• October 24th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, shojin

    okay, so recently shojin (downtown LA’s premiere vegan spot) introduced a new sushi menu. naturally, i had to check it out. last week i hit up the little tokyo restaurant armed with only an iphone and my pals from clara’s cakes for a light dinner of rolls split between the table. the food was fantastic, the service was friendly, and the all around experience was perfect.

    rock mountain roll: tempura shiitake mushrooms and green onions in a vegetable roll, served with wasabi mayo and soy sauce. $10.95

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  • September 18th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, shojin

    hell yeah! shojin, the all vegan japanese restaurant (and one of our favorite places to eat in LA) is starting a whole new sushi, ramen, and cocktail menu on monday september 19th.

    they’ve sent us a sneak peek and we can’t wait to go try it. you may remember how much i’ve raved about their insane dynamite roll (it’s even on our vegan bucket list!), and these new creations look just as tasty. check ’em out:

    pirates of the crunchy: fried tempeh, crunchy tempura batter and green onion mixed with spicy mayo in a green vegetable roll served with spicy dynamite sauce. $10.95

    mother's soul: green vegetables inside, grilled shiitake mushrooms and fried tofu on toop. $10.95

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  • January 9th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    soy and sake is a great little vegetarian restaurant in nyc’s west village that specializes in asian cuisine. we visited the place last year and had a fantastic meal, so we made it a point to return on our recent trip to manhattan. this time we took along one of our favorite sushi buddies, and tore it up with loads of soy and several bottles of sake.

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  • December 26th, 2010mr meanerother

    I have to be honest: It was one of THOSE kinda days. Well, I’m not the world’s most physical guy, but I can lift a box or two. Add to that, I had nothing to do on Christmas Eve Eve, so I was very happy to rock it on down to Orange County in a friend’s truck to help load some chairs, on the promise of “grabbing a beer or two” on the way back.

    Listen – If offered, ALWAYS help your friends get stuff from far afield, as you’ll have a designated driver (they don’t see it that way, but you sure as heck fire should) and if you’re extra lucky they’ll want to pick up the tab pretty much anywhere you go. After all, time and muscles (even my puny ones) = money. Or beer at least. And maybe even vegan food too. Read on….

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  • December 24th, 2010quarrygirlvegan events

    a year ago to the day was honestly one of the best days of my life.

    sushi sushi sushi

    we rang in the xmas with some close friends (who are also QG field reporters!) and ate some of the best foodz ever.

    this post is to honor the most epic sushi party i’ve ever been to. (let’s hope 2011 offers something this good!!!!!!)

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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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  • September 22nd, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    franchia is a beautiful and serene, entirely vegan korean restaurant located on park avenue in manhattan, and it happens to be one of our favorite restaurants in NYC.

    we visited franchia back in 2008 and were big fans of their noodles and curry hot pots, so when their sushi menu came highly recommended from chloe coscarelli, we knew we had to return. ravenously hungry and fresh off our cross-country flight, we hopped in a cab and headed straight to the restaurant.

    steamed spicy kimchi dumplings. $6.95

    we started with a pot of hot sake and the steamed spicy kimchi dumplings. i love kimchi, a traditional korean dish of fermented vegetables, but unfortunately it usually contains fish. i was so excited to see it on the menu at a vegan restaurant, where i knew i was all in the clear. franchia’s dumplings did not disappoint—they were plump and filled right up with spicy and flavorful vegetables. the sake really hit the spot too, especially after our long journey.

    for my entree, i stuck to chloe’s advice and ordered 2 different sushi rolls: the mountain greens and roots roll and the seaweed salad roll. they came together on an absolutely beautifully presented platter—so pretty, i almost didn’t want to eat it.

    mountain greens and root roll. $6.50

    the mountain greens and roots roll was my favorite, the crunchy roots made the perfect center in between all the soft rice.

    seaweed salad roll. $5.50

    the seaweed salad roll was also delicious, light and very ocean-y tasting (in a good non-fishy way). there were so many other rolls that looked fantastic as well…a green tea roll, spicy tuna, and crispy tofu skin…i can’t wait to return and try them all.

