• recently the husband and i took a 4 day trip to san francisco, and we ate and drank far more than any person should. in our culinary adventures, one of our favorite discoveries was the somewhat new vegetarian restaurant, source. to say that we enjoyed our meal at this place would be a severe understatement. we’re officially smitten, and i’m looking for excuses to book bay-area travel just so i can get another taste of this restaurant.

    source started out on a great foot. we arrived at around 6pm and the place was somewhat busy but not uncomfortable. they have an order and pay at the counter policy, which is my favorite! no waiting around and trying to get a server’s attention, no time gap between finishing the meal and leaving. source also rules due to the fact that it’s an all vegetarian restaurant, and EVERY ITEM can be made vegan! this isn’t obvious on their website, but it’s true! all the pizzas? veganizable. the mac and cheese? that can be vegan, duh. the lasagna? vegan version available. plus, all the desserts (and there are many!) are already vegan. other than a totally vegan restaurant, this is definitely my favorite model. (just be sure to ALWAYS specify vegan when you eat at source. play it safe!)

    the menu at source is massive, so we had a pretty hard time deciding what to order. we were determined to have a slap up feast though, and finally settled on the “buffalo cluck” as an appetizer. all the fake meaty menu items at source have cutesy names that echo the sounds of the emulated animal. cluck for chicken style meat, moo for fake beef, quack for duck and so on.

    buffalo cluck with slaw and sweet jalapeño chutney. $5.95

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  • May 29th, 2011quarrygirlwashington dc

    hey peeps! time for yet another field report! this one comes to us from our dear friend patricia (an awesome certified massage therapist and yoga instructor!), who recently went on a trip to the east coast. here is one tasty installment from her journey, that’s making me think i need to book at trip to washington dc just to eat and drink. a foodie field trip, or eat-cation, if you will! enjoy:

    i recently took a trip to the east coast and was so happy to have some awesome guidance from @kmudrick on where to eat and drink. one of the places he suggested when visiting dc was Busboys and Poets. this place blew my mind. i mean, just look at the sign “food, books, film, coffee, stage, internet, bar”. woah.

    la desperately needs a place like this. a place where you can sit and work, read a book, enjoy a show, have some grub, or relax with a coffee or beer. it’s so cozy with a great feeling of community and super cool art.

    we loved this place so much we went to the 14th street location (there are three) two days in a row.

    enough chatter, let’s get to the grub!

    Tempeh with vegan mayonnaise, arugula, roasted red peppers, saute'ed onions on rosemary sun-dried tomato loaf

    the restaurant is not entirely vegan but the menu is about half vegan. they clearly mark gluten free, veg, and vegan to make ordering less complicated. on the first visit i had the tempeh panini ($8.95). this was literally THE BEST SANDWICH I HAVE EVER EATEN. hands down.

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  • April 26th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mendocino farms

    recently i’ve been freelancing in downtown los angeles, and one of the best things about it is my office’s close proximity to mendocino farms.

    my vegan trip through india: housemade indian spiced chickpea and spinach patty with tamarind chutney, vegan cucumber mint raita, vegan crispy onions and baby spinach on ciabatta. $9.25

    the specialty sandwich shop has three locations around LA and has long been one of our favorite spots in town, as they always offer at least two stellar vegan sandwich options and a plethora of vegan sides ranging from potato salad, vegetables, and greens to hearty soups and chili. i hit up the flower location yesterday armed with just my cell phone camera (sorry!) and tried out one of their spring specials, “my vegan trip through india”

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  • March 5th, 2011quarrygirlbay area, more restaurants (not LA), san francisco

    not every place we review serves the end-all be-all, best vegan food ever. sometimes it’s nice to walk into a “normal” establishment and get a decent cruelty-free meal at a low price.

    vege peppersteak sandwich on a sourdough roll with pepperoncini < $6

    such is the case with love ‘n haight in san francisco. the unassuming hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop goes out of their way to cater to herbivores, and the food is pretty damn good.

