California

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Real Food Daily

Real Food Daily

My father and I visited this restaurants Santa Monica location and were blown away. Everything on the menu is delicious and obviously prepared with very fresh food and careful planning. I got the Lasagna Napoletana mentioned above, while my father got the Mediterranean Bowl. We were impressed by both, as well as the Kale-Cucumber Lemonade he ordered. Everything was flavorful enough to appeal to anyone. Everything on the menu is vegan and plant-based but plenty of items are gluten-free as well. I’d recommend any Real Food Daily location.

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Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop

This lovely place has multiple locations and is very clean. The Build Your Own Salad option is a little intimidating but absolutely worth trying. It produces delicious, nutritious results with a lot of choice involved. I got a salad with romaine lettuce, baby arugula, agave-roasted walnuts, croutons, and citrus-marinated tofu with their classic balsamic dressing. I still remember exactly how delicious it was. My father got their vegan burger, which was also very good. I have to say the salad options outshined most everything in the end, though. Creative idea producing delicious creativity.

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Mohawk Bend, Los Angeles

Mohawk Bend, Los Angeles

Plant Powered Dietitian Sharon Palmer, R.D.

We tried Mohawk Bend in the Echo Park area last week. I was with four of my dietitian friends, and we were blown away with the flavorful vegan food (much of the menu is completely vegan!) served in a cool, hip environment in this emerging neighborhood. This place is all about fresh, and local food. The space is actually a retrofitted Vaudeville theater, which is so cool for this part of town. But the food was what I couldn’t stop marveling about. We shared a number of dishes among our little group.

Ok, you’ve heard about Buffalo Chicken, but what about Buffalo Cauliflower?This vegan dish was amazing—a familiar sweet-spicy, red sauce
topping the cauliflower, served with a vegan bleu cheese sauce and celery sticks. My favorite dish of the night.
 

Here was my second favorite dish: vegan crab cakes made of hearts of palm atop couscous and a vegan tzatsiki sauce, garnished with picked red onion, shaved fennel, and mint. Divine!

Our third small plate we shared was arancini—little risotto balls filled with peas,vegan sausage,and cashew cheese served with marinara and basil. Yum!
 

 

We decided to split a couple of small pizzas, since Mohawk Bend is famous for their brick oven pizzas. There was a whole section of the menu with vegan choices! We settle on the Able Farmin’ with roasted red pepper, fennel, cashew cheese, and house-made vegan sausage.

The second pizza we shared was this Napa pizza,
topped with fresh persimmon,smoked grapes, red onion, watercress, vegan bleu cheese, and balsamic vinegar.
This was my favorite!
 

The group just had to try a dessert—every single item on the menu is vegan! Our server recommend the Happy Camper S’mores, since it was perfect for sharing. The Happy Camper S’mores was delivered to our table in a piping hot […]

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Café Gratitude, Los Angeles

Café Gratitude, Los Angeles

On my quest to sample LA’s best vegan restaurants, I added Café Gratitude to the list.  This little place off Melrose was brimming with good will and karma—from the slogans on staff t-shirts to the signs on the restaurant walls and even the menu itself.  Menu items are charmingly titled “satisfied”, “bright-eyed”, and “gracious”.  In fact, the whole vibe at this eatery is about honoring vegan, organic ingredients and being thankful for the opportunity to experience a bounty of such lovely, plant-based foods on our planet.  So, why not reflect on a grateful attitude while you’re dining?
And while you’re considering gratitude while dining, the food experience is not so bad either!  Many food choices here are raw, but not all of them; you can tell by an “R” symbol on the menu.  They make their own cashew and macadamia cheeses, and have a focus on global flavors, such as Asian and Mediterranean, and whole plant foods, such as quinoa, chickpeas, beans, and greens.

It was hard to select an appetizer among such choices as bruschetta on a raw buckwheat cracker, zucchini cilantro hummus with corn tortillas, and spicy nachos with vegan “cheese”, pico de gallo, and roasted potatoes.  We choose the latter, which came with a creamy cashew sour crea, and zesty topping.

The salads were interesting, but we settled on “pure”, a marinated kale salad with nori, avocados, sea palm, cucumbers, carrots, teriyaki almonds, and more—tossed with a delicious sesame ginger tahini dressing that I was just dying to deconstruct in my own home kitchen.  All in all, it was a sea-inspired kale salad with just a hint of the “sea” and in a very generous portion that could be a meal in one.  It […]