Due to its proximity to Los Angeles, a short journey to the desert is always on the horizon for the most trivial or celebratory events. My first stop whenever I go to Vegas is always Ronald’s Donuts so I can stock up on donuts for the duration of the trip and to take back home. After Ronald’s, we decided to make another short drive in order to try Pura Vida. After passing through an industrial sector, I managed to spot Pura Vida on the opposite side of the street, overlooking vacant lots and surrounded by empty business. This sector is certainly an unlikely place to find delicious vegan food, but after searching through their website and a handful of Yelp reviews I knew we were going to be in good hands. It appears the menu on weekends is mostly focused on “Sweet” rather than “Savory”. Seeing as how we were in the mood for “Savory” we decided to forego the waffles and ask for some recommendations. Our server was very accommodating, along with Chef Myra, who personally came out to assist us and explain what she could make for us.
Spinach/Tofurky Sausage/Daiya QuesadillaTags: cake, field report, las vegas, quesadilla, wrap
One of my pet peeves when dining out is ordering an item that you could easily make at home. For this reason, I don’t think I have ever ordered a vegan quesadilla at a restaurant. However, I have to say this quesadilla was fantastic, easily better than any I have made at home. I could try to duplicate it, but I doubt it would be as delicious….
the nice thing about staying with locals when traveling is that you get introduced to nice little neighborhood spots. on my last trip to ny i stayed with my friend in brooklyn and she suggested salud (in flatbush) for lunch one day. although salud serves some meat they are very knowledgeable about veganism and the menu clearly states veg and vegan options.Tags: brooklyn, field report, new york, quick bites, wrap
i’ve got some very exciting news! native foods is launching a whole new menu tomorrow, and they’re giving quarrygirl readers a sneak peek at the goods! chef tanya has created some fantastic dishes for the winter season, and i don’t know about you guys, but i’m totally jonesing to try them all. have a look at the 8 new mouthwatering items.
first up, there are 2 new appetizers:Tags: culver city, native foods, pizza, sneak peek, westwood, wrap
portland, i love you with all my heart! you are a city of decadent vegan goodness, yet even the bastion of healthy eating in your land is better than most spots here in los angeles. i’m talking about prasad, a cafe that would be entirely animal-free were it not for honey on the menu and half & half by request.
prasad is located downtown in blossoming lotus‘ former space—it’s a small eatery attached to the entrance of a sleek yoga studio. it opens early for the pre-work breakfast crew, yet stays open through dinnertime, so already the hours are impressive. the menu is on the lighter side, focusing on raw and cooked wholesome eats including salads, soups, wraps, bowls, and smoothies.
at first glance, the food options may sound a bit simple…but i can assure that after indulging in portland’s crazy vegan meal scene, you will be all about prasad. we were. we ate there twice in two days. here’s how it went:
on the first day we were bowlin’. BOWLS ARE FUCKING AWESOME, why does nowhere carry bowls in LA?! i went with the most basic option, the mighty bowl. it comes with red rice or quinoa, steamed greens, beans, and choice of two sauces. i went with the red rice option, along with green chili and garlic tahini sauce. the sauces come on the side, so you can choose how much you wanna dump on…and i can tell you, this food is so good, it doesn’t even need sauce! the vegetables are fresh, the rice is perfectly steamed, and the beans are plump and hearty. so simple, but so damn delicious.
my husband went with the dragon bowl, which was equally impressive. this dish came with red rice, beans, arame, wakame, and dulse sea vegetables, avocado, and steamed greens. just like my bowl, everything was fresh and tasty…and the addition of flavorful sea vegetables and creamy avocado made it even better.
we enjoyed our meal at prasad so much, that we decided to return before the end of our trip for breakfast. although the scrambles sounded amazing, we decided to share a wrap off of the lunch menu (which is served from 9am on).
the gaucho wrap was great—marinated tempeh, roasted tomatoes, spinach, black beans, smashed avocado, and lime all rolled up in a huge tortilla. overall it had a pretty sweet and smokey taste, and the tempeh and beans made it extra hearty and filling. while i loved this thing, i am still kind of wishing we went with one of the scrambles. i saw another customer eating one, and it looked insane.
we also split an order or toast, topped with zucchini hummus, tomatoes, and cucumber. the hummus was rich and creamy, the vegetables were crisp, and the bread was soft and spongey. seriously, the perfect light breakfast.
