• January 13th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, m cafĂ©

    japanese obento breakfast with miso soup, steamed brown rice, boiled vegetables with sesame sauce, pickles, hijiki, and broiled tofu. $12

    i can’t believe i have been going to m cafe de chaya for ages, and only recently did i start ordering off the specials menu! seriously…the mac and cheese, pizza, and holiday feast have all been amazing, and today’s breakfast special was no different. unlike the heavier foods i just mentioned, today’s morning feast consisted of soup, vegetables, and tofu all beautifully presented bento-style.

    i seriously LOVE eating my food in compartments, i don’t know why, but it gives me such joy. the sauces and vegetables were all delicious, and the tofu was perfectly cooked. sigh…like most of the specials at m cafe, i really wish this was on the regular menu.

    oh, and the meal started off with a warm cup of vegan miso soup, which was perfect for this rainy morning. it’s hard to find fishless miso when dining out, so try this stuff if you get a chance. it was full of cubed tofu, soft seaweed, and huge succulent mushrooms. so lovely.

    i highly recommend you stray from the standard m cafe menu and try the special on your next visit. i am always pleasantly surprised. 🙂

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  • December 26th, 2009quarrygirlchili addiction, farmers market, LA restaurants

    vegan bean chili. $6.50

    the hollywood farmers market is a vegan mecca. of course we know about the amazing animal-free vendors like a taste of life (best breakfast sandwich ever) and c’est la v (killer cupcakes), but even the meat-peddling vendors like chili addiction have options to please us!

    i never thought a stand called chili addiction would be so damn vegan-friendly, but when i read a glowing blog review of their meatless options, i was inspired to check them out. sure enough, i hit them up at the farmers market and was blown away by their vegan chili! they are at the hfm every sunday, right next to the c’est la v stand on cosmo street, and offer at least one vegan selection each week.

    when i visited, they had a vegan bean chili on special that consisted of garbanzo, pinto and black beans. plus, they had a self-serve bar (if you can call it that—it was tiny!) of chopped onions and fresh jalapenos. so delish. bonus points to any restaurant or food stand that grants me unlimited access to jalapenos. just sayin. the homemade chili was amazing, oozing with full-bodied flavor and perfect seasoning. my only gripe would be that it was kinda expensive. a tiny bowl for $6.50?! just seems a bit steep.

    in typical farmers market fashion, this chili was enjoyed quickly, while standing. as you can see above, a bollard became a makeshift table for our meal. soon though, i will be able to relax and eat me some chili addiction whilst sitting at a proper table inside a permanent building. they are opening up a restaurant on la cienega within the next coupla weeks, and will be serving at least two vegan chilis at all times! i can’t wait.

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  • December 5th, 2009quarrygirlkoji's sushi & shabu shabu, LA restaurants

    vegan shabu shabu at hollywood and highland

    los angeles is a very fortunate city that’s rife with vegan options, but that doesn’t mean that certain parts of town aren’t seriously lacking in animal-free cuisine. i feel like every vegan i know has complained to me about the pitiful dining options along the tourist trap stretch of hollywood blvd between la brea and vine, and i agreed with them until i read a recent post in the quarrums. fear not, LA vegans! koji’s shabu shabu has plenty for us, and it’s right at hollywood and highland.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • December 3rd, 2009quarrygirlelderberries, LA restaurants

    heyo, friends! there is a new almost entirely vegan restaurant that just opened up on sunset in hollywood, and it’s called elderberries!

    elderberries in hollywood

    the brand spankin’ new eatery is run by some women who are friends, and is currently serving up a small menu of sandwiches, salads, soups and smoothies. they are hoping to have an official launch this weekend, when they will expand to a much larger four page menu. i checked elderberries out this week, and while they are still working out a few of the kinks, i think this place has great potential.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • December 2nd, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, locali

    vegan reuben at locali

    you are probably aware that there’s a war going on in los angeles right now; an epic battle of vegan reubens. people go nuts over these sandwiches and there’s a constant search to find out which one is THE BEST. so far on this site, we’ve gone over the offerings from flore, cafe flourish, follow your heart and cafe muse, but now i think i‘ve finally found my favorite of them all…the vegan reuben from locali.

