• you don’t wanna miss this. hot knives, our favorite local bloggers/chefs/cookbook authors are taking over space 15 twenty in hollywood this weekend and throwing a vegetarian (mostly, if not entirely vegan?) event featuring tons of eastside vendors. they’ve got you covered from street food to baked goods, band appearances to cookbook signings, sodas to condiments, posters to records. not only does it sound amazing on paper, but so many of our QG favorites will be there including clara’s cakes, plant food for people, and elf cafe. not to mention the band YACHT in person, DJing and selling merch.

    here is the run down on the booths that will be at the event:
    YACHT, the band, selling records and merch like their new Shangria-LA T-Shirt.
    Plant Food For People, a Highland Park food collective infamous for jackfruit tacos and vegan tamales.
    From the Robins Nest, home-crafted jams, jellies and awesome baguette sandwiches.
    SaSo, a handmade, small batch hot sauce that you need in your pantry.
    Complicated Dance Steps, a local freak-beat tape label will peddle their wares and mix records.
    A fall menu of herbal and spice-infused sodas poured by Eden’s Herbals.
    Echo Park Books, publisher of the “Art Time Punks” an archive of the infamous Part Time Punks club posters.
    Elf Cafe, making available for the first time ever to-go jars of its signature harissa.
    Clara’s Cakes, teen baking blogger phenom selling vegan treats.** for a list, see the bottom of the post.
    Marriage Records, the Portland-based record label represent the Northwest with a smattering of recent indie releases.
    Golden Wings and Rosie’s Vintage will be showcasing groovy threads for you Lady Knives.
    Hot Knives will be DJing with Claire L. Evans of YACHT and demo-ing how to make Thanksgiving Pop-Tarts,
    and will be giving out free Thanksgiving Trifecta Pop-Tarts to anyone who brings a book or buys a book for them to sign!

    aaaaah this sounds like it could be one of the best vegan events of the year—that vendor list is blowing my mind. the whole thing goes down at:

    space 15 twenty
    1520 n. cahuenga blvd.
    los angeles CA
    sunday november 13th from 11am – 4pm
    i will race you guys to the cookbook line for a vegan thanksgiving pop tart!

    **i talked to clara from clara’s cakes to find out what treats she’d be bringing. right now the list is: pumpkin spice gobs, chocolate chip cookie covered oreos (THEY RULE!), neapolitan cupcakes, and pumpkin muffins. can’t wait to try ’em all!

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  • October 5th, 2011quarrygirlappetizers/snacks, recipes, vegan events

    just over a week ago, we joined the hot knives team on the verdugo patio for an afternoon of snacks and beer to celebrate the release of their new vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) cookbook, salad daze.

    we’d been looking forward to this day for ages—we’ve been HK fans for years, and even had an opportunity to test out one of the the salad daze recipes (magic shroom dust, loved it!) several months ago. now that the book has been released into the world and i’ve got it in my hands, i can safely say that it doesn’t disappoint. page after page of meatless recipes, with all the vegan ones clearly marked, each listed with their own thoughtful beer and soundtrack pairing.

    so how was the release party? it was awesome! we always love kickin’ it on the verdugo patio with some good beer, but eating hot knives food at the same time makes it even better. on this day, the dudes prepared a slew of appetizers including some recipes from the book, and played a strictly salad daze playlist of bands we love including the fall, the stooges, and belle & sebastian.

    here’s what we ate…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • September 2nd, 2011quarrygirlvegan events

    yes, yes, yes! sunday will indeed be one of the best days of the summer as the dudes from hot knives take over the verdugo patio for a vegan bbq blow out. the vegetarian bloggers/cookbook authors are some of our favorite chefs ever, yet their food is rarely available to the public. basically, you don’t wanna miss this. the menu will include:

    1) Oyster mushroom po’boys with radish remoulade, greens and a side of pickled potato salad
    2) Mesquite-smoked jackfruit hoagies with peach BBQ sauce and a side of kaleslaw
    3) Summer succotash and jalapeño cornbread

    that all sounds pretty fantastic, right? they worked magic with mushrooms on the verdugo patio in 2009 with a pulled “pork” sandwich…i can’t wait to get a taste of the po’boys.

