• August 30th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    the more i eat at native foods, the more i love it. ever since they opened up their new spacious location in culver city, i can’t stay away. they even have a rewards card program, and just last week i got an email saying i’d earned ten bucks worth of free food!

    i recently took my omnivorous sister and niece to native foods and they were impressed. seriously, they were shocked that it was vegan. have a look at what we ordered:

    chili cheese fries: seasoned potato fries smothered in homemade native chili. topped with native cheese and diced red onions. $5.95

    topped with meaty vegan chili and homemade “cheese,” these fries are not to be messed with.

    native nachos: homemade corn tortilla chips covered in black beans, native taco meat, native chipotle crema, native cheese, salsa fresca, and guacamole. topped with corn, green onions, and cilantro. $7.95

    we couldn’t decide between the chili fries and the nachos, so we got both. best decision ever.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • January 4th, 2011quarrygirlfollow your heart, LA restaurants

    i really do love follow your heart. the all vegetarian cafe and market has been around since 1970 and offers some of the best food and hardest to find groceries in los angeles. my biggest complaint about follow your heart is that it’s located too far away from my house, so i don’t get to go there enough!

    the cafe can be uncomfortably busy on weekends (i understand why, it’s because the food is so good!), but on weekdays it’s much more pleasant. i checked it out recently on a monday morning at around 11am with my mom, and we had almost the entire place to ourselves…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • December 28th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, locali

    yes, you heard me right! locali is offering the best vegan reuben in LA at 10% off to quarrygirl readers for the rest of 2010!

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

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , ,
  • This week we brought you a list of the 5 best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles, an update on last year’s list. 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 modern 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.

    Elf

    This tiny restaurant without any signage on a busy section of Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park is quite the find. With seating for only a handful of people, and usual wait times an hour or more, there has to be something cool about Elf. And, indeed, there is. While vegetarian, many dishes are either vegan or vegan optional with everything prepared from scratch in the open kitchen. Being strictly word of mouth (I mean, a restaurant with no sign outside that doesn’t advertise anywhere has to be, right?) yet so busy shows that there’s something very special inside.

    Roasted Flatbread Shawarma made with Crispy Oyster Mushrooms at Elf

    The menu is relatively diminutive, yet highly inventive. Some of the food items have been there for a while, and others rotate in and out as the chefs see fit. The atmosphere is dark, and romantic until, that is, the place fills up then it gets incredibly loud and busy and the tables are very close together so one can sometimes feel cramped. Also, they have a BYO policy so you can bring your own wine and pay a small ($4) corkage fee, which always works out to be a fraction of the price you’d pay for the normal 100%+ mark-up on restaurant wine.

    Hummus King

    UPDATE: hummus king in thee valley has closed down, but they are offering catering and free delivery until they hopefully re-open in silverlake!

    I don’t know much about Kosher restaurant certification other than it’s difficult and expensive to get and involves visits from Rabbis etc. I’d imagine, though, that the certification is easier if there’s not meat served in an establishment, so I’m really pleased that Hummus King is 100% OU Kosher and 100% vegetarian (which means basically vegan except for some optional toppings).

    Vegan Shwarama Sandwich at Hummus King

    Hummus king has a few things going for it, principally the BEST hummus in the 818, probably the BEST falafel (my personal favorite is the crazily spicy “fire ball” falafel) and the best meaty vegan shawarma available. The generous portion sizes, incredible value and beyond polite service make Hummus King one of my favorite places to visit. Whether you’re up for a full-on dine in meal or you just want to grab a stuffed pita to go, Hummus King has you covered. Don’t let the bright fluorescent lights and plastic seats fool you: what lies beneath the low-rent exterior is some of the best vegan food you’ll ever eat.

    And, if you’re strictly Kosher, why not try Hummus King? Be cruelty free – it won’t hurt (you or the animals).

