• 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 24th, 2011recipes

    you guys are in luck! today we have a guest post from the sexy vegan, with an outtake recipe from his upcoming cookbook that deals with one of our favoritest foods ever: JACKFRUIT! if you live in LA, you’re probably mourning the loss of pure luck’s insane bbq jackfruit sandwich, so i highly suggest you give this one a shot. you can get canned jackfruit at indian or asian markets, as well as a grocery warehouse on the east side and figgy prod in highland park. enjoy!

    During my extensive search of the elusive jackfruit for a recipe for my upcoming cookbook The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude (thought I’d get the shameless plugging out of the way early), I found myself – as I often do – at my favorite Indian market/eatery, Samosa House in Culver City. When I walked in, I spotted an Indian woman talking to another woman, and they were gesturing to an object that I was pretty sure was a jackfruit. It seemed the Indian woman was schooling the other woman on everything about the fruit. I was very much interested in what she was saying, but I didn’t want to interrupt, so I figured I’d do my shopping first, and when they were done, would ask the Indian woman all about it. After about 5 minutes or so, the other woman walked away, and I approached the Indian woman. She explained to me that it was indeed a jackfruit, and proceeded to tell me all about it. Where it grows. How to break one down. How the ripe ones bear a sweet fruit, while you can cook the “meat” of an un-ripened, or “green” one to achieve the texture of pulled pork (which is why I was interested in it). She spent 7 or 8 minutes politely educating me, and answering all my questions. When we were about done, and I was ready to go to her manager and tell him how helpful she had been, I finally asked her how often they get them in. She said, “I don’t know. I don’t work here, I’m just buying vegetables.” Oops…I think I was profiling at the Indian market. My bad. She was super nice and helpful though. I’m sure she’s great at whatever job she does.

    I did not, however purchase that one, as it was already ripened and sweet. And while I was able to finally find a source for the jackfruit, I ultimately decided that the it was too difficult to come by, and therefore not ready to be in the book. But if you can find some, here’s a little something I’ve come up with. Enjoy!…

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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…

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  • it’s time to start planning the weekend, and i hope to see all you guys in highland park on saturday for the vegan cookout at figueroa produce! plant food for people will be serving our favorite jackfruit carnitas tacos, and the folks at figgy prod will be grilling up match meat burgers, chicken, and crab cakes–oh my!

    here’s all the info on the event:

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  • July 21st, 2011quarrygirlrecipes

    ever since pure luck shut down, i’ve been going through jackfruit withdrawals. their torta was by far one of the best meals in los angeles, and i’m so sad that i’ll never be able to eat it again. thankfully, though, i can still get my jackfruit carnitas fix from melisser elliot’s vegan girl’s guide to life. i definitely haven’t mastered the art of sandwich-making the way pure luck did, but i guarantee you this thing tasted amazing.

    melisser’s recipe can be found online here, along with an instructional video. it’s super easy and comes out delicious: all you gotta do is throw some jackfruit, spices, onion and garlic in a crock pot…and 8 hours later you have awesomeness.

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  • June 16th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, sage vegan bistro

    lately the vegan restaurant scene in los angeles has been in a constant state of change. pure luck closed down, doomie’s moved from downtown to hollywood, native foods replaced m cafe in culver city, veggie grills are popping up in every part of town at an alarming rate…and with madeleine bistro’s fate looking uncertain at best, for a moment it seemed like we were losing our one meatless fine dining option in the city. enter sage vegan bistro.

    the small echo park eatery shares the bottom corner of the jensen rec center on sunset with kindkreme (a raw and dairy-free ice cream parlor) and has been open for a little over 3 months. the menu is ambitious to say the least, with a slew of lunch items (served all day), gourmet dinner fare (served after 5pm), and brunch on the weekends from 9am-4pm. the offerings are pretty creative as well—items such as banh mi spring rolls, almond crusted fried cheese, and white bean french cassoulet all sound incredible.

    i’d dined at sage once before, for brunch, and quite enjoyed it…so i was anxious to try them out for dinner. we stopped by over the weekend with our friends jen & jen, and i’m happy to report that our meal was excellent.

    polenta galettes topped with sauteed leeks and a raisin date spread.

    upon arrival, we were presented with lots of menus! the dinner menu, the lunch menu, and the kindkreme dessert menu…and everything on them was ours for the taking. there was even a “specials” menu written on a chalkboard hanging in the restaurant. we were a bit overwhelmed by the amount of choice, but i think we managed to get at least one thing off every menu.

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  • June 11th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, plant food for people

    earlier this week we reported on a new vegan fast food joint coming to highland park called plant food for people. well, we just got back from their unofficial debut/preview and it was incredible. if you are reading this post tonight (saturday 6/11), get over there! not only is the food delicious, but it’s served up with a smile by an extremely friendly team.

    they were scheduled to start serving at 6pm, and when we showed up at 6:03, there was already a line…

    tonight’s menu at plant food for people was simple. “carnitas” jackfruit tacos for 2 bucks a pop with a choice of 2 toppings, plus an optional side of homemade pinto beans for $1.

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  • June 9th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    as we blogged earlier, pure luck’s official last day in business was supposed to be last saturday. however, due to some escrow dramz the restaurant has decided to remain open for limited hours this week.

    here’s the official word i just got, straight from the owner:

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  • June 8th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, plant food for people

    hell yes, northeast LA!!! an all vegan drive-thru fast food joint called plant food for people has plans to open up in highland park, and on saturday they’re doing a special debut/preview of their jackfruit street tacos on york blvd.

    vegan jackfruit tacos. get 'em on saturday!