    pulled "pork" oyster mushroom sandwich in 2009

    this event isn’t only about eating awesome and rare vegan food though, it’s also a chance to be part of a photo shoot. a photographer will be documenting the event and shooting photos for hot knives’ second book, spring blaze, which is all about party foods. check out this video of the guys doing their thing on the 4th of july to get an idea of how it works…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • March 29th, 2011mr meanercookbooks, recipes

    I don’t know about you, but every time I get an inter-Department Delivery in an orange envelope it’s usually something like a boring circular from HR or a “policy update” from the legal department. Imagine, then, how delighted I was to be sent such an envelope from Hot Knives containing not some pointless corporate drivel but a sneak peek at one of the recipes from their very first cookbook, “Salad Daze”.

    Now, Hot Knives (a.k.a. Evan and Alex) are known to us as the genius chefs behind both the Verdugo Bar Patio sessions of summer 2009, as well as the inaugural event at the pre-opening of our local pub, (and favorite bar in all of LA) the Surly Goat early last year. In fact these vegetarian, highly vegan-friendly chefs create such amazing dishes that we have been known to chase around after them like a couple of Grateful Dead fans from the 80s.

    If we had one criticism, though, it’s that there are way too few opportunities to experience their dishes – they don’t cook at enough events! So, the best bit about getting the sneak recipe preview wasn’t so much the preview itself, but the news that Hot Knives are publishing a cook book of some of their best recipes, so we can make their original and inventive dishes in the comfort of our own home. Truth be told, on occasion they will post a recipe or two on their blog, but nothing beats having everything at your fingertips in a good cookbook.

    The recipe they sent to us was called “Magic Shroom Dust”. The description alone blew us away (abbreviated here):

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • January 30th, 2010mr meanervegan cheese, vegan events

    UPDATE: the surly goat is now open, and it’s awesome!

    Two of the nicest and most talented guys you’d ever wish to meet are Alex Brown and Evan George, a duo of vegetarian chefs, beer experts, writers and god-knows-what-else collectively known as Hot Knives.

    The last time we raved about Hot Knives was after attending some patio sessions at Glassel Park’s Verdugo Bar last summer. We whiled away a couple of warm afternoons drinking from an amazing beer selection while Alex and Evan served up some imaginative and very, very tasty vegan food. We’ve also long been fans of their blog where they wax lyrical about beers of the world and publish recipes to die for.

    Imagine, then, how pleased we were to receive an invite for their book launch party to be catered by Hot Knives themselves at a brand new bar that shares some common ownership with Verdugo Bar. We couldn’t believe our luck with a one-two-three punch of Hot Knives’ food, 27 special beers on tap and a book about one of my favorite subjects: BEER!

    This being January and LA storm season there wasn’t much patio action going on, but West Hollywood’s newest bar, The Surly Goat, couldn’t have been a better setting to munch on some food and learn about Hot Knives’ new beer book, “Greatest Sips”. The new bar (it opens to the public Wednesday February 3rd) is in the former 24K club spot and is a welcome addition to a part of town that doesn’t have many great places to drink, being situated a block west of Fairfax on Santa Monica Blvd. The beer selection pretty much mirrors Verdugo Bar (virtually all of it vegan) and there’s a cool, dark environment that’s a pleasure to be in. I know The Surly goat will be on my list of regular haunts, and I’ll probably be at the bar on a highly regular basis!

    Upon arrival we downed a couple of Blind Pig beers from Russian River, and made our way to the back of the bar where Alex and Evan had laid out the most amazing spread. To call Hot Knives perfectionists would be an understatement.

    They wanted just the right kind of bread to pair with their food so they invented a recipe and made a bunch of crispy baguettes (yes, they do taste as good — or better — than they look).

    First order was to grab a hunk of this unbelievable bread and smear their special vegan cashew ricotta cheese all over it. The cheese was a perfect texture, something like cream cheese, but crumbly and tangy just like ricotta. I could seriously have eaten not only every baguette but also the entire hoard of cheese as well as it was so fucking good!