    organic soba noodles: topped with a variety of vegetables and mushrooms, served with spicy sauce on the side. $12.95

    my husband, on the other hand, went with a noodle dish: organic soba noodles topped with vegetables and served with spicy sauce. he let me try some of his, and it was phenomenal. a colorful bowl filled with many asian vegetables, i couldn’t even identify them all. it was also served with side dishes of kimchi and hot sauce that i kept stealing throughout the meal.

    inside, franchia is absolutely gorgeous. it’s a dimly lit, multilevel restaurant with a calm interior that provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of new york city. it’s a great place to bring a date, or anyone you’d like to enjoy a peaceful fancy meal with. i know i’ll be back!

    12 Park Ave
    New York City New York 10016

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  • September 15th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, sushi & kushi imai

    UPDATE 7/30/11: sad! i just got the following email: “Recently changed to a buffet style only situation. There is one vegan option; miso soup. They don’t even serve edamame anymore. Rather sad.”

    hmmm….let’s think: a vegan-friendly sushi happy hour with $1 beers, $4 pitchers, and $1 bottles of sake? YES PLEASE. not to mention really great rolls, grilled vegetables, and a live band?! what up!

    i’m talking about the daily happy hour (5-7:30pm) at sushi & kushi imai on wilshire. we have already told you about some insane vegan options at an omni eatery this week, and i think sushi & kushi is right up there when you factor in the good food and CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP BOOZE.

    pitcher of sapporo. $4

    we hit up sushi & kushi imai, not knowing what to expect. the restaurant is technically located in beverly hills, but it’s super close to mid wilshire and has parking lot where we were lucky enough to find a space. as i said earlier, happy hour runs from 5pm until 7:30, but what we didn’t realize is that it fills up QUICK. we got there at 6pm, and there was limited seating in the bar (the only area of the restaurant where happy hour prices are honored). thankfully, we managed to get a decent 2 top table, and we quickly realized that the restaurant was hoppin’ for a good reason. we started with a pitcher of sapporo for only FOUR DOLLARS. yes, you heard me right, a 4 buck pitcher of beer. can’t beat that in this town!

    bowl of edamame. $1.95

    to eat, we began with a standard bowl of edamame from the happy hour menu. it was $1.95 and came with a generous amount of salted soy beans. the perfect appetizer with the refreshing beer.

    2 cucumber rolls, 1 vegetable roll (asparagus, avocado, mushrooms, carrots) $12.50

    the vegan sushi options are somewhat limited (think avocado, cucumber, and vegetable rolls), but what they do have is excellent. we got 2 cucumber rolls and a vegetable roll to share, for a combined total of $12.50. the rolls were perfectly prepared, and the vegetables were fresh and crispy. i must say, this was a welcome change from the mock meat type of sushi i’m used to eating. oh, and they can substitute brown for white rice at an extra charge, if that’s your thing.


    after drinking the pitcher of beer, we decided to move onto something a little more strong, and were delighted to see that small jugs of hot sake were only $1. a buzz for a buck! yes, it is possible at sushi & kushi imai.

    lotus kushi. $2

    i’d never heard of kushi before, but apparently it’s food grilled on a skewer, and at happy hour there were tons of vegetable options. it was hard to choose between the japanese pumpkin, okra, and sweet potato…but we ended up going with the lotus, which did not disappoint. two massive crunchy slices of lotus root that were crispy around the edges and served with a trio of dipping sauces, two of which were vegan. when you order, please let them know that you don’t want the mayo-based sauce—but the other two, miso and bbq, are safe to eat.

    sauteed mushrooms (not under the happy hour menu): sauteed enoki and shiitake mushrooms with sake and vegan butter. $8.50

    lastly, even though it wasn’t on the discounted happy hour menu, we split an order of sauteed mushrooms. they just sounded so good and when we saw they had the word “vegan” in the menu description, we just couldn’t resist. this dish came with succulent sauteed enoki and shiitake mushrooms all whipped up with sake and vegan butter. absolutely amazing.

