• October 18th, 2011quarrygirldoomie's, LA restaurants

    *for an explanation on the secret menu, scroll to the bottom of the post.

    oh god doomie’s, are you trying to kill me? i stopped in the other day and inquired about their current “secret menu*” (something ALWAYS worth doing when dining there), and they pointed me towards a brand new vegan big mac. i can say without hesitation that this was the most gigantic, delicious, ridiculous burger i’ve ever eaten. nothing else comes close. if you’re feeling like having a healthy, light-eating day, stay away from this thing. if you want the a vegan burger that you’ll remember for years to come, proceed.

    vegan big mac with fries. $10.95

    this thing was what a real big mac should look like (massive, not smashed the way fast food always is), except it was 100% vegan. two huge beefy patties, tons of melty vegan cheese (look at it in the bottom left of the picture!), creamy special sauce, lettuce, onion, (i got mine w/o pickles), double bread, and a sesame seed bun. we all know how much i love doomie’s, but they’ve really outdone themselves this time. get over there and beg them to let you try it.

    but wait, there’s more…

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  • August 3rd, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    while mohawk bend is definitely my new favorite place to eat and drink in LA, we can’t forget about my old favorite place to eat and drink in LA: tony’s darts away. the casual burbank bar has a giant tap list of california beers and the best vegan pub grub i’ve ever tasted.

    i hit up tony’s last night with a couple of hungry omnivores, and we all chowed down on a massive amount of vegan snacks. in addition to an impressive menu of sausages, salads and fried foods, tony’s is known for its rotating specials. crazy stuff like vegan mozzarella sticks, wheatloaf sliders, and sunflower po boys never stick around for very long. yesterday tony’s had fried pickle chips on the menu and we just had to split an order.

    cornmeal crusted pickle chips with vegan aioli $5

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  • October 14th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    oh god, i love NYC. it’s freaking vegan paradise, lemme tell you. i have that happycow app on my iphone…you know, vegout? it’s this cool little thing you fire up and no matter where you are, it uses GPS to tell you which vegan-friendly restaurants are nearby. in LA, it usually results in a few pages of restaurants, depending on where you are in the city. in manhattan though, the app almost crashes…there are SO MANY VEGAN OPTIONS. it’s crazy. there are more vegetarian places per square foot in nyc than anywhere i’ve ever visited. anyways, this post isn’t supposed to be a vegan love letter to NYC…i am here to talk about kate’s joint!

    kate’s is an all vegetarian spot that our friends have been recommending to us for quite awhile. i’d heard nothing but good things about the restaurant, so when they showed up on the vegout app as “less than a mile away” while we were drinking in the east village, i knew it was gonna happen.

    lemme preface: kate’s has an enormous menu, but it feels more like a bar than a restaurant. they’ve got tap beer, cocktails, and a huge bar lined with stools in the main area; dining tables are lined up along the windows. this actually got me pretty excited, because i love bars much more than real restaurants. so the fact that i can think of this place as a bar with an all vegetarian menu makes me love it even more.

    we hit up kate’s on a friday at around 5pm, and it was pretty slow. i had heard they made vegan white russians (my favorite drink ever), so i ordered one right away. the waitress had no idea what i was talking about, but she went to check with the bar and immediately came back with one. SCORE! it was so good.

    vegan disco fries: covered with mama's vegan gravy and daiya cheese. $6.25

    next up, we decided to order some appetizers. we started with the decadent “disco fries,” another legend i have been hearing about from several peeps. disco fries are ridiculous: french fries topped with GRAVY AND CHEESE. WTF, why didn’t i think of this?!?! these have been at kate’s forever, but are only recently vegan-friendly. not long ago, kate switched from a casein-containing soy cheese to daiya! thank goodness, because why would a VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT have a real cheese option, AS WELL AS a non-vegan cheese option?  that makes no sense. anyways, the disco fries are available vegan now and they are amazing. by far the best thing i tried at kate’s.

    hummus rolls filled with spinach, roasted garlic, tomatoes, tahini and lemon. $6.95

    after that deep-fried, cheesy, creamy starter, we were in the mood for something lighter and shared the hummus rolls. these babies were basically little tortilla pockets filled with hummus and vegetables including spinach, garlic, and tomato. nothing earth-shattering, but damn good.