    locali’s vegan reuben is tasty for so many reasons, i don’t even know where to start. two thick slices of soft and delicious swirly rye bread are stuffed with daiya cheese, creamy russian dressing, sauerkraut, and mounds of thinly-sliced faux meat. before serving, locali toasts the sandwich so it’s all warm and melty when you eat it…OMFG so good!

    vegan reuben: marinated deli slices topped with daiya cheese, sauerkraut & smothered with homemade vegan russian dressing. $9.75

    vegan reuben: marinated deli slices topped with daiya cheese, sauerkraut & smothered with homemade vegan russian dressing. $9.75

    i love this reuben because it’s filled with pink deli slices that do a really great job at emulating corned beef. this is the kind of vegan sandwich i would feed to an omnivore to really knock their socks off. locali doesn’t skimp on the ingredients either—they use daiya, which is the best vegan cheese you can get in LA, and also an ample amount of dressing so the sandwich isn’t dry at all. they put so much faux meat and cheese in this thing, i was completely stuffed after eating just half of it. just be sure to specify that you want your reuben made vegan, because i think the default one is vegetarian.

    vegan reuben at locali

    sorry other reubens, as of now this one is my favorite.

    5825 Franklin Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90028-5609
    (323) 466-1360

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  • November 20th, 2009quarrygirlfarmers market, LA restaurants, vegan bakers

    c'est la v vegan cupcakes at hollywood farmers market

    since you will probably already be up on sunday morning to buy the best breakfast sandwich in the world at the hollywood farmers market, while you are there be sure to head over to cosmo street for some vegan baked goods from the c’est la v booth. created by kim garr, one LA’s most popular vegan bakers, c’est la v specializes in treats that taste just like traditional decadent baked goods…but with no refined sugar or animal products.

    C'est La V Bakeshop Table

    c’est la v has been offering their amazing animal-free desserts at the hollywood farmers market for a while, but now that the weather has cooled down a bit, they have finally started selling the most beloved vegan treat ever—cupcakes! and these aren’t just any old vegan cupcakes, these are seriously some of the best.

    do you guys remember leda’s bakeshop in sherman oaks? they shut down a while ago, but back in the day they used to have the most delicious cupcakes in town—seriously worth a drive to the valley for. well kim garr was the original vegan baker at leda’s, so the fact that her vegan cupcakes are available to the public once again is quite a big deal!

    C'est La V Bakeshop Cupcakes

    last sunday when i dropped by the c’est la v booth, they were selling 2 flavors of cupcakes—chocolate chocolate and velvet with cream cheese. both of them were excellent.

    velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. $3.25

    velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. $3.25

    the velvet one was moist and delicious, topped with a dollop of incredibly rich vegan cream cheese frosting. it was basically like a red velvet cupcake but without the food coloring, so if you are a RV fan, you will LOVE this.

    chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. $3.25

    chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. $3.25

    and the chocolate chocolate…wow! this flavor was my personal favorite. i am a huge chocolate fan, and this thing did not disappoint—the cake was packed with amazing sweet flavor, and the frosting was so fluffy. i’m glad i was pretty far away from the c’est la v booth when i started eating it, because i would not have been able to resist going back for more.

    whatever your plans are on sunday, you should figure out a way to work in a trip to the hollywood farmers market and pay c’est la v a visit. sure, you can always order their stuff online…but you usually have to order like 12 cupcakes at a time. here you can go grab as many things as you want, and try a variety of their goods! i know i will be back again on sunday.

    c'est la v's vegan booth at the farmers market

    C’est La V
    Hollywood Farmers’ Market (Sundays)
    Cosmo Street near Selma Avenue
    Hollywood, CA

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  • November 10th, 2009quarrygirlcafe muse, LA restaurants

    vegan reuben at cafe muse

    as you probably know, there’s a bit of a vegan reuben sandwich craze going around los angeles. a good reuben seems to get everyone all excited, and right now their are several pretty decent ones around town. we’ve talked about the sandwiches from flore, cafe flourish, and follow your heart…and today we bring you one more to add to the list: the vegan reuben from cafe muse.