    by the time we were wrapping up our meal, a live band had started playing in the bar area. we decided to order another bottle of sake (hey for $1, why not?) and make a night of it. we were so happy and full of good food, i couldn’t believe it when the check arrived and it was only $33! how is that even possible? we consumed 1 pitcher of beer, 2 bottles of sake, 1 order of edamame, 3 rolls of sushi, 1 order of kushi, and an entree-size portion of mushrooms…all for $33?! and we even strayed from the cheap happy hour menu to order the mushroom dish! next time we are gonna stick to sushi and sake, and keep our tab to under 20 bucks. where else can you do that in beverly hills?

    the happy hour at sushi & kushi imai is awesome, and i know we’ll be back often. my advice is to get there early, secure a nice table, and take your time eating. you’re guaranteed to have a lovely meal. cheers!

    sushi & kushi imai
    8300 Wilshire Blvd
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211
    (323) 655-2253
    happy hour is everyday from 5pm – 7:30pm BAM!

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  • September 6th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), norfolk

    recently on a trip to norfolk virginia, my friend and i visited a real gem of a restaurant, one i really wish was located here in los angeles: kotobuki. the ostensibly normal fish-serving sushi joint also offers an impressive vegan menu with rolls that rival any in this town. when we informed our waitress that we were vegan, her eyes lit up and she immediately began making ordering suggestions and bragging about how good their vegan sushi was.

    sapporo and a sweet potato roll

    as it was my last night in town, we decided to go out and order a ton of stuff. i started with a sapporo and a sweet potato roll, which went together quite nicely. the japanese beer was cool and refreshing, and the sushi was simple yet satisfying.

    now onto the more creative dishes…

    the hugged rolled salmon n seaweed, the peta roll, and the buddha roll

    the vegan menu at kotobuki is huge, and filled with very elaborate-sounding rolls, so we had a difficult time deciding what to order. after much debate, we settled on the “hugged rolled salmon n seaweed,” the “peta roll” and the “buddha roll”. the hugged roll, which is the top one pictured above, came stuffed with vegan salmon and avocado, all wrapped up in soy paper and topped with seaweed salad and sesame seeds. thumbs up. i really dug the seaweed salad, because it gave the roll a kind of fishy taste.

    next up was the peta roll, pictured in the center of the photo above. this roll is named after the norfolk-based animal rights organization PETA because, as the waitress explained to us, lots of staffers frequent the restaurant and order vegan sushi. the peta roll was decent, but not spectacular. it came with seaweed salad, inari, fried tofu, and steamed carrots rolled up and cut into 6 slices for $5.50. the tofu inside was tasty, albeit a little bland, so i think i will stick to the more adventurous rolls next time i visit kotobuki.

    lastly we had the buddha roll, pictured at the bottom of the photo above. we sure saved the best one for last, because this roll was madness!

    the buddha roll consisted of shiitake mushrooms, kampyo asparagus, and shiso horseradish sprouts topped with avocado and spicy vegan mayo. the vegetable blend was so inventive, and the spicy mayo was kickin’! i didn’t even miss the fake meat or tofu that is so prevalent in vegan sushi. this was by far my favorite roll, and i highly recommend it.

    after all that sushi, we were pretty stuffed, but our waitress refused to let us leave without ordering dessert. she was super proud of all their vegan options, and insisted we try the deep fried chocolate cheesecake. VEGAN DEEP FRIED CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE?! what?!?!?! i had no clue that such a wonderful thing existed. i was suddenly hungry again.

    deep fried vegan chocolate cheesecake. OMG.

    we split an order of the cheesecake, and it did not disappoint. the chunks of rich chocolate cake came covered in a thick tempura batter and fried to a crisp. genius i tell you, genius! the center was perfectly moist, creamy, and chocolatey with a tart cheesy flavor, while the outer layer was crunchy and oily. the cheesecake bites alone are reason enough to make a trip to norfolk; they’re definitely the most memorable dessert i’ve had in a while.

    overall, kotobuki gets an a+. i’ve never been to a “normal” sushi place with such an inventive vegan menu…and the food was fantastic. the service was friendly, and our waitress seemed genuinely excited that we were vegan customers. i know i’ll be back!