the prasad space itself is rather cozy, a few little tables and one communal table to the right of the yoga reception area. you order at the counter and pay, then food is brought to where you are sitting. the service is friendly and attentive, and the wait time is pretty low. overall, prasad is just a sweet and wonderful little place with damn good vegan food. no wonder we went there twice, and i can’t wait to go back.
prasadTags: bowls, breakfast, oregon, portland, wrap
925 NW Davis,
Portland OR 97209
within Yoga Pearl
Monday – Friday 7:30am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 8pm
native foods in westwood has had a complete makeover, and i’m a fan of their new style. not only does the place have a fresh paint job with brighter colors, but they’ve implemented a new rewards program, added some pretty amazing dishes to their menu and are now offering daiya cheese.
we checked out the new native foods the other day, and while loads of stuff on the menu looked delicious, i couldn’t resist the oklahoma bacon cheeseburger, a seasonal special (pictured above). we ended up eating our food out of takeaway boxes—more on that later—so the photo really doesn’t do the burger justice AT ALL. let me tell you, this baby was massive, juicy, and probably one of the best things i’ve ever eaten in a bun. the seitan inside wasn’t a patty, but more like thick juicy strips of wheat meat topped with the tastiest tempeh bacon ever. there was a generous helping of melty daiya cheddar in there as well, which mixed in with the two types of creamy sauces to make a hot delicious mess. it was drippy, huge, meaty, cheesy and wonderful. seriously, where else can you get a vegan bacon cheeseburger in los angeles? this is on the “specials” menu, and it’s seasonal, so everyone needs to try this thing before it goes away!
for our other entree, my husband and i split the much lighter twister wrap. it came filled with leafy greens, avocado, creamy sauce and crispy soy chicken. the faux meat in this thing was excellent, slightly greasy and crunchy on the outside yet moist and soft in the middle. we got this with a side of nicely seasoned native fries which were spicy and garlicky. yumz.
while we were there, we also learned that native foods has introduced a new frequent eater program where you sign up for a card and earn points that go towards free food every time you dine there. just by signing up we received a complimentary drink with our order, a refreshing cup of lavender lemonade. they also have this promotional gift thing going on through the holidays where if you buy someone (or yourself) a $100 gift card, you get extra $20 card for free. that’s a good investment, if you ask me.
now let’s talk about how the interior of native foods has changed. at the westwood location, you used to order at a counter in the front of the restaurant, then take a seat upstairs and wait for your food. now native foods has expanded and the counter where you place your order has moved next door. there’s also a new seating area there, but it’s not where you sit and eat your food…for some reason the new area is for take-out only. so you order at the new counter, then go outside and back into the original restaurant and sit upstairs, where they will bring your your meal. whew. sounds complicated, right? it is! when we were at native foods, there was no seating upstairs, so we had to eat in the take-out part of the restaurant. and unfortunately, if you dine in that area, you have to eat your food from a to-go container and not off real dishes. oh well, the food tasted great nonetheless!
while the dine-in experience was a little awkward due to the logistics of the westwood location, i was completely blown away by my meal at native foods and i can’t wait to order even more stuff off the new menu. they’ve got daiya quesadillas, pizzas, chili cheese fries, and more. but seriously dudes, get to native foods NOW and eat the bacon cheeseburger. it’s fucking amazing.
native foodsTags: cheeseburger, daiya, fake meat, west side, westwood, wrap
1110 1/2 Gayley Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
11AM – 10PM
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.
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.
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.
for his entree, our operative ordered the (sir) “wraps a lot,” which gives you a choice of several different vegetables, wraps, spreads and garnishes.
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.
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.
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!Tags: field report, huntington beach, sushi, wrap
today, we bring you a special report on red velvet cafe in las vegas, a casual restaurant with a very vegan-friendly menu. you may remember that recently one of our secret quarrygirl.com operatives relocated to sin city, and sent us an in-depth undercover report on the breaking news that whole foods in las vegas was offering vegan pizza with daiya cheese. well now, our secret operative is back with another vegan vegas discovery…proving once again that there is much more than just ronald’s donuts to eat in the desert. over the weekend, our operative teamed up with another agent and ate the hell out of red velvet cafe, and they sent us a write-up and pictures to prove it.
here is some of the vital information we gathered from their report:
-the server was super nice, helpful and answered or found the answer to our million questions. seeing that it was his 3rd day, i would have told myself to fuck off. he said everything was able to be made vegan besides the caprese salad, but that it could be made vegetarian.