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  • February 16th, 2011quarrygirlhugo's tacos, LA restaurants

    you probably already know by now that hugo’s tacos is offering a 25% discount on all vegan items until sunday between 5pm-10pm when you mention “quarrygirl.” if you haven’t tried the amazing vegan torta ahogada yet, this is your chance.

    it doesn’t look that intimidating wrapped up all neatly in yellow paper, but let me assure you, this thing is one beast of a sandwich…

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  • January 18th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mendocino farms

    january is a good month for vegans at mendocino farms. the popular sandwich shop has not only added a great seitan option to their seasonal menu, but they are offering their famous vegan shawarma as their “secret sandwich” all month long!

    we have been fans of the downtown LA mendocino farms locations for ages, and recently we hit up their newest spot in marina del rey for a round of vegan sandwiches. i’m happy to report that the food was awesome, the service was friendly, and the line was shorter than the ones i’m used to downtown.

    Vegan Shawarma Mediterranean Chickpea Shawarma with a Bean Puree, Housemade Vegan Tzatziki, Red Onions, Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Shredded Romaine Panini Pressed on Tortilla (Honey Wheat or Flour) $9.25

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  • January 6th, 2011quarrygirlbay area, more restaurants (not LA), san francisco

    i’ve said it before, and i will say it again: ike’s place makes the best sandwiches, vegan or otherwise. the small san francisco shop is nothing short of legendary (i mean come ON, it has almost THREE THOUSAND yelp reviews) and is loved by herbivores and omnivores alike. when we checked them out in fall of 2010, they were having some major dramz with neighbors and were in the midst of being forced to shut down. fortunately for us though, they’ve found a temporary home at lime nightclub just around the corner in the casto district, and are still serving their famous sandwiches for the time being until they move to a more permanent location. (huge thanks to our BFFs at vegansaurus who keep us updated with ike’s info!) we checked out ike’s new digs on our trip to SF over the holidays, and i am happy to say that they officially served me the best sandwich i’ve eaten, ever.

    vegan sometimes i'm a vegan: grilled mushrooms, marinated artichoke hearts, soy cheese. $7.97

    here’s how it went down…

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  • December 18th, 2010quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    i’ve been wanting visit the Vx (pronounced “v cross”) in london ever since rachel reviewed it back in june. the entirely vegan boutique is just around the corner from st. pancras station and has everything from cupcakes and sandwiches to shoes and shirts, and it’s a must visit if you are ever in town.

    we checked out vx a couple months ago and while they had lots of cool clothes and other things for sale, of course our focus was the food. there was a well stocked fridge full of sandwiches, a case of pies and cupcakes, and an assortment of pastries…ALL VEGAN! i so wish we had a place like this in los angeles.

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  • December 9th, 2010brittanyclean street food, LA restaurants

    there was a new food truck on the block during lunch today – which is a big deal to me because my options for food, especially within walking distance, are limited and starting to get a little old. so i strolled by the clean street food truck because i heard they had a vegan sandwich. and GUESS WHAT, they do!

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  • November 11th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, mendocino farms

    hey everyone, just a quick post to let you know that mendocino farms is testing a new vegan sandwich tomorrow…a mushroom seitan sloppy joe…and you should go show it some support. if it does well, they may extend its run or even add it to the regular menu! i haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but it was available today at all mendocino locations and is going to be around tomorrow as well…hopefully longer. i am already a huge fan of mendocino farms’ vegan sandwiches, so i’d love for them to add another one to the list.