    Just when I thought that I’d reached a state of sublime existence (due in part, I’m sure, to the Blind Pigs) Evan pointed out the second vegan plate which was a spicy habanero seitan loaf. The seitan reminded me a little of the seitan which they put in the Banh Mi sandwiches but the spiciness here was off the charts. A little crispy on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside made for the perfect combination of mouth textures, while the delicate flavoring hid that fire in your mouth that only habanero chilies can deliver.

    Balancing the power of the chilies was a smooth, cold and creamy sauerkraut sauce (I think they called it a mustard) which just begged to be splashed all over the food. Of course, we had multiple visits to the food tables and were not surprised to see everything disappear pretty quickly.

    We had a chance to briefly leaf through the book “Greatest Sips”, written by the Hot Knives dudes in their inimitable style. Ours is on order now, at the mercy of USPS and will be an indispensable guide for beer drinking at The Surly Goat and elsewhere. Not only are the guys perceptive experts in beer, but they love to tell you about what food to pair it with and even what music to listen to while drinking it. No, I’m not joking! The insight is hilarious and I’m sure a little tongue in cheek. Here are Alex and Evan to tell you all about the book themselves:

    Greatest Sips from Hot Knivez on Vimeo.

    Hot Knives are vegetarian chefs, so they do use non-vegan ingredients in some of their cooking, and are huge fans of cheese..but we won’t hold that against them, rather we’ll hope that they do one day decide to become vegan so that they will be inspired to make more and more inventive and tasty vegan foods.

    Also, on the beer front, do remember to check out Barnivore, a super site that answers questions about vegetarian and vegan ingredients in just about any beer you’ll ever want to drink.

    Alex and Evan, thanks so much for feeding us today!

    For more info on The Surly Goat, check out Eater and LATimes.

    Oh, and finally, The Surly Goat hasn’t got its food menu together yet so they won’t be serving any of this gorgeous food (and maybe never will). Hopefully, though, the Hot Knives guys will show up from time to time and take care of filling hungry vegan bellies.

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  • October 1st, 2009quarrygirlvegan events

    los angeles vegans, you need to drop whatever you are doing on sunday and get over to the verdugo bar because our favorite catering duo hot knives is taking over the patio again with another epic feast.


    we attended both hot knives events at the verdugo in august, and i can honestly say they served some of the best food that i’ve ever eaten. not just that, but the music was good, the patio was relaxing, and the beer was tasty.

    this weekend hot knives are coming back to host an “over the oktoberfest” celebration that will feature an arm wrestling competition and vegan german grub. the plan for the menu is vegan soaked in Rausch beer for smokey brats, with veeg sides to choose from. you would be insane to miss this. seriously, how often do we herbivores get to take part in the oktoberfest fun?


    here is the press release and more info incase you wanna get involved in the arm wrestling competition:

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • August 16th, 2009quarrygirlvegan stuff

    UPDATE sunday 4:30pm: HOT KNIVES RAN OUT OF FOOD! the BBQ is over. it was so fucking good, consider yourself lucky if you got to eat there.

    los angeles vegans, drop whatever you are doing today and head over the the verdugo bar where hot knives is throwing an all vegan bbq from 2 – 7pm.


    on the menu, you’ll find pulled “pork” bbq sandwiches, curried seitan banh mi, seeded cole slaw, hand cut chips, and frozen lambic popsicles.

    we went to the verdugo hot knives bbq last weekend, and i can tell you it was the best food i’ve had in a long, long time. for our full review and pictures of every menu item, check out this post.

    don’t miss this event today, or you will be sorry.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi.

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  • August 10th, 2009mr meanervegan stuff
    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi.

    Forty years ago this weekend, The Beatles walked across a pedestrian crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, London and signaled the end of the Swinging Sixties. Their iconic, final Abbey Road album was about bringing things together – after all, it begins with John Lennon’s anthem for togetherness, “Come Together”, and ends with Paul McCartney’s appropriately titled “The End”. Sometimes, the best things in life mean so much more when brought together than enjoyed on their own, just like the final recording sessions of The Beatles.

    Take my favorite things: vegan food, awesome music, special beer and good friends. Bring them together, give them to me in abundance and I’ll be as sound as a pound.

