Yooooooo! Okay, so I know practically every vegetarian/vegan restaurant that you frequent in Southern California, Los Angeles specifically, every last one of those motherf#$@rs are of the Thai cuisine. Who knows why? I clearly do not know. But what IS clear, is that these Thai places have definitely cornered the vegetarian/vegan retaurant market.
So why, oh why would I talk about yet another Thai vegetarian restaurant? Ummmmmm….probably because it MUST blow all the other places straight out the effin’ water!!! Yep, indeedy. Straight up and NO DOUBT. After eating at Bulan, your tastebuds will never want to go back in culinary/savory scale. In a nutshell, this place does the damn thang, and sets the Thai veggie cuisine at a brand new standard.
Unfortunately, I seemed to have misplaced my camera…AGAIN. So instead of showing you hi-res images of the oh-so-delicious food that we ACTUALLY ate, I had to resort to thievery of sorts, and swiped these babies straight off of Bulan’s very own website. Gangsta, yeah I know. Or maybe “lame” / “resourceful”, is more like it.
Anyway, first off, this restaurant is so effin’ cute. It has a really nice vibe and is actually decorated quite nice inside, more so than a lot of other veggie restaurants. There is actually some coherence to the design choices, and it creates a pleasant ambience. It’s not a large restaurant, but it’s cozy, and the large ceiling-to-floor windows make up for what they lack in space/size. I <3 large windows.
I have to apologize in advance if you are of the more sensitive nature. This post is definitely not for the vegans/vegetarians who’s stomachs are easily churned at the mere thought of a bathroom, whilst expecting food or savoriness. So if that sounds like an accurate description of your disposition, please consider yourself warned, and avert your eyes away from this post immediately!
Ah…and for the rest of you, whose stomachs and humor are cold and hard as steel, like mine, we can now revel in vegan bathroom humor and propaganda, quite literally. There was a particular month in which I consistently found myself at the throes of vegan propaganda while I was in many a public restroom. It caught me so off-guard, that I was immediately intrigued and decided that I HAD to document these things. It really was both strange and interesting that these vegans out there decided to place their vegan propaganda on the back of girls’ [and perhaps boys?] restroom doors, so that it was just staring at you, boldly and obtrusively, in such an assumed private moment. It was completely fantastic.
Damn I’m cheesy. But you love it!!!!??? Well anyway, as the title indicates, yes indeed, today I will be rappin’ with you about a little, but oh so delicious, vegan meal/vegan snack that uses these wonderful things called soy wrappers. These wrappers are fantastic.
Wooooooo!!! There’s an assortment of different flavors all within one pack: tumeric yellow, sesame, paprika orange, original, and spinach green. It’s truly, a party in every package. And like it says right there on the package, it’s vegetarian friendly. These are great for anything at all…let your imaginations run buck wild with this things. Veggies, your favorite faux-meats, sweets, and whatever your hearts desire. [Not exactly recommending filling them with sweets, but hey, could be interesting, if that's your bag, baby.] Also, these soy wrappers are truly wonderful if you have parties and need some vegan/veggie appetizers that are beautiful, easy, and delicious. You can buy these babies from the Japanese supermarket, if you have one in your area. However, I think you might also be able to get them at such grocery stores as Whole Foods, or perhaps even Ralphs, if you go to the international aisle. Don’t take my word for it, but I think it might be possible…especially since most grocery stores are seemingly trying to expand their horizons, in terms of ingredients they offer.
Well, perhaps many, if not most Americans have yet to taste the delectable green goodness that is Spirulina Pie. It’s a bit unfortunate, though I will be anxiously awaiting the day when more people can treat themselves to this vegan piece of heaven. Serious. This vegan dessert is NO JOKE. Literally mind-blowing. And did I mention that it’s completely RAW vegan? Ooooooo baby I like it rawwww…
Anyway, you may think, “Ew, gross, it’s fucking greeeeeeen.” But nay, it is nothing that your veggie taste buds have ever feasted upon before. And where, you may ask, do you find this emerald gem? Fortunately and unfortunately, the only place I know where you can experience this, is on the Westside, in Santa Monica, at a little place called EUPHORIA LOVES RAWVOLUTION. It’s really like an oasis of all the vegan hippiness you could imagine, all condensed into one small, beautiful shop. I’d like to say it’s magical. And truly, their food is just that.
So the other day, Ginger and I jaunted down there to get us a raw vegan sweet tooth fix. She eats raw, while I eat basically vegan, so Euphoria was and is basically the perfect place for us to go. Who says you can’t have your pie and eat it too? Har har….