    Vegan Mushroom Sloppy Joe! Mushroom Braised Seitan (“Wheat Meat”) Sloppy Joe with Portobello Mushroom Confit, Almond Romesco, and Baby Spinach on Toasted Ciabatta. $9.25

    a reader sent me this mendocino farms facebook update today about mendo’s new vegan mushroom seitan sloppy joe and i called the restaurant immediately. the dude on the phone was super helpful and told me this was just a result of chef judy getting “creative in the kitchen” and that they wanted to test the sandwich for a couple days on customers and see how it does. he told me it would definitely be around tomorrow (friday), and if response is good, possibly longer. LET’S MAKE SURE THE RESPONSE IS GOOD. i need more mushroom-flavored seitan and portobello confit sandwiches in my life! seriously, mendocino makes the kind of fresh fancy food that vegans should be eating. it’s all made from crazy top-notch ingredients and is super fresh…as they say on their website “we like to try to reconstruct “Fine Dining” entrees to the sandwich level and take classic regional sandwiches and give them a modern interpretation.” if you have ever tasted a mendocino farms sandwich, you’ll know that’s true.

    so please, vegans, get to mendocino farms on friday! they’ve got 2 locations downtown and one in marina del rey. let’s flood them for orders with vegan sandwiches. and if mushroomy seitany sloppy joes aren’t your thing, they also have a vegan dosa wrap and a vegan soyrizo wrap. (just be sure to specify that you want a tortilla with no honey!) basically, all vegans should go and taste the amazing-ness that is mendocino farms!

    PS:mendocino, if you are reading this…PLEASE specify in your email newsletter which daily dishes are vegan! i noticed you stopped doing that about a month ago. >:(

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  • October 14th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    oh god, i love NYC. it’s freaking vegan paradise, lemme tell you. i have that happycow app on my iphone…you know, vegout? it’s this cool little thing you fire up and no matter where you are, it uses GPS to tell you which vegan-friendly restaurants are nearby. in LA, it usually results in a few pages of restaurants, depending on where you are in the city. in manhattan though, the app almost crashes…there are SO MANY VEGAN OPTIONS. it’s crazy. there are more vegetarian places per square foot in nyc than anywhere i’ve ever visited. anyways, this post isn’t supposed to be a vegan love letter to NYC…i am here to talk about kate’s joint!

    kate’s is an all vegetarian spot that our friends have been recommending to us for quite awhile. i’d heard nothing but good things about the restaurant, so when they showed up on the vegout app as “less than a mile away” while we were drinking in the east village, i knew it was gonna happen.

    lemme preface: kate’s has an enormous menu, but it feels more like a bar than a restaurant. they’ve got tap beer, cocktails, and a huge bar lined with stools in the main area; dining tables are lined up along the windows. this actually got me pretty excited, because i love bars much more than real restaurants. so the fact that i can think of this place as a bar with an all vegetarian menu makes me love it even more.

    we hit up kate’s on a friday at around 5pm, and it was pretty slow. i had heard they made vegan white russians (my favorite drink ever), so i ordered one right away. the waitress had no idea what i was talking about, but she went to check with the bar and immediately came back with one. SCORE! it was so good.

    vegan disco fries: covered with mama's vegan gravy and daiya cheese. $6.25

    next up, we decided to order some appetizers. we started with the decadent “disco fries,” another legend i have been hearing about from several peeps. disco fries are ridiculous: french fries topped with GRAVY AND CHEESE. WTF, why didn’t i think of this?!?! these have been at kate’s forever, but are only recently vegan-friendly. not long ago, kate switched from a casein-containing soy cheese to daiya! thank goodness, because why would a VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT have a real cheese option, AS WELL AS a non-vegan cheese option?  that makes no sense. anyways, the disco fries are available vegan now and they are amazing. by far the best thing i tried at kate’s.

    hummus rolls filled with spinach, roasted garlic, tomatoes, tahini and lemon. $6.95

    after that deep-fried, cheesy, creamy starter, we were in the mood for something lighter and shared the hummus rolls. these babies were basically little tortilla pockets filled with hummus and vegetables including spinach, garlic, and tomato. nothing earth-shattering, but damn good.