    the muse reuben is by default vegetarian, so when you order be sure to mention that you want it made vegan. they will fill your sandwich up with delectable “ham,” follow your heart cheese, loads of sauerkraut and gooey thousand island. this makes for a super hearty and satisfying sandwich that will keep you going for the rest of the day. unfortunately, there isn’t a rye bread option at cafe muse, so the sandwich comes on your choice of wheat (pictured above) or pumpernickel.

    vegan reuben: veggie ham served warm with soy mozzarella, thousand island dressing, and sauerkraut. with your choice of side. $8.50

    vegan reuben: veggie ham served warm with soy mozzarella, thousand island dressing, and sauerkraut. with your choice of side. $8.50

    while cafe muse’s reuben may not appear to be as special as some of the others on the list, and i definitely wouldn’t call it the best in town, it’s a damn fine sandwich at a very reasonable price. it clocks in at only $8.50, and that includes a generous side of sweet potato fries. and the sweet potato fries, well they are fucking incredible. they are thin, crispy and flavorful…with just the right amount of grease. the fact that you can get a big old sandwich and a mound of fries for under 9 bucks sounds pretty good to me.

    if you aren’t in the mood for fried stuff, you can also get your sandwich with a side of salad or crispy tortilla chips. pictured below the muse vegan reuben with greens on pumpernickel. while it may not be quite the steal that a large helping of sweet potato fries is, the side salad at cafe muse is awesome. they use dark leafy greens, and also give you a generous amount of tomatoes and cucumbers. pure yum any way you look at it.

    cafe muse vegan reuben on pumpernickle

    so there you have it, the cafe muse reuben is one decent sandwich. it certainly isn’t going to win any awards or anything, but i would order it again and i don’t think you can get a better reuben for under ten bucks!

    cafe muse
    6547 Santa Monica Blvd
    Hollywood, CA 90038

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  • October 30th, 2009quarrygirla taste of life, farmers market, LA restaurants

    a taste of life vegan breakfast sandwich

    if there’s one reason to drag your ass out of bed before noon on a sunday morning, it’s this breakfast sandwich from a taste of life. that’s right, the makers of the best vegan soul food in los angeles have also created LA’s best vegan mcmuffin—a soft gooey faux sausage and tofu biscuit complete with deliciously creamy cheese. although the restaurant recently closed its storefront, they are still serving food at the hollywood farmers market every sunday from 8:30am to 1:30pm…the only catch is, these hot little muffins tend to sell out. when i arrived last weekend at around 10:30am, there were still several left, but i heard that by 11:30 they were all gone.

    vegan breakfast sandwich: sausage, tofu, and cheese on a fluffy muffin. $5

    vegan breakfast sandwich: sausage, tofu, and cheese on a fluffy muffin. $5

    damn, i can’t even tell you guys how much i loved this thing. i unwrapped my sandwich and ate it right there in the street, and it was honestly one of the best breakfasts i’ve had in my life. the biscuit was incredibly soft and fluffy, the sausage was hearty and meaty, and the tofu was soft in the middle and nicely browned on the outside. oh, and the CHEESE….the cheese was just amazing. it’s the same stuff that a taste of life puts in their vegan macaroni and cheese, which is the best in LA.

    vegan mcmuffin from a taste of life

    there is absolutely nothing lacking or meh about this sandwich. it’s seriously decadent, perfectly greasy, and not “vegan-tasting” in any way. my only advice would be to order a drink as well, because this thing made me seriously thirsty. i know i will be returning to the farmers market and buying these on a regular basis…they are total vegan crack as far as i’m concerned.

    so who is getting up early on sunday morning to eat the best vegan breakfast sandwich in los angeles? trust me, it’s worth it.

    a taste of life
    at the hollywood farmer’s market
    northern side of selma between vine & ivar

    PS: special thanks to brittany from sick of lettuce for telling me about this breakfast sandwich. without her, i wouldn’t know it existed, and my life would suck slightly more.

