today is world vegan day, and to celebrate, a few places of town are offering up vegan specials! i’ll list the ones i know about, and if i miss anything, please leave it in the comments.
hugo’s tacos is offering 20% off select items all day including burritos w/ soy chorizo or mixed vegetables, green tamales plain or w/ mixed veg topping or soy chorizo, salad, and frozato.
two boots in echo park has launched a new v for vegan pizza, which comes with daiya cheese, artichokes, shiitakes, red onions, and basil & red pepper pesto.
so, game plan: breakfast burrito at hugo’s tacos, lunch at hamburger hamlet, pizza for dinner at two boots.
let me know if i’m missing anything.Tags: atwater village, chain dining, echo park, studio city, world vegan day
YES, IT’S TRUE!!! hugo’s tacos in studio city now has vegan soft serve…and….wait for it…VEGAN WAFFLE CONES. excuse me while i drool on my keyboard.Tags: dessert, ice cream, studio city, the valley
hey vegans, you still have until february 20th to get a 25% discount at hugo’s tacos between 5-10pm when you mention “quarrygirl”! have you taken advantage of it yet? i seriously suggest you get over there and try all the insane vegan food this taco stand has to offer.
i’ve recently fallen in love with the tacos and green tamales…Tags: atwater village, deals, mexican food, studio city, the valley
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…
Tags: atwater village, deals, hugo's tacos, mexican food, sandwich, studio city, the valley
we’ve got exciting news, people! every evening this week, hugo’s tacos is offering a 25% discount on all vegan items for quarrygirl readers!
here are the details of the deal…Tags: atwater village, deals, discount, mexican food, studio city, the valley
argh, i forgot that february is a short month…which means it’s almost half way over! this is just a quick post to alert you to some of the excellent monthly specials that hugo’s is offering, because they won’t be around much longer!
i am still working my way through these babies, but here’s what i’ve got so far…Tags: casserole, dessert, hugo's, studio city, the valley, weho
heads up, readers! i just wanted to throw this out there in case you are already starting to make your dinner plans for next week: be sure to pencil in a couple evenings at hugo’s tacos.
throughout next week, the super vegan-friendly taco stand is gonna be offering a pretty epic vegan dinner deal that i’ll post about on monday morning. it’s gonna be every day from 2/14 – 2/20 after 5pm, at both locations (atwater village and studio city). details to come, but i know you’re gonna love it. i mean, have you been to hugo’s tacos yet?! they have insane vegan burritos, taquitos, nachos, tortas, tostadas, soft serve—i could go on and on—and it’s all part of the deal!
mexican food on valentine’s day? you know it makes sense. i may just need to have dinner at hugo’s tacos every day next week.Tags: atwater village, deal, mexican food, studio city, the valley
it’s a great time to be vegan in los angeles! this week hugo’s restaurant is introducing tons of new animal-free options, and i can say from personal experience that they are beyond delicious. they’ve permanently brought back and improved some of everyone’s old favorite monthly specials, as well as added some extra good stuff.
the new menu will take effect in studio city today, and in west hollywood tomorrow. here is what you have to look forward to…Tags: bowl, pasta, studio city, the valley, weho
i am always a huge fan of the monthly specials at hugo’s restaurant, and this month is no different. you must (MUST!) get over there and try out the roasted vegetable enchilada burrito before january ends.
first off, this thing is a beast. it’s huge and stuffed with so much good stuff, you won’t be able to eat it one sitting.Tags: burrito, mexican food, specials, studio city, the valley, weho
okay, so i know this site is largely about eating ridiculously drool worthy and fattening animal-free foods…but in real life, sometimes you just gotta keep it healthy. and as we all know, finding good, nutritious vegan fare in los angeles restaurants can be surprisingly difficult. enter hugo’s. they’ve got something for everyone—health nuts, junk foodies, omnivores and vegans can all find a meal on the menu. i’ve told you all about their vegan version of the double down and their crazy good chili cheese fries, but their lighter stuff is just as tasty.
i hit up hugo’s recently with my omnivorous parents for lunch, and all 3 of us ordered vegan. i find that although hugo’s has tons of meat and dairy options, whenever i take omnis there they end up ordering from the vegan menu as well, because it’s so accessible. there’s no strange fake meats; it’s just downright good food made with fine ingredients. ANYWAYS, i was in the mood for something simple, so i ordered the “create-a-plate”.
