• October 21st, 2011quarrygirlcambridge MA, more restaurants (not LA)

    it’s vegan field report time! this one comes to us from fellow vegan blogger jessica of bein’ green savin’ green, and today she reviews a meal with her family at life alive in cambridge, MA. check it out, and bookmark this in case you’re ever in mass.

    On my most recent trip to Boston, I dined at a fairly new vegetarian restaurant called Life Alive, in Cambridge. Located halfway between Harvard and MIT, the hipster café has both a spiritual and intellectual vibe served with a side of healthy, delicious food. The café interior is both relaxing and invigorating, which works perfectly with the energizing meals. There are even motivating phrases painted on the wall.

    At first glance, the menu sounded rather dull. It was merely a mix of various vegetables, some that didn’t even seem like they would go well together. I am so glad I gave this place a chance. It truly proved that just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s tasteless.

    My dad ordered a bowl of chili…

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  • September 17th, 2011quarrygirleureka, more restaurants (not LA)

    heyo! today we’re bringing you a field report on soul food in northern cali. who doesn’t LOVE soul food? nobody! now sit back and enjoy this post about bless my soul in eureka…courtesy of field reporter, “righteous fist”!

    Stopping off in Eureka on my way up the coast my Happy Cow app (which I’m grateful for) lead me to Bless My Soul Café, a small soul food spot on 5th street that serves both meat and veg options.

    I opted for the “Veggie Plate” with sweet potato and collard greens…

    veggie plate (vegan): red beans and rice and a choice of 2 veggie sides, salad and corn muffin. $12.95

    And my mom who went on this adventure with me ordered the same but with different sides (creole corn and sautéed cabbage)washed down with their very own secret recipe sweet tea…

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  • August 29th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, steamed

    i hate writing lukewarm reviews about meatless establishments…but after my first visit to steamed, long beach’s newest vegetarian restaurant, i wasn’t very impressed. the place is obviously making an effort, and i’m hoping they’ll improve over time, but at the moment their vegan cuisine is a bit uninspired. the menu is pretty basic—a modest selection of salads, burritos, and quesadillas—most of which are loaded with dairy cheese and/or sour cream.

    we hit up steamed over the weekend and kept it simple with a salad and a burrito bowl. before the food arrived, the restaurant had already lived up to it’s name—we felt as though we were being steamed in the tiny un-airconditioned dining room!

    green salad. $6.50

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  • July 15th, 2011quarrygirldelivery

    being a vegan can be rough. don’t get me wrong, there are tons of meatless restaurants to choose from here in los angeles, and tons of specialty stores for animal-free groceries…it’s just that sometimes we don’t have time to cook, and we want a healthy meal without all the empty calories of highly evolved vegan junk food. enter fresh n’ lean.

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  • July 8th, 2011inaka, LA restaurants

    about six years ago i tried inaka for the first time and fell in love with it’s healthy and flavorful food. their menu is macrobiotic and offers some fish dishes but is dairy free. i’ve tried several dishes at inaka and although i enjoyed everything i’ve tried the “inaka bowl” is absolutely my favorite.

    inaka bowl: brown rice, today's bean, greens, root vegetables, sea vegetables and more. $11

    the vegetables and beans that cover brown rice are often different but always amazing. this round came with kidney beans, kale, cabbage, lotus root, broccoli, carrots, seaweed, some kind of yummy gravy stuff, and other vegetables that i have no idea what they were but tasted damn delicious.

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  • February 17th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), santa barbara

    a friend recently told me that santa barbara has more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the world…which is why it’s pretty surprising that they have not one vegan establishment. luckily though, they do have spiritland bistro, a healthy-style organic restaurant with very vegan-friendly cuisine.

    for ages spiritland was only open for dinner, but they’ve recently added a lunch menu that’s served daily from 11:30 to 2pm. we checked it out on a recent trip up north, and were quite pleased with our simple yet delicious meals…

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  • January 25th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    hey everyone, time for another field report from veganscraps! today she reviews a great little hidden place in lower east side manhattan called earthmatters. check it out!