    Cru

    I’ve been to Cru a bunch of times, always enjoyed the food and atmosphere but for me it really defies classification. It’s a raw restaurant that serves some cooked food. It’s a vegan restaurant that serves honey (therefore proudly titling itself “vegetarian”). It’s also a small space that never really seems crowded, even though it’s frequently full with long hour plus waits on the outside. One good thing is that Cru seems to be dropping honey as an ingredient in many of its dishes, which is a great thing. Of all non-vegan ingredients, honey is perhaps the easiest to substitute and I’m looking forward to being able to eat more and more of the menu as time goes on.

    Raw Lasagna Portobello at Cru

    The menu is pretty diverse, but seems to contain the same narrow list of root ingredients, so if you order a few things you may end up with strikingly similar appearing and tasting dishes. Normally that would be instant disqualification from a “best of” list, but because those base ingredients are so damn good everything works out to be excellent. You can taste the quality of the ingredients and the care that went into preparing them. I typically stick to the raw dishes for a change, but the cooked items are superb. Cru won’t disappoint you, but be careful for hidden honey.

    Samosa House

    We’ve had a hot and cold relationship with Samosa House in the past, but their inclusion on this list is proof positive that our earlier misgivings are all resolved. Located on the Western end of Culver City, Samosa House is an Indian vegetarian paradise. They not only serve the crispiest, tastiest samosas this side of Bangalore, but have a 20-item prepared food section that rotates regularly and is mostly vegan.

    Vegetarian Dinner Combo at Samosa House

    For only $7.99 you can fill up on rice, roti and three selections from the prepared food section, and occasionally there are some special extras like a burger or bhelpuri that’s been specially created by the chef. Although this is prepared food served at the back of a grocery store, don’t let that fool you, as the quality you’ll get meets or exceeds what most Indian restaurants in LA can offer, and for a fraction of the price.

    One word of warning, the lines can get long at the counter, especially after 7pm so go early to avoid the rush. Your food will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, and heats up just fine in the microwave. Great food, great deal and some of the nicest people anywhere wait for you at Samosa House.

    Follow Your Heart

    It’s a pure coincidence that the last two entries on this list are both supermarkets as well as restaurants. You can fill up on groceries as well as yummy food on one visit, which is a good thing in my book, especially at Follow Your Heart, an amazing vegetarian oasis, established in 1970 in Canoga Park, which 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 with Cottage-Style Tofu 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.

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • July 9th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), seattle

    one my favorite places i’ve ever been would have to be highline in seattle.

    the brand new bar is located on capitol hill in an upstairs space of a former nightclub, and serves a huge menu of reasonably-priced and entirely vegan fare. we were tipped off by our friend, a seattle local, who had heard that highline had opened up in her neighborhood and supposedly served “vegan bar snacks”. we went in not expecting a whole lot, and were completely blown away by the selection and quality of the food. we loved highline so much in fact, that we dined there 2 nights in a row. have a look at what we ate…

    fish and chips $8

    first up from the shared plates menu, we ordered the fish and chips. the minute we saw this greasy classic was offered, we knew we had to order it—and highline did not disappoint! the “fish” was some kind of soy concoction (tofu perhaps?) lightly battered and wrapped in nori. it was beyond delicious. the fries were perfectly cooked as well, and the dish came with the most unbelievably creamy pot of tartar sauce. by far, this is the best plate of vegan fish and chips i’ve ever had.

    caeser salad: romaine, red onion, croutons, and caeser dressing. with soy chicken. $10

    we also shared the caeser salad with added vegan chicken, and it was excellent as well. cool and fresh romaine, all topped off with crispy little nuggets of grilled soy. again, this dish exceeded our expectations.

    the reubender: house-made vegan pastrami with russian dressing, smoky provolone cheez, sauce and sauerkraut on grilled rye. with a side of coleslaw. $10

    lastly, on the first night, we shared highline’s version of the vegan reuben. all the sandwiches are either $7 solo or $10 with a side. there was a really interesting vegan cottage cheez dish on the menu, so we ordered it as a side. unfortunately, highline was out of that and we wound up with a side of coleslaw. it was a happy ending though, because the coleslaw was wonderful. rich and creamy with a tasty blend of shredded vegetables.

