Archive for the ‘Vegan Restaurants’ Category

Our good friend Denise of Twice Baked, a Los Angeles based vegan company that offers made-from-scratch sweets, was nice enough to bring along some amazing vegan donuts when she stopped by our Pasadena showroom to do a little shopping.  Our presentation isn’t as nice as the beautiful pictures on her website and Facebook page but we were more interested in eating them than photographing them!

YUM

Twice Baked creates cupcakes, cakes & cheesecakes in assorted flavors including Peppermint Chocolate, Vanilla Chai & Peanut Butter just to name a few and frosting flavors like Cookies & Cream, Strawberry & Coconut.  So the combinations are endless.  And it doesn’t stop there!  You can also indulge in Brownies, Brownie Bites and Cookies (with too many flavors to name!).  Perfect for any get-together or special occasion (or maybe just to keep all to yourself and secretly snack on!)  Here’s a few more pictures of the delectable treats available (compliments of Twice Baked’s Facebook Page & website).

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pink Vanilla Velvet Cupcake

Mexican Hot Chocolate Sugar Skull Cookies

Custom Made Vegan Cake: Marbled Chocolate Banana cake with Banana filling and Chocolate Frosting

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I recently discovered a fun little Korean Bistro in my neighborhood and I wanted to share it with you. They have quite a few vegan options and the food is fairly healthy and a little more upscale then your typical order-at-the-counter place.  It’s called CHAM Korean Bistro and if you are looking for a fun little modern place to have some interesting vegan Korean food, this is the place to go.  I blew it and didn’t get a list of all the vegan options, but the staff is very knowledgeable and they seem to have access to all the ingredients, so you can just ask. Here is a link to the menu and most of the items are self explanatory (but of course there can be hidden animal ingredients, so it’s always good to ask).  I shared a couple of dishes and the food really surprised me.

We started with the Tofu Crouton Salad. There are not actual croutons in the salad, but little fried squares of tofu that were perfectly fried.  It included butter lettuce, a small amount of sautéed kale, spicy sunflower seeds and a black sesame vinaigrette.

Tofu Crouton Salad

Tofu Crouton Salad

We then had the Sizzling Hot Bibimbap with seared tofu which came with white or brown rice perfectly seared on the bottom of the cast iron skillet. It was a really large portion and would be a huge meal for just one person (although we all know that vegans can EAT!). The food was fresh and prepared well and even though I was full, it was hard to stop eating.

Sizzling Hot Bibimbap

Sizzling Hot Bibimbap with Tofu

The other plus to this restaurant is that they offer wine and beer. Gotta love that. So, next time you are in Pasadena and looking for something a little bit different than your “usual”, try CHAM.

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A couple months ago I discovered a cute little café here in South Pasadena.  I enjoyed lunch with the ladies as we sat outside on the quaint little patio at Fiore Market Café.  This is not an all vegan café, but owners Anne and Bill Disselhorst have a vegan son, so they get it. They have created some really yummy vegan sandwiches with fresh baked bread, a variety of salads and a chocolate cupcake that is moist and delicious. They are happy to guide you through the menu and tell you which items are vegan. 

I enjoyed the Vegan BLT that comes with smoky sweet tempeh bacon on homemade bread with vegenaise. It also comes with a side salad of mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette.  I of course had to get the Chocolate Vegan Cupcake too! I could give this cupcake to the pickiest critic of vegan food and they would never be able to tell it was vegan.

Vegan BLT and Chocolate Vegan Cupcake at Fiore

If you are near South Pasadena, stop by for a little Soy Latte and a Vegan BLT Sandwich and don’t forget to save room for a Chocolate Cupcake!

Their hours are a little limited, so I posted them below. 

Monday-Thursday 11am-6pm
Friday-Saturday 11am-8pm

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Madeleine Bistro keeps teasing us by saying they are shutting down for a while, but they are still open this weekend and they are serving up some delicious vegan food!  Madeleine Bistro will be open for dinner at 5pm this Saturday & Sunday and also for Sunday brunch from 10am – 3pm!  So go on in there (before they really shut down) and have some of my favorites shown below.