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  • October 19th, 2009quarrygirlbella cucina italiana, LA restaurants

    you’ve probably heard that dineLA restaurant week has been extended in los angeles through october 23rd…so you have 5 more days to eat prix fixe at gourmet restaurants for a fraction of the price! many of the participating establishments have vegan-friendly discount options available, so i highly suggest you take advantage.

    last week for lunch, i hit up bella cucina italiana for dineLA with a few co-workers, and we were all thoroughly impressed. the upscale italian eatery is located on hollywood blvd at las palmas, but the sleek design and moody lighting will make you forget that you are dining in tourist central. the food was all top notch, some of the best italian fare i’ve had in los angeles, and they were super eager to accommodate my vegan diet.

    bruschetta classica: toasted bread, fresh tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

    bruschetta classica: toasted bread, fresh tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

    as an appetizer, i went with the dineLA option of bruschetta classica (with no mozzarella), which was toasted bread topped with tomatoes, basil and olive oil. the slices of toast were small and slightly crispy, while the topping was extremely fresh and juicy. i realized while eating this that there really isn’t enough bruschetta in my life. something about the simplicity of the ingredients and the extreme flavors in this dish really get me going.


    although none of the dineLA entree items at bella cucina were vegan-friendly, the server immediately pointed out several options on the menu that i could veganize and still eat at the discounted price. the policy at bella was super flexible, unlike at susan feniger’s street where they would only modify existing dineLA items. i am a HUGE fan of egg plant…so when i saw that bella had an egg plant appetizer, i asked if i could i could get that as my entree. the waiter assured me that it would be no problem at all, and even said he would ask the kitchen to double the portion so i would get my money’s worth. SCORE.

    melanzane al forna: baked eggplant layered with basil and tomato sauce.

    melanzane al forna: baked eggplant layered with basil and tomato sauce.

    when the melanzane al forna arrived, it was absolutely massive. the dish looked like a huge breakfast entree, except with eggplant rather than pancakes and rich tomato sauce rather than maple syrup. the eggplant was deliciously crispy around the edges, yet warm and fluffy inside….while the sauce was perfectly oily and filled with italian flavor. one look at this entree, and i thought it was way to much to eat in one sitting. however, the thing was so damn good that i had no problem putting it all away!


    when our server brought the dessert menus to our table, he profusely apologized and told me there wasn’t anything that could be made vegan. without me even asking, he offered to give me an coffee instead. i know that a coffee isn’t as rad as a vegan dessert, but at least it’s something. and hey, it’s more than street offered (which is nothing, until we asked for a discount….and then they offered berries). i took bella up on their coffee offer, and it wound up being quite delicious indeed. to be honest, i was way too stuffed to eat dessert anyways.


    overall i had a great dining experience at bella cucina. the service was friendly, the atmosphere was chill, the food was delicious, and they were super helpful when it came to veganizing meals for dineLA. the best thing about restaurant week is that we have the chance to eat at so many different establishments that we wouldn’t normally try. bella cucina wasn’t even on my radar before dineLA, and now i can’t wait to return for some damn fine vegan italian food.


    bella cucina italiana
    1708 n. las palmas avenue
    hollywood, ca 90028

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  • October 13th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, street

    as you may know, on this blog we’ve been compiling a list of restaurants that can accommodate vegans during dineLA restaurant week. recently, i decided to put this info to use and hit up susan feniger’s street with my former dineLA partner in crime, jennshaggy.


    when we arrived, the restaurant wasn’t very crowded and we leisurely sunk a few cocktails before placing our order. the pink drink above was mine…and it was so damn good, i can’t even remember its name. if you like fancy drinks though, street is your place. their cocktails and sangria are absolutely amazing, and they even have a drink made with absinthe on the menu!

    our waitress presented us with the special dineLA menus, and when we told her we were vegans, she rushed to the kitchen to speak with the chef. she returned quickly with a list of modifications we could make to each item in order to veganize it, and our restaurant week experience was underway!

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • October 5th, 2009quarrygirla taste of life, LA restaurants


    it with much regret that i bring you the bad news that one of our favorite restaurants in los angeles , a taste of life, has closed down its storefront. the entirely vegan soul food restaurant has been a staple of LA meatless cuisine, serving up the best milk-free mac and cheese in town, southern black eyed peas, sweet bbq tofu, and amazingly flavorful greens. plus loads of other items such as burgers, sandwiches, lasagna and “secret” off-the-menu delights like fried pot roast and gyro meat. the portions were huge, the prices were decent, and the food was amazing. i know that hundreds of vegans agree with me when i say a taste of life will be sorely missed.