    but enough about the side, let me tell you about THE SANDWICH! OMG holy wow, this was an epic sandwich—the best reuben i’ve ever eaten. if this thing were down in LA, it would steal the reuben wars crown in 2 seconds flat. it was filled with the meatest homemade vegan pastrami that was thickly sliced and super hearty. not to mention phenomenal cheese and rich dressing. i couldn’t even finish half of it; it was so massive. honestly, i just can’t say enough good things about this sandwich.

    potato skins $8

    on our second night at highline, we started with the potato skins appetizer. this came with six mini potatoes loaded up with cheezy sauce, tempeh bacon, tomatoes, and onions—all with a thick creamy sauce. to say this dish was amazing would be an understatement! it was crazy good, fantastic, just like so many other dishes we tried at highline. i told the bartender/waiter that these were the best potato skins i’d ever eaten, and he was like, “yeah, we haven’t been open very long so we are still working out the recipes. they should get even better.” i am officially jealous of everyone who lives in seattle.

    chiggen caesar wrap: soy chicken strips, romaine, tomato and onion with caeser dressing. with a side of cottage cheez. $10

    next we split the “chiggen caesar wrap,” and much to my excitement, the cottage cheez was back in stock! the side was sooooo good. i never thought i would eat a vegan version of cottage cheese, and i loved it! they made it out of chunky crumbled tofu and some kind of thick white sauce. the texture was so close to the real thing, i couldn’t believe it. the wrap was even better than the caesar salad we’d eaten the night before. it came in an over-sized flour tortilla complete with grill marks (which i love).

    philly dip: seitan strips, sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheez sauce on a toasted roll. served with aus jus. $7

    we also shared a vegan philly dip grinder, but asked them to leave out the bell peppers (which i hate). another absolutely perfect sandwich, this thing was filled with grilled seitan strips, sauteed vegetables and tons of melty daiya cheese. the aus jus was flavorful and salty, the perfect dip for this beauty. SO DAMN GOOD. and a feast for just 7 bucks!

    we were only in seattle for 3 nights, and i tried to convince my husband to return to highline on our last evening as well, but he said 2 times in one trip were enough. dammit. i am already plotting another visit to the pacific northwest.

    i’ve got to admit, the atmosphere in highline is a little meh…but they haven’t been open very long, so hopefully they will fix it up a bit. it just seems sort of thrown together: they have a huge bar with tables and chairs scattered around, and tons of empty space. the beer selection isn’t great (think pbr), and there is a small amount of outdoor seating. the food is FANTASTIC though, and that’s what counts.

    next time you are in seattle, go to capitol hill and climb the steps on broadway avenue up to highline. it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but there you will find food unlike anything you’ve ever eaten. i know i will visit as often as possible.

    highline
    210 broadway avenue east
    seattle, wa 98102
    206-328-7837
    mon – fri 11am-2am
    sat and sun 9am-2am

    PS: HERE ARE THE MENUS!!!!!!!!!! read at your own risk, they will make you way hungry.
    (click thumbies to enlarge)

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • April 25th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), norfolk

    it’s time for another vegan field report! this one, written by a brand new quarrygirl operative named steve, comes to us all the way from norfolk, virginia. here goes:

    “I was looking for a job, and then I found a job, and heaven knows I’m miserable now.” – Steven Patrick Morrissey

    It’s commonly known that every silver lining has a cloud. My silver lining was getting a job, but the cloud was having to spend some time in Norfolk, Virginia: A city of near unGoogleable veganocity. I mean, there’s not one vegan, or even vegetarian restaurant in the entire place.

    So, on my first evening I wandered the streets late at night, happy in the haze of a drunken hour, heaven knows I was miserable now…. Until, that is, I hit upon the Taphouse Grill, a nondescript tavern hidden in a side street off the main drag. I intended to grab another beer so I could forget about my hunger and hopefully pass out when I got back to my hotel.