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  • January 21st, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mixt greens

    i’m typically not a salad person, but lately i can’t get enough of mixt greens on wilshire.

    the fast-casual eatery is kind of like the chipotle of salad bars—you order at the counter and choose your ingredients one by one, then watch them get all mixed up in a bowl before your eyes. everything at mixt greens is super high quality. we are talking fresh, organic, locally sourced, and seasonal. the best of the best, and you can taste the difference.

    lots of nice things to choose from!

    the vegan options at mixt greens are plentiful…naturally they have tons of vegetables to choose from, as well as nuts, beans, quinoa, tofu and soba noodles…

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  • January 5th, 2011quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    so…what happens when you combine an amazing location and vegetarian ethics with healthy/fresh/delicious cuisine? tibits in london, that’s what!

    i first got turned on to tibits by rachel, who wrote a field report on them back in june. her review intrigued me because i couldn’t believe there was such an awesome vegetarian (mostly vegan) restaurant located in the west end that we hadn’t tried yet. after all…london is my favorite city on the planet and this is prime, centrally-located real estate we are talking about! of course we had to check it out…

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  • September 25th, 2010quarrygirlhugo's restaurant, LA restaurants

    okay, so i know this site is largely about eating ridiculously drool worthy and fattening animal-free foods…but in real life, sometimes you just gotta keep it healthy. and as we all know, finding good, nutritious vegan fare in los angeles restaurants can be surprisingly difficult. enter hugo’s. they’ve got something for everyone—health nuts, junk foodies, omnivores and vegans can all find a meal on the menu. i’ve told you all about their vegan version of the double down and their crazy good chili cheese fries, but their lighter stuff is just as tasty.

    i hit up hugo’s recently with my omnivorous parents for lunch, and all 3 of us ordered vegan. i find that although hugo’s has tons of meat and dairy options, whenever i take omnis there they end up ordering from the vegan menu as well, because it’s so accessible. there’s no strange fake meats; it’s just downright good food made with fine ingredients. ANYWAYS, i was in the mood for something simple, so i ordered the “create-a-plate”.

    create a plate with brown rice, steamed vegetables, soup and pico de gallo. $12.65

    hugo’s create-a-plate option is fucking awesome, because you can choose 3, 4, or 5 items from this huge list of vegan offerings, as well as whatever sauce or dressing you want. they’ve got stuff like sauteed leafy greens, black bean cakes, lentils, and tons of other goodies to choose from…not to mention additional protein selections for an added price, such as new american veggie patties and grilled tofu. i ordered my plate with organic brown rice, steamed vegetables, pico de gallo, and the vegan soup of the day (which is always oil-free). in this case, the soup happened to be carrot ginger, and it was fantastic.

    i know that everything else on the plate looks pretty basic, but the soup really took it over the edge. so rich and flavorful, but entirely vegan and with no oil? NICE. each component was just so well prepared, and the portions were large. everything mixed together so perfectly.

    three salad plate (made vegan): wild rice salad made with scallions, carrots and celery in a sherry dressing. avocado-tomato salad made with sliced red onions in a dill dressing. curry organic grilled tofu made with apples, grapes, currents, hazelnuts in a curry mango dressing. $12.50

    my parents opted for the vegan three salad plate, a september special (act fast!), which came with a wild rice mixture, an avocado-tomato salad, and a side of curry tofu mixed with fruits and nuts. i sampled a bit of the tofu, and it was amazing! while i can’t go into detail about this dish because i didn’t try all of it, let’s just say my meat-eating parents devoured it all…as well as some other vegan appetizers that i’ve already blogged about.

    basically, i just want everyone to know that hugo’s is there for you no matter what. you’re a vegan? you want crazy fatty fried foods? you avoid oil at all costs? you’re gluten-free? you only eat organic? HUGO IS YOUR MAN. eat at hugo’s, people! it’s all there.

    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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  • May 12th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    we’ve been fans of the healthy vegans for quite sometime. their entire blog focuses on starch-based recipes and restaurant reviews, all with very little fat and no oil whatsoever. lately i have been loving their menu hacking posts where they go in to restaurants and modify items to be extra healthy at no additional charge. we dined with them over the weekend at native foods, and got a first hand lesson in how to hack the menu to mcdougall standards.

    tijuana tacos made extra healthy. $7.95

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  • March 23rd, 2010quarrygirlhealth, other, stores, whole foods

    i don’t know if you’ve noticed recently at whole foods…but the store has been rolling out a new initiative called health starts here, which promotes plant-based, low-fat, nutrient-dense cuisine. all the way from the bakery to the deli case, you can find pre-packaged meals to go, branded with the health starts here label. not all of it is vegan, but plenty of it is, so this just means our options at whole foods got a whole lot better.

    health starts here baked plantains and black bean meal. $5.99

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  • March 24th, 2009quarrygirlcasa de tree (closed), LA restaurants

    so a few months ago, i wrote about this new little japanese/french vegan deli/bakery that opened up in west los angeles on motor avenue called casa de tree. at the time of posting, the restaurant was the sister to the recently-closed torrance location, and didn’t offer a full menu yet…just a pay-by-weight salad and hot food bar with a few blackboard specials to choose from each day.

