are you looking for a place to recharge with some healthy food after dining out on all the rich and decadent vegan cuisine that los angeles has to offer? well then look no further than a votre sante in brentwood. the cozy eatery offers light and simple natural cuisine that’s healthy yet extremely delicious.
we hit up a votre sante recently with none other than the healthy vegans, who turned us on to the place, and had a 3 course dinner that left us feeling energized and satisfied rather than stuffed and bloated.
for my main course i ordered the dragontail from a votre sante’s vegan menu. although the restaurant has a separate vegan menu, don’t be fooled—most of their other offerings are vegan as well. for instance, they have a health mex menu on which almost everything is vegan. anyways, the dragontail was a winner. the bowl of food was absolutely massive and filled with vegetables, tofu, rice and black beans…all covered in tamari, tahini and hijiki. man, this thing was incredible. so fresh and simple yet packed with flavor. i don’t know how i managed to eat it all, but i did! the rice was some of the fluffiest i’ve ever tried, and the tofu was soft and juicy. i couldn’t get enough of the sauce either—at the end of the meal, i was practically licking the bowl.
mr. meaner also dined off the vegan menu, and ordered the blackened tofu feast with steamed vegetables and brown rice. this perhaps wasn’t the best angle to take the picture from, because you can’t really see the huge mound of marinated and blackened tofu! oh well, at least you can see that a votre sante didn’t skimp on the vegetables. i tasted a bit of the tofu and it was awesome…however, i still preferred my dragontail. this is definitely a super healthy option though, as you can see the plate is 80% vegetables, paired with extremely high quality rice and tofu.
our dining partners lex and kristin ordered some salad and pasta dishes, both of which looked delicious. they also ordered their entrees oil-free, and a votre sante was happy to accommodate…good to know, if you are in the mood to eat something uber-healthy.
but lemme back up a bit, i forgot to tell you about the soup! everyday, a votre sante offers two vegan soup options, served with a vegan corn muffin. we got cups of soup around the table; mine being the corn chowder (pictured above) and mr. meaner’s the vegetable (below).
both soups were extremely tasty and hit the spot—i really can’t fault them. the perect warm, comforting starter on a blustery autumn night.
even after all that food, we still saved room for a bit of dessert. we got the pumpkin pie (we are less than a week away from halloween, after all!) and it was awesome. it was thick, moist and oozing with sweet pumpkin and cinnamon flavor. it definitely tasted “healthy,” but not in a bad way…just in a way that made me feel really good about eating it. the crust was thick and chewy, and it was even topped with a swirl of vegan whipped cream. total yumz!
i can’t believe it has taken me so long to eat at a votre sante, and i would highly reccommend it for a refreshingly light and tasty meal. the vegan options are plentiful, they use high quality ingredients, the service is polite, and the atmosphere is relaxing. i am thinking i will be back very soon for a healthy lunch prior to a stroll on the beach. we definitely need more places like this in LA!
a votre santeTags: brentwood, dessert, soup, tofu, west side
13016 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
for vegans who find themselves in london on the hunt for a quick meal, i highly recommend popping into one of the many itsu shops located around the city. itsu offers japanese-style light fare including sushi, soups and salads that as they say on their website is “full of goodness & won’t make you fat.”
while the menu at itsu has a lot of icky fish on it, they do have some great vegan options that are a welcome break from all the heavy chips and curry i’m used to consuming while in the uk. we always make sure to hit up itsu at least once when in london for their delicious dumpling soup…we even like it so much, we figured out how to make it at home here in los angeles.
when ordering the dumpling soup off the menu, be sure to specify that you want it with miso broth. the miso broth is vegan, while some of the other soups at itsu contain bonito (fish). although you can’t see them in the picture, the vegetable dumpling soup comes packed with fresh vegetables including spinach, mushrooms and bean sprouts, all atop a big pile of fat udon noodles and stacked with plump and juicy vegetable dumplings and crunchy seeds. everything that’s shoved into this soup is fresh and amazing, my only tip would be to eat the dumplings first because if they get too soggy they start to disintegrate. this stuff is so bloody yummy, it will have you wondering why you haven’t been eating it every day for years. seriously, so simple and so good.
