• November 21st, 2010quarrygirlcinnamon, LA restaurants

    cancel your plans today and head over to highland park! starting at 10:30am, cinnamon vegetarian will be serving up an entirely vegan pre-thanksgiving feast!

    it will include faux turkey roast, savory gravy, cinnamon raisin stuffing, cranberry sauce, sesame green beans and mashed potatoes along with a cup of pumpkin soup and a piece of pumpkin pie for $20.

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  • November 20th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    what better way to ring in 2011 than with a massive vegan feast and unlimited beer at one of LA’s best bars? that’s what’s going down at tony’s darts away, and i think it’s gonna be the best new year’s eve party in town!

    vegan new year's eve at tony's darts away! GO!

    that’s right, tony’s is offering unlimited beer all night with the option of a non-vegan or vegan feast…plus there will be music by dj randy sosin, a special midnight toast, and a spiffy tony’s 2011 glass. i think this is gonna be the hottest vegan-friendly party of 2010 AND 2011, so make your reservations now. details after the jump!

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  • November 19th, 2010quarrygirlstores, vegan events, whole foods

    yes, yes, YES! a VEGAN THANKSGIVING PIZZA! sounds too good to be true right?! but it’s not! as of yesterday, it’s available at whole foods west hollywood and on sundays they charge just $10 for an epic surf-board-sized pizza. i know what i’m doing this weekend!

    vegan pizza w/ majestic garlic, roasted veg w/herbs vegan stuffing and daiya cheese

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  • November 12th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, vegan events

    with thanksgiving less than 2 weeks away, it’s time to start planning your cruelty-free celebration. i know this time of year can be pretty depressing for vegans, but it doesn’t have to be! here in los angeles there are several restaurants offering meat-free holiday feasts, and i encourage you to try as many as you possibly can! i’ve put together this quick list for your reference, but if i am missing anything, please let me know! i will keep updating this post as we get closer to tofurky day, so check back often!

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  • November 9th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, stores, whole foods

    man, i really love the prepared foods section at whole foods. they are always coming up with new delicious restaurant-quality items that are inexpensive and easy to grab on the go. for somebody like me who doesn’t love to cook, the prepared food section is a godsend. last year they provided our thanksgiving dinner, and over the summer they supplied everything needed for a vegan bbq.

    i’m happy to announce that as of today, whole foods locations around los angeles are unveiling their holiday display case, and it’s absolutely packed with all kinds of tasty seasonal foods.

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  • April 3rd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods, other

    we aren’t really the type to celebrate religious holidays here at quarrygirl.com, but it’s really hard not to get caught up in the hoopla surrounding them. so here are our picks of the top 3 things to do this easter that don’t involve jesus or animal products:

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  • March 16th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, meet market (closed), vegan bakers

    I HATE HOLIDAYS!!!! but boy do i LOVE holiday food…

    peppermint patty and cream-filled cupcakes by vegan bake sale! (sadly the cupcakes got a little roughed up and smooshed in my car! :()

    here in america, st. patrick’s day is pretty much a wasted occasion. you don’t get time off work, the bars are too crowded to enjoy, and pervs have the excuse to go around pinching people all day. even thought i enjoy a bit of fun and am quite a heavy drinker, i just can’t get into all the green beer, glittery shamrocks, and fake irish patriotism. what i CAN get into though, is st. patty’s day themed cupcakes by vegan bake sale.

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  • January 31st, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants

    UPDATED 2/6/10!

    pffffffffft valentine’s day. so silly, right?! yeah, it is…but if you play it right, it can be an excellent opportunity to eat some rare and fancily-presented vegan food!

    here is a list of places in los angeles where you can get your vegan valentine’s day fix. don’t do it for the romance; do it for the grub.

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  • January 6th, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, madeleine bistro

    Sometimes you just want to eat good food in a relaxing atmosphere. Sometimes you want that food to be extraordinary, hand-crafted and completely original menu items you won’t get anywhere else. Always, you want that food to be vegan. Am I striking a chord here? Good, then I’ll continue. What if that food comes to your table as a seven-course tasting menu prepared by one of America’s top vegan chefs? Oh, and finally, it happens to be some of the best food you’ve ever eaten?

    Well that experience, we learned a few days ago, is very common for vegans “in the know” who book early and are lucky enough to get a table at Executive Chef Dave Anderson’s Madeleine Bistro for one of his special occasion tasting menu treats. We showed up for the New Year’s Eve event not really knowing quite what to expect and left blown away by his creativity and skills in the kitchen.

