Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Bendy Deal At Mohawk Bend

I just discovered a lovely site called Blackboard Eats. I know this site has existed for quite a while and as a deal seeker, I am a little embarrassed to actually admit I just found out about it. Even better, their deal this week is for an amazing, vegan-friendly bar/restaurant in Echo Park called Mohawk Bend. For those who don't know, Blackboard Eats is similar to one of my other favorite sites, Scoutmob, in that you do not have to commit to the deal. You merely request a passcode, which is immediately sent to your email. The savings are not nearly as much as those on Scoutmob or other Groupon-like websites, but it's still a pretty good deal.

While I have never been to Mohawk Bend, I have heard their food is fantastic and they have a wide variety of vegan beers. Most of their menu is vegan or can be made vegan. The most enticing menu items are vegan pizzas and s'mores, although everything sounds delicious! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I heart this deal from Follow Your Heart

Follow Your Heart is offering another amazing deal this weekend only, for $10 for $20 worth of food and drink.

        50% off Food and Drink From Follow Your Heart

I have been to Follow Your Heart quite a few times and have enjoyed everything I have had there. My favorites are their soy milk shakes, french toast and burritos. The food is affordably priced, so the voucher goes pretty far. Unfortunately, the Canoga Park location is quite the trek for me, but definitely worth the drive. They also have an amazing supermarket filled with hard to find vegan items. I cannot wait to return and try more of their delicious menu items.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Detoxifying Deal

One of my favorite raw restaurants, Leaf Organics, is offering up a rawmazing deal. For just $85, you can get a full week's worth of delicious food and smoothies/juices (or for $59 you can get 3 days worth). 

While I've never had Leaf's box, I have dined at their restaurant several times and have really enjoyed their food. Everything there is so fresh tasting and wholesome, yet very flavorful. I would definitely recommend ordering the box, as it seems like a fantastic way to eat healthy food and detox your body. I have found raw boxes an easy way to lose a few extra pounds and my body always feels amazing and energized. I cannot wait to try the raw box and report about it. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Calm Dinner At Coral Tree Cafe

Coral Tree Cafe is the perfect place to spend a relaxing evening studying and people watching under the lush coral trees. The atmosphere is calming and tranquil, especially on warm summer nights. Even in the winter, there are heat lamps to enjoy the lovely ambiance. Google offers recently had a deal for $6 for $12 at Coral Tree. I headed over to the Brentwood location to enjoy some delicious food and coffee while getting some work done.

I began the meal with a small Banana Latte with Soy milk ($4.25).

The banana latte was a perfect treat and a lovely compliment to my meal. There was a sweet banana flavor with a hint of caramel taste. The coffee beans added a slight bitter contrast. The drink was very creamy with a touch of foam on top.

For dinner, I had the only vegan sandwich: the Veggie Wrap with Housemade Hummus ($10).

The wrap was very good. The bread was very soft, contrasting the crunchy vegetables. The hummus was smooth and creamy and had a wonderful tahini flavor. There was a slightly creamy dressing with a tangy, citrusy taste. The avocado pieces added a rich flavor and absorbed the hummus very well. There was a lovely salad accompanying the sandwich, coated in a sweet balsamic dressing.

Overall, the meal was very good. The food and beverages at Coral Tree Cafe are delicious, although the portions are a little small for the cost. Nevertheless, the ingredients are high quality and organic. I was a little frustrated that the soy milk cost 75 cents extra for my latte, since it discourages customers from eating healthier. I also was saddened that there are so few vegan options at a cafe that preaches healthy, organic food. With my google vouchers offer, the meal only cost about $9. I probably won't return to Coral Tree Cafe again unless they have another offer or expand their vegan options.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Familiar Feast At Desert Rose

On a chilly, rainy evening, my friend and I ventured to Desert Rose in Los Feliz. It was unfortunate that the weather was inclement, as we were unable to dine on the elegant patio. This was in fact the first time I had dined indoors, which was a completely different experience in itself. Nevertheless, the food was just as delicious as I remembered it to be.

First, some complimentary bread and olive oil were brought out. 

I LOVE free stuff, especially free, tasty food. The bread was halfway between focaccia bread and pita. It was thicker than pita, but crispier than focaccia. It was loaded with lovely spices, which worked very well with the mellow olive oil. 