    vegan un-turkey club: un-turkey, fakin bacon, lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo. $9.95

    we had such honorable intentions of ordering like 5 entrees from kate’s, but after the two appetizers, we could only manage to share one main course. we went with the un-turkey club, another popular item that we’d heard people rave about. the club was delicious, but IMO we have better clubs here in LA. what took this sandwich over the edge was the side of mashed potatoes, served with kate’s deadly homemade gravy (the same stuff that was on the fries). it was phenomenal.

    next time i go to kate’s, i am gonna starve myself in advance and arrive completely sober. the menu is way too drool-worthy, and the drink selection is too tempting. to say that we have unfinished business with kate’s would be an understatement.

    kate’s joint
    #58 Avenue B, New York NY 10009
    (At 4th St)
    (212) 777-7059

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  • July 11th, 2010brittanyfrysmith, LA restaurants

    a couple weeks ago the frysmith (or as i call them, ‘frysmiff’) parked their glorious tank of vegetable oil up the street from the building i work in. i love the frysmith, i really do, but the portion size of an order of fries is huge and i can’t handle all of that deep-fried goodness without feeling 1) a little gross and 2) a little guilty. SO i was really excited when they had “potacos” as a special.

    potacos at frysmith

    what is a potaco? it’s a tacos with fries as the filling. DUH. fucking GENIUS!

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • January 29th, 2010quarrygirldesert rose, LA restaurants

    do you like to eat vegan food? do you like to drink alcohol? if you answered yes to either of those questions, then you will love desert rose.

    vegan garlic and daiya cheese fries with fat tire beer

    conveniently located on hillhurst and prospect in los feliz, desert rose definitely meets upscale bar standards….but also boasts an impressive vegan menu and a huge selection of tap beer. with dim lighting, dark wood finished furniture, and a sweeping patio, desert rose is the perfect place to spend a casual evening or a romantic special occasion. it’s elegant, comfortable, and casual all at the same time.

    when you are seated be sure to ask your server for a vegan menu, and they’ll bring out a completely separate list of animal-free appetizers and entrees. i have tried a number of things on desert rose’s vegan menu (wraps, hummus plates, paninis), but i keep going back to the garlic cheese fries.

    garlic "cheese" fries. $7

    they’re long, thin, and crispy—coated in the perfect amount of oily garlic sauce and daiya mozzarella. seriously, these are some of my favorite fries in town…and i think they may be the only vegan garlic cheese fries available in LA. they put on just the right amount of daiya too, so the fries have a very cheesy flavor but aren’t overloaded with a gooey texture.

    the beer selection at desert rose is pretty decent too, with lots of vegan brews on tap to choose from. they’ve got erdinger, fat tire, and chimay to name a few…and during happy hour most beers are only 3 bucks.

    so hit up desert rose in los feliz next time you want to have a relaxing drinking session with tons of good vegan food. it really is the best and most vegan-friendly bar in los angeles.

    desert rose
    1700 Hillhurst Ave
    Los Feliz, CA 90027
    (323) 666-1166

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  • January 26th, 2010quarrygirlhugo's restaurant, LA restaurants

    one of our favorite vegan-friendly places in town, hugo’s restaurant is adding some really interesting stuff to their menu this week…including vegan french fries! YAY! finally! they will roll out the new changes tomorrow in studio city, followed by west hollywood on thursday, and i couldn’t be more excited. i went for a tasting of some of the new items that hugo’s has in store, and let me tell you, it was all AMAZING.

    vegan chili cheese fries

    one of the new vegan dishes you’ll be able to order is a massive whopping plate of animal-free chili cheese fries. on the menu it’s called “black bean chili: your way,” and you basically get a delicious homemade mixture bean and vegetable chili along with the option of vegan cheese atop your choice of carb or vegetable. put it on top of hugo’s new separately-cooked vegan french fries, and you have a match made in heaven!

    also being added to the menu are several items that have been specials in the past, but will now be available year round. green tamales, portobello stew, and sandwiches just to name a few…not to mention a whole new slew of items that will be added to the “create-a-plate” section of the menu. they are also introducing a new line of vegan and oil-free salad dressings, vegan kids’ menu items, and a whole new menu section called “lentils, leafy greens and rice”. basically, it all kicks ass.

    i got a chance to sit down with chef nabor and try some upcoming vegan items that aren’t on the menu yet….and WOW, we are all in for a treat. hugo’s is working on some stuff that is seriously gonna knock everyone’s socks off. so stay tuned.

