• 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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  • 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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