    To be honest, I’m rarely a fan of tasting menus. It’s like being in a car at the top of a hill with no brakes, careering to the bottom and trusting the chef to take care of you through multiple courses, delivering you safe and satisfied to the bottom. Only the finest chefs can deliver a consistently strong tasting menu, especially when they set themselves ridiculous targets like seven courses. SEVEN COURSES? It’s about all most restaurants can do to prepare ONE half-decent course, with a limp salad appetizer let alone serving after serving of excellence.

    For a tasting menu to be successful, each course has to have broad enough appeal that pretty much anybody will like it, yet be outstanding in taste, texture and (on occasion) sheer novelty and construction value that one will occasionally wonder “how did they do THAT?”. Only the best chefs can really pull this off, and they inevitably take a huge personal risk that a high stakes game will play out in such a way that everybody is happy. I’m pleased to report that chef Dave not only filled my belly with incredible food, but peaked my interest with every course due to its presentation and even, on occasion, whimsical novelty.

    course #1: dim sum. steamed seitan bun, tempeh lollipop, crispy wonton.

    Let’s take the first course, dim sum, as an example. The description of this dish included “tempeh lollipop” as one of the items. I mean C’MON? a TEMPEH LOLLIPOP? Yeah, that’s just what it was. A ball of tempeh seasoned and lightly fried so that it is crispy yet breaks apart with ease in one’s mouth. I guess chef Dave’s challenge was how to make such a creation easily edible – I mean, you will want to dip it in the dim sum sauce, but poking it with a fork would break it up, and chopsticks wouldn’t really work with the other menu items, so he stuck a stiff leaf stem into the ball in order that you could pick it up, dip it in, and eat it right up. See what I mean about interesting presentation and construction? Genius.

    Accompanying the lollipops was a crispy wonton that defies explanation (so I won’t bother) and a sticky, seitan-filled bun that just begged to be cut up, dipped in sauce and eaten straight down.

    The three items resonated perfectly together and provided an intersection of taste and texture I’d never experienced before.

    One down, six to go. Next up was simply “Clam chowder in a bread bowl”.

    course 2: clam chowder in a bread bowl

    I have no idea what “real” clam chowder tastes like, but this thing was fucking amazing. So much so that I not only ate ALL the chowder, but the bread bowl as well. Only after I did was I told that usually one leaves some of the bread. I was brought up poor and forced to eat everything on the table, so I guess old habits die hard. The server told me that the bread was baked from scratch in-house, and the chowder was a special creation of chef Dave. No shit, “special” is an understatement. This stuff should be in a can and sold everywhere, it was SO AMAZING.

    Next up was some respite in the form of a delicate salad of chestnuts and apples with a mulled cider vinaigrette and fennel puree.

    course 3: chestnut and apple salad, pickled pearl onions, fennel puree, mulled cider vinaigrette.

    It was, again, simply amazing. The fennel puree looked a little like guacamole, yet had that smooth, almost aniseed taste that bumped perfectly up against the salad dressing. What another amazing combination of tastes and flavors!

    Course four was both simple and unique. On one side of the court was a tangine of artichokes and chickpeas (who would ever have thought they would go so well together?) and the other was a crusty slice of seitan on a bed of greens divided by something called a “harissa emulsion”.

    course 4: quinoa-crusted moroccan seitan, artichoke and chickpea tangine, lemon confit, harissa emulsion.

    I ate the dish like a game of tennis – grab some from one side, drag through the emulsion, grab some from the other side, back again then put it in my face. Rinse, and repeat. Again, another dish that’s really hard to describe, but there was a full and complete flavor, almost moorish yet not overpowering.

    Coming right out of left field was the next dish: Arugula tagliatelle, portabella mushroom and a mushroom ragout.

    course 5: portabella chasseur, house-cut arugula tagliatelle, wild mushroom ragout.

    Thankfully the portion was compact as I ate the entire thing and would have been way to full for the subsequent servings! I’m half Italian, and grew up eating my mother’s Italian cooking (she’s not the Italian half, but that’s a long story) so I’m a genetic expert in Italian cuisine and I can honestly say that this dish, served as a main entree, would be within the top two or three pasta dishes I’ve ever eaten. It was simply that good. Yes, and they even MADE the pasta itself from scratch!

    Into the home stretch came “popcorn and cheese”, a strange sounding combination of a herb-crusted cashew cheese and biscuits…

    course 6: popcorn and cheese: herb-crusted cashew cheese, kettle corn, crackers, popcorn ice creme.

    with a plate of popcorn ice cream surrounded with (you guessed it) freshly popped warm popcorn.