    for now, hit up hugo’s ASAP. and remember, the new stuff and vegan fries are not available until wednesday in studio city and thursday in west hollywood. oh, and seriously…if you like the stuff hugo’s is doing for vegans, be vocal about it. write them an email or tell them when you visit! we were vocal about the non-vegan mashed potatoes and they changed those, and now they are veganizing the fries as well. so keep speaking up!

    hugo’s 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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  • December 9th, 2009quarrygirlfrysmith, LA restaurants


    this is fucking crazy. vegans, you need to drop whatever you are doing and hunt down the frysmith ASAP. the awesome food truck that has already been making delicious vegan chili fries has now added vegan daiya cheddar to their menu. we begged for this in our last post, but i never thought anyone would actually listen!

    check out their website for their schedule, and follow them on twitter for updates. GO GET DAIYA VEGAN CHILI CHEESE FRIES NOW…LIKE, TONIGHT! the fries were amazing before, so i can’t even wrap my mind around this shit. i just can’t believe vegans are finally getting to eat greasy truck food like everyone else. wow.

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  • July 3rd, 2009quarrygirldesert rose, LA restaurants


    what’s better than a happy hour with $3 beers and $5 martinis? a happy hour with all that, plus a vegan menu, that’s what! desert rose, the upscale bar/restaurant in los feliz has introduced a separate animal-free menu with everything from bar snacks to pasta & sandwiches…and even cruzer pizzas with daiya cheese. they’ve even veganized the drinks at the bar, adding organic martinis and cocktails sweetened with agave.

    finally a bar in los angeles with a full separate vegan menu, i can’t tell you how excited i am. check out the new menu and all the food they are offering here. i am making it my mission to try it all, and so far i’m doing pretty well. these are the things i’ve tasted so far…

    Garlic “Cheese” Fries  $7

    Garlic “Cheese” Fries $7

    the vegan garlic cheese fries at desert rose are absolutely phenomenal. perfectly cooked, they come topped with melted daiya cheese. these fries make for a great bar snack, and taste just like the cheesy garlic fries i remember eating as a vegetarian.


    i can also highly recommend the portabello and cheese panini, epic sandwich success!

    Portobello Mushroom & “Cheese” Panini with choice of French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Mixed  Green Salad or Fresh Fruit  $14

    Portobello Mushroom & “Cheese” Panini with choice of French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Mixed Green Salad or Fresh Fruit $14

    it also comes with melted daiya cheese and a thick fresh slab of tasty marinated portobello. the bread they serve it on is exceptional, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, and packed with flavor. i had to double check that it was vegan, it tasted so damn good.


    they also whip up a mean house made hummus that comes topped with a kalamata olive and drizzled with olive oil. i know hummus sounds pretty standard, but desert rose does it right. thick, just the right amount of oil, and a really rich flavor.

    Housemade Hummus with Pita Bread $5

    Housemade Hummus with Pita Bread $5

    the sweet potato fries are also top notch and the serving portion is pretty huge. for you vegans who love sweet potato fries, i can tell you that these are some of the best in town.

    Sweet Potato Fries  $5

    Sweet Potato Fries $5

    they have salads as well, including a garbanzo and edamame salad topped with crispy tofu. i only had a few bites of this thing because it was full of bell peppers (which i hate), and other than the red demons it was pretty damn good…especially the fried tofu on top.

    Garbanzo & Edamame Salad with Mixed Greens, Tomatoes & Crispy Tofu with a Sherry-Walnut  Vinaigrette   $6/$9

    Garbanzo & Edamame Salad with Mixed Greens, Tomatoes & Crispy Tofu with a Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette $6/$9

    while the portobello panini is definitely my favorite at desert rose, the falafel sandwich is awesome as well. huge, soft green falafel balls all rolled up in soft pita with with fresh vegetables and creamylicious tahini.

    Falafel Sandwich with choice of French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Mixed Green Salad or Fresh  Fruit $7

    Falafel Sandwich with choice of French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Mixed Green Salad or Fresh Fruit $7

    when i was at desert rose, the chef offered to make me a sandwich that wasn’t on the menu, a mediterranean vegetable wrap with melted daiya cheese. oh my, it was delicious. i think you could add melted daiya to anything and it would drastically improve it, because it took this vegetable wrap from damn good to fucking incredible. even though it’s not on the menu, i’m sure if you ask for it, they would be happy to whip this up for you.