Next, we had the Fire Roasted Vegetables ($7).

The "vegetables" was mostly thinly sliced zucchini pieces on a bed of arugula. There were a couple pieces of tomatoes and some toasted, crunchy bread. The balsamic glaze on the vegetables was delicious and had a slightly sweet, tangy flavor. The tomatoes were my favorite part, as they were so juicy, and I wish there were more of them.

Next, we had the Garlic Daiya Cheese Fries ($7).

These are the most amazing fries ever. They were perfectly salted and very crispy. They were delicately seasoned and had a fresh, garlicky flavor.  The daiya cheese was melted beautifully and added even more saltiness to the dish. 

Next, we had the BBQ Chicken Pizza ($18).

This pizza is my absolute favorite from the ones I've tried in the past. The pizza crust was very crispy and the bbq sauce was so sweet, with a slight tanginess. The chicken was slightly chewy and had a savory taste. The daiya cheese was melted with perfection and added a hint of saltiness. The basil pieces added a slight spice to the pizza and was a lovely contrast to the sweetness of the sauce. 

Lastly, we had a Daiya Cheese Calzone ($9).

By the time I tried the calzone, I was pretty stuffed. The calzone was very dense, despite being fairly small. The dough was so soft and fluffy, with a wonderful cheesiness inside. The accompanying tomato sauce was sweet with a hint of spice.

Overall, the meal was fabulous. As always, we ordered a ton of food and could barely move afterward. With the $20 for $40 groupon voucher that I used, the meal only cost $20 a person (which included tax, tip and non-alcoholic beverages). Desert Rose is on the expensive side, but they offer many discounts, from Groupon offers every few months to daily happy hours and Thursday facebook nights. I will definitely be back to take advantage of one of these offers. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Savory Lunch At Sattdown Jamaican Grill

A couple weeks ago, a friend and I dined at Sattdown Jamaican Grill, a lovely Jamaican restaurant in Studio City. Tucked away in a lonely strip mall, Sattdown is underrated and quite a gem. While they still need improvement in their vegan meat department, their sauces are very flavorful and they have an eclectic menu offering.

We began the meal with a Vegetable Patty ($3).

The patty was delicious and a cross between a spinach pie and hot pocket. The outside was a little doughy and flaky, while the inside was even softer and filled with a spinach mixture. It was lightly spiced.

Next, we steered away from the faux meats and opted for two tofu dishes. The first was Tropical Tofu ($10).

This was lovely. The sauce was very sweet and luscious and the vegetables were soft and delectable. The tofu was lightly fried and slightly chewy. This was our favorite dish of the two.

Next, we had the Jerk Tofu ($10).

This dish was spicier and had a bitter taste. The tofu was lovely and soft and chunky. The onions intensified the bitterness and added a slight crispiness. This dish was a great contrast to the tropical tofu as it had a more savory flavor.

Each dish was accompanied with steamed vegetables, rice and plantains.

The vegetables were lightly seasoned and slightly bitter. The plantains were soft, sweet and juicy. The rice and beans were also very flavorful and sopped up the sauces very well.

Lastly, we each had a piece of Vegan Cheesecake ($6).

The cheesecake is from Earth Cafe, one of the most amazing brands ever. It's so rich and creamy and has the most perfect texture. The nuts on top add a wonderful crunch. I love how the cheesecake is not too sweet and sugary.

Overall, the meal was fantastic. It was very filling and flavorful. With our $25 restaurant.com gift certificate, the meal only cost $11 per person (including tax and tip). I cannot wait to return and am hoping Sattdown will improve their faux meats to taste more realistic, as tofu dishes aren't as exciting. Nevertheless, it's still worth the visit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Celebrating Chinese New Year At Golden China

On Chinese New Year, my friend and I ventured to Golden China to celebrate by having a traditional Chinese feast, vegan style. With a $25 restaurant.com gift certificate in hand, we ordered a meal fit for a family of five.

First, we had the most amazing hot and sour soup ($6.55).

I cannot rave about this soup enough. The broth was mere perfection and was so tangy, with a savory beef flavor. The vegetables and tofu bits were so soft and delicate, they melted in my mouth as I slurped the soup down.