ALOHAAAAAAA boys and girls! It’s been a minute since we last spoke. Much has happened in the way of life, and many vegan/vegetarian foods has since been consumed in our time spent apart. Time waits for no man or woman, I suppose. Is it safe to say that I have missed all of you? Ah, but I have, I have.
Anywho, this particular post will cover a fantastical, magical, oh so delish vegan restaurant that I was lucky enough to be shown by mi amiga, Monica, located none other than the place from whence I came from, the lovely island of Oahu. This restaurant completely blew my mind because it was all JAPANESE vegan food. Yeah. WTF?! That just doesn’t exist here on the mainland. But after tasting their bits of Japanese vegan genius-ness, my question again and now is: why the fuck does this not exist in LA?! Seriously. Let’s all band together and persuade [bribe?] them to set up shop here…I promise you, you will not be disappointed. WORD!
Oh yeahhhhh, brahs. The name of this fantastic vegan joint is “Soy to the World.” Clever and cute. Soy to the World indeed! I had to ask Monica to take me back to that place on multiple occasions whilst my rather brief stay with her in Hawaii. Needless to say, I just really couldn’t get enough.
My friend Monica, deep in thought. Thinking about the best method of commencing and ravishing the delectable vegan treats and eats spread out before her eyes.
Many so-called vegan and/or vegetarian restaurants in Los Angeles can hardly tout that they are in fact, “a truly vegan restaurant.” But in fact, there is one restaurant, located on the fringes of Hollywood, that actually goes by, and lives up to its name: A Truly Vegan Restaurant.
This quaint little place is charming, and perhaps even a bit out of place amongst the shiftiness of the outskirts of Hollywood. Just a couple of blocks down, are some loud, obnoxious Hollywood clubs, and if you go a little more East, it gets even rougher. As in transients and hookers rougher. Not that I have anything against transients and hookers and Hollywood clubs, because hey, we’re all human, but I’m just saying that typically, vegan and vegetarian restaurants tend to be located in areas of “health conscious” folks. But again, I digress.
In actuality, A Truly Vegan Restaurant offers a welcome respite, an oasis of vegan glory, if you will, on this side of Hollywood. It may be on the small size, but they definitely have all their bases covered, in terms of Thai-inspired vegan dining goes. I must say, that although So Delicious is devoted only to thee most delicious vegan and vegetarian foods, this place is just okay…okay as in mediocre. I can’t be saying that EVERYTHING is wonderfully delicious and amazing, can I? Especially in terms of restaurant reviews. I’m not saying this place is awful by any means. I’m just saying that I’ve had better.
So I have a new fling: Flax seed whole wheat pasta. It’s fantastic. I love it!! Not that pastas generally have much flavoring at all, but this one really stands out to me. I think because the texture is much thicker and heartier than most pastas, and so it really hits the spot. And also for that same reason, it is really easy to have whatever pasta you make, al dente. Al dente every time! If you don’t like your pasta al dente, all you have to do is cook it longer. Easy as pie.
So needless to say, that’s what I’ve been brewin up in my kitchen. Thank god vegan pasta recipes are so easy huh? So I’ve just been experimenting with a variety of sauces and ingredients to spice things up.
So actually, this dressing pictured above is effin’ amazing. Not only is it au naturel, it’s vegan as well! Hard to believe with dressings these days. But low and behold, it hails from none other than Northern California, another place I’d consider quite the hippyville. I love NorCal!! Why do they have the best ishhhh?! Anyway, Wilson’s sister brought this down from her last trip up north. And apparently you can’t get it NO WHERE but there. It is deeeeeelish. She brought back about 10 bottles. Oh yeah. It’s some good shit right there. So what I did was added a little bit of this dressing to my mish mash of sauce for the pasta…and it was gorgeous. Just a little bit, and it gives it a really creamy and almost nutty hint of flavor.
So a few weeks ago, Wilson and I decided to venture out to a new vegan/vegetarian restaurant, which is always awesome since there aren’t a million vegan/veggie places. Don’t get me wrong, LA has a plethora of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, and it’s often times a shitload more than most places. But hey, we’ve been around the block a few times in regards to the restaurants in our vicinity. So again, needless to say, it was a cause for excitement. I took a lot of pictures this time, so got loads of food porno pics for ya’ll.
So we checked out this restaurant called Cinnamon, which is located in Highland Park, a little north of downtown LA. This restaurant was completely phenomenal. Really. All of the cuisine is vegetarian and vegan Mexican food, and from the look of the restaurant, which had a bit of a Mom-n-Pop type feel, and from the taste of the food, you could tell you were eating some truly authentic and delicious vegan Mexican food! We aren’t the only ones to think so either! Ahhhh!!! I was in heaven…Mexican food was/still is one of my favorites. It’s just so damn tasty, how can you not like it? Oh, and the owners and workers were all super sweet and very accommodating. They can also make things specially tailored for you and your palate. Awww.
