At brunch with the super smart, funny, talented and all around good person, Stacy Michelson we dove headfirst into this relaunched, 100% vegan, pub in Downtown LA. Easily agreeing on two cocktails to share, we sat back to enjoy good conversation and me accidentally smashing a glass candle holder. After the candle mishap, we shared the Accidental Guru ($13)—a blend of Jameson with forward notes of peach liquor, tempered with ginger, lime, and hefeweizen, served on the rocks—and the Trinidad Sour ($13)—a boozy crush of Redemption rye, angostura bitters, orgreat, and lemon served Snoopy sno-cone cute with a polkadot paper straw.
… Beelman’s (Los Angeles, CA)
Under the twinkling trees and against the rustle of climbing ivy, we perused the wine list. Our fingers faltered over a lovely 2013 Preston Petite Sirah (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, CA) that was so nice we ordered it twice.
… Plant Food and Wine (Venice,CA)
Swollen with naivety and fortitude, in 2003 I moved in New York City. I knew few people so though nothing of the 90 minute subway ride from Bed Stuy to the Bronx to see a familiar face. The reward for this proved to be much more then conversation, it was my introduction to an iconic NYC dish: General Tso’s Tofu. A quintessentially Chinese-American sauce—cloyingly sweet and salty with soy—shellacked on cubes of deep fried soft tofu, scattered with ornamental dried chilies, and strewn with lightly steamed broccoli. To be cliche, it was love at first bite.
… Chopsticks Inn (La Mesa, CA)
Mello vibes fill the fair-trade cups lingering on the cafe tables at Mamacoffee on Vodičkova. I order a cup of standard brewed coffee—yes, I like my coffee boring—because it seemed the thing to do; but I was really here for the food.
… Mammacoffee (Prague, Czech Republic)
…which is way harder then I thought! But here is a peek at how I got drawn into the vegan lifestyle, my love of pizza, and the one item I’m desperately waiting for someone to veganize.
Art filled walls surround diners in San Diego’s Fairouz Cafe & Gallery, by owner Ibrahim Al Nashashibi, and numerous vegan options fill the hot and cold trays of the all day Greek and Lebanese buffet (Lunch $12.99 / Dinner $15.99). All clearly marked and generous, the buffet makes for an easy-to-dine-together meal for difficult groups—but for those not partial to food sitting out all day, there is table service as well.
… Fairouz Cafe and Gallery (San Diego, CA)
One of the biggest fights of my life occurred after someone asked “What is your favorite cuisine?”
After a pondering pause—with pizzas, banh mis, and pad see-ew fly through the flavor pockets of my mind—I said:
… Awash Market (San Diego, CA)
Helming the Studio City kitchen, Jerry Yu delivers vegetarian—mostly vegan—dishes devoid of mock meats and omnivorous similes. Yu relies of the breath of organic fruits and vegetable adorn with nuts whipped into luscious sauces. On paper the preparations sound simple, but they comes together like magic on a plate.
… Vege • ta • ble (Los Angeles, CA)
In the shadow of the Culver Hotel, the wellspring of Matthew Kenney’s Make Out quietly places vegan—mostly raw—foods in a glass front case for viewing. The shelves offer a colorful selection of huge rolls of green, tiny rolls of carrots, flatbreads, and bowls of kelp noodles. Further back, stainless steel holds two daily soups. Samples of both were offered to us and the velvety Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup—drizzled with cashew creme and crunchy pepitas—leaped to the top of our order.
… Make Out (Culver City, CA)
I always thought North Indian food was my jam, but I’ve quickly fallen head over idli for South Indian cuisine! Chennai Tiffins is now my favorite Indian restaurant in San Diego. The food is simple, made with mild hands but with a soft complexity that comes through if allowed. Plus they are always super accommodating when I ask for my food to be prepared without ghee.
… Chennai Tiffins (San Diego, CA)