just got word on a new special menu item over at mandoline grill: fresh spring rolls!
these babies basically have the same ingredients as the noodle bowl: vermicelli noodles, lemongrass tofu, and fresh mint wrapped up in rice paper. right now they’re served with the same vegan sauce that comes with the bowl (a soy sauce-based sauce), but mando is working on a vegan peanut sauce! which means i am going to have to start working out.
the rolls are going to be a “special” so they may not be on the menu all of the time, but if you have the chance, TRY THEM! perhaps at vegan beer fest?!
oh, and a mando sando update – ask for grilled jalapenos with your banh mi, if you specify vegan they’ll put a piece of foil down on the grill. it really kicks up the heat!!Tags: food truck, mandoline grill, secret menu item, specials, spring rolls
no fish! go fish! is a vegan-friendly restaurant in portland serving cute little pockets of fish-shaped food that they refer to as “sandwiches.” while the place does serve meat, they have have plenty of vegan “sandwich,” soup and appetizer options that are pretty damn delicious. we hit up no fish! go fish! recently on our trip to portland and shared two of the premium vegan sandwiches: curried vegetable and mushroom pate.
i can’t even tell you how cute and tiny these fishes were! they come out lightly fried in the shape of a sweet little fish, with complete definition of gills and tail. they are quite small, so expect to eat a couple of them at least before you are filled up. check out how little they are next to an iphone.
of the two, the curried vegetable was definitely the favorite. stuffed with peas, spices, and tons of flavor…that’s the one we found ourselves fighting over. the mushroom pate one was excellent as well, just a bit more bland than the curry awesomeness.
we also split a vegan spring roll appetizer, which was your typical chopped up vegetable bits fried up in rice paper. these were delicious and a great deal at $4. what made all this food even better though, was the selection of hot sauces. they had several different types of sauces, even ones i’d never even heard of before. i gotta say, portland sure does beat the hell out of LA when it comes to hot sauce.
inside, the restaurant was roomy and pleasant with a few small tables and lots of sunlight. they also have tap beer, which is rad…and excellent service.
when it portland, i recommend you give this place a try. and don’t miss the curried vegetable fish!
they also have a food cart location downtown. check their website for locations and hours. no fish! go fish!Tags: fast food, portland, sandwiches, spring rolls
it’s no secret that i’ve been eating at vegan-friendly restaurants all over los angeles for quite some time. however, throughout the last several years of living here as a vegan, for some reason i never bothered to check out fatty’s in eagle rock. the all vegetarian restaurant on colorado boulevard has high prices, gourmet menu items that i can’t pronounce, strange opening hours, and a pretty dairy-heavy menu. for so long i just assumed the place wasn’t for me. BOY WAS I WRONG. i finally had the chance to check out fatty’s a few weeks ago and it rocked my my vegan socks off.
my husband and i ended up at fatty’s on accident. we had an epic double-date dinner planned to attend shojin’s 1 year anniversary party with lex and kristin of vegan-la, which also coincided roughly with when they would be leaving los angeles to embark on backpacking trip around europe. turned out shojin was way too crowded to eat at (i’m talking line-out-the-door savage nightmare), so we headed out to fatty’s eagle rock for of the best vegan meals i’ve had in this town.
just because it was so fucking scrumptious, lemme start by telling you about the fudgey. this was the dessert that lex and kristin ordered and were kind enough to share with us (had this been my cake, nobody else at the table woulda got even a bite of it!), and we all agreed it was delicious. the thing was big enough to feed a boatload of people and it came with layer after layer of sugary goodness. chocolate, coconut, and pecan creaminess made this one of the best sweet things i’ve ever encountered. dense and decadent, this cake could fool ANYONE who is addicted to eggs and milk. nothing about it tasted vegan. fudgey is the perfect name for this ridiculously fudgey dish.Tags: bread, cake, coffee, dessert, eagle rock, ice cream, paella, pizza, ravioli, spring rolls
the corner of duke street and berry street in liverpool is pretty fucking awesome. not just because it’s home to a derelict pub which sports banksy’s biggest and most valuable piece of graffiti…but also because it’s steps away from a kick ass vegan-friendly chinese restaurant called yuet ben.