    vegan un-turkey club: un-turkey, fakin bacon, lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo. $9.95

    we had such honorable intentions of ordering like 5 entrees from kate’s, but after the two appetizers, we could only manage to share one main course. we went with the un-turkey club, another popular item that we’d heard people rave about. the club was delicious, but IMO we have better clubs here in LA. what took this sandwich over the edge was the side of mashed potatoes, served with kate’s deadly homemade gravy (the same stuff that was on the fries). it was phenomenal.

    next time i go to kate’s, i am gonna starve myself in advance and arrive completely sober. the menu is way too drool-worthy, and the drink selection is too tempting. to say that we have unfinished business with kate’s would be an understatement.

    kate’s joint
    #58 Avenue B, New York NY 10009
    (At 4th St)
    (212) 777-7059

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  • October 11th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), seattle

    georgetown liquor company is a must visit vegetarian bar in seattle, and being fairly close to the airport, it’s the perfect stop for visitors on the way in and out of town. the rugged little boozer serves up a large menu of meat-free sandwiches and entrees, most of which can be veganized, as well as a killer brunch on the weekends. georgetown was the both the first and last place we ate on our recent trip to seattle, and both of our meals there were delicious. let’s start off with brunch…

    Skits n Gravy: Our very own vegan biscuits covered with country gravy. Served with fresh herb roasted potatoes and fruit. $8

    after landing at seatac at around 9:30am on a saturday, we headed straight to georgetown to open them up for brunch. i was excited to hear that their biscuits and gravy were vegan, because we all know that i’m a huge fan of the old b&g. the skits n gravy, as the menu called them, were damn good. for 8 bucks i got a plate stacked with 3 biscuits and loads of herb roasted breakfast potatoes smothered in white country gravy with a fruit garnish. the biscuits were a tad hard for my liking, but i couldn’t fault the gravy—it was excellent. surprisingly, my favorite thing on the plate was the breakfast potatoes; they were deliciously seasoned with the perfect amount of oil.

    it being the start of my vacation and all, i also ordered a brunch cocktail—the clockwork orange.

    Clockwork Orange Martini: "Viddy well brothers, viddy well." Stoli Oranj vodka with muddled oranges and a dash of Cassis. $8

    georgetown pours their drinks pretty strong, and after this $8 mix of vodka and oranges, i was sufficiently liquored up. the cocktail was tasty as well, lots of pulpy fruit and the perfect blend of alcohol. i highly recommend it.

    Chicken Fried Steak: House made seitan steak, breaded fried and smothered in our delicious country gravy. Served with fresh herb roasted potatoes and choice of toast. $10

    although the skits n gravy were great, the other brunch entree we ordered was WAY BETTER. i’m talking about the chicken fried steak! it came with the same awesome breakfast potatoes and gravy as well as a huge hunk of breaded and fried seitan. there aren’t many things better in this world then a fat chunk of vegan fried wheat meat drenched in creamy gravy, lemme tell you! this was actually my husband’s meal, but i ended up stealing tons of it and wishing i had ordered it myself.

    our next trip to georgetown was on our way out of seattle, right before we headed back to the airport. this time it was a week day at around 2pm, so it was time for lunch and beer rather than brunch and cocktails. we got two sandwiches to share, both of which were phenomenal.

    Picard: Lentil-sage Field Roast, roasted red onions, Tofutti cream cheese and roasted garlic spread, toasted on ciabatta. Served with vegan au jus dipping sauce. $10

    we started with a vegan version of the picard, which came with lentil-sage field roast, roasted onions, tofu cream cheese and garlic spread on a toasted ciabatta and swerved with au jus for dipping. it was insane!

    the bread was warm and crunchy, the field roast was hearty, and the cream cheese/garlic combo was smooth and tangy. this has really got to be one of the best vegan sandwiches known to man. it was served with a choice of side, and we opted for the house salad which was very fresh and healthy tasting. no complaints!