-appetizer: avocado strips. they were pressed in a panini press, crispy shell and such gooey cheese, i was convinced it was daiya.
-at this point i was asking so many questions that the owner came over and said their vegan cheese was made from scratch. he did note that they used the same ingredients as daiya, but the texture, taste and feel was identical…it was too on point.
-lunch item #1: the buffalo chicken wrap. this was 100% hands down the best wrap i have ever had anywhere, PERIOD!
-the sauce was ranch and buffalo mixed, tangy and spicy at the same time. the chicken chunks where huge and the sandwich left my mustache and hands so messy, i needed a wet wipe. LMFL
-lunch item #2: tuna salad. so good as well. it was made with faux meat and not tofu so it had texture and it wasn’t overpowered with too much mayo, it was perfect.
dessert: face off between red velvet cupcake and chocolate chip cupcake. both operatives agreed, the red velvet won the challenge. super creamy sweet frosting and moist cake. a staple.
other fun things:
-there were 2 big flat screen tv’s, unfortunately they were playing sports.
-magazines everywhere (as can see pictured below, secret operative #2 is reading the fall fashion issue of vogue).
-as we were leaving someone was picking up a huge vegan cake… bday possibly.
-if red velvet served beer or were BYOB it would be heaven.
—–over and out—-
a very special thanks to our secret operatives who took the time to eat and document all this food.
so there you have it. a very glowing report of red velvet cafe from our field agents in las vegas. in fact, i even got a phone call from our operative immediately after he ate there, and he said red velvet was the best food he’d had during his entire stay in vegas, AND was better than most of the vegan food available in los angeles. that’s a bold statement, and a strong endorsement if i ever heard one.
i can’t wait to get to vegas and check this place out.
red velvet cafe
7875 W. Sahara Ave.
Suite 103 / 104
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Mon-Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.Tags: cupcakes, las vegas, quesadilla, tuna, vegan cheese, wrap
if you read the LA vegan sites, you’ve probably heard of jennshaggy’s recipe blog. well recently, jenn has been doing more than blogging; she’s lent a hand to fratelli cafe on melrose and has helped them design an extensive vegan menu. now the small eatery has a variety of vegan sandwiches, wraps, and salads stuffed with high-quality meat substitutes, fresh vegetables and marinated tofu. i have dined at fratelli cafe twice, and both times the food was delicious.
on my first visit to fratelli, they had just run out of their meat substitutes, so the only protein option they had was marinated tofu. my friend and i decided to get two entrees and split them: the chinese chicken salad (with tofu instead of chicken), and the mexican cilantro wrap. while i was a little skeptical of having tofu rather than chicken in the salad, it turned out to be wonderful. this was indeed some of the best marinated tofu i’ve ever had. it was slightly crisp and oily on the outside, then soft and juicy in the center. seriously tasty stuff. the rest of the salad was on point as well, all extremely fresh with an excellent vegan dressing.
the mexican cilantro wrap did not disappoint, either. it was filled with the same amazing tofu plus vegetables, salsa and vegan cheese. since a jennshaggy designed the menu and told fratelli which brands to buy, you can trust that things like the fake cheese and meat are truly vegan. for a cheese substitute they use follow your heart, which isn’t my favorite, but it tasted pretty good in this wrap.
i hit up fratelli cafe again a few days later, and luckily the fake meat products were back in stock…
my friend ordered the mediterranean salad with chicken, and we were pleased to find it topped with huge thick slices of well-seasoned gardein. the only complaint i’d have about this salad, is it seemed to come with normal lettuce, not spinach like the menu indicated…and the follow your heart cheese was cut in cubes, not shredded. it impressed my omnivorous friend though, and she happily ate all of it.
i ordered the pesto chicken sandwich was also stacked with gardein chicken and a garlicky vegan pesto sauce. this is my favorite thing so far i’ve ordered from fratelli. gardein is just so moist and flavorful, with stuff like this out there, i don’t understand why anyone eats meat. the pesto was also incredible, creamy and so full of flavor, the dairy was not missed one bit.
so next time you find yourself on melrose, head over to fratelli cafe and check out their new vegan menu that our local jennshaggy designed. just grab the laminated menu and flip all the way to the back for the vegan selections. yum.
