Monday, December 24, 2012

A Riveting Meal From Cafe Rivva

On a Wednesday afternoon, I decided to take advantage of a one day deal that I received from As I browsed on the list of participating restaurants on Seamless' website, I settled on a lovely Vegetarian cafe just blocks away from my house called Cafe Rivva. I had only tried the smoothies and ice cream and was excited to try their actual food. I was also anxious to find out how much the discount in the email was for, since it was a mystery that was revealed during checkout.

I settled on the Gluten-Free Vegan wrap ($10) and headed over to Cafe Rivva to pick up my meal. The discount ended up being 20% off, which gave me a good $2 off. I was also happy to discover that the meal came with a bottle of iced tea.

The wrap was delicious. The tortilla was a little too chewy, being that it was gluten-free, but had a nice taste. The quinoa burger inside was very savory and hearty. The special sauce coated the fresh, crispy vegetables well and was so scrumptious. It had a tangy flavor and was very creamy. The accompanying quinoa salad was also very good and had a wonderful citrusy vinaigrette.

I drank the iced tea to wash down the meal

It was very refreshing and had a lovely flavor. There was a subtle minty taste and it was cooling.

Overall, the meal was fantastic. I love that it was so healthy, yet the food was very flavorful. My only complaint was that the gluten-free tortilla was a little odd and I would have preferred the option to replace it with a regular tortilla. Nevertheless, the wrap was still very satisfying and I would definitely order it again. I cannot wait to return to Cafe Rivva again soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Veggie-rific meal from The Vegan Joint

A couple of weeks ago, I got some takeout from one of my favorite vegan Thai places, the Vegan Joint.  Apparently I'm not the only one who loves this restaurant, since the family owned establishment recently opened its third location in Hollywood. I ventured to the original location in West LA to pick up my delicious food. I used a $5 off coupon through that I received from referring a friend.

I first had the Pineapple Curry ($8) for dinner that night.

The curry was fantastic. It had a lovely coconut taste and was so rich and creamy with a mild spiciness. The pineapple pieces were sweet and luscious and the bell peppers provided a nice crunchiness.  The tofu was soft and crumbly, yet savory. The rice was well-cooked and absorbed the flavors of very well. 

The next day, I had the Garlic Chicken Wrap ($8) for lunch.

I wasn't a huge fan of the tortilla bread that was used, as the flavor was a little odd and the bread didn't hold together very well. However, the interior of the wrap was fantastic. The faux chicken was very juicy and meaty and coated in a creamy, garlic sauce. The vegetables were well-cooked and delicately seasoned. The avocado and tomatoes were very prominent, adding their own rich buttery and sweet flavors that contrasted the faux chicken.

Overall, the food was very good. I was able to make the food last for two meals, since each dish was quite filling. The ingredients tasted very fresh and seemed somewhat healthy with the strong presence of vegetables. The food came out to about $12 with the discount. I will definitely order from The Vegan Joint again soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Spectacular Meal At Sage Bistro

I recently ventured to Sage Bistro in Echo Park to dine with some friends during lunchtime. The hipster cafe was packed when we got there and there was a great energy on the cold, winter afternoon. I was excited to eat the amazing food. The special that day sounded very enticing and the waiters raved about it. I decided to give it a try and am so happy I did.

The tacos were fantastic. They were loaded with chewy kale, luscious sweet potatoes, succulent corn, and bitter broccolini. The well-cooked vegetable concoction was coated in a scrumptious chipotle cream sauce, which had a wonderfully smoky and nutty taste. The tortillas were nice and soft and absorbed the flavors of the tacos perfectly. The beans and rice that accompanied were well-seasoned and mildly spiced. They complimented the tacos beautifully. 

Overall, the meal was magnificent. The tacos were surprisingly very filling, so I opted not to order ice cream for dessert. With my Green Menu membership, I received a 10% off discount, which slightly reduced the price of the meal. The food at Sage is fairly reasonably priced, so it's great that they offer an extra discount that can be used anytime. I will definitely return again soon. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Lovely Meal At Leaf Organics

I recently dined at one of my favorite raw fusion restaurants, Leaf Organics in Culver City with a close friend. While I've had mixed experiences at this cafe, the establishment has done a complete one eighty through revamping both the decor and menu. The once stuffy and claustrophobic cafe is now sophisticated and vibrant, yet still retains a sense of coziness with the casual booth seating. The menu which previously consisted of boring uninspired dishes is now full of an eclectic mix of delicious ingredients.

I began the meal with the Mudslide Slim smoothie ($7).

This smoothie was fantastic. It was so creamy and decadent and had a wonderful banana flavor with a hint of dates. It was frothy and reminded me a lot of a milk shake. The drink was very refreshing and washed the meal down well.

My friend ordered a juice, which she really enjoyed and said complimented the food.

Next, I had the Vegan Lasagna ($11).

The lasagna was wonderful. There were layers of cooked vegetables coated in Italian seasonings. The tofu ricotta was very rich and had a wonderful nutty taste. The marinara was sweet with a subtle tangy flavor. There was a lovely topping of gooey Daiya cheese, which took the dish over the top.

Lastly, I had the Sloppy Jose in a baked sweet potato ($11).

This dish was amazing and the highlight of the meal. The perfectly cooked, succulent sweet potato was loaded with toppings. There was a magnificent cream sauce with had a slightly sour taste and chunks of buttery guacamole. The chili was very savory and meaty. The onions added a lovely bitterness that contrasted the sweet, juicy tomatoes.

Overall, the meal was phenomenal. Everything was so flavorful and the tastes lingered in my mouth hours later. The food was also very light and my body felt fantastic all night. We used a $25 gift certificate, so the meal only cost about $10 a person (with tax and tip). I will definitely return to Leaf again soon!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Not So Vibrant Meal At Veggie Grill

I recently dined at Veggie Grill with a complimentary entree card that I received from volunteering. From the moment I walked in, I could tell that something was not right that evening and the employees seemed to have no idea what they were doing. The girl who took my order still made me pay for part of the meal, despite that the card clearly stated the meal should have been free. I tried to argue with her, but realized my efforts were futile and I got nowhere. I then waited for quite a while for the food, which seemed odd, since the restaurant was nearly empty. After about twenty five minutes, an employee brought me the incorrect meal. I immediately corrected her and told her I ordered a salad, not a burger and it turned out my food had been sitting there getting cold. I was upset at the disregard of the employees for making this error and not even bothering to apologize for their mistake.

I started to eat the Baja Fiesta salad with Blackened Tempeh immediately, as I was so overcome by hunger.

I have had this salad many times before, but found this to be almost inedible. There was barely any dressing on it and the small amount they put was very lumpy. The vegetables did not taste very fresh and the avocado had a funky flavor. The tempeh also had an odd consistency and did not seem to be cooked well. If I weren't so hungry, I doubt I would have finished the salad. I thought about complaining to a manager, but didn't feel like dealing with the staff.

When I got home, I retreated to my computer and contacted Veggie Grill about my experience. I rarely deal with customer service unless my experience is that horrible. The Veggie Grill customer service is remarkable and contacted me promptly to handle the issue. I'm not sure if the service at the location is any better, but I am glad that there are people there that seem to care about my patronage. They were also very kind in sending me incentives to return. I am willing to give Veggie Grill another shot in hopes they really are trying to improve.