• August 13th, 2011quarrygirlbarcelona, more restaurants (not LA)

    hey everyone! i’m very pleased and honored to report that today we have a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, fat gay vegan. he usually writes about places in london where he lives, but today he has taken time from his relaxing spanish vacation to send us a review of a vegetarian restaurant in barcelona. my mouth is watering…enjoy!

    If you are ever fortunate enough to find yourself in the breathtaking city of Barcelona, you certainly will not go hungry. This world-class destination is packed solid with vegan dining and shopping options. There are at least two vegan grocery stores as well as a vegan deli, numerous restaurants, falafel merchants, juice stands, organic grocers and even Indian cuisine suitable for cruelty-free diners. I have taken leave from my own blog to wander across to talk to you about that last category… Indian food.

    Veg World India is situated in the historical inner-city neighbourhood of Gràcia that once stood alone from Barcelona as a separate village. This district is cluttered with bars, coffee shops, cinemas and boutiques. It delicately treads that fine line between local tradition and chic progress perfectly. Veg World India slots effortlessly into this bustling bohemia and offers a satisfying food experience.

    A sign outside reading “90% Vegan” was a lovely welcome on my visit and the knowledgable servers went out of their way to ensure all my vegan concerns were met. The starter plate for two was modified to remove paneer and we were informed our choices would be cooked in separate oil.

    Everything on the plate was fabulous with special mention going to the outstanding onion bhajis.

    My main meal was a stunning combination of lemon rice, cauliflower/potato curry as well as a spinach/tofu curry. A basket of naan bread was supplied with the meal and refilled as quickly as I could empty it.

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  • June 14th, 2011mr meanerlondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    Indian-inspired curries are the national dish of my home country, England. We Brits eat an astonishing 3.5 Indian dishes per person EVERY WEEK, we have over 10,000 Indian restaurants (as opposed to “only” 1,400 McDonald’s outlets) and Tikka Masala is the number one consumed dish by a very wide margin in the UK. Indeed, Fish and Chips have long been relegated to and also-ran in the national culinary identity league.

    As a vegan, I’ve yet to find an Indian restaurant that can’t cater to my preferences. Most can prepare vegan dishes if you ask that they not be cooked with butter ghee, and instead use oil or vegetable ghee and omit any yoghurt or cream. Also, there are many Indian restaurants (often Hindu owned or run) which have a strict lacto-ovo vegetarian policy having no meat anywhere on the premises.

    One such restaurant in London is Indian Veg Bhelpoori House which has stood for over 30 years on picturesque Chapel Market in Islington, a few minutes walk from Angel tube station or a nice stroll from busy King’s Cross station. Chapel Market is a narrow cobbled street that has hosted a daily market since Victorian times. Despite much modernization and full immersion into the cultural smorgasbord of the area, Chapel Market oozes old time London – one could be in the 1940s or the 2000s. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell depending on your viewing angle.

    Crammed into what looks like the ground floor space of three large Georgian houses, Indian Veg Bhelpoori House has loud green banners outside proclaiming things like “A vegetarian diet will save the world!” and “Come and try our £3.95 all-you-can-eat buffet!”. Yes, the restaurant is at the same time lovingly familiar yet absolutely quirky.

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  • March 14th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, streets of india cafe

    hey y’all! today’s quick bite (aka reader review) comes to us from greg c. in los angeles. he recently checked out the valley’s new all vegetarian indian restaurant and loaded up on tons of tastiness from samosas to dosas. an entirely meatless restaurant with great food and low prices? yes, please! i am freaking dying to go here. check it out:

    I was flipping though some of that junkmail w/ local businesses & coupons, and an ad for Streets of India Cafe in Encino caught my eye. The ad said “VEGETARIAN/VEGAN” ….so of course I had to check this out! I found their website, checked out the menu….and – they have DOSA!!!!!!!! Dosa’s my favorite Indian food, but not that many Indian restaurants make it. I’d go to Paru’s in Hollywood for my dosa fix, but Encino is closer to me so I was very excited.

    Samosa: Crispy triangular turnover stuffed w/ veggies. $4

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  • tuesday evening was pretty awesome because it marked the launch of highland park’s din din a go go, a weekly vegan-friendly truck feast in the parking lot of figueroa produce. i arrived at right at the beginning (5:30pm), and there were already tons of hungry peeps milling around, waiting to get their grub on.

    when i saw the multiple trucks lined up neatly behind figueroa produce to the right, i knew it was gonna be an epic night. all the trucks had vegan items on their menus (many added specifically for this event), so i had a pretty tough time deciding what to order. i chose my meals (yes, i ate multiple meals) depending on who was ready to serve and had the shortest line. first up, lomo arigato.

    tofu lomo saltado: tofu sauteed with onions, tomatoes, french fries, soy sauce, and red wine. served over peruvian rice.

