• October 27th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    stop what you’re doing, check your calender, and schedule some time quality to eat at seed bistro. the west LA restaurant is brought to us by the folks who opened seed kitchen in venice—vegan chef eric lechasseur and his wife, macrobiotic counselor sanae suzuki. unlike the casual beach cafe though, seed bistro is a classy joint; and at barely two months old, it’s already arguably the city’s best vegan restaurant.

    seed bistro is the first restaurant in LA proper to serve a varied menu of exceptional vegan organic food along with alcohol in an elegant atmosphere. with its moody lights and sleek ambiance, it reminds me of my favorite fancy vegan restaurants in NYC (think candle 79, blossom, or franchia). food wise, there’s something for everyone on the dinner menu—from “meat” and potatoes, to salads and sushi, to raw items and a four or six course tasting menu prepared by chef eric for $45 and $60 respectively. the restaurant is also open for lunch during the week, and serves casual fare such as burgers, bento boxes, and salads.

    we hit up seed bistro recently for the six course tasting menu, and it was a meal i’ll remember forever. we opted to sit in the bar area, which has limited seating, and watched eric prepare everything while he chatted with us the whole time. so what did we eat? tons! check it out:

    course one: cucumber jicama roll (raw), coconut shooter with turmeric, kelp noodles and butternut squash (raw), paella ball with romesco sauce.

    course one was a trio of light dishes including a sushi roll, a coconut “shooter”, and a paella ball. i started with the roll and worked my way left across the plate. the raw sushi was outstanding—shreds of jicama acting as rice mixed with avocado and carrot, with paper-thin sheets of curled cucumber holding it all together. the shooter was equally as impressive: a raw blend of coconut turmeric soup, avocado, squash, and kelp noodles…a smaller version of a raw entree available on seed’s menu. i finished the plate off with two bites of paella ball, a delicious fried mound of rice with a mild and creamy romesco sauce.

    course two: roasted farmers market beets with grapefruit and avocado.

    course two was a small plate from seed bistro’s a la carte menu: roasted beets with avocado and grapefruit. this dish embodied seed’s style: “back to basics” cuisine made with top notch ingredients and prepared extremely well. the flavors really popped, and my husband and i both agreed that we hadn’t had a salad this good in ages.

    course three: grilled trumpet mushroom, forked mashed potatoes, grain mustard sauce.

    course three was a contender for my favorite of the night (though i can say that about two other courses as well!). thick meaty trumpet mushrooms were perched atop fluffy fork mashed potatoes, topped with field greens and garnished with grain mustard. un-fuckin-believable. the mushrooms were fat and juicy, and the potatoes were rich and perfectly seasoned. this course was epic—i couldn’t believe i was only half way through…

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  • August 27th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    best news ever! next week LA proper is finally getting it’s very own upscale vegan restaurant: seed bistro. the brainchild of chef eric lechasseur, seed will focus on gourmet and macrobiotic cuisine, with many gluten-free, raw, and sugar-free items. healthy fancy food that tastes delicious? yes, please!

    photo via seed bistro's facebook page

    seed bistro is set to open on monday at 5:30pm, here’s a peek at the menu and how to make a reservation…

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  • August 15th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mrs. winston's

    as any curry-loving vegan will tell you, naan we can eat is very hard to come by. while many indian dishes are animal-free by default, the traditional flatbread is usually off limits due to its egg and butter content. well vegans in LA need look no further for the naan of their dreams—i found it yesterday at mrs. winston’s green grocery on ocean park, of all places!

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  • August 7th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, seed bistro

    this is such exciting news! los angeles has been in desperate need of a fancy vegan restaurant, and it looks like we’re finally getting one! this month chef eric lechasseur (the same dude who brought us seed kitchen in venice) is set to open seed bistro on wilshire.

    from the looks of the press release, this new restaurant is going to be amazing.

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  • January 18th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mendocino farms

    january is a good month for vegans at mendocino farms. the popular sandwich shop has not only added a great seitan option to their seasonal menu, but they are offering their famous vegan shawarma as their “secret sandwich” all month long!

    we have been fans of the downtown LA mendocino farms locations for ages, and recently we hit up their newest spot in marina del rey for a round of vegan sandwiches. i’m happy to report that the food was awesome, the service was friendly, and the line was shorter than the ones i’m used to downtown.

    Vegan Shawarma Mediterranean Chickpea Shawarma with a Bean Puree, Housemade Vegan Tzatziki, Red Onions, Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Shredded Romaine Panini Pressed on Tortilla (Honey Wheat or Flour) $9.25

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  • January 17th, 2011mr meanerLA restaurants, pitfire pizza

    I mean… seriously! One of the best pizzerias in LA now stocks vegan cheese and makes it available on all pizzas.