in addition to a really stellar vegan soup option (don’t forget to specify that you want vegan miso broth!), itsu offers a damn good salad.
the hip and healthy is packed delicate leaves, perfectly prepared vegetables, hearty seeds and even fluffy white rice. it’s seriously a produce lover’s dream…all so fresh and tasty. while the vegetable dumpling soup with miso broth is by far the best thing i’ve ever tried at itsu, the hip and healthy salad is a perfect choice if you don’t want to stagger out with half a gallon of liquid in your belly.
to sum it up, itsu is a great choice if you are looking for a nourishing and tasty vegan meal in london. it’s one of our regular uk haunts, and i always feel energized and guilt-free, even after eating a ton. the japanese have got the healthy and simple food down. eating this food will make you feel so good, you won’t even miss the fried and greasy chips or oil-filled indian food.
one thing to look out for, if you are eating in and not getting your food to go…be sure to hit up one of itsu’s SHOP locations, not one of the RESTAURANTS. the shops are quick with a vegan-friendly menu and have cute little booths to eat at. the restaurants are larger and offer a mainly fish menu, with the soups and salads only available for takeaway. basically don’t bother with the restaurants. check out the itsu website for all the shop locations…they are seriously scattered all over london. the pix in this post are all from the piccadilly shop. address and hours below.
so hit up itsu! because as they say, “you can eat lots without guilt, sorrow, and pain”! woo!
itsuTags: dumplings, itsu, japanese, london, noodles, salad, soup
London W1J 9EG
T: 020 7495 4048
F: 020 7495 4645
Mon to Fri: 10am – 8pm
Sat & Sun: 12pm – 5pm
on our recent trip to england, we spent one day and one night in liverpool. being the birthplace of the beatles, we just had to pay the city a visit…and of course, we were on the lookout for good vegan food while we were there. you know veganism is spreading like wildfire when this even this grey, industrial, port city in england has its very own website dedicated to vegetarian and vegan life. scouseveg.co.uk was a valuable resource for us while staying in liverpool, and it lead us to a very lovely all vegetarian and very vegan-friendly restaurant called the egg cafe.
the egg cafe is a sweet little vegetarian lunch spot with a rotating menu of daily specials, and several vegan offerings. there was so much to choose from when we were there, from sandwiches and curries to soups and desserts. we started the meal off with a bowl of vegan creamed cauliflower soup and a large slice of garlic bread.
although everything we ended up ordering at the egg cafe was tasty, the soup and garlic bread combo was definitely the highlight of the meal. both were vegan, but both were incredibly rich and delicious. the soup was extremely creamy, and the bread was all thick and fluffy. plus, it was fresh and pipin’ hot, and the garlic and buttery spread on it was amazing. probably the best vegan garlic bread i’ve ever had.
for a main meal, i ordered the hummus combination, which came with homemade hummus, pita bread, salad and pasta on the side.
the fresh hummus plate really hit the spot, and i can’t fault it…however it did taste like something i could make at home. next time i visit the egg, i will go order something a little more special, like one of the vegan hot dishes. the hummus was creamy and covered in really great seasonings, definitely a great lunch if you are looking for something light. i didn’t touch the salad because it had bell peppers in it (which i HATE), but my husband tells me it was really good.
my husband went for a curry-inspired dish: the vegan tandori mushrooms with creamy sauce.
the white yogurty sauce was so convincing, we had to go double check it was vegan! all of it was quite excellent. the tandori mushrooms were plump and well seasoned. they were bright red and had the same flavor as tandori chicken of the same color. they also came with pita and side salads. it all wrapped up very nicely as a curry mushroom sandwich.
overall, the egg cafe was a great find. all the food was good, and some of it was downright excellent. for vegans in liverpool, this place is a must visit. the atmosphere is pretty awesome too. you order at the counter and then sit at a long communal table. it isn’t crowded or uncomfortable though, and the decorations are fun and colorful. there’s no alcohol license, but feel free to byob!