    Vegetable Wrap with Daiya Cheese

    Vegetable Wrap with Daiya Cheese

    and in addition to all the mouth-watering food pictured above, desert rose also offers 7 different vegan pizzas topped with daiya cheese from cruzer next door. now you can enjoy a delicious cruzer pie with a bottle of wine in a scenic setting.


    if you haven’t been to desert rose already, you should get over there stat. it’s a great bar in its own right, and now they have added a bunch of vegan options that are available all day (not just during happy hour). there’s really nowhere like it in los angeles. this is definitely my new spot for drinking and eating good food.


    desert rose
    1700 Hillhurst Ave
    Los Feliz, CA 90027
    (323) 666-1166

    oh, and one more thing: desert rose’s vegan menu is all thanks to farm sanctuary’s vegan outreach program. i could not be more grateful.

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  • June 13th, 2009mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), san francisco

    As a boy growing up in England during the 70s, “fish and chips” were a real staple food for me (yes, the stereotype about us Brits is true). I was never that much into the fish part as my preference was to peel off and eat the crunchy batter with my tiny, newsprint-blackened hands and consume huge mounds of chips and mushy peas at the same time. After becoming vegetarian, I used to eat just the chips and mushy peas — an unbeatable combo of grease and greens!

    So, it was with much anticipation that, on a recent trip to San Francisco, I sampled the offerings of Weird Fish – a pescetarian restaurant in the Mission District that has a vegan Fish and Chips option on the menu. I was quite intrigued to understand how one could veganize the “fish” part of the fish and chips, and my intrigue quickly morphed into a very full belly not long after our order arrived.

    Before we talk about the food, though, it’s worth mentioning that Weird Fish is rather small inside and can get very crowded at meal times. When we were there, around 1pm on a weekday, there was a line outside as well as way too many people cramped over tiny tables inside. Whenever something like that happens, you know you’re either somewhere trendy or somewhere really special. Well, I guess Weird Fish is both trendy and special, something we experience rarely in Los Angeles – usually places are firmly in the trendy or special camp and almost never both.

    buffalo girls: seitan with buffalo sauce & vegan ranch dressing. $7

    buffalo girls: seitan with buffalo sauce & vegan ranch dressing. $7

    We ordered the Buffalo Girls (seitan “chicken” wings with buffalo sauce and vegan ranch dressing) as an appetizer, and were very pleased. Each piece was coated in a perfectly crunchy and spicy batter that was red hot (temperature AND spicy hot), yet the inside was warm and very chewy. I’ve never eaten “real” chicken wings, so I can’t compare these to them, but I can tell you they were absolutely delicious and I’d eat them again in a heartbeat.

    tofu fish and chips: sweet and sour cream vegan soy-batter (gluten free) 2pc $8

    tofu fish and chips: sweet and sour cream vegan soy-batter (gluten free) 2pc $8

    For our main course we ordered one vegan seitan fish and chips (fries for you Americans), which came with vegan tartar sauce, wrapped in soy batter, and one tofu fish and chips entrée which was similarly presented, yet the sauce was vegan sweet and sour cream. At only $8 for two pieces with chips, this was not only a huge portion of food but great value too. If you’re extra hungry, you can get an additional piece of tofu or seitan “fish” for only $3 more. No wonder this place is so crazy busy!

    seitan fish and chips: vegan tartar sause vegan soy-batter (gluten free) 2pc $8

    seitan fish and chips: vegan tartar sause vegan soy-batter (gluten free) 2pc $8

    The tofu choice was a huge, hunking chunk of firm, seasoned tofu with a very steamy inside…


    yet the seitan “fish” was much more chewy (the same inside, I think, as the Buffalo Girls).


    What’s special here is not a chunk of vegetable protein per-se, but what they DO with it. The vegan batter is incredibly tasty, soaked in oil and so crunchy that it breaks into bits that fly all over the place when you bite into it. The chips are also similarly perfectly prepared — probably from fresh potatoes which means you can actually taste the potato rather than the freezer bag that held them for months before you ate them.

