City, O City (Denver, CO)

The motto for the city of Denver should be: Come to Denver for our Seitan Wings! Vegan wings—be them seitan, mock chicken or cauliflower—have come a long long way these past few years. Through those years I’ve made the pleasant effort to consume as many as possible. I’m thrilled to say that the Seitan Wings ($10 / $5 Happy Hour) at City, O City are THE BEST I’ve ever had up to this point. A heaping slab—I’d say at least a pound—of chewy house-made setian is sliced and fried in a crisp batter creating ‘wings’ with a gristly interior and crackling-like exterior. The texture even holds true after a night in the fridge… yes, they are still crispy the next day. They come slathered in a choice of BBQ or Buffalo Sauce. While I normally order buffalo anything, on this occasion I gave in to my BF’s pleas for BBQ after nearly burned his face off with Buffalo Tigers at Vertical Diner. He was a fan of the sauce.  I found the BBQ overly sweet and less smokey than I prefer, but there is nothing inherently wrong with that. No matter what I thought of the sauce, it could not mask the perfect execution of these seitan wings.
City, O City (Denver, CO)

First Look: Au Lac DTLA (Los Angeles, CA)

A sputtering fountain in the shadow of the Disney Music Hall marks the entrance to the softly open Au Lac DTLA. Retaining the opulence of the former First & Hope, the modern Art Deco dining room is a refreshing upgrade from the Fountain Valley location. We take our seats in the dinning room as Chef Ito takes the helm of the kitchen. From there he executes a handful of favorites plus a few new tricks. Still in the dawn of the restaurant (official opening on January 1, 2015), Chef Ito’s working menu promises many more new item to come.
First Look: Au Lac DTLA (Los Angeles, CA)

The Vedge: The Springs LA

Life changed a lot this year. My beloved Slice was laid to rest along with my monthly pizza column. Unsure of future writing pursuits and research, I meandered through restaurant news in Los Angeles but have been mostly disconnected from it all. Slowly, the void filled with vegan food options research throughout Southern California. In the most lovely happenstance, just as I was feeling comfortable speaking on vegan dining options, The Vedge put out an open call for writers. I had a new writing home with a new vegan focus.

The Vedge writers are a dedicated group located across the country who will be sharing national vegan food news and reports. I’m thrilled with my first post, The Springs LA Combines Raw Vegan Food with Yoga, Music, and Pure Class, and look forward to sharing many more vegan adventures.

Kimberly Helms (Co-Founder of The Springs) and Joyce Rockwood (Colon Hydrotherapist) sharing a sweet moment during our tour of The Springs.

Eat the Veggie Grill Menu Challenge: Sandwiches

This summer I won a $200 gift card from Veggie Grill in their Taste the Sunshine Instagram contest.  While my first instinct was to stuff my face with $200 worth of Crispy Cauliflower, I reluctantly let that dream go and instead committed myself to eat everything on the Veggie Grill menu! Two months later, I’ve burned through the gift card and have just a handful of items to go. This week I closed out my first category: Sandwiches.

So, for your reading pleasure, here is every sandwich on Veggie Grill’s menu:
Eat the Veggie Grill Menu Challenge: Sandwiches

The Lusty Vegan or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Veg

For months I’ve been eagerly awaiting The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Lifestyle Manifesto for Vegans and the People Who Love Them, by Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg. Actually, I’m still waiting—and you can wait with me by ordering a copy here. But until we all get our copy of this sexy cookbook, I got my hands on one of the recipes to try out now!
The Lusty Vegan or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Veg

SunCafé (Los Angeles,CA)

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)

Zoetic Supper Club: A Vegan Pop Up Dinner (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)

Basil Thai (Paso Robles, 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)