the egg is located up two flights of stairs, and the sign is on the ground. so be sure not to miss it! look out for the trippy purple building.
the egg cafe
2nd Floor, 16-18 Newington
Liverpool L1 4ED
Tel: 0151 707 2755
oh, and by the way…any vegetarian restaurant with this on the wall is okay in my book. i love liverpool.Tags: cauliflower, curry, england, garlic bread, hummus, liverpool, mushrooms, soup, tandori
almost any los angeles vegan knows that a taste of life is the best place to get vegan soul food. delicious, quick, rich junk food on the cheap has given the tiny 100% vegan restaurant an incredible reputation amongst herbivores and omnivores alike. it’s a place where we can get shit like macaroni and cheese, black eyed peas, greasy kale…all with that home cooked taste…all without animal products.
a taste of life has a farmers market stand set up every sunday in hollywood, as well as a newish store front on fountain and vermont. i’ve eaten there several times and can say that the food is all fucking fabulous.
the last few times i’ve gone, a taste of life has had this menu out on the counter, but after talking to the dude who works there, i found out they offer tons of stuff that wasn’t even printed on the menu. 4 different kinds of burgers, pot roast, breaded pot roast, gyro meat and so much more. since then, a taste of life has revamped its website and added some of the secret items, but they still aren’t all on there. i suggest you call and ask what about their options. there is so much stuff i am dying to try.
we tried out the lentil burger and it was awesome. it stands right up there with all the best vegan burgers in town, and makes for a great option if you want some greasy tasting junk food.
we also tried the pot roast, which isn’t on the menu, and it was some of the best wheat meat i’ve ever had.
when i raved about the pot roast to the guy working there, he told me they also do a fried breaded version of it, and he gave me a free sample. this was so ridiculously good, although eating an entire portion of it would probably kill me.
they can also make you a side of gyro meat, which is similar to the pot roast but not quite the same. i suggest you try both and decide what you like best…they are both tasty as can be.
for those of you who don’t like fake meat, a taste of life has several options to please you. grab a dinner combination with mac n cheese, black-eyed peas, kale and bbq tofu. the mac n cheese is known to be the best vegan mac in los angeles, i mean even whole foods stocks it…it’s that damn good.
they’ve also got like a million soups, and even some of those aren’t on the menu! on my last visit i got some chicken noodle and loved it.
there is seriously so much to choose from at a taste of life, and so many secret menu items, i doubt i could ever try all the food they have to offer. plus the dishes are all so decadent and ridiculously delicious…now when i go there i have a really hard time trying new stuff, because the old stuff is all so good! oh, why do you do this to me, a taste of life?! …and i haven’t even tried their shakes or raw items yet!
if you haven’t been to a taste of life, you sure are missing out.
a taste of life
4718 fountain avenue #D (upstairs)
los angeles ca 90029
closed mondayTags: gyro, hollywood, kale, macaroni & cheese, pot roast, soul food, soup, tofu
the best tofu you will ever eat lives in reseda.
it is a good time to be a vegan and live in the san fernando valley. they’ve got everything over there. follow your heart, madeleine’s bistro, hugo’s tacos and a slew of vegan thai huts. i didn’t think the valley could possibly offer anything better than all of that. well, i was wrong. after months of putting it off because i didn’t want to make the drive to reseda, i finally checked out the 100% vegan vietnamese restaurant and tofu factory, vinh loi tofu.
you see, foodeater over at to live and eat in la (the vegan blog i frequent most) had been singing the praises of this place forever. she has gone on and on about the noodles, soups, sandwiches, even the non-GMO soy beans. i kind of took it all with a grain of salt, thinking, how good could some vegan asian food be….right? i get plenty of that! well, i was wrong. all the stuff she said was 100% true. vinh loi tofu is an odd gem in an a huge sea of fried udon, faux meat and salty broth. i can’t possibly describe to you how fucking good it is.