Next, we had the Egg Rolls ($5). This is apparently the only appetizer that is vegan, despite that on my last visit we were told the Fried Bean Curd was also vegan. Evidently, this was not true.

The egg rolls were not only gigantic (as all of the portions are at Golden China) but also very delicious. The outside was very flaky and crispy and the interior was filled with a lightly spiced, delectable vegetable mixture. The plum sauce was my favorite part, as it was so sweet and a lovely contrast to the spiciness of the rolls.

Next, we had the Kung Pao Chinese Cabbage ($9).

This was wonderful. The cabbage was soft and easy to chew and had a slightly bitter flavor. The sauce was fantastic was spicy with a subtle soy sauce flavor. The chili peppers intensified the heat.

Next, we had the Chicken With Hot Bean Sauce ($11).

This dish had fairly similar flavors as the kung pao cabbage dish, but was way spicier. The bean sauce was also more dominant and had a slightly tangy taste. The chicken was well-cooked and slightly chewy and the veggies added a slight crunch. Since I'm not a fan of mushrooms, I was a little grossed out by the amount of them in this dish.

Lastly, we had one of my favorites, Sweet and Sour "Chicken" ($11).

The soy chicken in this dish is a nice contrast to the other "chicken" dish we ordered, as the faux meat is more spongy. The vegetables are so soft and delectable and are generously coated in a sweet and tangy sauce. This sauce is one of my favorites as it has a fruity and citrusy flavor and is mildly spiced.

Overall, the meal was fantastic. Golden China was the best place we could have celebrated the Chinese New Year. The food is consistently good and the waiters are very friendly and attentive. With the discount, we each spent about $16 (including tax and tip). I cannot wait to return very soon!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Brand New Leaf

It's apparently been ages since I've last dined at Leaf, since on my last visit a couple of weeks ago, the place had completely transformed from a casual cafe to full service restaurant. The menu also included new options, from spaghetti and "meat balls" to ice cream sundaes. I was excited to be able to dine in their new space, which was both spacious and comfortable.

I first ordered the rawchos ($6.50).

As a huge fan of nachos, I can honestly say Leaf's version is one of my favorites. The chips are nice and crispy and loaded with toppings, from creamy guacamole to layers of creamy cashew cheese and luscious salsa. There is also a wonderful walnut parmesan cheese, which adds a wonderful saltiness to the dish.

Next, I had the Flying Falafel Burger on mango bread ($10).

This is my first time having this dish, and I fell in love upon first bite. The raw bun is soft with a subtle sweet flavor. The burger had a savory, meaty flavor made better by the creamy tahini sauce. The bean sprouts and lettuce added a lovely crunch. The accompanying salad was very good and had a slightly tangy taste. The beet relish was also very sweet with a hint of salt.

Lastly, for dessert, I had the Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake ($6). I had tried to order a scoop of ice cream, but sadly they were out for the night.

The cheesecake was mere perfection. Leaf's desserts are amazing and surprisingly very healthy. The cheesecake had a rich chocolate flavor and the raspberry sauce added a wonderful sweet and slightly bitter taste. The consistency was so soft and heavenly and melted in my mouth.

Overall, I really enjoyed the meal. I had way too much food and was beyond stuffed. With the $10 restaurant.com gift certificate I used, the meal cost about $18 (with tax and tip). Luckily, I had some food for the next day and felt satisfied. I cannot wait to return and am hoping they will have ice cream the next time I visit!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Nice Dinner From Nite Moon Cafe

While in Hollywood a couple weeks ago, I decided to be adventurous and try Nite Moon Cafe, a vegetarian cafe located inside a yoga studio. The cafe was fairly hidden and very small and intimate. Armed with a 50% off Scout Mob voucher, I decided to try one of their mouth-watering burgers. After much debate, I settled on the Tiki Masala Tempeh Burger ($11.50).

This burger was delicious. It had wonderful Indian seasonings and the savory tempeh patty was a lovely contrast to the sweet, luscious mango chutney. There was a slightly spicy sauce that made the burger even more flavorful. Accompanying the fabulous burger, was a leafy greens salad, with a slightly sweet and tangy vinaigrette.

This meal was very good and I regret not ordering more. Their desserts were very enticing, especially the cupcakes and whoopie pies. I am hoping to return soon to try more of their delicious food. With the Scout Mob voucher, the meal only cost $6.