i found out about yuet ben from the must-read vegan liverpool website, scouseveg.co.uk. scouse veg is a great resource and gives the lowdown on all the veg-friendly places in the city. that is after all, where i read about the awesome egg cafe. i was stoked to visit yuet ben’s website and find that they had an entirely separate vegetarian/vegan menu that was simple yet appetizing. on our one night in liverpool a couple of months ago, we decided to put the chips and curry on hold and dine at yuet ben for a dinner of vegan chinese food.
imagine how stoked we were to trudge up the hill to yuet ben and see before us a huge piece of banksy graffiti that i’d been reading about online. the depiction of a giant cat/rat creature stands about 20 feet high and is said to be banksy’s biggest work of art. it has raised the value of the disused pub it adorns, the whitehorse, to an estimated £1 million! if you are a fan of street art (what self-respecting vegan isn’t?), then yuet ben is definitely the place to dine in liverpool.
crappy dark pictures of our tasty dinner after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: art, chinese, england, liverpool, spring rolls, tofu, vegetables
Do you remember the scene in Wizard of Oz where the wizard is exposed behind the curtain, and he turns out to be just some boring middle-aged man of ill repute? Well, that’s what we existentialists call a “revelation”, and BOY did I get one of those last weekend in Pure Luck. I didn’t just see behind the red curtain by the cash register, I got a glimpse behind the IRON CURTAIN into cold-war era Soviet Russia. Okay, I know you just want to hear about potato pals and how awesome the freakin’ jackfruit is, but bear with me on this.
Any vegan living in LA will confirm that Pure Luck is probably the best vegan restaurant in town, has some of the nicest staff and offers an innovative Mexi/Californian-style menu that can satisfy even the most hard boiled carnivore. The same vegans will also tell you that the quality of the food is about as predictable as the middle-east peace process, and you never quite know what you’re going to get when you order something off the menu.
I usually stick to the staple Fresh Noodle Salad, but even that simple dish (with, like four ingredients) has arrived in multiple different forms in the year or so I’ve been going there. Sometimes it’s all noodles with spinach sprinkled on top, other times it’s a 5lb bag of spinach with nary a noodle in site. Sometimes there is so much tofu I can’t handle the protein overload and other times there’s not enough tofu to feed a vegan mouse. The other dishes suffer the same fate of inconsistency, yet we vegans are so grateful to have Pure Luck around we just complain to each other yet rarely to the staff.
Well, this weekend, I was served with an inedible Fresh Noodle Salad. Not only were the noodles hard and crunchy, but the spinach was brown at the edges and the whole thing was swimming in a sea of salty water. There were five pieces of overcooked tofu, no tortilla crunchies and the toasted peanuts had seen neither hide nor hare of a toaster, let alone any form of heat.
Sadly, I had to send it back and decided to order the Pure Luck Spring rolls instead. I SWEAR they scooped out the crap in my salad bowl, wrapped it in a tortilla with a smirk on their faces, dumped the salty water on top and re-served it to me, as the rolls were no better. See below for a comparison between a good and bad day. Please note that on the bad day, the spring rolls were soggy, with the dip TIPPED INTO into them and flowing out, and barely any tofu. On the good day, however, there was tons of tofu and the spring rolls were fresh, the leaves weren’t wilted, and the sauce was served on the side. Night and day, I tell you.
Coincidentally, a friend, who visited later the same afternoon, ordered the Burrito, which happened to be “95% rice” and fell apart when she tried to eat it. She’s decided to start visiting Pure Luck less often, as she’s “fed up getting crappy food, when it used to be so good.”. And, she’s the SECOND person I know who won’t order the Burrito again for the exact same reason, both served months apart.
When I questioned our wonderfully efficient and polite server about the consistency of the food I got the most stunning revelation: “Well, because we share all the tips, the owner likes us to do different jobs here. One day I might be waiting tables, the next washing dishes and then I might be in the kitchen preparing food. I guess some of us are better than others at different things”. No shit, Sherlock.
I mean, Pure Luck, SERIOUSLY. You have a business with paying customers, not some ideological experiment with socialist capitalism. I’ve never run a restaurant, but I know that not everybody can cook food, just as not everybody is good at dealing with people. Pure Luck needs to get a sensible rotation of kitchen staff to consistently prepare quality food as well as serve your customers with accountability.
I know about 10 vegans who don’t go to Pure Luck as often as they would, for fear of being disappointed with a dish that’s not up to the standards they are used to. Indeed, just this last Saturday, Twitter was going crazy with people who were going to Pure Luck and complaining about the food.