    I walked in to a neighborhood pub: full of portly regulars downing beers (a good selection: the beer menu ran to several pages). There was a band playing by the window: Bob Marley covers seemed to be the order of the day. I sat at a table up against the wall, ordered a nice IPA and began to wish there was a ZPizza within delivery distance of where I was staying.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • March 19th, 2010quarrygirldenver, more restaurants (not LA)

    i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, watercourse foods in denver is one of the greatest vegetarian restaurants ever. the food is great, the portions are huge, they serve tap beer, and EVERYTHING on the menu can be made vegan. we love watercourse so much, that on our recent retreat to the mountains of evergreen colorado, we stocked up on take out food for the next day…which proved to be a very wise decision.

    Reuben: Smoky portobello mushrooms topped with homemade sauerkraut, and a special sauce on grilled rye bread. With choice of 2 sides. $9.25

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • February 1st, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    ‘snice is like the nyc equivalent of cafe muse…but even better. the small and comfy coffee shop in the west village boasts an impressive and entirely vegetarian menu, with plenty of vegan options to choose from. breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and specials—’snice has it all.

    vegan reuben: kraut, vegan thousand island dressing and daiya cheese. $8.75

    we tried ‘snice on our recent trip to new york, and after all the talk of vegan reubens in LA, of course i had to their take on the classic sandwich. unfortunately we arrived at ‘snice at around 10:45am, and although they open everyday early in the morning, they don’t serve lunch until 11. the breakfast options are kind of limited and full of bell peppers, so we decided to wait it out until the full menu was available. when my sandwich finally did arrive, it was well worth the wait! while i wouldn’t call it “the best reuben ever,” it was hearty and delicious….with a huge helping of soft tempeh and melty daiya cheese. i’d recommend it.

    vegan panini: smoked tofu, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. $8.75

    on top of the reuben, we also split a vegan panini…which was un-fuckin-believable! soft grilled bread, creamy dairy-free pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and huge slabs of firm tofu; could anything be more perfect. while i was a fan of the reuben, this thing was definitely more memorable. if you go to ‘snice, you GOTTA TRY the vegan panini.

    so visit ‘snice when in manhattan for cheapish, satisfying, casual vegan food. it really hits the spot. just be sure to show up AFTER 11am…when all the good stuff on the menu is available.

    ‘snice
    45 8th Ave
    (between Jane St & West 4th St)
    New York, NY 10014
    (212) 645-0310

    Tags: , , , ,
  • January 25th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, meet market (closed)

    starting today, the meet market in silverlake is offering loads of new menu items and extending their business hours; this is seriously something you won’t want to miss. already known for its inexpensive yet hearty vegan sandwiches, meet market is adding FOUR new incredible and praise-worthy dishes to their menu, none of which will break the bank. these items are better than the ones you’ll find at other popular vegan eateries, but average 4-5 dollars cheaper. just have a look:

    vegan reuben: rye bread, 1000 island, sauerkraut, marinated wheat meat, balsamic beats & daiya mozzarella. $4.95

    first off we have the vegan reuben at a mere $4.95. did you hear that…a vegan reuben for under $5!? in los angeles!! maybe i am just used to getting overcharged, but this is a full $6 less than some other reubens in town, and WAY BETTER. in fact i would say this could be the best vegan reuben in LA, and the fact that it costs so little when every competitor is nearing (if not over) $10, is totally mind blowing. the marinated fake meat and the dripping balsamic are totally juicy and incredible. there are flavor combos going on in this thing that you won’t find in any other los angeles reuben…it probably deserves its own blog post. seriously, try it.

