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
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 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.
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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
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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