Pure Luck: you can do better. Your restaurant is quieter than it used to be, and the only consistency we’ve seen is higher prices and smaller portions. We loyal customers will vote with our feet and go elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, you are still the best vegan restaurant in town by far, but gone are my regular weekend dinner gatherings at Pure Luck with friends, shrunk now to once or twice a month…and we all remark on the inconsistency of the food. Comping a food item (has happened several times in my circle of friends) means we both lose. Your revenue goes down, and the customer doesn’t get what they ordered.
Pure Luck should deliver reasonable consistency with its food, that’s all we are asking. Our salads/tacos/burritos/whatever should be very similar every time we order them, and we shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and send stuff back to the kitchen that’s below par, even if we have waited 40 minutes for it to arrive.Tags: communist, pure luck (closed), salad, silverlake, spring rolls
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
for ages i have been meaning to check out bulan thai. it’s this all vegetarian thai place where most dishes can be made vegan, serving up food from two locations—one on melrose and one in silver lake. the melrose location is kinda near to my work, and it always looks so clean and inviting…for so long though, i was just never able to resist the urge to grab a panini or burger from m cafe instead. plus, on any given day of the week i’m probably already asian-fooded out, what with the ten million vegan thai places with the word vegan in the title, hawking their wheat meat and salty noodles on every major street in los angeles.
bulan vegetarian is different though, it doesn’t adhere to the same rules as all these other thai vegan clones. there are no cowboy burgers, no wraps and no salads swimming tahini dressing. nope, none of that westernized stuff at bulan. the standard vegan cookbook that the other thai places have adopted, bulan completely ignores. it’s so refreshing to visit a thai food restaurant with food that both a.) is authentic and b.) i can trust. bulan is just that place, and i love it.
the husband and i hit up bulan recently and decided to get a full on feast: 2 main dishes and an appetizer to share. we started with the summer rolls. so simple, but so exquisite.
i’ve had rolls similar to this at a million thai places in the past, but none have been this good. the summer rolls were tiny and tightly packed with the freshest and most delicate of vegetables. the peanut sauce was also supberb and went down well with several spoons of chili powder. i would definitely order these again. the somewhat hefty price tag was made up for with the finest ingredients, great taste and beautiful presentation.
we also shared the broccoli with dried chili and tofu. It turned out to be the perfect mix of greens and protein.
this was a great light dish for 2 to share. the broccoli was fresh and crunchy, while the tofu was moist and well seasoned. the chilis provided some definite heat, but not enough for us. we of course had to drown our plates in spoonfuls from the hot sauce carousel. it was so tasty. plus, i love any thai restaurant that brings an impressive selection of hot sauce to the table.
lastly, we split an order of the pad kee mao or “drunken noodles”. these were probably my favorite.
the drunken noodles were thick, fried and slathered in the most impressive sauce along with nicely cooked vegetables and scrumptious “chicken” chunks. there was nothing about this not to like. everything was moist, crispy, and full of flavor. bulan really shows what quality thai is all about.
i really can’t wait to go back to this place. the menu is simple and traditional, but truly outstanding.
plus, who doesn’t want to eat at a restaurant with a sign as awesome as this posted on the window?!??!!
you really ought to check bulan out asap.
and for all you drunken vegans out there, as an added bonus, the village idiot is right across the street. this slick gastropub offers my all time favorite vegan lager, craftsman 1903 at the fair price of 5 bucks a pint. a few beers and some vegan food is just way too good to pass up. head to melrose now.
Tags: beer, broccoli, melrose, noodles, spring rolls, thai
quarrygirl eats nyc continues! more vegan-ness from our recent trip to manhattan.
franchia is a fancy schmancy 100% vegan korean restaurant in manhattan, which is a sister restaurant to the even fancier schmancier gourmet restaurant, hangawi. judging by the prices at franchia alone, you’d never guess that this was the lower-rung, cheaper of the two (my entree alone was $18). but the food was delicious and healthy tasting, the atmosphere elegant & traditional, yet clean & modern, and the service was beyond attentive. plus, it’s located on park avenue, which i’m sure drives the prices up. overall, the extra bit of money was well spent and we left feeling perfectly replete and re-energized at the same time.
