When selecting a restaurant for our first breakfast in Portland I didn’t take kids—especially non-vegan kids—into account. Turns out, it didn’t matter.
… Blossoming Lotus (Portland, OR)
I’ve had the good fortunate of joining a vegan food swap earlier this year; but then the group took a two month hiatus. At that same moment, Vegan Cuts stepped in with this bounty. What arrived was a shockingly tiny box brimming with sample and full sized items… each and everyone new to me.
… Learning New Tricks With Vegan Cuts
I rue the day I assumed SunCafé was a commonplace sandwich/salad/smoothie joint. It is so, so, so much more. The converted 1920’s ranch home (formally Zach’s Café) on Ventura Blvd extrudes warmth and comfort while the menu promotes whole food in comforting and familiar forms.
… SunCafé (Los Angeles,CA)
The Californication of Detroit’s popular vegan pop-up dinner series Chartreuse unveiled this month as the Zoetic Supper Club. In the spring of 2013 Chef Corinne Rice moved to Venice, CA, bringing her organic, plant-based pop up dinners with her. A graduate of the raw culinary Matthew Kenney Academy, her dinners express restrained elegance bursting forth with complex flavors that I’ve rarely encountered in raw vegan dining.
… Zoetic Supper Club: A Vegan Pop Up Dinner (Los Angeles, CA)
Driving the 500 miles between San Francisco and Los Angeles I planned to take my vegan boyfriend to my favorite veggie friendly spot in central California: Thomas Hill Organic in Paso Robles. Unfortunately a private event derailed our plans. Scrolling through Yelp we saw the v-word pop up for Basil Thai and headed that way.
It’s a traditional plastic gilded interior on the Paso Robles square. The staff is friendly and thankfully knowledgeable: Our waitress let us know that EVERYTHING is made with fish sauce. Releasing exacerbated sighs, the kind that only come after hours of highway driving, the waitress leaded in and whispered that there were two things we could order.
… Basil Thai (Paso Robles, CA)
When people describe a restaurant as “Classic Italian,” I’m often confused. Do they mean dried boxed pasta drowning in red sauce or hand rolled al dente noodles bathing in olive oil. I always hope they mean the lather and I always hope it’s just like Dominick’s.
… Dominick’s (Los Angeles, CA)
For most of my life I’ve hated tomatoes. I would eat tomatoes only in their most cooked down and pureed state—aka pizza sauce. It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 when I visited Central California for the Bianco Di Napoli tomato harvest that I dared to eat an unadulterated raw tomato. Standing there in organic fields of Cliff Fong’s Farm, with the summer sun still pulsating through the red flesh, I became a tomato fan.
… Tomatomania at Loteria Grill (Los Angeles, CA)
An impromptu weekday lunch with my mom finally brought me to Goldie’s. The living wall beckoned us from the street but offer little shade for a midday meal. Fortunately, the interior proved to be lovely. Designed by the restaurateur Nick Mathers, it’s been described as Frank Lloyd Wright-meets-lumberyard which doesn’t make any sense to me at all. This is clearly a mid-century derived design accented with Moroccan tiles and knock-off Wegner Elbow chairs.
… Goldie’s (Los Angeles, CA)
During an absolutely horrible job interview, my potential boss mentioned that he was vegan. I smiled and said “Oh yeah! I’m vegetarian…”
“That’s not the same thing at all” he stated dryly. Ouch.
… Bragg’s Factory Diner (Phoenix, AZ)
Anyone who has read a book authored by Julia Child or M. F. K. Fisher knows the compelling and historical context of French cuisine. Much of western cooking is driven by the pâté laden, coq au vin covered, lorrained or moules frited plates of this lovely tradition… but none of it persuades my vegetarian interests. So when I stumble upon a French restaurant with tantalizing vegetarian options, it’s a cause for celebration.
And that is exactly what I found at Ba Restaurant in Los Angeles’ Highland Park. The stand out dish is the Mushroom Brûlée ($11), a shallow ramekin of roasted wild mushrooms smother in buttery brie. Flamed licked, the charred edges of cream and rind deliver a faint bitter note, offsetting the earthiness of the dish. A mellow and magnificent starter, far too rich to eat alone.
… Ba Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)