So we started off with this lovely and creamy soy horchata…yummmmmm. Why are horchatas so BOMBeeezy? And they complement the spiciness of the food so well too.
We also started off with…you guessed it…quesadillas!! Well we ordered the faux carne asada quesadillas, but out came the spinach and mushroom ones, and we were way too famished to even notice or care. They were superb by the way. Really, the best I’ve had, better than any other ones I said I’ve liked. AND, our waitress felt so bad that she mixed up our order, she brought us a plate of the faux carne asada!! DUDE. You HAVE to try their faux carne asada…holy crap…I thought it was real meat there for a second. It was soooo good.
Hello friends. Yes, today I will be talking about what sorts of staples need to be on hand for vegans [and vegetarians!], so that you’ll never run into the problem of having “nothing to eat.” This seems pretty elementary perhaps, but I’ve found that I myself have been going through this sort of trial and error of things that should be stocked at mi casa. It’s like, if I have some vegan sprouted bread, they’re ain’t no jelly…I got some baked tofu, but I ain’t got no spices or rice…I got some ham, but no burger…
You get the picture. What a freakin’ nightmare!! I was kidding about the ham part in case you didn’t get my horrible joke. Anyway. I’m the worst when it comes to this kind of thing. I never make lists of the things I need when I go to the market, or even if I do, 9 times out of 10, I lose the damn thing. Yeah, yeah, I know. At least it’s only myself I need to worry about though…imagine if I had to cook vegan for 2! We’d starve.
Anyway, luckily and thankfully, my dear friend Monica also sent me another vegan cookbook!! Wooo! It’s called “Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.”
This one is actually co-authored by the same amazing woman as the other vegan cookbook I received; Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This particular vegan cookbook is actually a lot less intimidating for nouveau/non-cooks/bakers like myself. It’s a lot more gentle and practical, and its premise is to let people know that it ain’t hard out here for a vegan. And thus, at the beginning of this lovely cookbook, they provide a thorough section of absolute must-haves in a vegan household—specifically, what canned goods and what fridge staples one should arm themselves with.
So bless their hearts, THANK YOU vegan cookbook masters, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, where ever you guys are. THANKS for saving people like moi from ourselves!!! Nuff respect!!
So I know this is a bit off topic, away from my usual vegan and vegetarian restaurant reviews and recipes…but this was just too hilarious not to mention. Oh, and please don’t let your kids read this one! Unless you don’t care. Because in that case, if you don’t care, neither do I!
So apparently this joint is “the first vegan strip club in the entire world.” Which, when you think about it, it probably is. And where oh where does this place reside in the world? None other than hippie-ville, Portland, Oregon. I say that with much tenderness by the way. I think Oregon is a great state, and Portland in particular is one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. in terms of having so many vegetarian, vegan and just overall environmental causes and of course, dining options, going on up there. So it’s actually no surprise that they are home to the world’s first vegan strip club.
“(It’s) vixens, not veal, and sizzle, not steak,” Diablo said. “We put the meat on the pole, not on the plate.”
Hmmm…I’m not in a position to make any sort of judgement calls, but I’m having mixed feelings about this place? It’s hilarious, yes. It’s great, in terms of a new vegan venture. I just feel that maybe it’s a little paradoxical in a way…maybe because I’m a female, and a feminist. [OOoooooO...uhhh...did I say the "F" word?] Overall though, I guess it’s no harm, no foul, since it’s not like he’s making these girls dance against their will. So whatevas yo! Any thoughts or comments???
Yup, that’s riiiiight, African food! I know that sounds pretty vague and all encompassing [i.e. like which part of Africa??], but from the experience that I had the other night, it was pretty remarkable. In fact, it actually does serve various African dishes from all over the continent; they split up the menu by region. It was sooooo delicious [pardon my usage]…just really, really tasty stuff. And Ngoma is located right smack dab in the heart of the city…or rather, the Mid-Wilshire area, super close to the El Rey theater! So all you concert goers, you know where to hit up afterwards.
Wilson and I went, and neither of us had ever tried “African” food before. I didn’t even really know what to expect. For instance, I couldn’t even name a traditional African dish at all…how uncultured am I?! And more than that, I was totally perplexed as to how W even found out about this place. The front of the restaurant was so unassuming, making it almost imperceptible in this relatively bougie part of town.
Well, our waitress was pretty forgiving. We told her it was our first time there and had no idea what we should order. She was really nice and helpful, and also was pretty decisive in terms of what she thought was the best things on the menu, which is effin’ great for some indecisive folks like us. Ngoma also has a plethora of vegetarian and vegan friendly dishes! Cha-ching…score!!