when we arrived at franchia, the husband and i were full of three beers each from a local irish bar and feeling the drag of our recent 5 hour flight and various airport delays. we were thrilled when we peered through the windows and saw the vast, relaxing, beautifully decorated tea house beckoning us. we were escorted upstairs by a very kind host and seated at a quiet table in a dimly-lit section of the restaurant.
needing food immediately, we quickly ordered the vermicelli spring rolls, which proved to be an excellent choice.
as you probably know, great dinner ambiance usually makes for shitty photos. the food doesn’t have a chance of coming out in focus with all that moody lighting goin’ on. so bear with me and trust that it was amazing. the spring rolls came in a set of four with a tangy dipping sauce and a beautiful little radish cut up to look like a flower. although these were fried, they were still quite light. the skin was very delicate and thin, and the innards consisted of silky soft noodles and tender vegetables. they were just what we needed after the day we’d had!
my husband, being a noodle and broccoli fan opted for the spicy franchia noodles. we both agreed that they were pretty tasty.
the spicy noodles weren’t actually that spicy, but then again i drink hot sauce by the bottle, so the fact i needed to ask for some extra shouldn’t be a surprise. the portion was small and dainty, especially for $15, but the quality of the ingredients made up for it. the noodle dish was covered in fresh, beautiful-tasting vegetables such as thick broccoli, succulent mushrooms, and even juicy tomatoes. the perfect blend of flavors and gourmet taste justified the price and puny-ness. for all you la-ers, this place totally reminded me of shojin, a fancy japanese vegan restaurant located in downtown los angeles. if you dig shojin, you’ll love franchia.
i opted for something a little more saucy and full of fake meat: the vegetarian curry hot pot. this turned out being by far the favorite dish on the table, and that’s a good thing because there was plenty to share with my husband.
the hot pot was a scrumptious dish in a big stone container that was still sizzlin’ and bubblin’ away when it arrived at our table. filled to the top with the most rich and delicious curry sauce, it also boasted numerous vegetables and tons of protein, including both fake chicken and tofu. spooned out on top of a fluffy plate of white rice, this dish was absolutely divine. thick vegetables, tons of chunky chicken, soft tofu and incredible creamy sauce…it couldn’t get much better. the sauce was the perfect combo of hot spicey-ness, curry flavor and tomato undertones. i think it’s safe to say this is the best non-indian style curry i’ve ever had. our meals also came with a plate of kimchi for the table, which was so delicious, i forgot to get a picture of it! oops.
so, the bottom line is: for upscale dining in nyc, franchia definitely delivers. you won’t leave this place feeling stuffed or guilty, you will just leave feeling relaxed with some delicious quality food in your belly. you pay a little extra for fancy atmosphere, central location, and awesome ingredients. in my opinion, it’s well worth it.Tags: broccoli, curry, korean, noodles, NYC, spring rolls, tofu, vermicilli
vegan glory is bad ass. yeah, i know if you read my blog you are probably so sick of hearing about these thai vegan restaurants with the word “vegan” in their title by now…and as you know, i’ve got a love/hate relationship with these places. i hate the fact they are so predictable, and that 70% of their menu consists of lunch specials and salty noodle dishes…but i love, love, love the fact that they are everywhere and that sometimes they offer non-thai food that rivals that of the best of the best normal vegan restaurants. case in point, vegan glory. a great little gem located on beverly, this joint has a parking lot, ample seating and some surprisingly good…mexican food? yep. strange, but oh so true.
i was totally reluctant to order this burrito. after hooking up with flore, and then hugo’s tacos, i felt i’d be unimpressed with any mex-food that the thai-inspired vegan glory had to offer. the burrito, however was flawless. it was huge, scrumptious, and full of fake meat along with beans, vegetables and VEGAN CHEESE! ok, so it wasn’t that melty…but it tasted awesome and after 30 seconds in the microwave, it was as ooooey and gooey as ever. wrapped up tightly in a thick, stretchy and thin flour tortilla, this sucker is easy to slice in half cleanly and split between two.
the soy chicken was especially tasty—not too sweet or salty, and it had no asian flavoring what-so-ever, which made it perfect for my burrito. plus, there was a controversy a while back about some of the thai-vegan places using NON-vegan ingredients in their soy chicken. but even amidst all the scandal, vegan glory was known as one of the places to be upfront and legit about the contents of its food. so even now, i just feel a little safer eating it.