    I write this post replete from all of the above, following this afternoon’s visit to what is arguably LA’s best bar, The Verdugo in Glassel Park. The Verdugo is usually a late-night haunt for us, it being dark, candle-lit and having an innovative beer menu. Today, though, we were spoiled with not only some amazing beers, but the a visit from Hot Knives, the “out there” vegetarian bloggers, chefs, beer experts and all-around-cool-dudes who had brought along a streamlined, but very effective vegan food menu. They called it the Gnosh Pit, and oh boy, did we GNOSH!


    The bad news is that Hot Knives has a very limited engagement with Verdugo – only two days. The good news is that you can catch all this again NEXT Sunday 16th (although the menu items may vary from what we describe here).


    Let’s talk about the food. First, they approached the occasion from a tangent, offering five menu items – two entrées, two sides and a dessert. With two entrées, the good news is that you’re going to eat not one, but two signature dishes:

    Vegan BBQ Bun.

    Vegan BBQ Bun.

    The “BBQ Bun” was a force to be reckoned with – Oyster mushrooms roasted twice and soaked in sweet vinegar spiked BBQ sauce, served between a soft, seasme-seeded bun.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi with Seeded Cole Slaw.

    Curried Seitan Bahn Mi with Seeded Cole Slaw.

    The “Bahn Mi” was ready to kick you in the fucking face (time and time again) with fresh green chilies, cilantro, spicy curry seitan (the best I’ve had in a long time) and crusty bread. It was HOT, TASTY, CRUNCHY and so amazing that I ate two and wished I’d taken another home for dinner.

    Fresh Chips.

    Fresh Chips.

    Yeah, and the sides were also out of this world. Taking potato chips and making them special is rather tricky, but the Hot Knives dudes made it happen. The chips were sliced thin, fried hot and fast and served with kim chi dipping sauce. They vaporized from the table in about eight seconds, if that’s any evidence of the their delectability.

    The cole slaw (pictured above with the bahn mi) had purple cabbage, green cabbage and some other stuff, all served in a tangy sauce with the perfect combination of crunch and mush. These guys know how to make a coleslaw hater become a coleslaw lover.

    Lambic Pop.

    Lambic Pop. (That's what she said!)

    On to the end, the desert was out of this world. Frankly, Lambic is not to everybody’s taste – it’s like a cross between raspberry daiquiri and a hard beer. The Lambic Pops (ignoring the phallic representation) could have been a meal in and of themselves. What an amazing idea?!

    The Hot Knives Dudes making our epic feast

    The Hot Knives Dudes making our epic feast

    The Hot Knives folks were so nice — after every visit (and there were many) to the food area we were served politely, told to “tell our friends” and given food and a friendly attitude to die for. I’d do this every weekend (or every day) if my work schedule and liver allowed it.

    Ah, the food. Well, that’s just one item of convergence we’re talking about here – the next is music. Talking of The Beatles, as we sat down to enjoy our Fresh Chips, George Harrison came over the PA system with his eponymous “For You Blue” from the album recorded a few months before Abbey Road. Yeah, he probably wasn’t singing about the erect, blue Lambic Pops, but the music was great and the pops were cold, so who gives a shit? The Beatles were followed by Dandy Warhols, Velvet Underground and many of my favorite bands in tight rotation.

    Ok, we have food and music, let’s talk about beer. In fact, after several Pliny The Elders (strangely the very first post on this site), I’m not going to talk very much about the beer, except to say that with 20+ beers on tap you can find one of LA’s best beer selections at your beck and call. Just show up at Verdudo, read the beer menu and let your designated driver take you home. Enough Said. Remember to check in advance, though, which beers are vegan. Most of the craft brews served here are, but better to be safe than carnivorous.

    Outdoor Patio at Verdugo Bar

    Outdoor Patio at Verdugo Bar

    Food, music, beer, FRIENDS – yeah, what was originally a 45 minute stop over on the way somewhere became a 2+ hour chillin’ session when we ran into the awesome Foodeater of To Live and Eat in LA . We talked about friends, food, beer, and stuff we wouldn’t post in a family oriented blog (I’m serious). Upon leaving, our perspective of what’s important in life was firmly reinforced: Awesome food, great music, special beer and good friends.

    For more updates about what’s going on at Verdugo Bar, follow them on twitter…. @verdugobar

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