hugo’s create-a-plate option is fucking awesome, because you can choose 3, 4, or 5 items from this huge list of vegan offerings, as well as whatever sauce or dressing you want. they’ve got stuff like sauteed leafy greens, black bean cakes, lentils, and tons of other goodies to choose from…not to mention additional protein selections for an added price, such as new american veggie patties and grilled tofu. i ordered my plate with organic brown rice, steamed vegetables, pico de gallo, and the vegan soup of the day (which is always oil-free). in this case, the soup happened to be carrot ginger, and it was fantastic.
i know that everything else on the plate looks pretty basic, but the soup really took it over the edge. so rich and flavorful, but entirely vegan and with no oil? NICE. each component was just so well prepared, and the portions were large. everything mixed together so perfectly.
my parents opted for the vegan three salad plate, a september special (act fast!), which came with a wild rice mixture, an avocado-tomato salad, and a side of curry tofu mixed with fruits and nuts. i sampled a bit of the tofu, and it was amazing! while i can’t go into detail about this dish because i didn’t try all of it, let’s just say my meat-eating parents devoured it all…as well as some other vegan appetizers that i’ve already blogged about.
basically, i just want everyone to know that hugo’s is there for you no matter what. you’re a vegan? you want crazy fatty fried foods? you avoid oil at all costs? you’re gluten-free? you only eat organic? HUGO IS YOUR MAN. eat at hugo’s, people! it’s all there.
hugo’s restaurantTags: healthy, studio city, the valley, weho
8401 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
12851 Riverside Drive
Studio City, CA 91607
september is a great month by any measure. fall (the best season ever) is upon us; it’s cooling down outside, and pretty leaves are starting to fall off the trees. the crazy summer is fading away, yet the cozy holidays are ahead. this september is particularly awesome though, because it marks the 30th birthday of hugo’s, one of our favorite restaurants. and to commemorate this occasion, they are offering a very unique specials menu which celebrates the food of the past, while looking forward to the food of the future. meaning: there are tons of old school, meat/dairy-heavy dishes, but EVERY ONE THIS MONTH CAN BE VEGANIZED! partaaaaaay!
yesterday i was fortunate enough to try out 7 (yes, SEVEN) of these 10 brand new specials craftily created by chef nabor, and all i can say is…i know i will be a regular customer at hugo’s this month. these dishes need to be eaten several more times, by me, before october comes and they are no longer available.
first up i tried the vegan pasta carbonara, an animal-free version of a hugo’s classic. the original comes with prosciutto, bacon, and parmesan cheese—while the new version is loaded with veggie bacon, house-dried smoked mushrooms and a vegan sauce made from sunflower seeds. my oh my, this dish blew me away. chef nabor’s secret recipe of homemade pasta, topped with all the goodness of meaty mushrooms, scallions, parsley and chili flakes was almost too much to handle. anyone who craves a hearty, creamy meal would be pleased by the vegan carbonara. i’m so thankful that hugo’s decided put a cruelty-free spin on this favorite dish. BTW the mushrooms are what make it; they are pure magic, i tell you!
next up, i tried a veganized version of the “caprese potato pancake sandwich,” which came with sliced tofu rather than cheese.
i knew i would love this the moment it arrived at the table, and one of the hugo’s peeps quickly explained to me, “this is our vegan version of the double down.” brilliant! instead of being the grossest sandwich known to man, this little beauty took the healthy/vegan route, and was absolutely delicious! it came with two perfectly crispy potato pancakes serving as “bread”, with thick slabs of tofu and in-season heirloom tomatoes in the middle. not to mention fresh basil leaves, and chunky kalamata relish. to die for! and just LOOK at how beautifully crispy the potato cakes were… (i can assure you, they tasted even better!)
by this time i was working up quite the thirst, so i quenched it with the september special basil ginger lemonade.
it was like sweet summertime in a glass, with hints of lemon, basil, and spicy ginger. extra refreshing and packed with a punch, this was one tasty beverage.