adhering to its traditional thai roots, vegan glory still offers a wide array of curries, rice bowls and salty noodle dishes. of these, i recommend the pad thai with seitan.
the pad thai consists of juicy slices of seitan atop thick, succulent noodles with the most delicious peanutty sauce. they even put on cabbage and carrot garnishes to make it look pretty & colorful too. sometimes the seitan at these thai places tastes kind of sugary or syrupy…not this stuff. this luscious wheat meat soaked up all the flavors of the dish: soy sauce, onions, peanuts and garlic. mmm.
and lastly, to start with, i suggest the freshy rolls. other than having a really cool name, they also taste great and are extremely light…so they won’t make you too full to enjoy your entree.
these rolls prove that vegan glory knows how to wrap up more than just an awesome burrito. thin strips of soy chicken packed in over refreshing greens, all rolled up super tight in light rice wraps. the sauce is delicious too, although for me it needs to be spiced up a bit with some chili garlic. i suspect these would also make a pretty good, light meal if you are looking for something on the low-cal side.
yep, vegan glory is pretty awesome. i am still getting over the fact that i thoroughly enjoyed a burrito at a thai restaurant. wonder what else is hiding out in that menu…
Tags: burrito, pad thai, seitan, spring rolls
UPDATE: we did an investigation on this place and found out their cheese is NOT VEGAN, but contains casein. other dishes at green leaves contain egg products. they have been lying about it for years. i highly suggest vegans do not eat here, green leaves is shady as fuck.
yes, green leaves vegan is in fact one of the numerous vegan/thai restaurants with the word “vegan” in its title. but it has got something that most of eateries of its kind don’t….a great atmosphere. light, clean and open, tall windows provide a view of hillhurst, while electric guitars and flat-screen televisions adorn the walls. i’m convinced the food is also a cut above the rest, although i haven’t sampled enough dishes off of its vast menu to have an accurate opinion.
when we went on sunday lunchtime, the place wasn’t nearly as packed as it should have been. i guess everyone was too busy lining up across the street to eat at home, which suits me! we had decided on eating healthy and passed on the onion rings appetizer (that looked SO good btw) for an order of spring rolls.
the spring rolls were pretty damn good, but the best thing was, they came packed with a little surprise. the menu didn’t mention anything about soy meat inside, yet they were stuffed with with some kind of protein as well as fresh vegetables! light and refreshing, exactly what you’d expect from a guilt-free appetizer. the sweet, peanuty sauce was lovely as well.
as a main course, we opted to share the seitan wrap. i’m always interested to see how each of these thai/vegan places makes a wrap, because each restaurant has its own variation. green leaves’ seitan wrap was right up there, almost as good as the one at the vegan joint. what i did like about this specific version, is that it was rolled with a flour tortilla-like lavash, rather than a wheat chapati-style bread.
what kinda irked me about this wrap though, is that it didn’t seem like it was filled with seitan, but rather soy chicken or some other crazy fake animal. i’m used to seitan that tastes like tough, chewy wheat meat and is dark brown. this was much softer and lighter in color. it still tasted great, just not what i was expecting. of course, i completely soaked it in a delicious mixture of tahini and chilli-garlic from the hot sauce carousel.
granted, we didn’t eat very much between us, but i was still pretty impressed when the check arrived and it was under $13. there aren’t many places you can sit in a hip little spot looking out at los feliz and finish off 2 plates of vegan food for less than a dub. i will definitely be returning to green leaves, and i hope to get something really unhealthy to make up for those fresh spring rolls. i’m thinking onion rings, a quesadilla, or some pancakes…maybe all 3.
stay tuned.Tags: seitan, spring rolls, wraps
that’s right, you probably already know that california vegan is one of the many thai-vegan-restaurants-with-the-word-“vegan”-in-its-name that has popped up around los angeles. while i was getting pretty sick of these places for a while, i decided to return and give california vegan another try. we took my dad there for a belated fathers day lunch, because he just can’t seem to get enough of their orange chicken.
california orange chicken lunch special: battered and fried soy chicken coated in a spicy sweet orange-flavored sprinkled with sesame seeds. served with spring roll, miso soup, salad & brown rice. $7.95
soy chicken pad thai lunch special: sautéed thai rice noodles with bean sprouts, green onions and crushed peanuts. served with spring roll, miso soup, salad & brown rice. $7.95
silver noodle salad: glass bean noodles mixed with
soy fishtofu for me, bean sprouts and tossed in lime juice. $6.95
and now for the amazing dish that made the whole trip worth it in my opinion, if there were ever any doubts:
banana spring rolls & ice cream: bananas and shredded coconut rolled in spring roll pastry and deep fried with a choice of your favorite soy ice cream flavor. $6.95. OMFG. yum.