    We vegans are getting so many good options these days! My omni friends have often raved about Pitfire Pizza, A local chain of artisan pizzerias serving top notch ingredients, prepared in that most coveted of pizzeria paraphernalia: A pitfire kiln, able to cook a pizza in searing temperatures over 900 degrees.

    Once you’ve had a pitfire cooked pizza, you’ll not want to go back to the spongy crust of lesser pies!

    With just four locations (North Hollywood, West LA, Downtown and Culver City), Pitfire Pizza seems to have focused on creating a quality product with individuality rather than rushing for scale, and I’m pleased to report that their vegan offerings maintain – and even enhance, an incredibly well thought out menu. Pitfire Pizza ain’t your typical pizzeria, in oh so many good ways. Here you’re dealing with familiar ingredients combined in a novel ways and cooked to perfection. The addition of vegan cheese (in the form of Daiya) elevates the experience for vegans (and health conscious vegetarians/omnivores alike) to something that’s every bit as good as the regular menu, yet 100% cruelty-free.

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  • November 15th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    today is a super exciting day, because it marks the grand opening of the new native foods location in culver city! the popular vegan restaurant already has 6 locations scattered around southern california, and we are thrilled that their 7th is going to be right here in los angeles. native foods culver city opens today at 5pm, but we attended a pre-opening party over the weekend and got a sneak peak at their beautiful new space and their delicious menu items.

    the new culver city location is absolutely lovely inside. it’s bright and spacious with colorful walls and lots of pretty decorations. you order at the counter, then take a number, choose a table, and wait for your food to be delivered. since the weather was nice, we grabbed a spot at a long communal table outside on the patio.

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  • October 21st, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, m café, native foods

    m cafe in culver city has shut down, but native foods will be taking over the lease

    so i guess you can file this under “bad news” and “good news.” as of today, m cafe’s culver city location has shut down and a trusted source tells me that native foods will be taking over the space. I CANNOT WAIT. while i am sad to see m cafe go, at least an awesome vegan restaurant will be replacing it. FINALLY, a native foods in LA with proper parking and seating. you gotta admit, the westwood location is a bit awkward.

    m cafe lovers can still enjoy their awesome vegan food at the melrose and beverly hills locations. our heart goes out to m cafe, and we wish them the best…but this cloud appears to have quite a silver lining. let’s all cross our fingers.

    special thanks to my anonymous informant!

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  • October 12th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    they are always thinking of great new offers over at native foods, and now they are introducing “native days”: a monthly celebration of the environment, animals, and good food.

    on october 12th and 13th (that’s today and tomorrow, people!) they will be giving away tons of freebies including FREE DESSERT and an exclusive DVD to customers. details after the jump!!


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  • July 1st, 2010quarrygirlfresh brothers, LA restaurants

    just last week i was complaining about the fact that there’s nowhere to get a vegan deep dish pizza in los angeles, when this @ reply magically showed up in my twitter feed. lo and behold, fresh brothers makes a daiya-filled deep dish, and it is bloody fantastic!

    naturally we rushed out the minute we could and hit up the marina del rey fresh brothers location over the weekend. we ordered a medium (the smallest size available) vegan deep dish to share, and it was waaaaaay too much food for the two of us to eat…

    we went for the “create your own” option with daiya cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pepperoncinis. this is not the cheapest way to order a pie (it would probably be more cost-effective to veganize an existing menu option), and our pizza wound up being about $20. that’s okay though, because it was ENORMOUS and fed us for 3 meals…

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  • June 22nd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, leaf

    earlier this year, we were saddened when the raw vegan restaurant, leaf organics closed its doors to the public. we are happy to report now though, that as of june 18th, the eatery has re-opened its culver city location, and is serving an array of both raw and cooked vegan food! we checked out leaf on their second day back in business, and while they were still ironing out a lot of the kinks, the food was pretty good and we are feeling optimistic.

    veggie chili. $6.50

    the menu at the new and improved leaf is pretty impressive. they’ve got raw and cooked burgers, salads, soups, and even specialties like raw mac and cheese. when we were there, however, they were only serving about half of the menu…hopefully more items will become available ASAP. to start with, we ordered a bowl of the cooked vegan chili, which was a mix of vegetables, beans, and i think maybe a little bit of soy protein. the ordering process was pretty unorganized, and the girl behind the counter couldn’t tell us exactly what was in the chili, but we both really enjoyed it.