    grilled cheese and tempeh: focaccia, daiya mozzarella, grilled onions, tempeh bacon, basil. $4.95

    the next dish i tried was the grilled cheese and tempeh. to call this thing a vegan “grilled cheese sandwich” is really doing it a disservice, because every time i hear those three words, i immediately assume it’s something i could make at home. this grilled cheese sandwich, however, was fully loaded and packed with fine ingredients that i couldn’t easily re-create in my kitchen. it was served on warm and fluffy focaccia bread and filled with melty daiya cheese, sweet sticky onions, smoky meaty tempeh, and soft leafy basil. again, at $4.95…this is just stunning. some restaurants throw daiya between white bread and charge upwards of $9 for it. the meet market really gives you your money’s worth. best vegan grilled cheese ever.

    vegan chicken club: sandwich roll, breaded "chicken", tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts. $5.95

    similarly, the chicken club does not disappoint—a soft baguette stacked with fresh avocado, sprouts, crispy breaded faux chicken, and tempeh bacon. it’s unlike any other vegan club i’vee had in that it’s basically a fried chicken and bacon hoagie rather than a traditional double decker sandwich. it’s fat, hearty, salty and flavorful with a lot of bread and tons of creamy vegan mayo. it’s quite large, under $6, and comes with a generous serving of avocado.

    chef salad: chopped romaine, "beef", "chicken", "bacon", daiya cheddar and mozz, creutons, tomato, avocado, sprouts, house dressing. $6.95

    last but not least, today the meet market is also introducing an incredible chef salad. a huge and hearty meal, this comes loaded with 3 varieties of faux meats, 2 types of daiya, various vegetables, avocado, and rich house dressing. this salad is so delicious and such a good value, it honestly defies description. you really must go eat it for yourself.

    in addition to adding this new stuff, the meet market is revising its hours to 12pm-7pm monday through friday and 10am – 6pm saturday and sunday. that means if you work during the week, you could possibly now have time to hit up the meet market for dinner. i know i will be there at least a few times this week to get completely full for under 5 bucks.

    the meet market
    the meet market
    3206 W Sunset Blvd (at Descanso)
    Los Angeles, CA 90026
    12pm-7pm monday through friday
    10am – 6pm saturday and sunday

    PS: while you are there, be sure to grab a vegan bake sale cupcake. they’re downright delicious.

    Tags: , , , ,
  • December 28th, 2009mr meanerLA restaurants

    While we usually cover LA’s extraordinary selection of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants (vegan, vegetarian and vegan-friendly), some individual menu items in our city stand out as exceptional, and we thought they deserved their own post.

    We chose no-compromise vegan foods: menu items that make no apology for being vegan and that, with only a couple of exceptions, you can order pretty much any time.

    Have some things to add to the list, or stuff you don’t like? Let us know in the comments!

    A Taste of Life “Breakfast Sandwich”

    UPDATE: just found out that in addition to being available at the Hollywood Farmers Market, this amazing breakfast sandwich can be found at Locali…so you can eat it seven days a week!

    Why? Because it’s awesome, and they don’t run out of them now by 10am like they used to! The Hollywood Farmer’s Market is a Mecca for LA vegans, with plenty of superb things to enjoy. However, the staple food item to eat on the spot is from Taste Of Life. Their amazing Breakfast Sandwich is substantial, filling, tasty and completely vegan, costs only $5 and can be unwrapped and eaten on the go while you’re stocking up on stupidly over-priced organic carrots.

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

    Of course, if Taste Of Life does run out of La’s only vegan “McMuffin” , don’t forget you can get a side of amazing Mac ‘n’ Cheese which you can also wolf down while walking around the market.

    Locali “Vegan Reuben”

    LA’s eponymous Vegan Reuben Wars are, by now, legend. Despite the fact that Locali has done its best to alienate its twitter following, they do make some pretty amazing prepared vegan food, and the Reuben is no different. Like many dishes on this list, somebody sat down, deconstructed a Reuben, thought about how to veganize it, and experimented to perfect it. The resulting complex array of flavors and textures indicate this was no mean feat. We have had readers who have tried this sandwich write in from various different states, and tell us that this is the best vegan reuben they’ve ever tasted. Seriously!