now california vegan is one of those restaurants that rules and sucks all at the same time. the prices are reasonable, but the atmosphere blows. the servers are friendly, but somewhat incompetent. the menu is huge, but it’s mostly the same salty meats listed over and over again. the orange chicken tasted amazing, but it arrived half an hour later than everything else because they forgot about it.
enough of my ambivalence, i know you just wanna read about all the vegan food.Tags: banana, ice cream, orange chicken, pad thai, salad, spring rolls, tofu
OK, anywhere that opens at 11am, remains open until 4am the next day and calls itself “rockin’ Thai food” is begging for the midnight and early morning crowd. Who dines at 3am?
- I have been known to
- Hipsters (usually just out of a recording session [they wish]) do
- Stoners do (duh)
- Vegans do, as this is almost certainly the only place to get vegan food of any quality (other than Burger King fries, and even those are questionable) after about 11pm
On a recent late night visit there, I chowed down on my usual order:
Saigon Spring Rolls (Cold Vietnamese spring rolls with basil), a hearty portion for a hearty price of $9.95.
It’s nice to have a mixture of basil, cilantro and crunchy tofu all wrapped up into one, along with vegetables (outside and in) and a couple of nice sauces to boot. Ask for the hot sauce carousel, and you won’t be sorry. Spice it up!
Followed (quickly, when the service is good) with:
You have to ask for it “vegan”, and in addition to skipping the egg (superfluous anyway in a pad Thai), they ensure your sauce is vegan. I’ve had a million pad Thai dishes here, all of them vegan, and they taste amazing.Tags: pad thai, spring rolls, sunset blvd, thai, toi
Read the rest of this entry »
in the midst of a los angeles heat wave, and a very inconvenient power outage on my block, i found myself in santa monica trying to pass the time and keep cool. i had dinner plans in the area at 8:30, but had to head out much earlier, because sitting around in a sweltering house just wasn’t cutting it for me. i started drinking at around noon, and at around 3pm, the alcohol and heat started to get the best of me. i knew i needed a light snack to hold me over until dinner, so i grabbed my trusty blackberry and searched for the nearest vegan spot. it lead me to the doorstep of juliano’s raw.
spring rolls: pasta, shredded veggies & thai herbs wrapped in a scrumptious coconut curry wrapper served with a no-peanut thai sauce $8.31
greenomole & chips: best guac ever, groovin’ salsa & flax cracks $6.47
now, i’d read good things about juliano’s raw before…and i gotta say, it really hit the spot. don’t get me wrong, the portions were tiny, the service was slow, and it was overpriced—but on a scorching hot day, it was exactly the light, fresh, tasty food i needed.Tags: guacamole, raw, spring rolls
March 30th, 2008pure luck (closed)
as a vegan imbiber, i can’t think of any place more wonderful than pure luck. it’s probably the only place you won’t see me bitching and complaining about on this blog. in fact, the absolute worst thing that really irritates me about pure luck is that they aren’t open on sunday. because if they were, i would be there right now.
first off, unlike most vegan eateries, they have amazing tap beer. not that budweiser bullshit, i’m talking about the real thing—at a great value. a 20 oz. glass of craftsmen ipa only costs $6, a very competitive price (especially in a vegan restaurant!!!), considering the quality and the quantity.
but as an ardent drinker, even fancy & cheap beers are auxiliary when it comes to my enjoyment of pure luck. what sets this establishment apart is the amazing and unique food. they don’t resort to the same tired menu as many vegan spots in los angeles (faux meat piled onto noodles with lots of salt). it seems any restaurant that has the word “vegan” in the title serves basically a carbon copy of a thai menu, with the substitution of seitan for meat, and the addition of french fries. thankfully, not pure luck. instead, it offers up new and tasty creations like fried gnocchi “potato pals” and spring rolls wrapped in flour tortillas.
i am making it a point to go to pure luck every saturday, and order something new each time until i’ve had everything on the menu.Tags: appetizers/snacks, beer, ipa, potato pals, spring rolls