    The only downside I can think of for Weird Fish is the humongous amount of oil and calories one must consume when eating there. I must have had over 600 calories (most of them fat) from the one meal I ate. You know what, though? I’d eat that again if it was twice the calories and happily skip another meal to make up for it, even if that meal was at Millennium, allegedly one of the finest vegan dining establishments in the world, where I happened to have a reservation the very same evening I ate at Weird Fish.



    weird fish
    2193 Mission Street,
    San Francisco, CA 94110

    Mon – Fri: 11am – 4pm
    Sat – Sun: 9am – 4pm
    Sun – Thu: 5pm-10:30pm
    Fri & Sat: 5pm-11:30pm

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  • February 21st, 2009quarrygirlbrighton, london, more restaurants (not LA)

    if you find yourself in england jonesing for some fast food, you can always count on red veg. they deem their fare “proper fast food”, and they are absolutely right—the sloppy little diner has two locations, one in london’s soho and the other in brighton, and both serve up quick and tasty american-style classic burgers and hot dogs that don’t disappoint. the brightly lit interior, along with cheap tables and chairs, and food served in greasy paper sleeves make red veg feel like all the fast food joints back home in the states, with one catch…red veg is 100% vegetarian, and everything on the menu can be veganized.

    mushroom vegburger

    mushroom vegburger

    on our recent trip to the uk, my husband and i stayed in brighton for one night. the only evening we spent there was a rainy one, and to be honest, all we wanted to do was huddle into pubs that were located very close to our hotel. when we finally drank so much that we needed sustenance to continue, we wandered over to red veg, the closest vegan-friendly restaurant that was open after 8pm. we found ourselves in a neat little cafe full of vegan junk food…complete with punk rock posters on the wall and blaring loud music coming from tiny speakers. the staff was cooler-than-thou but very friendly, and most importantly very knowledgeable about veganism.

    my husband got the mushroom vegburger pictured above, and he absolutely loved it. it came out in record time, and was pretty cheap. i don’t remember exactly how much, but i remember it being more than reasonable. the picture doesn’t look that appetizing, i know, i know…but this is really just fast food. nothing fancy, just cheap awesome fast food…except, we can actually eat it due to the lack of dead animal bits. the patty was really decent, and the mushrooms were well cooked. we’d totally order this again.

    vegwurst with caramelized onions

    vegwurst with caramelized onions

    i went with the vegwurst and carmelized onions with loads of hot sauce. the frank was pretty small, but whatever, it tasted good. the onions were delicious and perfectly sauteed, and the hot sauce topped it all off nicely. now while this dog was nothing to write home about (not everyone can be the frankenstand), it definitely filled the void and reminded me of old school fast food fare that i haven’t had in well over ten years.



    we topped everything off with an order of fries to split, and they were great. total thin fast food fries, red veg has got the formula down! and they even served them with a side of vegan mayo! um……..mayo on my fries?!!?!?! oh, you crazy brits!


    so if you find yourself in brighton on a stormy evening and need to dry off with some easy burger joint cuisine, check out red veg. they won’t let you down. i assume the london location is just as good, if not better, because it was the first one they opened.

    americans should definitely hit up red veg when in england. it will remind you of all the cool burger places that you can’t eat at back home. go get vegetarian fast food, it’s the way of the future!


    red veg
    21 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP
    Telephone: 01273 679910
    Monday to Saturday 12 noon until 9pm
    95 Dean Street, London, W1V 5RB
    Telephone: 020 7437 3109
    Monday to Saturday 12 noon until 10pm
    Sunday 12 noon until 6.30pm

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  • November 14th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, o!burger

    ever since i found out the soy cheese at zpizza in west hollywood isn’t vegan friendly, i have been pretty much avoiding that part of town. what can i say, it brings back bad memories. well now, i have a whole new reason to go back to weho. you see, an awesome burger joint called o!burger, has been serving up healthy, organic alternatives to fast food with plenty of vegan options for quite sometime. i recently checked them out, and i think i’m addicted.

    i’ve never had a vegan meal that scratches that dirty, guilty fast food itch, but at the same time tastes unique and reassuringly healthy like the scrumptious o!veggie burger.