it’s the kind of food that you start chomping on with another person and for the next half hour the conversation is littered with outbursts like, “no, really this is so fucking good,” “….i know, right? god this is amazing,” “wow, this food is much better than i thought would be…” and then various chewing noises.
the best thing i tasted from vinh loi tofu was of course the tofu itself. created in the tofu factory within the restaurant by the mad scientists/chefs/magicians, the soybean concoction that vinh loi comes up with is utterly perfect. and when they fry it up with lemongrass and chili for just a buck 25, it’s enough to have you on your bloody knees begging for more.
but that’s just the tofu. they have tons of other drool-worthy dishes on the big, vegan, vietnamese menu. stuff that looks like run-o-the-mill asian foodz like noodles, soups and rice dishes are completely reinvented.
the duck soup (everything is totally vegan, so need to even ask) was insanely delicious. flavorful meat with delicately cooked noodles, swimming in a savory broth. garnished with fresh vegetables, this garlicky and spicy dish was honestly i think the best soup i’ve ever had. seriously, it’s true! i know you won’t believe me…unless you’ve had it as well.
same goes for the stir-fried udon noodles. cooked up in the most scrumptious sauce, covered with thick faux meat and fresh chilis, this dish packed so much flavor and so much heat. i really don’t think we knew what we were getting into. a fight went down and spoonful was divided until the bitter end.
and, ummm….not to sound like a broken record, but the veggie spring rolls were also the best ever.
most spring rolls have a clear, thin and moist skin. not these. the wrappers on these were thick, tough and stretchy. the vegetables were crisp and the fried tofu was all kinds of wow. 3 of these could easily be a meal on their own. they are also packed with a lot more food than most rolls. all the ingredients must be shoved in so tight, because there is so damn much inside.
seriously, if you are a vegan in los angeles you can’t say shit about anything until you’ve tried vinh loi tofu. they take a cuisine (vegan asian food) that is usually so meh, and they make it spectacular. i don’t think i’ve ever in my life eaten soup, noodles, spring rolls, or tofu that has gotten me so enthusiastic. i mean, i love talking shit on restaurants. but i just can’t with vinh loi tofu. there is nothing negative to say.
even the owner, kevin tran was working the counter when we went in. chatting away to customers and answering all kinds of questions about the food, he was more friendly and helpful than any restaurant owner i’ve ever seen in action.
so no matter where you live in la, vegans, make the bloody drive to vinh loi tofu. they are in the valley, so of course, they are located in a strip mall. kevin excitedly told us though, that they were planning on opening a restaurant in silver lake. oh how awesome that would be. we can only hope.
vinh loi tofuTags: asian, noodles, soup, spring rolls, tofu, tofu robot, vietnamese
18625 Sherman Way #101
Reseda, CA 91335
every time i go to the uk, i try new and wonderful food that i wish i could take back home to los angeles. well guess what? turns out i can!
spicy dumpling noodles (the quarrygirl version): steamed vegetable gyoza, asian vegetables, udon noodles, and miso broth
on a recent trip to london, i felt so out of my element. i was wandering the streets looking for any one of the vegan restaurants i’d so carefully researched online…none of which i was finding. to make matters worse, i was with my ex-vegetarian (now vegan) english husband who was kindly patronizing me as i promised to show him all the “vegan friendly” restaurants i’d bragged about finding in his hometown that he’d failed to notice, because he must have been blind!
2 hours later…no vegan restaurants. he’s late for a meeting…and his stupid american-girl-of-a-wife, who doesn’t even know from which direction the traffic will be crossing, is aimlessly pulling him around the west end looking for a restaurant that understands the difference between vegan (vg) and vegetarian (vo). disaster.
15 minutes left before the lunch window slams shut and my husband has take off, we happen across a little shop called itsu on regent street, and he convinces me to give it a try. completely pwned, i agree, and follow him in and try to make the best of the situation.
and boy am i glad i did!
recipe after the jump…Tags: dumplings, london, recipes, soup, udon