fratelli cafeTags: gardein, melrose, salad, sanndwich, wrap
7200 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
7 days 6:30am – 11pm
i know, i know, i’ve written about this place before, but i just can’t get enough of the hy-mart deli! the modest little sandwich shop in the valley continues to make most scrumptious wraps i’ve ever eaten. plus, the family who owns it and works the counter are sweet, friendly, and most importantly knowledgeable about veganism. if i lived in the north hollywood, i’d be grabbing food from hy-mart everyday.
my latest feast from hy-mart was bennito’s burrito. the wrap in its original form is vegetarian, but the cool dude making it was more than happy to veganize it, giving me hummus instead of yogurt. it was filled right up with soft and spongey falafel, loads of avocado, and fresh chopped vegetables. i can’t even tell ya how tasty it was.
i think i am gonna make it a mission to try every vegetarian wrap on hy-mart’s menu (veganized, of course). looks like i have my work cut out for me! yum yum yum.Tags: falafel, north hollywood, sandwich, wrap
mani’s bakery on fairfax is a must-visit for all vegans, as far as i’m concerned. i ran across mani’s awhile back when the bakery made an insane vegan cake for my co-worker’s birthday. i went to mani’s later to check it out and realized that their vegan menu was huge compared to other restaurants in town. i mean, they even have a full-on legend at the top of the menu for vegan and vegan-optional items. on top of that, the food is pretty damn good and they have great hours, plus they serve breakfast all day long. yay mani’s bakery!
my husband and i hit up mani’s recently and were pretty impressed with the food. one of the vegan-optional starters at mani’s is the bread basket. being a self-contained bakery and all, mani’s definitely has the bread thing down. our basket included an impressive selection of piping hot crunchy slices, soft and chewy rolls, and thin and crispy chips. the spreads were black bean, pesto, and hummus; and each one was rich, flavorful and creamy. between me and my husband, the bread basket was way too much food to finish, but that didn’t stop us from trying.
as a main, my husband ordered the vegan-optional arugula artichoke salad. while 14 bucks is definitely a lot to pay for a salad, this thing was pretty huge and they didn’t skimp on the tempeh. the artichoke hearts were shredded into delicate slices and marinated perfectly. the braised tempeh was amazing; why anyone would get this salad with the grilled chicken option is beyond me!
i took advantage of the fact all day breakfast and went for the tofu scramble hash. it was insanely delicious. the tofu was scrambled up in big thick chunks and was all mixed in in with the vegetables. the soft mushrooms, spinach and tofu went perfectly with the crispy, crunchy asparagus. i got the vegan option, which came with sliced tempeh rather than veggie bacon, and it was quite tasty. the breakfast potatoes were top notch as well. good stuff all the way around.
while the food is awesome at mani’s, it’s often crowded and dining in can be unpleasant. you will probably have to wait for a table, the restaurant is loud and cramped, and the chairs aren’t that comfortable. for the high prices, i would expect more of a dining experience rather than the quickie cafe feel that mani’s offers. fortunately for me, the food is just as delicious to go.
on a subsequent visit, my husband and i grabbed take-out from mani’s for dinner, and mine was every bit as tasty. i ordered breakfast again, but this time i got the wrap. the breakfast wrap is super because it’s pretty much the exact same tofu scramble as above, but it’s thrown in a tortilla with beans and guacamole. plus, it’s 3 bucks cheaper. score!
this time my husband ordered the classic sandwich, veganized with kale greens. it was good, but not as good as the salad he’d had in the restaurant.
i took a bite of the sandwich and thought the seitan was delicious, but my husband described it as “too chewy” and “glue-y.” maybe next time i will order it for meself!
so overall, mani’s bakery is definitely worth a visit. whether you dine in or take-out, the food will most likely be delicious. they have a massive menu with loads of vegan options, just remember to specify. plus, they have a whole freakin’ bakery with fresh bread and vegan desserts! cakes, cookies, even almond roca…they’ve got TONS of stuff to choose from. i’ve just always filled up on the tasty food, leaving no room for their tempting sweets. thankfully, there’s always next time!
mani’s bakeryTags: Add new tag, bakery, bread, breakfast, fairfax, kale, salad, sandwich, seitan, tofu scramble, wrap
519 S. fairfax avenue
los angeles, ca 90036
it’s no secret that i’m always on the lookout for new and delicious vegan food. i try to hit up as many vegan-friendly restaurants as i can in search of that perfect tofu scramble, veggie burger or burrito. that’s why i can’t believe sante la brea has been right here in hollywood, under my nose for the longest time, and i waited until yesterday to try it out.