Start with the Mac and “Cheese”. So rich and creamy and topped with “bacon” (made out of mushrooms). I don’t know how Chef Dave does it, but it’s to die for. The salty (but not too salty) veggies that are served with the Mac and “Cheese” are a perfect accompaniment to this yummy dish.

Mac and "Cheese" with Mushroom "Bacon"

OK, so I know the idea of something that resembles a Big Mac may sound gross to many of you and I have to admit I haven’t had one in over 32 years, so I am not really sure how much it really tastes like a Big Mac, but this vegan version is my favorite veggie burger hands down. The Bigger Mac has all the fixin’s and this vegan version is way better for your health, the environment, and the animals.

The Bigger Mac

 Of course, we had to have these crunchy onion rings on the side, because who can pass up vegan onion rings?

Vegan Onion Rings

Madeleine Bistro is famous for their amazing Chocolate Soufflé. It’s so light and fluffy and chocolately and it’s served with vegan vanilla ice cream. We had to also get the Vegan Chocolate Donut for good measure.

Chocolate Soufflé and Chocolate Donut

Madeleine Bistro is a vegan foodies dream come true. I suggest you get over there before they really stop teasing us and close up shop for good. I know I will truly miss all of Dave’s amazing creations if they actually ever really do close. The good news is, they still have their Bistro Boxes, so even when they do close, there will still be a way to get your Madeleine Bistro fix.

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Vegan Salty Chocolate Peanut Bar

Vegan Salty Chocolate Peanut Bar

We know how vegans love their food porn, so we thought we would surprise you with a little dose of it here. This dessert was so delicious that the picture doesn’t even do it justice. Let me start by saying that I didn’t just have dessert, but was so hungry that I ate the appetizer and entree before I remembered to take any pictures, so there you go.

Where did I have this delectable vegan food?  I had dinner at Akasha in Culver City, CA. Akasha is a vegan-friendly restaurant that serves (as they say on their website) New American cuisine offering comfort food with big flavors and sustainable ingredients, for carnivores and herbivores alike. Chef Akasha started her career at the Golden Temple which was a vegetarian restaurant here in Los Angeles that has since shut its doors. So she knows vegan food.

My favorite vegan menu items at Akasha are the House Made Onion Rings (coated with rice flour and served with a vegan smoked paprika aioli), the Punjabi Mung Beans and Rice (get it without the raita for the vegan version which is just as delicious), and the Quinoa with Tamari Grilled Tofu. They also have great house cocktails and desserts like the Vegan Salty Chocolate Peanut Bar (pictured above) served with candied peanuts, sea salt, vegan caramel, and vegan peanut butter gelato. They have a lot of vegan options, but unfortunately, you have to ask since they don’t list the items as vegan on the menu. However, all the waiters are very aware of all the ingredients and if they are not, they are happy to find out for you.

Akasha is a nice restaurant and a great place to celebrate a special occasion, so go and enjoy some cocktails, some vegan onion rings, a fabulous vegan entree and don’t forget to save room for dessert!

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KindKreme’s 2nd location in Pasadena is having it’s Grand Opening tomorrow!  We’re all very excited to have them within walking distance of our Alternative Outfitters showroom!  I stopped by today to get a little preview of what’s in store.  I was greeted warmly as soon I walked in and offered samples of any of the ice cream flavors I wanted to try.  They have great customer service!  I decided on 1 scoop of the chocolate almond butter and 1 scoop of cookies & cream…. delicious!  They have toppings you can add for $.99 like raw caramel syrup & cacao nibs.  And don’t forget to try the soft serve ice cream or a super decadent Brownie Sundae or Banana Split.

Cookies & Cream and Chocolate Almond Butter Ice cream

Sandwich of the Day!

Kind Kreme is also offering food including soup, sandwich & kale salad of the day.  There is a nacho plate with seasonal veggies or chips to dip and a raw cheese plate.  I opted for the sandwich which came with choice of hummus or raw cream cheese on gluten free rye bread topped with spinach & avocado (and cucumbers if you’re into that!)  & grilled on a panini press.  It was so good and totally filling.  Check out their full menu with prices here.

