed, i thought i’d torture you with photos of our incredible last supper. everything was beyond epic, so i’ll just let the pictures do the talking…

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  • May 17th, 2011quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    manna in london really does offer vegan fine dining at its best. located at the end of a quiet street in primrose hill, the small restaurant boasts elegant surroundings, friendly service, and absolutely exceptional food. it’s the perfect spot for a romantic evening or a slap up sunday roast, just be sure to arrive with a full wallet and an empty stomach.

    homemade organic bread and hummus: a selection of breads fresh from our kitchen daily with extra virgin olive oil and homemade hummus. ₤5

    we hit up manna in february when we visited the UK, and as usual, we started with a basket of bread. it sounds simple enough, but this dish is phenomenal. soft warm dough straight from the oven to our table, served with a pot of cool chunky hummus. the perfect beginning to a perfect meal.

    organic bangers and mash: organic fennel and pumpkin seed sausages on a bed of parsnip & carrot mash served with cavalo nero on a red wine, leek & thyme jus topped with our onion rings. ₤14

    though we’ve been to manna several times and we love to try new things, we NEVER stray from the bangers and mash. we order these without fail on every visit to share, because they are so damn irresistible. the plate comes with a huge mound of fluffy whipped parsnips and carrots, topped with seasoned greens, seed-based vegan sausages, and two massive battered onion rings, all in a red wine sauce. the sausages and onion rings especially are just unbelievable—like a fancy gourmet vegan version of junk food. i would kill to have this meal available in los angeles.

    build your own meal (choice of any 4 sides): crispy marinated tofu, sauteed seasonal greens & garlic, grain of the day, bean of the day ₤14

    we also split the “build your own meal” combo, which comes with the choice of any four side dishes arranged on a plate.

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  • April 13th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), san diego, vegan events

    good god, somebody pinch me because this cannot be real. stone, one one of our favorite breweries on earth, is hosting their first ENTIRELY VEGAN BEER PAIRING DINNER next month at their world class restaurant in escondido.

    we’ve already raved about stone world bistro and gardens a couple times on this blog. in fact we love the restaurant at their brewery so much, it’s where we spent our five year wedding anniversary. when i heard stone would be holding an entirely vegan dinner with four courses and beer for just $49, i couldn’t believe it.

    here’s how stone describes the evening…

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  • February 21st, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, the bazaar

    UPDATE 6/27/2011: i just received an email from a second reader saying the fritters contain egg. stay away from them! the good news is, supposedly the bazaar has introduced a separate vegan menu. i can’t find it online, so it must be pretty new. so awesome!

    UPDATE 4/9/2011: since posting this, someone has commented saying the fritters contain egg. i followed up and called the restaurant, and was told again (just as i was by my server) that the fritters are vegan. maybe bazaar has changed their policy, so be sure to ask. and as always, eat at your own risk!

    this is a blog post for all you high rollin’ herbivores out there. we all know we can have our casual fast food, our greasy pub grub, and even epic tasting menus occasionally at exclusively vegan restaurants. but can we eat at ultra posh hang outs with artsy decor where celebrity chefs serve up unique cuisine? thanks to the bazaar by jose andres at SLS hotel, we certainly can.

    if you want a truly fancy los angeles experience that is vegan-friendly, but not specifically “vegan” (let’s face it: vegan restaurants aren’t known for their atmosphere), the bazaar is your place. you will have to get to know the wait staff and ask for things made to animal-free specifications, but i assure you that you can absolutely get a great meal at the sls hotel’s fancy restaurant. i hit up the bazaar recently with my friend jackie from alternative outfitters, and we had quite an awesome meal. i even saw kate beckinsale in the bathroom!

    jalé berry: fresh blackberries, gin, cointreau and a slice of jalapeño. $16

    first up, drinks. being at such a fancy restaurant, we couldn’t pass up the chance to indulge in some specialty cocktails. we both ordered the “jalé berry” which consisted of fresh blackberries, gin, cointreau, and jalapeno. the perfect mix of sweet and spicy, this drink was delicious.

    olives: modern and traditional. $10

    next, we went about ordering tons of food. the style at this restaurant is small shared plates, so everything you see pictured was split between 2 people. the bazaar has loads vegetable dishes, many of which are vegan, but i’d still recommend you ask about each one specifically. even though our waiter was very knowledgeable about veganism and willing to accommodate us, we did wind up with accidental dairy on our table at one point…so always double check. i’d even suggest letting them know you’re vegan when you book your reservation.

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  • February 18th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, madeleine bistro, vegan events

    it’s no secret that i’ve eaten vegan food from all over the world. from paris to london, manhattan to fort lauderdale, san francisco to los angeles—i’ve sampled the fine restaurants that numerous different cities have to offer. and after stuffing my face full of just about every type of vegan cuisine, one establishment continues to stand out as my absolute favorite: madeleine bistro.

    earlier this week while most people were celebrating romance and valentine’s day (pffffft), i was celebrating nothing more than the fact that madeleine bistro was offering a seven course chef’s tasting menu. ever since experiencing the insanity of chef dave’s multi-course new year’s eve dinner just over a year ago, i have been dreaming of returning to madeleine bistro for another special holiday meal. i went there this valentine’s day with the absolute highest expectations, yet they were still somehow exceeded. i’m not exaggerating when i say that in my 26 years on the planet, this was the best meal i’ve had yet. just have a look…

    lapsang souchong-cured portabella gravlax: house-made pretzel bagel, pine nut creme cheese, braised potato salad

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