    721 W 21st St
    Norfolk, VA 23517
    (757) 628-1025

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  • August 26th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, shojin

    oh shojin, i love you to bits! but who doesn’t?! i think we all can agree that the modest restaurant located in the little tokyo shopping center in downtown LA is one of the best vegan places to eat in this city, with its constantly changing menu and always inventive japanese cuisine.

    i hit up shojin recently with some friends, and as usual, the food was delicious. but i’m not here to tell you ONLY STUFF that you already know, i’ve also got news that shojin has added a new sushi roll to their regular menu. but more on that later, first let’s talk about our dinner!

    spicy rock shiitake tempura: tempura shiitake mushrooms tossed in spicy wasabi mayonnaise. $6.95

    we started with an order of the spicy rock shiitake tempura as an appetizer, because everyone is kind of obsessed with this dish…and you will be too once you try it. the small plate comes loaded up with little nuggets of breaded and fried mushrooms, all soaked in a scarily good spicy mayo-style sauce. holy shit guys, it’s unreal. no joke, everyone i know who has tried these has proclaimed them to be the “best mushrooms ever,” and i’m no different. there’s something about the crispy shell and the creamy mayo that makes these babies irresistible. trust me! order ’em!

    spicy seitan bbq roll. $7.50 shiitake & avocado roll. $5.95

    next, of course we got some sushi plates. shojin has by far the best vegan sushi in los angeles, and no visit to the restaurant is complete without a roll or two. pictured above are the shiitake avocado roll, as well as the spicy seitan bbq roll. the shiitake avocado is as you’d expect: rice tightly wrapped around big hunks of cool avocado and sliced mushrooms. what makes it special is the delicious marinade they soak the mushrooms in, as well as the added kombu cooked in soy sauce. the spicy seitan bbq roll is even better—shojin’s homemade wheat meat along with greens and kaiware sprouts mixed with spicy soy sauce and vegan mayo. i die!

    clear shio ramen: simple, delicate and profound. sea salted. sweet vegetables, baby bok choy and mushrooms. $10.95

    for my entree, i went with the clear shio ramen. the menu describes it as “simple, delicate and profound,” which is pretty accurate. in fact, this dish was a little too simple for my palate. the vegetables were fresh (i loved the kale!), and the noodles were spot on, i just found the broth to be a tad too basic for my taste. i chalk it up to a bad ordering decision—i should have gone with the “hot and spicy ramen” or the “creamy sesame ramen”, both of which sound divine. next time!

    so, let’s talk about that sushi roll i mentioned earlier in the post. according to their twitter page, shojin recently added the MOTHER FUCKING DYNAMITE ROLL TO THEIR MENU! pay attention!

    this roll started out as a special for shojin’s weekly sushi nights, and when i tried it, i was instantly smitten. it’s spicy mock tuna mixed with avocado, then wrapped in rice and topped with spicy mayo and green onion. seriously dude, seriously, the BEST VEGAN SUSHI I HAVE EVER HAD. i was ecstatic when i saw that shojin added this to the regular menu. so please, please, PLEASE go eat it and help keep it around. i’d hate to see this item axed due to low demand.

    that’s about it, kids. in closing: shojin still rules as one of the best restaurants in LA. always order the spicy rock shiitake tempura, fill up on sushi, and get adventurous with your ramen choice. oh yeah, and THE DYNAMITE ROLL IS AVAILABLE. i’m done.