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

    Pure Luck Anything with jackfruit in it!

    jackfruit torta: sauteed jackfruit “carnitas”, plus pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, tomatillo salsa, sliced avocado and vegan mayo on a grilled rustic roll. $9

    Why? Because Jackfruit, done Pure Luck style, is practically in a food group of its own. From the world infamous Todd’s Barbecue Sandwich, to the Jackfruit Torta, Tacos and Burrito, whatever they do to this exotic Bangladeshi delicacy (the Jackfruit is the National Fruit of Bangladesh, in case you didn’t know) takes it to a whole new level. Of course, any of the above ordered with a side of Potato Pals will fill you up on amazing, great value food. Oh, and they have a great selection of microbrews too, served on tap at reasonable prices…

    todd's bbq sandwich: BBQ Jackfruit “pulled-pork” with pickles, onions and vegan mayo on a rustic roll. choice of side. $9

    Madeleine Bistro “Donut”

    fresh organic donut with organic fruit compote. $2

    Why? Because like everything Chef Dave prepares, the donut is at the pinnacle of vegan cuisine. Something so simple and yet so tasty is a real treat to enjoy, and it arrives warm and crispy to your table. Of course, if you go to Madeleine’s for a donut, don’t forget the other menu items so that you can order some of the best vegan food on the West Coast (or any coast, actually). Yeah, and it costs only $2… WTF?

    M Cafe “Vegan Benedict”

    vegan benedict: grilled whole-grain baguette steamed kale, tomato, tempeh bacon with soy hollandaise. $10.25

    Why? Because LA is awash with Vegan Benedicts, and most are created pretty equal – usually some form of English Muffin with tofu, spinach and a creamy sauce. M Cafe, however, throws all they have into the pot on this one with their own crusty bread (baked on the premises), an awesome scrambled tofu mix, crunchy tempeh bacon and perfectly steamed kale, all topped with a wonderfully creamy hollandaise-style sauce. It’s a feast for two, easily eatable by one.

    Vinh Loi Tofu “VL Sub”

    ham sub at vinh loi tofu $5.50

    Why? Because getting full in this town on tasty vegan food for only $5.50 is only really possible in one place: Vinh Loi Tofu. Chef Kevin Tran takes a generous size half baguette, and stuffs it full of his legendary seasoned “vegan meats” (from his factory out back), tons of vegetables, fresh jalapenos and sells it at a rock bottom price. Oh, and while you’re there, order some excellent deep fried tofu, Pad Thai or noodle soup to eat in, or to go. This stuff keeps in the fridge for weeks, and heats up really well, so stock up!

    Purgatory Pizza Any of their gourmet pizzas

    vegan pizza: daiya cheese, kalamata olives, fresh basil and tomatoes.

    Why? Back in the day, Purgatory was the only pizza joint in LA that truly innovated the art of gourmet vegan pizza – breaking away from the humdrum Follow Your Heart cheese. Even though the legendary Chef Ricky has moved out of LA, Purgatory continues to create his awesome recipes with Daiya cheese as well as Field Roast and Gardein “meats”, gourmet sauteed vegetables and a pioneering creativity unmatched anywhere else. Also, you can BYOB, and eat in – try it, you won’t be sorry!

    Purgatory was, is and (until a challenger unseats it!) the best vegan pizza in LA.

    Stuff I Eat “The Soul Food Platter”

    organic soul food platter: yams, Vegan mac 'n ' cheese, Organic BBQ Tofu, organic kale greens, organic mini cornbread muffins and your choice of organic potato salad or coleslaw. $18

    Why? Because just a few blocks from I405 down in Old Town Inglewood lurks one of the most sumptuous vegan dishes known to man, woman or beast. The “Soul Food Platter” is a bit of an understatement, as this dish arrives on two plates, two bowls and a jug or two of sauces and dressing and spans the gamut of Soul Food from beans to mac n cheese to cornbread and greens. (Not all of it would fit into the picture, there are side dishes missing!) This meal is arguably the best vegan thing to eat in LA, is all fresh, organic and just fucking awesome. Nuff Said. Go try it.

