• November 30th, 2009quarrygirlfrysmith, LA restaurants

    vegan chili fries from frysmith at verdugo bar

    as you probably know, there is a massive food truck craze sweeping los angeles. mobile vendors are popping up all over the place to sell pretty much every type of cuisine and using twitter to broadcast their location. the latest business to join the club is frysmith, a twittering food truck that specializes in gourmet french fries. frysmith loads fancy kennebec potatoes cooked in canola oil up with various toppings to turn the popular side dish into a complete meal. and the best thing about frysmith is, they have vegan options!

    frysmith menu

    over the weekend, frysmith was doing a stint at the verdugo bar in glassel park during their saturday afternoon patio session. the verdugo is one of our favorite spots to drink in LA, and also where we tried the awesome food of hot knives and mandoline grill, so naturally we had to go check it out.

    trying to get the truck into the lot

    trying to get the truck into the lot

    like many food trucks that are just starting out, frysmith is still ironing out a few kinks. they were supposed to start serving at 3pm, but had some problems getting their truck into the verdugo parking lot and so the food didn’t start coming out until around 4. that’s alright though, the verdugo had a great beer selection to help pass the time as well as board games and good music.

    vegan chili fries: organic tomato and mixed beans with soy chorizo and smoked paprika. $4.50

    vegan chili fries: organic tomato and mixed beans with soy chorizo and smoked paprika. $4.50

    when frysmith started serving, we got an order of vegan chili fries which were absolutely delicious. the long thin potato slices were perfectly crisp and crunchy, piled high with tomatoes, beans, soy meat and chopped onions. the portion was hearty and a great deal at under 5 bucks. i really think the frysmith is onto something because i could eat this as a meal everyday.

    if you like vegan junk food, i highly suggest you get your ass out to the frysmith and taste what they’ve got cooking. they make the best vegan chili fries i’ve ever eaten. now if only they would carry some cheddar daiya to sprinkle on top…then they’d be perfect.

    follow frysmith on twitter to find out where they’ll be next.


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  • September 1st, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, mandoline grill, vegan stuff

    just when i thought it was safe to return to the verdugo bar to get my drink on, without tempting vegan food vying for valuable stomach space, mandoline grill had to show up and ruin it.


    you see, verdugo bar has long been a favorite spot of ours, what with arguably the best beer selection in los angeles and a great atmosphere. but for the 2nd and 3rd sunday in august, the culinary geniuses known as hot knives took over the verdugo patio and transformed the place from an dark and cold foodless bar into the ultimate summer hang-out, complete with an all vegan menu, tons of board games, and a stellar music playlist. after two weekends of fun, the hot knives packed up their bags and i figured that for me the verdugo was back to normal—back to being a bar where beer reigned supreme without distraction.

    then mandoline grill had to come along and prove me wrong. last sunday the soon-to-be regularly operating vietnamese food truck set up shop on the patio and served a delicious lunch in the heat. while their menu wasn’t entirely vegan, they did have some animal-free options that were really fucking tasty.

    vegan lemongrass tofu banh mi. $5

    vegan lemongrass tofu banh mi. $5

    the first was a lemongrass tofu banh mi. i am a pretty big banh mi fan in general anyway, and i can tell you that this was a really good one. the tofu tasted like it had been marinated for a long time, its flavors were intense and went all the way to the middle. the vegetables were fresh, and the french baguette was perfectly crunchy. plus, mandoline grill added a healthy amount of vegenaise to make the sandwich nice and creamy.

    vegan cha gio. $3.50

    vegan cha gio. $3.50

    they also offered vegan cha gio, fried spring rolls filled with faux meat. the rolls were pretty hearty and cost $2 each, or 2 for $3.50…definitely a decent price. the cha gio was rich, oily, and really delicious—it tasted like what i remember egg rolls tasting like but without the weird aftertaste. i would definitely order these little suckers again.


    i’m pretty sure this was the mandoline grill’s first time serving food to the public, so they seemed a little stressed out and there were a couple delays. however, what they lacked in smoothness, they made up for with absolutely delicious vegan food. another great thing about mandoline grill is that they were pretty knowledgeable about veganism. they stressed to me that even the bread was vegan, and that everything was cooked separately and with different utensils. awesome. i can’t wait until they get there food truck up and running—i know i’ll be one of the first customers in line.


    so let’s hope the verdugo continues to be awesome and host patio events that serve vegan food. it’s strange that my favorite bar in town is slowly becoming one of my favorite places to eat as well, but hey i’m not complaining.

    for more info, follow @verdugobar and @mandolinegrill on twitter

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