    333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310
    (Little Tokyo Shopping Center 3F)
    Los Angeles, CA 90013
    Tel: 213-617-0305

    Monday, Tuesday
    5:30pm – 10:00pm
    Wednesday, Thursday
    11:30am – 2:30pm,
    5:30pm – 10:00pm
    11:30am – 2:30pm
    5:30pm – 10:30pm
    12:00pm – 10:30pm
    Sunday, Holidays
    12:00pm – 10:00pm

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  • June 11th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, shojin

    this is the month to get your vegan sushi on. why? because every monday evening in june, shojin is having a vegan sushi night, with creative rolls that will knock your socks off. that means you have three more chances to take advantage of this japanese deliciousness.

    i hit up shojin with an omnivorous friend last monday, and we were beyond impressed. it was by far my best experience yet at the restaurant, and all the food was excellent. even my pal who is a big fan of non-vegan sushi thoroughly enjoyed herself and wants to go back!

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  • March 27th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    UPDATED 3/27/10: while soy & sake offers absolutely incredible vegan food, they do have a fish tank in their restaurant…and fishes do not belong in tanks. we’ve removed the fish tank photo because, well,  fish tanks suck. for the record, we do not endorse aquariums! xo

    soy & sake is manhattan is one of the loveliest places i’ve ever had the pleasure of dining. the vegetarian cafe is located in west village and serves up japanese/pan-asian cuisine with an emphasis on fake meat and sushi.

    the menu is extensive and almost entirely vegan with just a handful of clearly-indicated items containing dairy. when you visit though, i would skip through the pages of noodles and rice and head straight for the sushi…because it’s mind-blowlingly good, and like nothing available in los angeles.

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  • January 20th, 2010quarrygirllas vegas, more restaurants (not LA)

    hey everyone, time for another vegan field report written by vegankitten! here ya go:

    This is my last night is Vegas and I wanted to get a little creative for my final dinner. I ran across a Las Vegas Restaurant Guide site called lvvegan.com and noticed they had a tab for Japanese food. My omnivore traveling companion has been talking about miso soup non-stop for days, as it was her only experience up ’til now eating tofu. I got pretty excited when I read that Miko’s Izakaya Sushi & Tapanese has their own vegetarian menu and I knew we had to check it out.

    It didn’t disappoint. The proprietor was also our waiter and his eyes lit up when I mentioned I am vegan. I grabbed a vegetarian menu for me and a regular menu for my buddy. He asked how I heard about the place, where we were from and was generally very chatty. He was very excited to tell us that he is discussing teaming up with Red Velvet Cafe to offer their cupcakes. Hopefully the excitement of my non-vegan dining companion at this news was enough to convince him it is a great idea!

    The sushi bar was packed and the diners were enjoying sports highlights on the big screen TV. The atmosphere was really relaxed and the staff was super friendly! They were playing Social Distortion in the bathroom and the lotion on the counter was not tested on animals. Yay!

    On to the food: I am not used to having so many vegan sushi options. The menu was front and back and very overwhelming for me, as it included many ingredients I wasn’t familiar with. I left it up to the owner and he chose the Age Tofu Roll. I added Inari and Edamame to the order. My buddy ordered the miso soup she was so excited about and the owner was kind enough to let me know I couldn’t eat it that day, as they has added bonito fish flakes.

    The edamame was particularly delicious. Each bite was coated in salt and pepper. I’ve never had edamame with pepper before, so this was quite a treat. It was beautiful, too!

    The Inari was some of the best I ever had. Fresh, sweet and moist.

    Sadly, the Age Tofu Roll left a bit to be desired. The roll consisted of deep fried tofu, green onion and miso. I guess I was just looking for a little more excitement, because it was kind of bland. My biggest complaint was the sushi rice was very mushy in two out of the eight pieces. It was really strange and the other six had perfect texture. Next time I am going to be more adventurous and pick out something myself.

    The absolute highlight of the meal was the tempura bananas. The owner happily explained their tempura batter is vegan and they do not use eggs, which I had also read online. We were in no way planning to eat desert, but can I really say “no” when the owner is offering us a delicious VEGAN option? We decided to share. Embarrassingly, sharing involved my friend gracefully eating two pieces while I wolfed down the other six. Ooops! They were delicately crisp on the outside and oh-so-warm and gooey on the inside. It was heavenly! The only thing that could have made it better was a vegan ice cream option on the side. Maybe next time???