    Darth Reuben: Roasted-tomato Field Roast, sauerkraut and remoulade toasted on marbled rye. $10

    we also split a vegan version of the “darth reuben” because if i see a vegan reuben on a menu, i pretty much have to order it. this sandwich was amazing and i can’t fault it, but it just wasn’t as special as the picard. it came with roasted tomato field roast and sauerkraut on toasted marbled rye. field roast is probably the best vegan meat substitute out there, so it worked really well as pastrami in the reuben. for this sandwich, we got the soup of the day as our side, which turned out to be split pea. it was fantastic—very comforting and satisfying, plus it worked great as a dip for the sandwich!

    overall, georgetown liquor company gets an A+. it’s an all vegetarian establishment, a great little bar, and it’s got delicious vegan options for brunch, lunch, and dinner. with GLC being located so conveniently between downtown and the airport, i don’t see why i wouldn’t hit it up AT LEAST twice on every trip to seattle.

    georgetown liquor company
    5501 B Airport Way South
    Seattle, WA 98108
    mon-fri 11am-2am
    sat-sun 10am-2am

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  • After four years of eating out on LA’s vegan restaurant scene, and in recognition of our “LA’s Top 5 Vegan Restaurants” post a year ago, we thought it would be good to update our “top list” of the establishments we, and the commenters on this esteemed blog, thought were really good. Do you agree with our list? Want to bump a mention off the list, or add your own? Please comment. Don’t be shy. We had to start somewhere.

    Cruzer Pizza “from veal to vegan”

    The story behind Cruzer Pizza is as amazing as the pizza itself. The popular Silverlake gourmet pizza delivery outlet one day threw all its mozarella, sausage, veal (yuk!) and pepperoni in the trash and began stocking Field Roast, Match Meats and Daiya cheese, becoming one of only three entirely vegan pizzerias in the United States. This was all thanks to awesome animal rights activist Michelle Sass who lobbied the owners, and personally took charge of the menu and food items creating pizza that vegans and onmivores alike would love.

    The Quarrygirl Pizza at Cruzer

    Cruzer even reached out to bloggers, magazines and the local community to create pizzas that they thought fellow vegans would like. And so, the quarrygirl.com pizza was born, because we love olive oil, shrooms and Field Roast. And so do you, right?

    Flore Vegan

    The fact that Flore was not on last year’s list is nothing short of a crime. Owner and chef Miranda Megill has been cooking up a vegan storm in the LA area for years from her Silverlake location on Sunset Blvd., and lately also through the ill-fated and now closed Vegan Spot, Flore Care and Meet Market (all the same location). The outlandishly creative Miranda is as picky with her ingredients as she is with the food preparation. She selects only the best organic produce, and is usually to be found supervising the kitchen hands-on to ensure that your meal is top-notch.

    Club Sandwich at Flore Vegan

    Also, everything is made from scratch including the succulent seitan and homemade desserts. Seriously, their flaky and “buttery” croissants are the best vegan pastries we’ve ever tried.

    Stuff I Eat

    We can’t keep away from this place, and we can’t keep raving about it. With an eclectic menu of options spanning the gamut from soul food through Mexican-inspired and down to earth, honest to goodness, American-style favorites, Stuff I Eat excels in every category. The staff are all so helpful, polite and caring that one feels grateful to be in their restaurant. The portions are HUGE, and the quality of every food item, from the way it looks to the way it tastes cannot be overstated.

    Kilamanjaro Quesadilla at Stuff I Eat

    Feeling hungry? The $18 “Organic Soul Food Platter” will fill you up, as well as one or two of your guests. The burritos are to die for (how many burritos have fresh, steamed broccoli topping them?), and any place that has a menu item called “Sumthin-Sumthin” as well as the intriguingly named “Kilimanjaro Quesadilla” (so called, because it’s about as big as its namesake mountain) is just great in my book.


    Situated on the top floor of a downtown shopping mall in Little Tokyo is Shojin, a must-visit vegan restaurant. Serving an inventive menu of veganized japanese staples, as well as some inventive signature dishes, Shojin really is at the peak of artful food preparation.