    Meet Market “All You Can Eat Brunch”

    vegans get their fill of breakfast, orange juice, and coffee on sunday mornings. $10

    Why? I’ll tell you why. Tofu scramble. Breakfast potatoes. “Bacon”. Seitan sausage. Waffles. French toast. Fresh fruit. All of it the best in town, and all of it (and as much of it) available to you most Sundays for only $10 a person. Add in unlimited organic coffee and fresh orange juice with everything completely vegan, and this event seems too good to be true. Well, it isn’t. It’s good AND true, proving heaven really is a place on earth – or in Silverlake, at least.

    The Frankenstand “The Franken” or “The Witch”

    the franken: this classic sausage will make you feel alive! with a monster blend of sun dried tomatoes and basil giving it a slightly sweet taste. $5

    Mr. Ray “catch me if you can” Frankenstand invented illusive, desirable mobile food dining long before Kogi was a glimmer in Mike Prasad’s eye (he invented Kogi, right?!). Peering out of the shadows of an obscure MySpace page, Frankenstand now has a twitter presence and is much easier to find these days. Show up as late as you like when Frankens are being cooked, and you’ll enjoy awesome service, creative plant-based dogs and a range of sides and toppings, all completely vegan. I love standing in line at 1am outside an event watching omnivores wolfing down vegan food, and going back for more. You should too.

    There are, of course, another 10 awesome meals in LA – Samosa House Jackfruit Curry, Native Foods Cheeseburger, Cafe Muse Buffalo Wrap, Cruzer Pizza (form the all-vegan location in Los Feliz), Flore Seitan Avocado Salad, Frysmith Chili Fries, Veggie Grill V Burger, Mamas Hot Tamales Enchiladas, Shojin Sushi, Yummy Cupcakes in a jar (an amazing invention, if you ask me, and the jars have a second life as wine glasses!).

    There are also another 10, and 10 after that too. I love being a vegan in LA with such a huge choice of amazing things to eat every day.

    Tags: , , , ,
  • 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 »

    Tags: , , , ,
  • 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.

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

    Tags: , , ,
  • 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
    323-464-6873

    Tags: , ,
  • August 27th, 2009quarrygirlfollow your heart, LA restaurants

    fyh-reuben-cu

    as i’ve mentioned before, vegans have an unhealthy obsession with reubens. i don’t know what it is about sauerkraut, thousand island, and rye bread that gives every vegan i know a hard on, but it never fails.

    i’ve written blog posts on 2 vegan reubens in los angeles before, and each time i’ve gotten comments from people urging me to go to follow your heart and try their reuben. not only that, but three of my favorite blogs named it the best vegan reuben in town. i went to follow your heart over the weekend with super high expectations and finally got my mouth around the legendary sandwich.

    the reuben: thinly sliced wheatmeat, cottage-style tofu, sauerkraut, mustard and vegenaise on oversized rye bread, oven-baked. served with dill pickle and thousand island dressing. $10.75

    the reuben: thinly sliced wheatmeat, cottage-style tofu, sauerkraut, mustard and vegenaise on oversized rye bread, oven-baked. served with dill pickle and thousand island dressing. $10.75

    one thing the FYH reuben definitely has going for it is SIZE. the thing is absolutely ginormous—definitely big enough for two people to share. it clocks in at just under 11 bucks, so i would definitely say you get your money’s worth. the weak side of carrot chips leaves something to be desired, so next time i would consider upgrading and paying a bit more for french fries.

    the vegan version of the sandwich comes with your choice of cottage-style tofu or follow your heart vegan cheese. since i can’t stand FYH cheese, i went with the cottage-style tofu, which was nothing short of excellent. they layered it on nice and thick, and it gave the sandwich a hearty and thick texture that i quite enjoyed.