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  • January 16th, 2011mr meanerlondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    Vegan curry is plentiful in Camden Market

    Recently, we skewered an otherwise excellent food stand in London’s Camden Market due to its terrible customer service. Gladly, though, there are several wonderful food choices in the market that serve some pretty damn good Indian food. If you look hard enough, you’ll see “Halal Indian Food” on a few stalls, along with some huge, bubbling pots of very tasty curries.


    If you stay away from anything with meat, the vegetable dishes are nearly always vegan and absolutely always tasty…

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  • December 6th, 2010mr meanerlas vegas, more restaurants (not LA)

    Just hours before our recent trip to Las Vegas, a vegan friend (and Vegas native) recommended Mint Indian Bistro, a vegan-friendly Indian restaurant a couple of blocks off the strip. After we checked out the menu online, and saw that almost all their vegetarian dishes are “vegan friendly” by default, we made up our mind to visit at the earliest opportunity.

    We’d originally planned out our meal from the online menu, but were a little disappointed when we arrived to find that they had taken a reservation for a large party (of 40 people!) and so would be doing a fixed price buffet service rather than a la carte. Of course, it was just our luck that this was the first time ever the restaurant had operated a buffet in the evening and so the regular menu wouldn’t be available.

    We asked if the buffet had any vegan items, and were told “there are lots of vegan options, you won’t go hungry!”. Even with that reassurance, we checked out the buffet tables before we settled in, and any hint of disappointment was swiftly dissipated by what we found…

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  • October 20th, 2010quarrygirlproducts

    here at QG headquarters, half of our household is british—so naturally, curry plays a huge part in our lives. we’ve shared with you our favorite recipe and told you about basu’s homestyle prepared foods…and today, we are giving you a heads up on an awesome vegan-friendly product line that’s available at whole foods: sukhi’s gourmet indian foods.

    sukhi’s contacted us a while back and offered to send us some of their products for review. always interested in trying new things, we said, “of course!” a couple days later, a package arrived in the mail filled with tasty indian goodies. the first thing we tried was my favorite of all: the naanwich.

    i love naan, i love sandwiches, and i love channa masala…so imagine how excited i was to see all three of those things rolled into one! the naanwich was fantastic. we heated it up in the oven to get it nice and crispy.

    the filling was hearty and deliciously flavored, and the bread was soft and cushy. it was a special treat to have this vegan naan, because nearly every brand of naan bread contains eggs. i’m so happy sukhi’s busted out an animal-free version.

    next up, we tried a box of frozen mini samosas.

    these bite-sized babies were filled up with spiced potatoes and peas, and were gone in no time. seriously, so addictive! they came with a tasty cilantro chutney that was to die for, and we also dipped them in some of the other chutneys sukhi’s sent us: mango, jalapeno, and mango pickle. YUM!

    lastly, we tried 2 of sukhi’s frozen vegan entrees—the vegan chili chicken with naan and the channa masala with naan, as well as a cauliflower and spinach curry we made ourselves using sukhi’s vindaloo sauce.

    it was all fantastic! the only thing i didn’t eat much of was the vegan chicken, because it had bell peppers in it (which i hate). my husband assured me it was great though, and i was a huge fan of the channa masala and the vindaloo. these samples totally won us over, and we have been buying sukhi’s at whole foods ever since. they even have a new low-fat frozen line with vegan options that rock!

    so if you are looking for a quick and tasty indian meal, sukhi’s has gotcha covered. seriously guys, you gotta try the naanwich!

    for more info on sukhi’s check out their website!

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  • July 9th, 2010quarrygirlcowboys and turbans, LA restaurants

    want FREE FOOD from cowboys and turbans this weekend?

    check the DETAILS…

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  • May 3rd, 2010quarrygirlcowboys and turbans, LA restaurants

    hey LA, we have some great news! our favorite indian/mexican-inspired food joint has added a slew of new animal-free dishes to its menu!

    that’s right, cowboys and turbans has had a total face-lift, and their new menu includes even more delicious vegan items than before. not just that, but they now DELIVER (literally, not just on taste) to the silverlake area.