onto the rest of the food, starting with the melanzane parmigiana (made vegan!)…
this meal by default comes sprinkled with real cheese but with one quick request to your waiter, you can get it daiya-style. it tastes like a very traditional scrumptious italian dish—layers and layers of rich, deep fried breaded eggplant atop eerily convincing tofu ricotta. it’s got the most amazing and luscious vegetable bolognese sauce as well; why anyone would get this almost entirely vegan dish with a dab of real cheese escapes me! the daiya tastes incredible, so be sure to specify vegan. it also comes with a side of hugo’s signature dairy-free mashed potatoes and sauteed leafy greens. perfection!
the last entree i sampled was the “new age” version of hugo’s world-renowned pasta mama…
the normal pasta mama is served on hugo’s a la carte breakfast menu, and features a mix of fresh pasta, scrambled eggs, garlic, parsley, and parmesan cheese. this new age version is even better, and comes with scrambled tofu, bread crumbs, and the same delicious herbs and spices.
the soft crumbly tofu really does taste eggy (in a non-nasty way), and i was eating this stuff up like crazy. so, so, SOOOOOOOO good. this only re-affirms my belief that hugo’s can successfully veganize ANYTHING, and their best work is always on the specials menu…so be sure to order from that whenever possible.
just as i was reaching a maximum fullness, i was offered a chance to try this month’s “trio of sweet delights”. after all the amazing tastes i described above, i just couldn’t say no. within seconds, chef nabor appeared at my table with an gourmet style dessert platter that was nothing short of stunning.
the trio of sweet delights was all kinds of fancy. this is the type of dessert i’d expect to see on an upper class tasting menu. i mean—torte setteveli, poached pear in port, and sorbet in a crispy rice paper–come on! (beware, you must specify you want this vegan, otherwise the sorbet component will contain animal products.) the best of the 3 desserts, OF COURSE, was the torte. we are talking a homemade mini slice of cake filled with chocolate, topped with hazelnut frosting and frangelico liqueur. i die!
hugo’s has really outdone themselves this month with the specials, and i am so happy that every single one can be veganized. be sure to get over to the restaurant this september and check them out!
hugos’ restaurantTags: dessert, pasta, specials, studio city, the valley, weho
8401 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
12851 Riverside Drive
Studio City, CA 91607
hey guys, i know i teased it the other day, but this is just a quick reminder that as of today the new menu at hugo’s restaurant has officially launched and is officially awesome. both the west hollywood and studio city location are offering loads of additional exciting vegan items, and everything i’ve tried so far has been amazing.
i took my parents to hugo’s yesterday to check out the new offerings, and both of them agreed it was some of the best “vegan food” they’ve ever had. here is the new stuff we tried:Tags: studio city, tamales, the valley, who
hugo’s restaurant is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to dine. even though they are an omnivorous establishment, hugo’s menu boasts several vegan options and even has a handy legend to help us determine what’s safe to eat. anything with a ▼ symbol next to it is vegan, and this (▼) means that the item can be veganized. this whole labeling system makes ordering at hugo’s a cinch.
among the many appetizing vegan dishes the restaurant has to offer are tacos, burritos, tamales, casseroles, pastas, salads, burgers, wraps and sandwiches. on a recent trip to hugo’s with my mom, we tried out the veganized version of spaghetti and meatballs which came with thick house-made noodles in a rich tomato sauce, topped off with chunky artichokes and veggie balls. this dish was absolutely spectacular, and even won over my mom, who is a big time omnivore pasta lover.
the sauce and vegetables in this dish were flavorful and perfect, but the real stars were the meat balls made up of hugo’s new american veggie burger mixture. a combination of “organic sprouted mung beans, organic brown rice, assorted fresh vegetables, mushrooms, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, herbs and spices fried crispy.” hugo’s uses this mixture in several of their dishes, and i gotta say it’s a winner. definitely the best meatball/patty replacement i’ve ever tried. they also offer it on a burger or in a wrap…which i’m sure is incredible as well.