    the follow your heart reuben is also piled high with slices of wheat meat, rather than tempeh like many vegan reubens, so it has a similar taste and texture to its meaty counterpart. the faux meat FYH uses is awesome as well, just chewy enough and very flavorful.

    the one issue i had with this sandwich, and the only reason i’m not yelling in all caps “OMFG THIS WAS THE BEST VEGAN REUBEN EVER,” is that it was pretty dry. after the fact i was told by foodeater that i should have ordered it with extra thousand island on the side, and i will definitely take her advice next time. something about the combination of the crispy (maybe slightly over-baked) bread and the not-too-moist cottage tofu left me wishing the whole thing was a little more juicy.

    fyh-reuben-side

    so to recap, follow your heart’s reuben is indeed awesome. is it the best? maybe.

    pros:
    it’s really fucking big.
    the wheat meat is awesome.
    the cottage-style tofu is absolutely incredible.

    cons:
    the side of carrot chips is kinda lame.
    the sandwich without extra dressing can be a bit dry.

    overall, the FYH reuben scores pretty high here at quarrygirl.com, with just a few points being deducted for the dryness. it’s nothing that couldn’t be easily fixed though—if the bread were a bit softer and there was a tad more dressing, this sandwich would have been an a+ rather than an a-.

    head on over to follow your heart and check this sandwich out. let me know what you think. i highly recommend the cottage-style tofu and a side of extra thousand island.

    follow your heart
    21825 Sherman Way
    Canoga Park, CA 91303
    (818) 348-3240

    Tags: , , ,
  • July 6th, 2009quarrygirlcafe flourish (closed), LA restaurants

    after my recent sandwich obsession post about the tempeh reuben at flore in silverlake, a bunch of vegans started chiming in with suggestions of other restaurants where i could find awesome reubens. one name that kept coming up was cafe flourish, and commenter AWk even went as far as to call it “the best vegan reuben in los angeles.” oh REALLY? naturally i had to head to flourish right away and check out this sandwich.

    Love Reuben: Savory marinated tempeh with house-made Swiss, sauerkraut & avocado with Russian dressing on rye. $11.95

    Love Reuben: Savory marinated tempeh with house-made Swiss, sauerkraut & avocado with Russian dressing on rye. $11.95

    while i can’t confirm this is the best vegan reuben in town, because i haven’t tasted all of the contenders, i can tell you that it’s the best sandwich i’ve eaten in a long, long time. at first i thought it was pretty pricey at nearly 12 bucks for just a sandwich, but when i saw how massive and stuffed this thing was, i knew it was a good value. seriously, there must have been an entire package-worth of tempeh in there, and about half a cup of creamy thousand island dressing.

    everything in this sandwich was delicious, i can definitely see why y’all were raving about it in the comments section. the tempeh was flavorful and the block of house-made swiss was absolutely fantastic…i would love to know how they do it. i love the fact that there was a huge slice of avocado in it as well, you don’t see that very often in reubens and it’s a damn shame. the only downside of this beautiful sandwich was that it was so packed with tempeh, sauerkraut and dressing that it was difficult to eat with out spilling it. i couldn’t even finish the thing, so i wrapped up half of it and the leftovers were enough for another entire meal. booya.

    so whether or not this is the best vegan reuben in LA, i dunno. but i know it’s a fucking awesome reuben and i will be ordering it again. one of these days i will have to drag myself to the valley and hit up follow your heart for what To Live and Eat in LA calls “the world’s best vegan reuben sandwich”. the follow your heart reuben has also gotten a strong endorsement from Sick of Lettuce, so i am pretty interested to see how it holds up against flourish’s masterful sandwich.

    i’m starting to see why vegans have this crazy obsession with reuben sandwiches. i’m hooked, and i am gonna try as many as i can. stay tuned.

    Tags: , , ,
  • « Older Entries