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  • April 29th, 2010quarrygirldosa truck, LA restaurants

    in case you haven’t heard, dosa truck is LA’s only vegetarian food truck and their menu is chock full of vegan options.

    sita's surprise: sweet potato masala dosa. $6.75

    what exactly is a dosa, you ask? the explanation is written on their website: “Take a crispy sourdough crepe made from rice and lentil flour… stuff it with regional and gourmet ingredients and roll it long and thin and you’ve got a DOSA. “

    i have been hitting up the truck on a regular basis lately, and while i think it’s a bit on the expensive side, the food is always pleasant.

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  • April 13th, 2010mr meanergangadin, LA restaurants

    I grew up in the pubs and curry houses of England. I distinctly recall dodging in and out of doorways on many rainy nights as I made my way along cobbled streets between The Dog and Duck and Raj Palace in East London. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a pint followed by a curry – indeed, Indian food is now the national cuisine of England!

    I’m regretful that Indian food hasn’t really taken off that well in the USA, but most cities have a pretty good choice of excellent restaurants these days, and one of the best in LA is Gangadin in Studio City. We’ve raved about this place before, and couldn’t resist hitting it up again, but this time with a twist: We’d hit up a pub first just like back home!

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  • January 7th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, samosa house

    looking for authentic and vegan indian street food? look no further than LA’s very own samosa house in culver city. in addition to their dinner combo menu (which is hard to veer away from but often worth it), they also offer a vegan version of the classic vegetarian street dish: bhelpuri.

    bhelpuri is a popular indian dish which consists of hot puffed rice, chopped vegetables, boiled potatoes and tamarind sauce. does that sound weird?! well it should because it IS. it’s like a savory rice krispies treats vegetable dish for dinner, but it’s really fucking good. go try it out at the samosa house. and be sure to say that you want it made vegan (otherwise they may put yogurt on it, ew!) seriously, this stuff is worth writing home about.

    the samosa house
    1510 W. Washington Blvd
    Culver City CA, 90066

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  • December 24th, 2009mr meanerbawarchi, LA restaurants, samosa house

    The plethora of vegetarian Indian kitchens in and around Culver City is a wonderful thing. I’m often known to leave work and head to Father’s Office for a Pliny The Elder or two before hitting up Samosa House (both locations) or Bawarchi for a box full of great value meatless Indian food to take home and eat in front of the TV.

    samosa house

    Frankly, the original Samosa House (which has been in Culver City for over 30 years) is quite a trek for me, and has had an historically spotty reputation for the taste of its food and quantities served. But perhaps due to competition from the newer Indian kitchens, or even the shitty blog post I wrote back in October 2008, Samosa House has transformed itself into a paragon of scrumptious food, value and excellent service. The staff are friendly and helpful when asked about vegan items, and take pride in piling your food choices into the containers with a smile. They always have a vegan bread, tasty rice and have recently added things like veggie burgers, dosas and rotating specials just to spice things up a little.

    bawarchi in culver city

    Lately, though, I’ve found myself going to Bawarchi more than Samosa House purely because it’s a couple of miles closer and (crucially!) east of the 405, meaning that I can get there much faster from where I live and work. I’d been bitten by the Bawarchi spell: closer location, exact same food offerings, smiling staff and great service that I began to wonder why I’d ever have an excuse to visit Samosa House again. Until, that is, a couple of weeks ago when I found myself running an errand closer to Samosa House so I popped in, just like the old days, and ordered a couple of combination meals to go.

    When I got home and opened up the meals, I realized that I was getting far, far more for my money at Samosa House than I was at Barwarchi. More curry, more bread, less rice (making room for more curry!), less raita (non-vegan stuff Bawarchi always manages to sneak into the bag) and the food was, frankly, better. It wasn’t as dry, tasted much fresher and had a fuller flavor without being overly saturated with spice.

    samosa house dinner combo!


    bawarchi dinner combo!

    Just to be sure, I went back to Bawarchi a couple of days ago and ordered my usual – the exact same dishes at the same price as Samosa House. This time, though, I watched the friendly bearded gentleman behind the counter spoon my food in. He was unbelievably diligent in ensuring that he put the absolute minimum of food in each compartment (except for the rice, of course, which filled 80% of the large compartment). At one point, he actually TOOK OUT some jackfruit that he put in, while all the time talking to me so I’m distracted from his hand action like the victim of some Victorian illusionist.

    bawarchi dinner combo!


    samosa house dinner combo!