    I was skeptical when the plates arrived – I mean, give me one or the other, but BOTH? How can popcorn ice cream possibly go with cheese and biscuits which are anyway usually reserved for the post-drink cognac or port phase of a meal? Well, I was wrong. Everything was amazing and all created from scratch in chef Dave’s kitchen. The cheese was smoother and creamier than any premium vegan cheese I’d ever eaten before, and it slipped so well onto the warm biscuits and down my throat. The popcorn ice cream was a party in my mouth of cold ice cream and warm popped corns.

    Finally, as I was begging for mercy, our cheerful server brought out two large plates of something called “3X3”, chocolate, peanut butter and caramel.

    course 7: 3x3. chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel.

    This was actually three separate deserts, all cleverly uniting three scrumptious desert flavors. Dish one was a cheesecake sort of contraption with a layered approach to the three ingredients. Dish two was three individual chocolates in little paper cups, like something you’d get out of a very expensive box from Switzerland, and the third dish splayed out the ingredients in an almost mathematical shape so you could pick at them and mix to your heart’s content. The desert was actually shocking: that sweets of this quality could be made at all either vegan or not is astounding.

    So to sum up, the journey down the hill with no brakes felt as if chef Dave and his team were actually carrying the vehicle. No bumps, smooth sailing and a safe return to the end, weighing a few ounces more than I did at the beginning but expanding my horizons of taste and appreciation for food and the fine art of fine cuisine. Indeed, my experience with the New Year’s eve tasting menu has set the standard by which all other food will be judged for 2010. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending how you look at it!

    For sure I’ll be back to Madeline for the amazing brunch, or dinner before the next tasting menu extravaganza for Valentine’s day, 2010. Although the dishes we ate might not be available again on a predictable basis, you can count on a great dining experience you’ll never forget.

    This menu was prix fix at $100 per person, which is unquestionably a lot of money for food, yet really good value when you think less about what you pay and more about what you get. It is, frankly, a privilege to eat food like this at any price especially bearing in mind the hours of design, testing preparation and final cooking that shine through in every bite.

    Madeleine Bistro
    18621 Ventura Blvd.
    Tarzana, CA
    (818) 758-6971

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  • December 31st, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, meet market (closed)

    HOLY, SHIT VEGANS! if you are anywhere near silverlake, you will want to hit up the all-you-can-eat vegan menu from 11am to 3pm at the meet market tomorrow. considering it’s a holiday, finding vegan comfort food will be next to impossible on january 1st. luckily, the meet market will be open and serving a massive vegan brunch complete with tofu scramble, roasted potatoes, vegan sausage, fresh vegetables, fruit, coffee, toast and jam. oh, and don’t forget to BYOB!!!! champagne for mimosas. i will be there, say hello!

    Vegan Brunch

    if you don’t attend, you are crazy.

    the meet market
    3206 W Sunset Blvd (at Descanso)
    Los Angeles, CA 90026

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  • December 30th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, madeleine bistro

    i just got word that madeleine bistro (one of the top vegan restaurants in LA) is offering a whopping 7 course chef’s tasting menu on new year’s eve! they still have some spots left, and if you don’t have plans you should definitely check it out. madeleine serves up the best food i’ve ever eaten.

    here is the info:

    Happy Holidays!!
    Reservations are still available for a very special New Year’s Eve at Madeleine Bistro.  Each year, Chef David goes to great lengths to create a tasting menu that will amaze, amuse, surprise, and delight you.  If you are looking to end the year tastefully — you won’t want to miss this one!  A limited version of our a la carte menu will also be available.  We hope you’ll join us in ringing in the new year!
    Warm wishes,

    Molly & David

    New Year’s Eve 2009 Chef’s Tasting Menu

    Thursday, January 31, 2009 5 pm – 10pm

    100 per person

    “Dim sum”

    Steamed seitan bun, tempeh “lollipop”, banh chung

    “Clam” chowder in a bread bowl

    Chestnut and apple salad

    Pickled pearl onions, fennel puree, mulled cider vinaigrette

    Quinoa-crusted Moroccan seitan

    Artichoke and chickpea tagine, meyer lemon confit, harissa emulsion

    Portobella “chasseur”

    House-cut arugula tagliatelle, wild mushroom ragout

    Popcorn and cheese…

    Herb-crusted cashew cheese, kettle corn “crackers”, popcorn ice creme

    “3 x 3”

    Chocolate, peanut and caramel

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  • November 27th, 2009quarrygirlproducts, stores

    vegan thanksgiving feast from whole foods

    actually, make that: i am thankful for whole foods, gardein and field roast. although i’ve got holiday/family celebrations going on throughout the weekend, my meal on the actual evening of thanksgiving came from the prepared foods section of whole foods west hollywood. and boy, what a feast.

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