    Spicy Seitan BBQ Roll and Shiitake & Avocado Roll at Shojin

    Whether you go for the sushi (with seitan, tofu and other faux-fish accoutrements), the pan-fried seitan stir-fry or the incredibly tasty hand-made deserts you will know that such care has been put into preparing your food with prime, organic ingredients that you just can’t go wrong. Order as much stuff as you like — the portions are small, but the taste is big.

    Madeleine Bistro

    LA-resident vegans and omnivores are extremely fortunate to share a city with Madeleine Bistro, one of the world’s finest vegan restaurants. Chef Dave Anderson has spared no expense or time in thinking through and preparing the most minute details of every menu item. From a doughnut that is so light and fluffy it practically levitates, to a veganized carbon-copy emulation of a Big Mac (which I’m told by omnivores tastes way, way better than the real thing), through magical soufflés and German Mac ‘n’ Cheese (complete with Bacon bits!) you are certain to delight in the experience of fine vegan dining with a menu as inventive as it is familiar. Every dish at Madeleine’s has that “HOW DO THEY DO THIS?” question mark hanging over it. Dave Anderson is a culinary genius, and we should all be glad he decided to practice his art on us vegans.

    Lemon-rosemary seitan and cauliflower crepe at Madeleine Bistro

    I’d usually not hesitate to recommend a visit to Madeleine Bistro, but recently their opening hours and menu offerings have become erratic, and there have been rumors of both a closure and a second location opening up. My advice is to get yourself there pronto (in case the worst happens) but call ahead first to make sure they’re open when you want to visit.

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  • 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 also opted to choose entirely new menu items from those of last year’s list as there are so many new things to check out on the LA vegan scene.

    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!

    Masa of Echo Park Chicago deep dish pizza with Teese

    Vegan Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

    Undoubtedly my favorite new thing on this year’s list. The combination of Masa’s 100% authentic Chicago crust, super tangy and chunky sauce and cooking method combined with real Chicago SoyDairy Teese (yeah, even the vegan cheese is from Chicago) is a mighty fine dish. The thing tastes almost the same as the real Chicagoland staple (and I should know, I’ve eaten a LOT of them over the years) but can be prepared entirely vegan (sub Teese for cheese, and ask that they use olive oil rather than butter in the pan).

    I advise going for the medium or large even though you’ll not be able to eat it all, but it travels well, re-heats like a champ and will even freeze for weeks. It’s especially nice with a couple of low-key toppings like spinach or mushrooms, but the real star here is the crust and texture.

    Native Foods Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger

    There are a lot of vegan burgers in LA. Most of them are pretty darn good, but one stands head and shoulders above all others: The Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger from Native Foods. It seems as though Chef Tanya has studied those high-end burger joints and gone vegan mediaeval on the recipe. She’s taken the Native Foods Seitan (perhaps the best money can buy), sliced it thinly and soaked it in a special sauce topped with crunchy tempeh bacon, lettuce, two types of onions, ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, carrots, tomatoes and even crunchy fried dill pickles.

    Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger: thinly sliced original seitan, melted cheddar, caramelized onions, crispy tempeh bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomato and topped with crunchy battered dill pickles chips. $9.95

    Yes, this burger has every ingredient you can think of perfectly proportioned and excellently presented. A meal unto itself, the burger is heartily filling yet not unhealthily so.

    Shojin Dynamite Roll

    The dynamite roll started out as a special item available only on Monday sushi nights, but the dish was so popular that Shojin quickly added it to the normal menu. Having eaten this roll several times, I can say without a doubt that it’s some of the best vegan sushi I’ve ever tasted, and definitely the best in Los Angeles.

    dynamite roll: spicy "tuna" and avocado inside, spicy mayo and green onion on top. with spicy sauce. $10.95

    The rice-based roll is filled up with avocado and Shojin’s genius spicy “tuna” mixture – a creamy, hearty blend of vegetables and soy that’s so good I could eat a bowl of it straight. Each slice is then topped with a dollop of spicy vegan mayo and slivers of green onions. Usually when dining out on sushi, I like to get a several rolls and share them around the table. At Shojin, however, I always make sure to get a dynamite roll just for myself.