    DID YOU HEAR ME?! there is going to be an ALL VEGAN DRIVE-THRU in los angeles. i’m kinda MAJORLY freaking out with excitement. i never thought i’d see the day. what year is this? am i still alive? plant food for people already supplies their neighbor (and QG favorite) figueroa produce with vegan deli sausages, but apparently they decided to turn the awesomeness up to 11. details about their debut after the jump…

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  • May 16th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    …so go eat it ASAP. i’m sure you’ve already heard the news: pure luck is closing for good, and we are freaking out. there’ll be so much to miss about the vegan east hollywood eatery: the impressive beer list, the crispy potato pals, the deep fried pickle chips, and most of all….the jackfruit.

    Todd's BBQ Sandwich: BBQ Jackfruit “pulled-pork” with pickles, onions and vegan mayo on a rustic roll.

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  • February 5th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, viet noodle bar

    today is one of those rare cold rainy days here in los angeles, and what better way to spend it than with a big bowl of warm comforting noodles? if that sounds like a plan, viet noodle bar is your place. the small minimalist asian cafe located in atwater village has long comfortable communal tables and a vegan-friendly menu. the service is friendly, the food is good, and they know what the word “vegan” means. i first learned about viet noodle bar from a positive review on cute and delicious, and after just one visit there i can tell you i’m a huge fan.

    jackfruit noodle bowl: jackfruit, fried tofu, rice crackers, and noodles. $8.50

    viet noodle bar has a couple clearly marked vegan items on their menu including a tofu banh mi and a tofu noodle bowl. they also have a jackfruit and tofu noodle bowl (pictured above), which the chef confirmed was vegan. as this place serves lots of dishes with fish sauce and mayo, i would urge you to be safe and re-iterate many times to your server that you are vegan. that’s what i did.

    anyways, about the noodle bowl…it was absolutely delicious. i was expecting it to be all liquidy and soupy, but it wasn’t. instead it was just a huge pile of soft, thick noodles covered in hunks of jackfruit and fried tofu. plus the crispy rice crackers, fresh cilantro and little bits of onion all added to the amazing combination of flavors. at only $8.50, this thing was way too much food for one person to eat—i was seriously filled to the brim just half way through it.

    if you want a big hot mess of tasty asian noodles for under 10 bucks, free of fish sauce, in a chilled out environment…well then definitely check out viet noodle bar. i know i am gonna make an excuse to go there next time i’m anywhere near silverlake.

    viet noodle bar
    3133 Glendale Blvd
    Los Angeles CA 90036
    323 906 1575
    Open Daily 11am to 10pm

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  • October 27th, 2008mr meanerindian food, LA restaurants, samosa house

    It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of Indian cuisine. Growing up in the UK where it is, of course, the national dish has enabled me to be quite discerning when Indian food is placed in front of me. So, I was delighted at the prospect of visiting the Samosa House in Culver City this past weekend to try their extensive vegan selection (they have seven vegan and three vegetarian entrees).

    a samosa with potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, potatoes w/ long beans, bitter melon, spinach tofu and jackfruit.

    a samosa with potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, potatoes w/ long beans, bitter melon, spinach tofu and jackfruit.

    Well, I can tell you that the experience started off really well. The restaurant is deli-style, where orders are placed and served from heated containers right in front of you in a very clean and orderly environment. The service is excellent – the nice man behind the counter described all the dishes, including which were vegan. We could not decide which of the seven to taste, so we ordered them all as two 3-side samplers (with rice and bread) for $7.99 each, and one side (for the odd man out, final entrée: more to come on that).

    The seven dishes were as follows:

    Potatoes: Pretty much as the name suggests – lightly spiced potatoes served dry in no sauce
    Chickpeas: Your common chickpea curry served in a light sauce
    Lentils: Usually my favorite side, lentils served in a dark, creamy sauce, of which more later
    Potatoes with Long Beans: The name says it all – again, not a very saucy dish
    Bitter Melon: Seemed to be small fruits in a tangy sauce. Much more of a condiment than a side, if you ask me
    Spinach Tofu: Creamed spinach and small tofu chunks (although there were al most no tofu chunks in ours)
    Jackfruit: Pure Luck style jackfruit in a dry curry sauce


    We also had a very hearty serving of rice with each sampler (in fact, the rice accounted for around 60% of the volume of each container) and two small chapatti breads. Of course, we couldn’t help but order two of their signature samosas which were wrapped and fried right there. No microwaved samosas wrapped in foil here!

    We ordered the dishes to go, and hightailed it through West LA as fast as we could to get home – largely because carrying Indian food in your car leaves a lingering odor that lasts in direct proportion to how long you carried the food for. Although our journey was only about 20 minutes, I could still smell the curry in my car the following morning — even though we carried it in the trunk!

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  • April 20th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    are you sick of reading about pure luck already? too bad! because until i’ve tried everything on the menu…i’m gonna keep writing about it and providing you with pictures.

    carnitas taco combo plate: soft corn tortillas filled with jackfruit “carnitas”, topped with diced onions and cilantro, and our fresh tomatillo salsa. $8

    fresh noodle salad: cold rice noodles on a bed of fresh spinach, topped with tofu and peanuts, bean sprouts, basil, onions and a sweet cilantro-lime dressing. $8

    well, i went back to pure luck this weekend, and let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint! the service was great and i finally got to try the much-talked-about “carnitas” made from jackfruit. sounds weird, i know, but it was wonderful. it will be very hard moving forward in my quest to try everything on the menu, not to back out and just continue ordering the carnitas tacos.
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