another item which hugo’s puts the veggie mixture to good use in, is the tikka masala vegetable patties. this dish is entirely vegan as it comes, and is one of the best things i’ve tried at the restaurant. the delectable vegan patties are fried up nicely and bathed in a sauce of tomato, onions, and indian spices. the dish comes with tumeric rice littered with nuts and raisins, as well as a side of succulent leafy greens. the patties are perfectly moist in the center and crispy around the edges, and absolutely amazing all mixed up with the creamy curry sauce. with two full-sized patties, this meal is huge…but it’s so damn good i don’t see how anyone could resist eating it all.
if you are in the mood for loads of green vegetables, i highly suggest the vegan asian stir fry entree. this comes with mounds of broccolini, mushrooms, jicama, green onions, cilantro and tofu all mixed up in a sesame chili sauce. plus, you get to choose between quinoa, rice, or kelp noodles as a base. i prefer the protein-rich quinoa…hugo’s does it just right, all fluffy and soft like it should be. this whole dish just oozes with delicious freshness—it definitely gave me a healthy pick-me-up.
another vegetable-rich option is the veganized very green casserole, a dish of broccolini, spinach, asparagus, zucchini and herbs topped off with a veggie patty and vegan cheese. this dish is awesome because you get lots of greens AND one of hugo’s amazing new veggie patties. score! the only thing i can fault with this entree is that the vegan version comes covered in follow your heart cheese (yuck). hugo’s actually somehow makes the cheese, which i normally can’t stand, taste pretty decent…but hopefully they will come to their senses one of these days and switch to daiya. are you listening hugo’s?
although hugo’s can tend to be a bit pricey, the huge portions and incredible food ensure you get your money’s worth. i’ve never walked out of the place disappointed, except for when it’s been too crowded to get a table! hugo’s has two locations for your convenience, one in west hollywood and one in studio city. i’ve only been to the weho outlet, but i hear the food at the valley hugo’s is excellent as well, and you can read all about it here.
so go check out hugo’s if you want some high-quality vegan deliciousness. there’s plenty of selection to keep herbivores and omnivores happy, and the food never disappoints. HUGO’S FTW!
P.S. a few quick notes about hugo’s: the mashed potatoes ARE NOT vegan. remember that. also, at the time of this post, they don’t have a separate fryer…the french fries and chips hang out in the same place as the calamari. my advice would be to stay away. ALSO, be sure to specify vegan when ordering, they have been none to use butter on stuff that it doesn’t seem like there would be butter on. just tell ’em you are vegan and they will look after you.
8401 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
12851 Riverside Drive
Studio City, CA 91607
Monday – FridayTags: casserole, indian food, pasta, spaghetti, studio city, vegetables, veggie burger, weho
7:30 AM to 10:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday
8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Gangadin, an Indian restaurant on Ventura Place that’s close to the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd. would otherwise be an average Southern Californian interpretation of a Northern Indian curry house, but it smashes through a barrier of mediocrity by offering a special menu for vegans. I’m not talking about a typical vegan menu where meat is substituted for vegetables (kindly for the same price), but a REAL and seriously prepared vegan menu with a respectful kitchen and staff that are knowledgeable about what a vegan is and what we require as dietary predicates. All of this in an omnivorous environment with a cool vibe and convenient location.
As it happens, I’m weeks away from hosting some omnivores that hail from England: recognized as the home of Indian cuisine, so following a recent post on the Quarrums, we decided to do a dry run of Gangadin so we could check out the “vegan friendly” options on the menu.
Upon arrival, we were searching the menu for vegan items (the word “Vegan” doesn’t appear anywhere), and were planning to play the substitution game with long faces until we noticed the “ask about our vegan menu” subtitle on the front page. Upon reading that, I went to the rear of the restaurant to ask about vegan offerings (as our server was at best inattentive, at worst rude) and was handed “GANGADIN’S VEGAN MENU”, so I scuttled back to our table, and we began to order with aplomb.
First, we had the Tofu Pakoras. In some ways, they reminded me of the vegan fish and chips at Weird Fish, as they were slabs of firm tofu fried in batter and perfectly seasoned. It’s a fact that I’ve eaten Indian food in all 13 continents (including India), and this is by far the best appetizer I’ve ever had. In fact, it was so good I was tempted to order another serving as a main dish!