    the good news is…you can still get a taste of life’s amazing food in the pre-packaged section at several stores around town, and many of their hot menu items (see the combo pictured above) are available every sunday from their booth at the hollywood farmers market.

    before officially announcing all this on the blog, i did get a few emails, comments, and friends telling me that a taste of life had closed down its storefront. hoping it wasn’t true, i contacted a taste of life, and received this statement from the restaurant:

    Quarrygirl, what’s up? Long time. Well, I got bad news and good news…Bad news first–sadly the rumor is true. We have closed the restaurant. It just got really slow and of course the area it was in didn’t help. Good news–we are still providing our foods in several ways: Retail, catering, meal plans (coming in November), holiday catering (for the holiday season), personal chef services. Vegetarian/ Vegan consumer trends suggest that people are leaning more towards chilled and frozen prepared foods so we decided to move towards the trend. The economy is tricky. So yes, you can still have your beloved mac and cheese…We still cook out of the kitchen. Thanks for reaching out! Oh, we’re doing cooking classes too starting in November. I’m sure you’ll spread the word. Thanks dear!

    they also sent me this handy flyer, with a list of where you can still find a taste of life’s delicious food.


    so there you have it. it’s a sad day in the los angeles vegan world, and we are hoping a taste of life finds a way to re-open. until then, don’t miss your chance to get their soul food combo at the hollywood farmers market, and buy their prepared foods (mac and cheese!!!) at your local store. also, if any of you crazy kids plan on getting married, i hear they are great at catering weddings!

    a taste of life vegan soul food combo. with some of the best mac and cheese i've EVER tasted.

    a taste of life vegan soul food combo. with some of the best mac and cheese i've EVER tasted.

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  • Okay, so we’ve already posted about the best vegan and best vegetarian restaurants in Los Angeles, but sometimes we vegans HAVE to eat in omnivorous restaurants. That’s a part of life. What’s interesting, though, is when we find meat-serving restaurants that we WANT to eat in. That’s a whole different story, and LA has a few outstanding omnivorous establishments that go out of their way to cater to vegans. Here are our favorites.

    M Cafe

    While the “M” in M Cafe probably stands for Macrobiotic, I believe it actually stands for Mmmmmmmm, which is pretty much what I murmur with every bite of this amazing food. With a totally vegan menu except for fish, M Cafe has a chic urban appeal, backed up with an A-list of ingredients (and clientele) all layered over an efficient kitchen and fair pricing, considering how great the food is. While the last year or two M Cafe’s items have been prepared by kitchen staff rather than chefs, their menu items are still some of the best in town.

    Vegan Benedict at M Cafe

    Vegan Benedict at M Cafe

    The Big Macro is arguably LA’s best vegan burger. The broccolini pepporochini is without a doubt LA’s premier broccolini, and the Vegan Benedict is constantly voted one of the “best” breakfast items on any local menu. There are plenty of vegan options at all times of the day, and the rotating menu constantly keeps one coming back for more. The deserts are out of this world, along with the very best vegan tiramisu known to humanity. Check it out!!

    Purgatory Pizza

    It’s probably inaccurate to credit Purgatory Pizza with single-handedly introducing incredible vegan pizza to LA, but we’re going to anyway. The insatiable team, formerly headed by Chef Ricky, that painstakingly worked to veganize an entire product line and food preparation process has gone from strength to strength. Purgatory was not only the first pizza place to embrace Teese (the ground-breaking alternative to Follow Your Heart Cheese), but is also the first to stock Gardein and Field Roast as toppings, and one of the first to serve Daiya (the best vegan cheese at time of posting) in SoCal.

    Vegan Chicken Pestop Pizza with Gardein and Daiya at Purgatory Pizza.

    Vegan Chicken Pestop Pizza with Gardein and Daiya at Purgatory Pizza.

    To get your Purgatory Pizza kicks (if you’re not in the delivery area), show up with a bottle of cheap wine and/or a six-pack of beer, then order your pizza to dine in. Feeling like a cross between an 80s suburban pizza joint and some kind of modern art experiment, Purgatory has a great, brightly-lit atmosphere and friendly staff to keep you entertained while you swallow slice after slice of LA’s best vegan pizza.