The Grand Opening is from 11am – 10pm and the first 100 people get a FREE mini BabyCakes ice cream sandwich with any purchase! Also if you buy any regular size scoop you get a kid’s scoop for FREE!  If you can’t get enough of KindKreme be sure to head back on Sunday for their Super Bowl Party.  There will be FREE vegan snacks and you can hang out and watch the game.

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Cruzer Pizza and Pasta is located at 4449 Prospect Avenue, and is the very first 100% Vegan Pizzeria. They offer a pleasant new look on Vegan cuisine, with a variety of wonderful menu items ranging from classic italian dishes such as Chicken Parmesan to more contemporary items such as their 100% Vegan Philly Cheese Steak and Barbeque Chicken Pizza.

Pricewave, a site for great group discounts, is offering 40-50% off a $25 gift certificate to Cruzer Pizza.  The minimum amount of people needed to purchase a gift certificate and receive the 40% off discount is 5.  If 50 people buy one the discount gets bumped up to 50% so tell your friends!

Cruzer Vegan Pizza via quarrygirl.com

Be sure to check out quarrygirl’s blogs about Cruzers for more pictures and great reviews!

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Finally! We have a new vegan restaurant here in Pasadena. Green Earth Vegan Cuisine opened a few days ago, so we headed over to Old Town Pasadena to try them out. I was a little worried that it would be a repeat of the other veggie Asian restaurants around (not that they are bad, just getting a little tired of the same old thing), but I was pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere at Green Earth was really inviting and the staff was very friendly. It’s in the perfect location if you want to go spend the day in Pasadena shopping at Alternative Outfitters and Old Town Pasadena or seeing a movie at the new Gold Class Cinema. There is a parking garage right across the street and you get 90 minutes parking for free.

Anyway, back to the food. It was all really fresh and colorful and you can get anything from Asian, Indian, Italian, or Mexican. They even have a variety of burgers and sandwiches too!  We decided we would stick with Asian during this visit and try something else next time.

We started with the Summer Rolls. They were fresh and yummy. The perfect combo of veggies and protein (vegan ham and tofu) and the peanut sauce was just right. Nice and thick, not runny.

Then we had the Tom Yom Soup. It was delicious and had just the right amount of spicy kick. However, if you like it really spicy, then you may want to ask them to increase the heat or get some chili sauce on the side, but I loved it. We ordered a small which is the perfect size for two, but they also offer it in a larger bowl.

Next was the Avocado Salad. We were surprised to find that it was a nice blend of cucumber chunks, avocado chunks, a little red onion and BBQ “chicken” chunks. The “chicken” almost tasted like Gardein, but I don’t think that is what it was. It was really good though and the combination of flavors, textures, and the dressing was perfect; all really fresh too.

Our main dish was the Three Flavors and this was by far the prettiest dish. It had a really nice variety of veggies (pumpkin, eggplant, tofu, onions, sweet basil, bell peppers, and mushrooms) and the colors were really pretty. The sauce was to die for too and it all went together really well. This was probably one of their healthier dishes and it also comes with brown rice.

We were lucky that a couple of friends stopped in (who already had dinner, but had to come check out our new Pasadena Vegan Restaurant) and they decided to try out the Quesadilla. The Quesadilla was filled with peppers and eggplant. It may have even had some onion in there and they use Daiya Cheddar. It wasn’t huge, but perfect to start with and it comes with guacamole and pico de gallo on the side. It was good, but not as interesting to me as the other dishes we had; still great if you are craving a little quesadilla though.

We all really enjoyed the food and are looking forward to going back again and again. I love that they are in such a busy spot. Hopefully, Green Earth will get a lot of walk in traffic and show all the non-veggies how good vegan food really is.