    the classic o!veggie: a homemade patty with spinach and corn. $7.99

    the classic o!veggie: a homemade patty with spinach and corn. $7.99

    the o!veggie is insane, unlike anything i’ve ever tasted. most burgers use soy protein or some kind of meat substitute when they go vegan, but at o!burger, they make the veggie patty with just downright genuine ingredients. their website states, “the veggie burger is made in house, filled with vegetables, oats, and corn — it’s vegan and dairy free.” i was reticent to try o!burger when i spotted it once as i cruised by on santa monica blvd. i figured they used some kind of garden burger or other unsafe patty for their veggie option. boy, was i missing out. the unexpected blend of spinach, corn and other vegetables made for an awesome surprise. i couldn’t believe how tasty it was. un-bloody-real.

    also, it came served up on a delightfully grilled bun with a huge heap of sauteed onions and cucumbers instead of pickles. a whole new experience. the patty, presentation, and additional vegetables were all spot on. i cannot believe i waited so long to try this place.

    we also grabbed an order of the o!fries, which were delicious and served up in a brown paper bag, proper fast food style. they weren’t too baked, or overly greasy. i’d say they were just right…and crinkle-cut! like when i was a kid!

    o!fries. $2.99

    o!fries. $2.99

    but that’s not all, o!burger also caters to vegans like me with a voracious appetite for sweet things. first off, they have vegan cookies, which are absolutely delicious!

    o!vegan cookie. $1.75

    o!vegan cookie. $1.75

    when i got this cookie home, it had started to melt a bit and the chocolate chips were moist and soft. seriously, it was incredible. this fast food treat didn’t even taste vegan. normal cookies: look the fuck out, this one is coming for you.

    lastly, we rounded everything off with a pleasant milkshake. we got the vegan chocolate with oat milk, and it was delish. my only qualm was that it cost $4.50! that seems like a lot for a shake…what is it with everyone driving up prices on milkshakes lately? sheesh!

    o!vegan shake. $4.50

    o!vegan shake. $4.50

    o!burger has definitely conquered the intersection of delicious and healthy. everything they serve is organic, and their vegan food is out of this world. plus, they serve it up old school burger joint style. i really feel like i’m gettin’ some down and dirty real fast food when i eat there. you definitely pay more than you would at a normal burger joint, but for organic and vegan junk food, i’ll comply.

    well done, o!burger. you may be a bit pricey, but you rock my socks off!

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  • November 9th, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    well, my dear readers, it’s about time for your humble narrator’s vegan culinary tour of manhattan to come to a stop. and what better way for me to end the string of quarrygirl nyc posts than to leave you with my absolute favorite meal from manhattan: brunch at an awesome little restaurant called counter.

    like most places worth eating at in new york, counter is trendy. counter is pricey. counter is maybe even a bit pretentious. but counter is sooooooo worth it. i read about this swanky little restaurant originally on one of my favorite la based blogs, huggerfood, and i decided that i had to dine there on my trip, no matter what. when another new york based blog backed it up as being the best brunch spot in town, i dedicated an entire saturday morning to trekking across manhattan in search of the perfect post-hangover eats.

    i found my way there and…..wow. wow. wow!!!! counter was fucking incredible. it’s a snazzy vegetarian joint where most of the food is vegan, the service is friendly, the digs are posh, and the ingredients are top-notch.

    frittata alla fiorentina: tofu frittata with a creamy mushroom hollandaise on a bed of spinach with home fries. $9.75

    frittata alla fiorentina: tofu frittata with a creamy mushroom hollandaise on a bed of spinach with home fries. $9.75

    i ordered the frittata alla fiorentina, because the tofu patties and vegan hollandaise sauce sounded absolutely divine. the dish lived up to its hype and so much more. a firm vegetable-tofu medley was formed into two succulent patties and topped with the most incredible eggless creamy sauce and made for the perfect late morning meal. plus, the course came with an ample serving of dark leafy greens and thick, fried potatoes. they also gave me a serving of vegan nutella on the house. i just had to have it after reading about it on huggerfood. even without any pastries to spread it on, counter’s vegan nutella was delightful, and acted as a great condiment for all my food.

    the brunch was amazing—everything was out of this world. the real kicker is, the tofu patties actually contained bell peppers (which i hate) and i was still able to eat them. there’s absolutely no logical explanation for that…the food was just THAT FUCKING GOOD! i am still trying to rationalize it.

    being seitan obsessed, my husband was thrilled to see the east side burger on the brunch menu at counter. he didn’t let the fact that it was 11 am stop him from ordering a slap-up meal consisting of a huge vegan burger and thick, juicy, sliced potato french fries.