    Hugo’s Restaurant

    With two locations (one in West Hollywood, the other in Studio City), and a full-on meat-oriented menu, one might be surprised to find that the Hugo’s chefs have created some seriously innovative vegan cuisine. Not only do they have loads of options, but they have menu with several clearly marked animal-free alternatives, as well as dishes that can be optionally veganized. If you can get past the trendy atmosphere, long waits and constant celebrity sightings (I’ve watched the staff at the WeHo location fawn over Gabriel Byrne and Jeff Goldblum within the past few weeks) you’re in for a vegan treat.

    Tikka Masala Veggie Patties at Hugo's Restaurant

    Tikka Masala Veggie Patties at Hugo's Restaurant

    Although I’ve long been a fan of the tofu scramble, I also love the Very Green Casserole (one of the best vegan burgers I’ve ever tasted atop stewed vegetables and sauce in a pot) as well as the salads, tikka masala veggie patties, stir-frys and wraps. Make sure you specify “VEGAN” clearly when you order, while the restaurant is extremely vegan-friendly, there may be butter hiding in unsuspecting dishes.


    Sadly, the Toi chain has contracted from two locations to just one, on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Thankfully the sacrificial lamb of this two-outlet chain was the Santa Monica outlet on Wilshire and not the ultimate rock and roll dining location sandwiched between Guitar Center and clothing stores most mortals are too… well… mortal to shop in. Toi has a loud, brash atmosphere with a class-based seating system (some tables suck ass, others are amazing — you ride the wind and luck of the draw depending your arrival time).

    Vegan Pad Thai at Toi

    Vegan Pad Thai at Toi

    Get the vegan pad thai with grilled tofu for a real treat, or the Saigon spring rolls…and make sure you request the hot sauces to dollop liberally over your food. The portions are huge, the kitchen respects us vegans, and most things on the menu can be made vegan — substitute chicken for tofu, oyster sauce for vegan oyster sauce, and you’ll get a superb meal. Take your omni friends there, and chillax the fuck out listening to rock ‘n’ roll on the speakers. Step into the parking lot at the back and you can smell weed in the air. Need we say more.

    Mama’s Hot Tamales

    OK, I’ll admit, MacArthur Park (just West of Downtown LA) has a shady reputation. Lotsa crime, lotsa drugs, lotsa pigeons, lotsa bodegas and lotsa REAL, AUTHENTIC Mexican restaurants. How glad are we vegans, then, that one of the most popular, Mama’s Hot Tamales, has a full-on vegan menu, complete with Daiya cheese, vegan sauces and all the trimmings. Did you hear that? Authentic Mexican food AND Daiya Cheese!!!! That is reason enough to make any top 5 list, as far as we’re concerned.

    Vegan Daiya Cheese Enchiladas at Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe

    Vegan Daiya Cheese Enchiladas at Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe

    At Mama’s you can enjoy all the greasy, cheesy filling Mexican food that omnivores love to death, but prepared under the supervision of Mama herself: the real deal, a Mexican señora who could not be more understanding of what a vegan is, what we need and how to prepare the food for us.

    Honorable mentions: Green Peas, XIV, Zpizza, Cafe Muse, Interim Cafe, Mani’s Bakery

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  • Yesterday we brought you a list of the 5 best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles. But if a 100% vegan eatery isn’t on the cards for whatever reason, LA has a superb selection of vegan-friendly vegetarian restaurants, some of which rival or exceed the offerings available at vegan-only establishments. From a 60s-era hippie health-food store to a moderne hipster hangout, LA has it all. Check out our top five vegan-friendly vegetarian restaurants and please let us know in the comments if you think any don’t deserve the list, or you have a favorite that should be on it.

    Follow Your Heart

    Psychedelia. Woodstock. Topanga Canyon. Flower Power. Tie Dye. We have many things to thank the late 60s for, and Follow Your Heart is one of them. This amazing vegetarian oasis, established in 1970 in Canoga Park, has LA’s premier (= only) vegetarian grocery store with a TON of vegan products (some of which can’t be purchased anywhere else). Not only that, it has a cosy restaurant and patio where some of LA’s finest vegan food is waiting for you.