it first came to my attention when someone from sante delivered the menu to my work. i skimmed through it and one thing immediately caught my attention. right there, printed on the menu was the fact that sante can prepare ANY item vegan by substituting fake for real meat. hell yeah. plus, i did some research and saw that vegan-la had some nice things to say about sante, and that pretty much sealed the deal.
so yesterday, the husband and i headed over to give sante a shot…and everything about it was absolutely amazing: the food, service, atmosphere and presentation were all impeccable. sante la brea gets an a+!
we arrived at around noon, so sante was serving both their brunch menu and their normal dinner menu. their brunch menu isn’t available online, but it was filled with really appetizing stuff. tons of scrambles and omelettes, and of course tofu could be substituted for egg in any dish. we shared the tofu scramble and it was incredible. the fluffy tofu was mixed in with tons of garden vegetables and a delicate seasoning. it was the perfect texture and tasted out of this world healthy. you know, the kind of feeling you get when you are eating stuff that’s super good for you. this tasted really good, and i know it was guilt-free. not much oil or fat, just the right ingredients. it’s so refreshing to eat a meal like this, because i am used to eating way too much junk food!
we also ordered off the dinner menu, and what we chose happened to be vegan, without any substitutions. yay us! the macro ended up being just as tasty, and probably just as healthy as the scramble. i love being married, because it means i get to try two different meals at lunch!
because it’s easier to share, we opted for the wrap, and man-o-man was it scrumptious. it was so simple, yet so full of flavor. the exotic vegetables mixed together with the seasoning and tofu perfectly, and were covered in tangy dripping tahini sauce. so divine. better than anything i’ve ever eaten over at m café, the los angeles macrobiotic headquarters. sorry, m, this shit was so much tastier.
not to mention, both meals came with breakfast potatoes that were unbelievable. it’s so great to have a side (that at most restaurants is so full of disgusting grease) be so light AND delicious. i don’t know how they do it, but sante really puts the time and effort into making genuinely healthy food that doesn’t sacrifice taste in the slightest. we need more restaurants like this.
not just the food is da bomb at sante though, the service and atmosphere are killer as well. the place was empty on sunday at lunch time (a total crime, considering how great sante is!) but our waitress was all over us. very attentive, friendly, and quick when it came to refilling our water glasses. the outdoor seating area was quite lovely too, big wooden tables shaded by curtains and benches with huge fluffy cushions. it was great relaxing in the sun and enjoying our lunch as calming chilled-out electro music played softly in the background.
overall, sante was a great find. they have TONS of vegan options, plus anything they offer can be made vegan. oh yeah, and a grip of vegan desserts as well. hmmmm. i can’t think of a reason not to try them out asap. delicious all the way around.
Tags: breakfast, brunch, potatoes, scramble, tofu, wrap
with pure luck under construction lately, i’ve been searching for new ways to get my fancy beer/vegan food fix. over the weekend i discovered a pretty great alternative: flore. but they don’t serve beer, you say? nope…but the good, located right across the street, does. the good offers tons of beer on tap and like a million bottles, so it’s a great place to get a buzz before walking over and soaking up the drunk with pure vegan awesomeness. i just cannot get over flore’s amazing food…and the menu is freakin’ huge!
the wrap is enormous, delicious and satisfying—filled with delightfully seasoned tofu and very tasty dressing. it comes cut in half, so it’s perfect for sharing. hell, get 2 wraps and switch it up! the potato salad hit the spot as well—light, fresh and not too soggy.
i really, really, REALLY love burritos. when i was a vegetarian they were my second favorite food, and now that pizza is gone, they are definitely #1. seriously, when i eat at a restaurant that has a burrito on the menu, i find it very difficult to order something else. that being said, flore’s vegan burrito is one of the best i’ve ever had. they cram so much stuff inside, i almost can’t handle it. they’ve got the fake meat, beans, fake cheese, vegetables and even fake creamy stuff as well. with most vegan burritos, you are lucky to get any kind of protein along with the standard rice and beans…not to mention fake cheese! this burrito really takes it to the next level.
i mean look at that. it just belongs in your face, right? and it’s not just crammed full of cool shit, it also tastes really good. all the ingredients are so fresh and juicy, your mouth will have a party. thanks a lot flore, now i am gonna have a really tough time ordering anything else off your majorly enticing menu.Tags: beer, burrito, ipa, potato salad, tofu, wrap