    3 months later, i am happy to announce that the west la casa de tree has expanded their menu and lowered their prices. these changes aren’t even reflected on the casa de tree website yet (most of the online info is out of date), so pay close attention to the prices and the menu that i will post below. not just that, but they wave before us the promise of their torrance location re-opening soon, which would be great news for the vegan community.

    i had the awesome opportunity to catch up at casa de tree with like-minded herbivores last weekend for an oh-so-fun and sporadic happycow.net meeting. now for all you vegan angelenos who want to know about these meetings in the future…just join happycow, leave some reviews, and specify that you want in on all the vegan shindig info for your area. this site is a great place to meet other veg-heads and stay abreast of all vegan/vegetarian-goings ons in yer area.

    that being said, the husband and i decided to have a slap-up feast, starting with the curry donut to share. as of recently, casa de tree offers several pastries…some savory and some sweet. so whether you are in the mood for an appetizer or dessert, they will definitely find a way to loosen your waistline.

    curry donut: vegan curry paste inside crunchy bread crumbed dough. $2.50

    curry donut: vegan curry paste inside crunchy bread crumbed dough. $2.50

    the curry donut was nothing short of exceptional. seriously, even though it took a bit long for them to heat it up behind the counter, one bite of it immediately launched casa de tree into the category of “favorite vegan restaurants, ever”. and that’s a bold statement. it was fried with little crumby edges…all crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. not just that, but it was ooooooooOOOOOOooozing with salty and chunky curry goodness.


    for my entree, i decided to order off the newly-introduced fixed menu. as i said, last time i went to casa de tree i was limited to the pay-by-weight buffet option, so on my recent trip i couldn’t help but test out one of the MANY BURGERS AND SANDWICHES they are now offering daily. not just that, but the meals are cheaper than they were even at the original torrance location. damn, i was having a fantasy menu field day when deciding what to order, there was so much awesomeness. i eventually settled on the katsu sandwich, which was a great choice.

    katsu sandwich: homemade organic seitan katsu, cabbage, mustard and italian miso sauce. served with salad and side dish. $8.95

    katsu sandwich: homemade organic seitan katsu, cabbage, mustard and italian miso sauce. served with salad and side dish. $8.95

    although it took way too long to arrive (maybe it just felt that way because all my fellow diners went with the buffet option), the katsu sandwich was totally worth it, and was a bargain at $8.95 with a salad and a side dish. the bread was remarkably soft and porous, the cabbage was fresh and crispy, the mustard was hot and tangy, and above all the seitan was crispy and just fatty enough. it was a sinful yet healthy tasting food, if you can imagine that…truly the best of both worlds. it came with a light and well-prepared salad as well as a cold and a creamy noodle dish which was packed with flavor. i’d order this again in a jiffy…after exploring the other amazing sounding sandwich and burger options, of course…


    sticking to tradition, my husband went with with the pay-by-weight buffet option, which is probably the most obvious thing to do at casa de tree (it isn’t exactly clear when you walk in that they have a proper menu). since our last visit, the restaurant has lowered their price to $7.99 per pound, the exact same price as whole foods, but with much MUCH better shit. he filled up on loads of salad, sushi, tofu steak hamburgers, deep fried jalapenos, vegetable gyoza, and potato cakes. it really is a little self-serve vegan paradise. just be aware that it will cost you!

    vegan buffet: $7.99 per pound.

    vegan buffet: $7.99 per pound.

    the buffet is a great option if you are feeling up for eating samples of 15 different things, but i think in the future i will order off the newly-available set menu at casa de tree. they really give you a lot of food for the (now lower) price, and although it takes a while longer, it is so worth it.

    check out the menu i’ve posted below. as i said, the items AND prices are different than the ones listed on the casa de tree website, which is well old and useless. also please note that casa de tree is CASH ONLY. if you come prepared with enough cash to foot the bill, this could easily be the best restaurant in los angeles. if you fill up on heavy shit from the buffet and get overcharged, then have to run to the atm…this could leave you with a very bad taste in your mouth. i hope my little hints will help you make the best of your experience.

    casa-de-tree-menu-1 casa-de-tree-menu-2

    casa de tree
    3741 motor ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90034

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