So Vinh and I went to eat at a place called Izayoi the other day, which is located in the heart of Little Tokyo in Downtown LA. I’ve heard a few good things here and there from various people…but for some reason, I had my reservations about the place. First of all, the name is “Iza-yoi” and I thought it was trying to ride on the coattails of the frenzied outbreak of Izakaya-madness that has swept over Los Angeles. I had also passed it on numerous occasions, as it is situated in the same plaza as Starbucks and Office Depot…the very same plaza that has one of the only FREE parking lots in Lil Tokyo. I’ve peered inside and thought, “Eh, ain’t nuthin special.” How very very, regretfully wrong I was!!
Luckily Vinh persuaded me enough to try some of the “best sushi in LA.” Again, hesitation overwhelmed me. How many sushi places are there in LA, and how many of them claim to be “the best sushi in LA”?! Yeah, way too many to fucking count. But surprise, surprise. A very, happy, excited surprise I might add! The benefits of lowered expectations…glorious!
First off, I ordered the Lotus Root Kimpira, which is very vegan friendly. In case ya haven’t heard, the lotus root is a very delicious, versatile, and very nutritious Asian vegetable. It can be pan sauteed, fried, deep fried [tempura] or basically just serve as a hearty snack. You can pretty much find it at any Asian supermarket. It’s kind of like daikon [radish] except it has a bunch of holes in it. Anyway, at Iza-yoi, they served it cool in a glazed soy/teriyaki-type sauce…both refreshing and yummy! And keeping with Japanese tradition/style, the portions are on the smaller side…just a little side note in case you come with a bunch of people and/or you’re feeling ravenous.
So that was that, but let me just tell you how effin’ amazed I was that they actually had UMEBOSHI sushi!!! Now for all ya’ll who not knowin…Umeboshi is a traditional pickled plum that is typically placed in the center of rice balls. They are red in color and are known for their strong, almost sour, flavor. It’s soooo good. Mos def an acquired taste though. But once you break on through, you’re a fan forever. Okay but back to the crazy fact that this joint actually had this type of sushi as an option!! I’ve really never, ever ever seen that before. And it’s like, DUH…why haven’t places done this??! Umeboshi is practically a staple to Japanese food. They make plum wines with real umeboshis in the bottles for crissakes.
Oh, so I forgot to post a bunch of pictures from my vegan birfday dinner. Get ready to salivate hard core! Unless you’re my parents…who unfortunately have not yet developed their vegan taste buds/palates. And when I say unfortunate, I mean it’s unfortunate for them! According to the parental unit, the meal was deemed, “an acquired taste.” Wilson and I, as seasoned vegan eaters, for the record, and in defense of this wonderful little restaurant, 100% hands down do not agree with them. The Green Temple in Redondo Beach is completely divine!
And we’re not the only ones who think so. Peep the reviews! Anywho, everything was so fresh and QUALITY. Pictured above is the vegan quesadilla that Wilson ordered. It was filled with fresh avocados, tomatoes, lettuce and soy cheese, and the salsa was handmade. YUUMMM. Ya’ll know how I feel about vegan quesadillas! Oh and next to the plate is the “Dragon shot” that I ordered. Apparently it’s made from a blend of various Chinese herbs that are supposed to promote an overall sense of well being. Chchcheck it!
A mighty tall list of things to open eh? I did notice that I felt a little more pleasant afterwards though…and I do realize it could have been do to the placebo effect, but hey, whatevazzz. I was a happy camper. Here’s my pops before he ate [er..rather, did not eat] his delicious meal:
Heyyyyy there everybody! How’s it goin? I feel like I haven’t posted for awhile so now I feel…pensive. Well, not really. Guess what?!! My friend Monica just gave me the cooolest gift:
Vegan With A Vengeance!! Oh yeah baby. Time for me to put the apron and chef’s hat on ya’ll. Woooooo!!! Is that not awesome or what?? I’m pretty excited to get my cook on. This book looks pretty amazing too. So many freakin’ recipes! From brunches, muffins, snacks, and entrees, to of course, desserts…this vegan cook book’s got it covered. So actually, all the recipes are based off of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who also happens to be the cohost of The Post Punk Kitchen. Naiiiice. You know where most of the recipes will be coming from from here on out!
Anyway, at the request of a dear reader, I will post one of the fabulous vegan cupcake recipes that happens to be in this here bible shown above. Today we’re talking about Fauxstess Cupcakes. In the words of Moskowitz, “if I could only eat one [vegan] cupcake for the rest of my life, well, first I would wonder what I did to deserve such punishment, and then I would choose these. And I think I know someone that would agree with me — the entire country of America.”