    east side burger: wild mushroom pâté, housemade seitan & fresh herbs with all the normal fixin's. $10

    east side burger: wild mushroom pâté, housemade seitan & fresh herbs with all the normal fixin's. $10

    there was nothing at all to fault about the east side burger. i tried it, and it was one of the best vegan burgers i’ve ever had. the patty was absolutely huge, and obviously homemade….none of that freeze-dried shit. this was the real deal. vegetables, grains, soy protein, all blended together perfectly to taste hearty and slightly unhealthy. if we lived in new york, we’d be at counter every weekend for brunch, most def.

    after wolfing down two incredible brunch items at counter, i was super satisfied…but also extremely disappointed that i wouldn’t be in town long enough to sample their plentiful dinner menu. i guess there’s always next time.

    wrapping up my tour of nyc, i gotta say, counter was the most bitchin’ place i ate at. a dripping saucy tofu breakfast, chunky and rich clumps of vegan nutella, lush & fried perfectly seasoned potatoes and a juicy thick vegan-grain burger patty made for the most amazing meal i’ve had in quite some time. when in nyc, get your ass to counter.

    thanks for reading, now i’m back home…so you’d better get ready for a shitload of cool posts about vegan los angeles.

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  • September 18th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    do you remember this post where i raved about pure luck’s awesome curry fries? well, don’t rush out to try them, because they have been taken off the menu. i was so disappointed to open up the menu and find big black sharpie marks crossing out all the dishes that contained curry sauce. that’s right…curry fries, curry gnocchi and curry rice are no more.

    you can check out the revised menu here:


    oh well, i am just glad i got the chance to try the curry fries when they were around. they were really, really, really tasty. next time you see vegan curry fries, order them! they need your support, obviously.

    one appetizer i can recommend that is still on the menu, to the best of my knowledge, is the avocado salad. it’s much lighter than the decadent curry fries, but it still tastes great and has plenty sin with the creamy cesar sauce and scrumptious avocado.

    avocado salad: a small plate of romaine lettuce topped with avocado, pico de gallo, pepitas, and césar dressing. $5

    avocado salad: a small plate of romaine lettuce topped with avocado, pico de gallo, pepitas, and césar dressing. $5

    for $3 more, you can get this salad as an entrée (double size!)…not a bad deal. with the absence of curry fries and the shrinking portions of potato pals, this may be your best bet. it’s delicious!

    oh, and pure luck’s damaged window has been completely replaced. the place is back to normal, 100%! so if you’ve been waiting to return to pure luck, it’s definitely time to get back over there!

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  • September 8th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    things were looking pretty bleak for pure luck, my favorite vegan restaurant, after a truck crashed through their window and they waited ages to repair the damage. that’s why it brings me great pleasure to report that they have a new window at last! yay! they’ve remained open through every stage construction, and now it finally looks like it’s almost over. last week they had brand new glass in, and even though half the restaurant was closed while the workers put on the finishing touches, things were looking up. i decided to celebrate with some curry fries.

    curry fries: homemade french fries served with a bowl of curry gravy for dipping. $8

    curry fries: homemade french fries served with a bowl of curry gravy for dipping. $8

    i’ve been looking forward to trying these fries for awhile, and they definitely exceeded my expectations. they even rival the wonderful potato pals as pure luck’s best appetizer. crispy on the edges and soft inside, the long fat potato wedges were perfectly fried and seasoned.

    the fries were crazy tasty, but what made this dish exceptional was definitely the curry gravy. i am a curry freak; i know when sauce is good, and this sauce was off the fucking hook. spicy, garlicky, and super oily, i just couldn’t get enough of this dip. i drank it when i finished the fries. can you blame me?

    ahhhhh. pure luck definitely hit the spot. i do gotta say, the portions are still smaller than they used to be—the fresh noodle salad seems to shrink by the day. but hey, the dollar is in the toilet. everyone is taking a hit i guess.

    pure luck has also started offering daily specials. when i was there they had some new tacos and a burrito on special, plus a quinoa salad. they’ve also started printing a beer list, and have eliminated penne pasta from the menu. it’s a whole new world in there.

    so get to pure luck and check out the new window, raise a pint and celebrate. hopefully they will be done installing it and the whole restaurant will be open by the time you go. oh, and i highly recommend the curry fries.

    fixin' her up

    fixin' her up

    update: curry fries have been taken off the menu 🙁

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