    The lentil dal was probably the worst example – he put so little in the box that it only filled one regular shot glass!

    WTF, bawarchi?! ...really?

    Of course, cramming a box with rice (factually, the world’s least expensive food crop) and 25-30% less food than one’s competitors goes straight to the bottom line – and in today’s economy, who doesn’t want to keep costs under control? Exactly.

    I continued to watch him serve a couple of other customers, and I seriously think this guy has a Ph.D. in “food service cost control”: Measly portions, lots of rice and some clever slight of hand lead me to dismiss Bawarchi as a cost-driven business dealing in bait and switch techniques to the uninitiated.

    I’m going to avoid Bawarchi for a while — until they improve the portions and put their customers first. and if, like me, you’ve dumped Samosa House for Bawarchi, try switching back for a while and see the difference. I promise you, it’s worth the extra 1.65 miles however you cut it.

    stick to the samosa house

    Samosa House
    11510 W Washington Blvd.
    Culver City, CA 90066

    10408 Venice Blvd
    Culver City, CA 90232
    (310) 836-8525

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  • December 18th, 2009quarrygirldosa truck, LA restaurants

    dosa truck

    dosa truck is part of the huge twittering mobile food craze that’s hitting los angeles, but unlike the other businesses, this truck doesn’t serve meat. it specializes in all-vegetarian dosas, which are south indian-inspired crepes stuffed with various different fillings.

    vegan dosa from dosa truck

    although dosa truck does serve cheese in some of their dishes, the menu is super vegan-friendly, with all the stuff to avoid being pretty obvious (paneer, yogurt, etc). i hit up the food truck today at their stint in hollywood, and tried out 2 of their vegan dosas as well as a samosa.

    vegan dosa

    the shiva-shakti (pictured above), is a 1/2 masala and 1/2 sweet potato dosa filled with smashed curried indian potatoes. i also tried the mumbai madness, which is the same thing minus the sweet potatoes. both of these creations were amazing; the filling was fluffy and flavorful and the rice-lentil crepe was soft and crispy around the edges. these things were also stuffed with a tasty blend of tomato and coconut chutney. UPDATE: i asked the dude working the truck if the coconut chutney was vegan, and he said it was. however, a reader commented on this post saying it isn’t vegan. i am awaiting an official response from dosa truck… UPDATE #2: the owner of dosa truck just sent me an email and confirmed the coconut chutney is NOT vegan. the tomato chutney is though, so just ask for no coconut. she apologised profusely for the error. 🙁

    vegan samosa from dosa truck

    i also grabbed a samosa, the perfect little fried pocket of indian goodness. it was a great one too, with soft potatoes and juicy green peas.

    vegan samosa from dosa truck

    every bite of food i had at dosa truck was excellent, so seriously go show this vegetarian business some support! dosas are 6 bucks each, and worth every penny. and remember, no coconut chutney!

    you can get their schedule from their website.
    and be sure to follow them on twitter for updates.

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  • December 18th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, samosa house

    yep, i shit you not. you gotta get to the samosa house and try this thing.

    vegan burger at the samosa house: veggie patty, indian spices, peanuts, tomatoes, onions, coriander. $3.99

    vegan burger at the samosa house: veggie patty, indian spices, peanuts, tomatoes, onions, coriander. $3.99

    i didn’t even know the samosa house had burgers—i’m usually too caught up in the cheap and delicious dinner combos to notice anything else. but last time i was there, i saw a paper sign hanging up at the counter advertising a veggie burger for just $3.99. i asked them if it was vegan, and sure enough it was!

    i ordered one to go, and to be honest i didn’t expect it to be very good. i mean, who orders a veggie burger at an indian restaurant?! i am pleased to report though, that this thing was better than good—amazing even! i’ve never had such a tasty and uniquely spiced burger. the patty was thick and meaty, not full of vegetables and grains like some vegan ones are, and it was topped with chopped up roasted peanuts. add that to an indian sauce, some fresh vegetables and coriander leaves and you have pure delicious.

    i will definitely, definitely be back to order this again. and i encourage you to try it out as well. if you like burgers and indian food, this is the perfect intersection.

    samosa house
    11510 W Washington Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90066
    (310) 398-6766

    oh and BTW, this burger is only available at the old school samosa house (the one with a market attached to it). they don’t have the veggie burger at the new samosa house east.

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