    Elf Cornmeal and Herb Dusted Spicy Oyster Mushrooms

    Cornmeal and herb dusted spicy oyster mushrooms (made vegan): Our version of "hot wings" crispy oyster mushrooms served with marinated celery salad. $10

    Every once in a while, you come across a dish that changes the rules of cuisine a little. You get exposed to something new, perhaps a taste, texture or presentation that’s so different and tasty that you remember it forever. The Spicy Oyster Mushrooms at Echo Park’s Elf is just such a dish. It’s described on the menu in a low-key way that almost makes it sound unappetizing: “Our version of ‘hot wings’ – crispy oyster mushrooms served with marinated celery salad and bleu cheese cream reduction”. Clearly, it has to be ordered without the bleu cheese for the vegans, but I can tell you this dish can stand on its own with or without the cheese.

    The texture is crunchy yet soft and the flavors are so complex and delicate that this will be quite a unique experience. Even the celery is amazing – I don’t know what it’s marinated in, but I can tell you that I could eat a plate of just the celery any time! My only beef with the dish is that there’s no vegan substitute offered for the bleu cheese. I mean, some vegenaise and herbs wouldn’t go amiss, would it?

    Pizza Cookery Vegan Bread Rolls (they’re FREE!)

    Yeah, one of our top omnivorous restaurant choices also carries a bucket list item, and it’s actually something served for free when you show up to get a pizza. Just be sure to ask for the vegan bread rolls, as the default ones are filled with dairy cheese. BE WARNED, though, these rolls are so freakin’ amazing that you are in danger of filling up on them (as did I) and not wanting to eat any of your pizza (as did I) and so end up taking it home (as did I). Assuming that you can exercise restraint here, these rolls are an awesome way to start off your meal.

    Perfectly cooked, stuffed with vegan cheese (Follow Your Heart as it happens, but this is one of those occasions where it actually works very well) and dipped in garlic olive oil with real garlic bits these will take you to a different place for sure.

    Flore Biscuits & Gravy

    biscuits and gravy: two biscuits topped with vegan gravy and served with your choice of tempeh bacon, fruit, or potatoes. $9.9

    Take two humongous biscuits, perfectly crunchy on the outside yet smooth and steamy on the inside then cover them with juicy and tasty gravy (with sausage bits!). That’d be a meal on its own, but Flore lets you add a serving of their legendary tempeh bacon, fruit or potatoes, and the dish comes with a delicious bed of steamed kale to boot. All for $9.95. All organic. And all fucking amazing! Unfortunately, this is a weekend brunch only dish, so you only have 2 days per week to get your fill.

    Mandoline Grill Tofu Banh Mi

    Tofu Banh Mi: 12" French baguette topped with lemongrass marinated tofu, cucumber slices, pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, jalapenos, vegenaise and scallion oil. $6

    There are a few vegan Banh Mi’s out there, but nobody does it like Mandoline Grill, and I’m really pleased that this vegan-friendly food truck has a menu item that made it into this list. First off, the Banh Mi is absolutely HUGE. It’s a 12″, vegan French-style baguette with all the usual Banh Mi fixin’s including cucumber slices, pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, jalapenos, vegenaise and scallion oil. Despite the fact that the bread and ingredients are fresh and tasty beyond belief, the real kicker is the slyly named “lemongrass marinated tofu”, which comes in thick chunks and is unquestionably one of the most tasty things you’ll ever eat. I don’t know how chef/owner Mong Skillman can prepare such a gourmet experience from a tiny food truck, and frankly I don’t care how she does it. I’m usually too busy eating the thing to worry about the details!

    Zpizza The Tuscan (veganized)

    Tuscan Pizza (veganized): homemade roasted garlic sauce, daiya cheese, cremini, shiitake and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, truffle oil and thyme.