Next, we mixed it up with Aloo Gobhi (potatoes, cauliflower and vegetables)…
Saag Tofu (spinach and tofu)…
all washed down with a Vegetable Biryani (Rice, vegetables and spiced)…
with a side order of Spinach Paratha – basically two paratha breads with steamed spinach stuffed inside and cooked in a hot Tandoor oven.
The quality of the food was superb — with or without it being vegan. The spices and textures worked very well together, and the seemingly endless supply of condiments and biryani rice gave a rather filling feeling to the evening leaving us most replete in our quest for curry.
I’ll proudly take my English friends to Gangadin, and while they enjoy their omnivorous whatevers I’ll sneak to the back and order from the vegan menu that (until now) was only available if asked for when visiting. Minor gripes like reheated potatoes and vegetables that were frozen before cooking (and, yeah, I can tell for sure) pale into insignificance with a menu like this. Gandadin might not be the best Indian restaurant in LA, but the fact it has a special vegan menu (even though it is mysteriously hidden) speaks volumes about what we vegans can expect these days in regular restaurants. here’s the vegan menu so you can see for yourself:
Do you know of the poet Rudyard Kipling? If so, you’ll certainly know the poem Gunga Din. It ends with “Tho’ I’ve belted you and flayed you, By the livin’ Gawd that made you, You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”. Kinda sums up Gangadin (sic) in many more ways than one.
GangadinTags: curry, indian food, studio city, the valley
12067 Ventura Pl
Studio City, CA 91604
hey kids, i’ve got some good news for ya. today marked the opening of los angeles’ newest vegan restaurant…and it wasn’t vegan thai. that’s right, sunpower natural cafe in studio city opened its doors to the public with organic raw and cooked offerings for the health-conscious, ranging from burgers and salads to quiches and cakes. i know what you are thinking: a 100% vegan restaurant in studio city that doesn’t serve thai food? it sounds too good to be true! fortunately though, sunpower is a reality. you gotta get over there and check them out asap.
i hit up sunpower with my friend and fellow vegan blogger, brittany from sickoflettuce.com, and both of us are dying to go back. for a newly opened establishment, sunpower is already making some bangin good food, and i’m pretty excited to see what the future holds.
tons of stuff on the menu looked delicious, but i decided to go with the less adventurous seitan salad sandwich. this was basically like an old-fashioned tuna sandwich made with seitan instead of fish, and sunpower really nailed it. the seitan was top notch, the vegenaise was creamy, and the chopped vegetables were fresh and flavorful but not overwhelming. the seitan salad itself was really exceptional. although it sounds a bit boring, it was just so perfectly mixed and the seitan was so succulent, i doubt i could replicate this at home. i’d definitely order it again.
the sandwich came with “choice of side dish” and i went with the pita and hummus, which i loved. other options included coleslaw, cookies, vegetables with dipping sauce, and kale. the hummus turned out to be an excellent choice, because they gave me like a vat of it. 8 bucks for a load of hummus and hearty seitan sandwich? can’t beat that.
for dessert, brittany and i split a slice of the special of the day “cacao cheesecake”. the thing was so rich and dense, it was fucking ridiculous. i loved every bite, but it was so thick that it was hard to eat with a plastic fork! this cheesecake probably could be a meal on its own, it was so decadent. however, it didn’t sit like a brick in my stomach as do many desserts. sunpower really has conquered the intersection of delicious and healthy(er).
a few things to note about sunpower: they are a ‘take out’ restaurant officially…kinda like seed in venice. so while they have tables, your food is served in to-go containers and you pay at the counter. the service is great and the meals come out super fast. this is an excellent choice if you are in a hurry. also, the staff and ownership are pretty passionate about veganism. we really felt at home there and the people serving us showed genuine concern that our food was good. hell, they even invited us to an animal rights conference happening soon in LA! total vegan homies. oh, and they were also open to criticism…so if you eat here and don’t 100% love everything, they seem like the kinda people who would appreciate your feedback.
so vegans, let’s welcome this new animal-free restaurant to los angeles. get your asses out to studio city and eat at sunpower natural cafe!
sunpower natural cafeTags: cheesecake, dessert, raw, sandwich, studio city, the valley, vegan
3711 Cahuenga Blvd
Studio City, CA
11am to 8:30pm, 7 days a week