    Vegan Reuben at Follow Your Heart

    Vegan Reuben at Follow Your Heart

    Don’t miss the Reuben Sandwich (make sure you ask for extra 1,000 island dressing), as a human being has to try this out at least once in their life! There are many, many dishes with home made fake meats, and vegan entrees such as breakfast burritos, benedicts etc. Follow Your Heart does a SUPER job with the restaurant food and you pretty much can’t go wrong. If you’re averse to honey (hopefully you are, bees are cool), the buns have honey in them, so be sure to order your delicious burger on VEGAN bread.

    Fatty’s & Co

    Fatty’s is an interesting place. So overtly pretentious, yet with honest down-to-earth food items you can’t get anywhere else it’s a somewhat strange place to dine. If you walk in when the place is empty, the greeter will give you a hard time because you didn’t make a reservation, but when you’re seated in this pristine restaurant with cavernous ceilings you will be served some truly special food.

    Vegan Chartreuse at Fatty's & Co

    Vegan Chartreuse at Fatty's & Co

    After wading through a pretty dairy-heavy menu, there are some vegan wonders which await. Half the appetizers are vegan and run the gamut from bread and oil (very special, bread and oil, I might add) through blackened tempeh to more obscure things like “far east rolls” including non-meat chicken. This is a place with powerful entrees as well — get the vegan paella, ravioli, sloppy joe or chartruese for a throughly different and high quality experience. There are also some rare deserts, including a cotton candy that’s only available if a certain person is in the restaurant (Mrs. Dingle, I kid you not). Eat here when you really want to impress a date or experience vegan fine dining to the fullest.

    Flore Cafe

    Like a phoenix from the ashes, Flore Cafe rose from the amazing Vegan Spot, my favorite ever vegan restaurant. Despite a rocky existence (after the abrupt closing of Vegan Spot I firmly expected this place to be shuttered when I next visit), Flore Cafe has some great vegan food that’s served fast and of very high quality. Almost totally vegan except for a few egg and dairy items, Flore Cafe is unlikely to disappoint. Plus, they really raise the bar with their excellent “all you can eat deals”—from their regular Sunday $10 brunch, to their special event buffets—they give us several reasons to watch them closely.

    Tofu Scramble at Flore Cafe

    Tofu Scramble at Flore Cafe

    The tofu scramble (if you’re really lucky you’ll be eating that at one of the botomless Sunday brunches) is some of the best in town, along with the breakfast burritos, burgers and salads with seitan. Also, their fake tuna a.k.a. “tu-no” is awesome — especially when served on the tu-no melt. Like its sister restaurant Flore (located just 1/2 mile away), Flore Cafe offers organic meat-free menu with fresh ingredients and attention to detail, yet the restaurant is rarely crowded. Not the best place to dine in, but great for a quick snack or take-out feast.


    Californian-style Mexican food can be well prepared with vegetarian or vegan ingredients, and Cinnamon has perfected the art. Situated in a nondescript single-frontage store in Highland Park, Cinnamon has a warm, family atmosphere in common with all the best Mexican restaurants. Most times, the owner will be there to personally advise on her menu creations as well as supervise the kitchen. With a huge menu of high quality food items, you basically can’t go wrong.

    Chorizo and Tofu Tacos at Cinnamon Vegetarian

    Chorizo and Tofu Tacos at Cinnamon Vegetarian

    Although a vegetarian restaurant, pretty much anything can be veganized or is already vegan. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, all the regular Californian-style Mexican food is well represented as well more authentic stuff such as tamales, mole and empanadas. You got your mock meats, spicy black beans, fresh and crunchy vegetables and the typical sauces — all optionally vegan. Cinnamon proves that great Mexican food can be made vegan.You can eat here with a clear conscience because you KNOW the rice has no chicken broth and the refried beans no lard. Check it out…. you really won’t be sorry.

    Paru’s Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

    While our friends at Cinnamon excel at vegetarian Mexican-style food, Paru’s knocks the ball out of the park with vegetarian Indian food. Since the 1970s, Parus has been quietly plugging away, serving some of the best Indian food this side of Brick Lane. With a strict policy on preparing vegan food separately in the kitchen, they are to be trusted with our veganocity. The place is a little foreboding upon arrival. It seems like you’re entering a bail bond office or brothel in a sketchy part of town (they buzz you in), but once past the reinforced door you’re in a private patio that leads to an intimate restaurant.