    Yes, we’re pizza obsessed. Yes, there are two pizzas on the bucket list and YES, this one is damn good, but couldn’t be further in concept, taste and style than the Masa Chicago Pizza up top. The Tuscan is going for that Italian intersection of thin crust, oils and mushrooms that Zpizza does so well. The regular pizza isn’t vegan, but they will sub Daiya for the mozzarella and leave off the feta if you ask, and you will be home and dry with an absolutely stunning pie.

    This thing has a bunch of ingredients. In addition to Z’s incredible crust, there’s homemade roasted garlic sauce, Daiya cheese, three kinds of mushrooms (cremini, shiitake and button), sweet caramelized onions, drizzles of truffle oil and fresh thyme. If you think this SOUNDS delicious, wait until you taste one – you will be blown away. For extra spice, pile on the dried chilies (they go especially well with the muted tastes of the oils and shrooms).

    Shin BBQ Seitan Bulgogi

    Seitan Bulgogi: vegan seitan served in shin's secret marinade. $18

    I was as shocked as the next guy to discover Shin BBQ’s vegan-friendly options, headlined with the incredible Seitan Bulgogi. Although clearly modeled on meat-based entree, this dish has a character all of its own, and even omnivores are ordering it regularly now. Slices of chewy seitan are marinated in something called “Shin’s secret marinade” – I have no idea what this is, but all I know is it’s 100% vegan and 200% tasty. The dish goes perfectly over some rice and don’t forget to pile on some of the excellent kimchi that will arrive in abundance at your table.

    Tender Greens The Happy Vegan

    happy Vegan: tabbouleh, hummus, pasta pearls, farro wheat, young kale, tender greens. $10.50

    This is another dish that I feel the need to eat on a regular basis, so I’m really happy that the WeHo Tender Greens is on my way home, and I can park for a dollar! Tender Greens is an upmarket, salad-oriented restaurant where you order at the counter, they make your salad and then bring it to your table. The Happy Vegan is so aptly named, as I don’t believe that any vegan would be something other than very happy post-consumption.

    There are a ton of seemingly exotic ingredients in the salad: tabbouleh, hummus, pasta pearls, farro wheat, young kale and the eponymous “tender greens”. There’s also some crispy baguette slices dribbled with extra virgin olive oil to boot. For a salad, the price of $10.50 may seem high at face value, but I’d think nothing of paying $20 or more for this dish in a fancy restaurant.

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  • September 23rd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, yalla truck

    i’m becoming obsessed with yalla truck. i was already convinced that the all vegetarian food truck made some of the best falafel sandwiches in town…and then they had to go and blow me away with the incredible firestarter, a “secret” menu item.

    firestarter: falafel, red cabbage salad, pickled turnips, pepperonchini, onion salad, pickled carrots. dressed with shaata (chili paste and tahini) $4

    now the firestarter isn’t completely secret, after all it is listed on yalla’s facebook page, but you won’t find it on the normal menu outside the truck. ask for it anyways though, and you won’t be sorry. the firestarter is the best sandwich i’ve eaten in ages, and even though i loved the andale at yalla, this spicy little pita has it beat.

    it’s filled to the brim with tiny freshly-fried falafel balls, red cabbage salad, pickled turnips, pepperonchinis, onion salad, and pickled carrots…all tossed in an incredibly hot blend of chili paste and tahini. YEOW! this thing did start a fire in my mouth, and i am hooked! you can’t tell from the picture, but the sandwich was so full that ingredients were spilling out all over the place. i’m talking loads of crispy falafel and all kinds of marinated flavorful vegetables. plus it was SPICY. ahhhh i wish i had another one right now!

    yalla truck!

    if you like falafel, and you haven’t tried yalla truck yet, you need to hunt them down ASAP! follow them on twitter for their schedule and make it a point to hit them up. you will be sure to get one of the best falafel sandwiches you’ve ever eaten. make it the firestarter!

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