    spicy california rolls: spicy veggie pate nori rolls. $6.50

    we also shared an order of spicy california rolls, which consisted of raw vegetable pate rolled up in nori. i must admit, i wasn’t a big fan of these. first off, they came with bell peppers (which i hate), so i had to pick those out. secondly, i found the vegetable pate to be a bit odd. it tasted like mushy carrots and was kind of bland. these rolls weren’t bad…they just weren’t my thing, so definitely try them if they sound good to you.

    hale kale salad: with avocado, sprouted wild rice and mung beans. $10.99

    lastly, we shared a large order of hale kale salad. this raw dish came with massive amounts of fresh kale, sprouted wild rice, and mung beans, all mixed up in an avocado dressing. not only was this thing huge, it was delicious as well. all top notch ingredients with a smooth and refreshing flavor, i’d definitely order it again.

    inside, leaf is relaxing and spacious with large tables and comfy seats. like i said earlier, it was a bit chaotic when were there…many of the menu items were crossed out, the staff seemed stressed, and they were even repainting the sign. i think leaf may have just opened their doors to the public a little too early, and therefore things were not running smoothly. that being said, i can’t wait to return and try more menu items. the tempeh sandwich, sloppy joe, and raw burgers are all calling my name.

    hit up leaf when you have a chance and welcome this vegan restaurant back into the neighborhood. we don’t want to see them go out of business again.

    leaf organics
    11938 W Washington Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90066

    PS: leaf’s telephone isn’t working right now, and their website has the wrong address listed. (naughty leaf!) the address above is accurate though, so go check them out.

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  • May 12th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    we’ve been fans of the healthy vegans for quite sometime. their entire blog focuses on starch-based recipes and restaurant reviews, all with very little fat and no oil whatsoever. lately i have been loving their menu hacking posts where they go in to restaurants and modify items to be extra healthy at no additional charge. we dined with them over the weekend at native foods, and got a first hand lesson in how to hack the menu to mcdougall standards.

    tijuana tacos made extra healthy. $7.95

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  • April 11th, 2010quarrygirlkay 'n dave's, LA restaurants

    kay ‘n daves is a laid back mexican cantina with three locations in los angeles, and a large selection of vegetarian entrees. they take pride in their fresh ingredients, lard-free kitchen, and oaxacan-inspired healthy cuisine. oh, and they also happen to have tap beer…so of course, we had to check them out.

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  • February 4th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, leaf

    so sad to see yet another vegan business go under. leaf organics has already closed its sherman oaks location, and plans to shut down its culver city restaurant on february 13th at 9pm. their packaged foods will also cease to be available at local retailers. 🙁

    the good news is, you still have 9 days to get over to leaf and take advantage of the discounts they’ll be offering before they close.

    raw food by leaf cuisine

    photo from leaf’s website.

    while i’ve never been to leaf, i have enjoyed some of their ready made meals from whole foods. i definitely hope to get over to the culver city location before it’s gone for good.

    here is an email forwarded to me by a reader, that leaf sent out to their newsletter subscribers:

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  • January 17th, 2010quarrygirlcasa de tree (closed), LA restaurants

    as you probably know, we here at quarrygirl.com are on a mission to try every vegan club sandwich in los angeles and review them all for you fine readers.

    sadly yesterday was casa de tree‘s last day of business before shutting down, and we were able to get in there just in time to try their double-decker sandwich.

    Casa De Tree Club Sandwich: tempeh (organic soy protein), avocado, alfalfa, lettuce, tomato, vegan mayo. $8.95

    the other two clubs we have reviewed (from flore and follow your heart) both contained some type of faux meat along with a layer of bacon. casa de tree’s, however, only came with tempeh bacon, no fake meat to be found. this club was also a lot smaller than the others, although it did come with some green leaves and a side of your choice from the salad bar. i went with the curried cabbage, which was excellent. everything was tasty and fresh, and while it wasn’t my favorite vegan club in LA, this sandwich was damn good. oh, and it got bonus points for coming with avocado (which is an extra charge at follow your heart).

    who cares though...it’s all academic, really, considering casa de tree has now closed down. 🙁

    while the club sandwich may not have been the best in town, casa de tree truly was an amazing restaurant with a 100% vegan menu as well as a pay-by-weight salad bar.

    we miss you already, casa de tree. hope you return someday. xo

    P.S. PLEASE COMMENT with your FAVORITE VEGAN CLUB in los angeles! i want to be sure to include it.

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