    Punjab Glory at Paru's Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

    Punjab Glory at Paru's Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

    All but a couple of the menu items are either vegan or can be prepared vegan, and the best bet is to get a few side orders with some rice and bread. It’ll cost you a lot less than the signature dishes, and is a great way to experience the variety of food Paru’s has to offer. Get the dosa (puffy bread that looks like a deflating balloon), bonda (fried potato balls) and one of the lentil dishes. Paru’s is a welcome break from our fake-meat-tofu world as they make everything by hand from vegetables and legumes. That’s a rare thing these days.

    Honorable mentions: Bulan Thai, The Spot, Nite Moon Cafe

    Tomorrow, we’ll be presenting the Top Five LA vegan-friendly omnivorous restaurants. Stay tuned!

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  • September 18th, 2009quarrygirl101 coffee shop, LA restaurants


    walking into the 101 coffee shop in hollywood is like sticking one foot back in time. the throwback diner filled with modern-day hipsters is modeled to look just like the coffee shops of the 1960s—complete with retro booths, a stone wall, and a long counter lined with bar stools that stretches through the restaurant.


    as stated on their website, “The menu at 101 Coffee Shop features retro diner fare with a Southern California twist.”…which of course means they have a few vegan options! while there isn’t a huge selection for us vegans, the diner does offer a very popular animal-free breakfast item called “no huevos” rancheros.

    "no huevos" rancheros: tofu, black beans, corn, soyrizo, ranchero sauce and guacamole. $7.95

    "no huevos" rancheros: tofu, black beans, corn, soyrizo, ranchero sauce and guacamole. $7.95

    i hit up 101 recently with fellow vegan blogger brittany, from sickoflettuce.com…and although it was well into lunchtime, we both opted for the coffee shop’s signature vegan breakfast dish. as you can probably tell by the name, the “no huevos” rancheros is an eggless take on huevos rancheros…and comes complete with scrambled tofu, vegan sausage, black beans, corn and ortega chilies atop tortillas, all smothered in ranchero sauce and topped with a dollop of guacamole. i think this dish incredible because it’s chunky, sloppy, spicy, and savory—everything i love all at once.


    the ranchero sauce is bursting with rich tomato flavor, the tofu is well-seasoned, and the soyrizo is perfectly greasy. mix it all up with the chilies to give it some heat, then cool it down with the guacamole, and you have vegan breakfast bliss at any time of day. brittany and i both loved it, and although 101 has a couple other vegan dishes, i don’t think i could ever see myself straying from the “no huevos” rancheros.

    whether you live in los angeles, or are just visiting, i would classify a meal at the 101 coffee shop as a “must”. don’t go just for the food, but for the classic diner vibe and the retro interior. the staff and clientele are all ridiculously cool and beautiful, and the 60’s design is spot on. you’ll feel like you’re eating in a time-warp or a quentin tarantino movie…same thing, i suppose. and how great is it that a place like this ALSO caters to vegans?!

    go there, and get the “no huevos” rancheros. eat them for breakfast, lunch, or as a late night post bar snack…whenever you have them, they won’t disappoint.


    101 coffee shop
    6145 franklin avenue
    hollywood, ca 90028

    open daily 7am-3am

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  • September 8th, 2009quarrygirlboho, LA restaurants
    vegan tofu scramble + craftsman 1903 lager

    vegan tofu scramble + craftsman 1903 lager

    a gastropub in los angeles with 25 impressive beers on tap and a delicious vegan option? yep, it’s true. if you wanna get your drink (craftsman-style in my case) and enjoy a two-course vegan brunch, look no further than boho in hollywood.

    boho has been open for less than a year, but their beer selection has already made them one of my favorite bars in town. other than blue palms and the verdugo, i can’t think of anywhere with such a great beer selection. plus unlike the two joints i just mentioned, boho has awesome hours and decent parking (they are in the same complex as the archlight theatre, and they validate!).

    the rotating beer list that always boasts several international selections would keep me going back time and time again…but as an added bonus, boho also has a vegan option on their sunday brunch menu. while their one vegan item is merely a tofu scramble, it’s a damn good one…and even better when you consider the fact you can eat it while sipping on imported beer for a reasonable price in the heart of hollywood.

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