    I think Miko’s is one of my new favorite places. The staff was awesome, they love vegans and I love sushi. It’s a match made in heaven.

    Miko’s Izakaya Sushi & Tapanese
    500 E. Windmill Ln. Ste. 165
    Las Vegas, NV 89123
    (702) 823.2779
    Open Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight, Sunday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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  • November 16th, 2009quarrygirlgood to go, LA restaurants

    hey los angeles vegans, it’s time for another field report and this one is coming atcha from huntington beach. our field operative sent us some great info and pictures from an almost entirely vegan restaurant called good to go. the place focuses on simple, healthy, vegetable-filled living cuisine that won’t weigh you down and make you feel like shit.

    red pepper hummus with lavash triangles.

    red pepper hummus with lavash triangles.

    he started with the red pepper hummus, served with lavash triangles for dipping. this thing got a rave review, and turns out it was made with italian squash rather than garbanzo beans.

    vegan sushi: spicy tuna pate, mango, avocado, red onion, cucumber, carrots, and sprouts wrapped in dried nori accompanied by an asian cucumber slaw.

    vegan sushi: spicy tuna pate, mango, avocado, red onion, cucumber, carrots, and sprouts wrapped in dried nori accompanied by an asian cucumber slaw.

    next up was the vegan sushi, nori rolls filled up with “tuna” pate and various fruits and vegetables, served with a side of asian cucumber slaw. refreshing, healthy, and colorful, this stuff is a welcome change from the decadent mock meats and cheese-filled entrees that so many los angeles vegan restaurants offer.

    vegan sushi at good to go

    for his entree, our operative ordered the (sir) “wraps a lot,” which gives you a choice of several different vegetables, wraps, spreads and garnishes.

    wraps a lot: cucumber, avocado, red onion, salsa and spiced pumpkin seeds wrapped in collard greens.

    wraps a lot: cucumber, avocado, red onion, salsa and spiced pumpkin seeds wrapped in collard greens.

    he went with cucumber, avocado, red onion, and salsa wrapped in collard greens and garnished with spicy pumpkin seeds. sounds like a pretty good choice to me, although all the options look delicious.

    wraps a lot menu

    i’ve taken a look at good to go’s menu, and i can’t wait to get down to huntington beach and check this place out. they’ve got stuff like nachos with cashew cheese, brazil nut burgers, and fake tuna pate. i don’t think i would be able choose between it all.

    good to go menu

    our quarrygirl operative couldn’t speak highly enough of good to go. he has raved about it on a couple occasions, and made a really good point that we don’t report enough on the sort raw, healthy food that this place has to offer. not everything we eat has to resemble the dead animals we used to devour…right?!

    go check out good to go ASAP. and follow them on twitter!

    Good To Go
    5930 Warner Avenue
    Huntington Beach, CA 92649

    and special thanks to our field agent. if any of you readers wanna send in field reports on restaurants, please do!

    vegan field agent

    vegan field agent

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  • September 3rd, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, shojin
    the best sushi ever?

    the best sushi ever?

    i have been doing all you vegans in los angeles a disservice. i’ve been at this blog thing for over a year now, and i’ve only written about shojin once. and my review of them is 14 months old, back from a time when their prices were higher and they hadn’t yet hit their stride. well i am here to change all that, because i’ve been back for a few meals there, and i can definitely say shojin is one of the best restaurants around, and they deserve an awesome review.

    one super cool thing shojin has done, is they’ve introduced an impressive vegan sushi menu. at most restaurants, vegan sushi means a few slices of avocado and cucumber wrapped up in some rice. not at shojin. they take vegan sushi to the next level with bbq seitan, avocado tempura, and spicy kale rolls. one of their best creations is the dragon roll—marinated shiitake mushrooms in the middle and thick slabs of seitan and avocado on the outside. i think it may just be the best vegan sushi ever.