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I am a huge fan of Purgatory Pizza’s vegan pizza.  If you haven’t see the blog on that check it out here.   I found out they now have vegan sandwiches as well.  I was thrilled and so I stopped by to try them and, just my luck, they were out of bread!  I ended up getting delicious pizza instead.  The guy working told me that they would have bread by the next day.  I didn’t get a chance to go back right away but 2 days later I tried again and they were STILL out of bread.  It’s not difficult to run to the store and get bread so this was a little ridiculous but I wasn’t giving up on eventually getting to try these elusive sandwiches.  Last night I called before I made the drive over to Purgatory and they actually had bread this time!  I ordered both the vegan grilled cheese, made with cheddar Daiya and tomato, and the vegan pesto chicken sandwich with Gardein chicken, spinach, tomato, mozzarella Daiya cheese, pesto, basil and vegenaise.  They also were able to make the sausage sandwich vegan for me even though it is listed as not vegan on their menu.  They use field roast sausage, mozzarella Daiya cheese, marinara sauce, onions & peppers.

The vegan grilled cheese was  first and I was not impressed.  Two normal slices of bread with a dab of cheese and they forgot the tomato.  Tasted fine but for $4.50 not worth it.  This one gets a 2 out of 10.  Grilled cheese is something super easy to make at home so if you offer it in a restaurant it needs to be different.

Vegan Grilled Cheese

Where's my tomato?!?!

Next I tried the field roast sausage sandwich which was much larger on a toasted french roll.  It is supposed to come with onions & peppers but the cook must have been forgetful that day because there was none on my sandwich.  Luckily I hate onions so I didn’t mind but I would have enjoyed the peppers.  There was an ample amount of “sausage” and the marinara sauce was great.  A perfect amount of Daiya cheese as well.  It was definitely messy to eat and the picture doesn’t really do it justice but I would give it an 8 out of 10.  Totally worth the $5.50.

Field Roast Sausage Vegan Sandwich

I definitely saved the best for last… the Gardein chicken pesto sandwich was amazing!!  It had all the ingredients promised on the menu and was also on a large french roll so it was very filling.  It cost $6.50.  I would give it a 10 out of 10.  Good job Purgatory!

Vegan Pesto Chicken Sandwich

If you decide to try any of these vegan sandwiches CALL BEFORE YOU GO!  If you can’t call and they are out of bread (which I was told happens often) you can always grab a pizza.

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If you’re near downtown Los Angeles you should stop by Purgatory Pizza.  They offer rustic handmade pizzas with plenty of vegan toppings and Daiya cheese.  You can get the usual veggies including green peppers, garlic, tomato, onion, olives, mushrooms and more.  They also have basil, pineapple, artichokes and sundried tomato.  Add some delicious Gardein Chicken or Field Roast Italian Sausage to one of your pizzas or try the Sundried Tomato Loaf (which I LOVE).  They make their pesto without parmesean cheese so it’s vegan friendly.

Last weekend I stopped by and picked up a simple pie with pesto, olives, green peppers and Daiya cheese which is pictured below.  I would have gotten a better picture had I not eaten half of the pizza in the car before I took it.  Needless to say Purgatory’s pizza is amazing!  And I was excited to see on their menu after I got home that they are now offering a Vegan Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Gardein chicken, pesto, vegenaise, tomato, spinach and basil on a french roll as well as a Vegan Grilled Cheese with Daiya cheddar and tomatoes on sourdough.  I’ll be stopping by some time this week to try them both (stay tuned for pics and reviews).

They have another sandwich listed, the Italian Sausage Sandwich, which is not offered as vegan but I imagine they would be willing to substitute the field roast sausage and daiya cheese.  It also has onions, bell peppers and marinara.

Take a look at their online menu for prices and a full list of toppings.  They deliver with a $10 minimum purchase.  Seating is available to eat inside but there are only a couple tables.  I’ve never been for lunch (only pickup around dinner time) but I imagine if they get busy it would be hard to eat inside.  But this pizza is good enough to eat standing up in a corner if you ask me!

 

Purgatory Pizza
1326 East 1st Street
Los Angeles 90033
Mon thru Friday 11:30am – 11pm
Sat thru Sun 12pm – 11pm
323 262 5310

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