    dragon roll: shiitake mushroom and avocado inside, BBQ seitan and avocado outside, served with sweet soy sauce. $10.95

    dragon roll: shiitake mushroom and avocado inside, BBQ seitan and avocado outside, served with sweet soy sauce. $10.95

    another thing shojin does right is the appetizers. they have loads of mouthwatering selections, from tofu cheese tartar to crispy fried tempeh—it’s impossible to go to shojin and not order more than one starter. on our last visit we got three to share, starting with the seitan nuggets. the crispy seitan is one of my favorite things at shojin, and if you like wheat meat, it won’t disappoint. the little nuggets are fried and crunchy on the outside and incredibly warm and chewy on the inside. plus they come with a deliciously tangy sauce.

    seitan nuggets: fried nugget style seitan. crispy outside and tender inside. served with shojin ketchup. $6.95

    seitan nuggets: fried nugget style seitan. crispy outside and tender inside. served with shojin ketchup. $6.95

    we also ordered the tomato and tofu carpaccio, a light starter of marinated tofu with red and yellow tomatoes. this cold and refreshing appetizer went down really well with us—the tofu was packed with flavor and the tomatoes were fresh, juicy and plump.

    tomato and tofu carpaccio: sliced fresh red and yellow tomatoes, marinated tofu and shiso leaves with basil balsamic sauce. $5.95

    tomato and tofu carpaccio: sliced fresh red and yellow tomatoes, marinated tofu and shiso leaves with basil balsamic sauce. $5.95

    lastly we tried the fried tofu appetizer, which came covered in thick and spicy soy sauce. the tofu was crispy and fried around the edges, but completely light and fluffy inside. to our delight, the starter also came with some whole green chilies, and a blob of green onions for flavor.

    spicy fried tofu: fried tofu with spicy soy sauce and green onion. $4.95

    spicy fried tofu: fried tofu with spicy soy sauce and green onion. $4.95

    the spicy fried tofu is so good at shojin, that they’ve also made it into an entree, which is excellent as well. the meal comes with the same deep fried tofu, mixed with mushrooms and vegetables in a spicy broth. the soup was excellent and thick, and the whole meal reminded me of a curry hot pot. the fried tofu tasted even better when drowned in the flavorful broth and mixed up with assorted vegetables. i would definitely order this again, very filling and very tasty.

    spicy fried tofu and vegetable: deep fried tofu, mixed mushrooms and vegetables in a hot and spicy soup topped with scallions and sliced chili peppers. $11.95

    spicy fried tofu and vegetable: deep fried tofu, mixed mushrooms and vegetables in a hot and spicy soup topped with scallions and sliced chili peppers. $11.95

    if you hit up shojin during the day, be sure to take advantage of one of their many lunch specials. for just $9.95 you can get a bento box with the choice of two entrees, a vegetable dish and a salad. pictured below is the bento box with seitan balls and bbq seitan. the meal also comes with a bowl of soup and a side of rice, a phenomenal deal at under 10 bucks if you ask me. everything is fresh and in season, and made with the finest ingredients.

    lunch bento box (also comes with rice and soup). $9.95

    lunch bento box (also comes with rice and soup). $9.95

    while the food at shojin can’t be beat, sometimes they have the music up a little too loud and the service is a little too attentive, making the dining experience a tad awkward. shojin is located in the little tokyo shopping center, but the owners have done a great job at giving it a fancy restaurant feel. the dimly lit interior and beautiful decorations make you almost forget that you are dining in the upper level of a mall. none of this stuff really matters though, the only truly important thing about shojin is that they make incredible food of the highest quality.

    if you haven’t been to shojin yet, go ASAP. i’ve never met a vegan who doesn’t love this restaurant!


    P.S. there is no booze at shojin. while this means nothing to my straightedge friends, my drunken brethren are advised to plan ahead.

    333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310
    (Little Tokyo Shopping Center 3F)
    Los Angeles, CA 90013

    Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:00pm
    Saturday, Sunday: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
    Monday – Sunday: 5:30pm – 10:00pm

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