Friday, November 22, 2013

An Eventful Meal At Evo Kitchen

Evo Kitchen is a delightful restaurant that serves up some of the best pizza I've ever had. The food is all organic and the vegetables are always very fresh. They have a great variety of vegan selections to choose from and everything I've eaten there has been delicious.

On my most recent dining venture there a couple months ago, I had a pretty subpar experience, which was a huge let down. The service was very slow and the waitress made a critical mistake of putting the order in as real cheese, despite my emphasizing twice that I have a dairy allergy. I would have expected a free dessert to make up for the fact that we had to wait another twenty minutes for the new pizza to be made, but she merely comped us with some watered down beverages. When our new pizza came, I was so ravenous that I gulfed it down very quickly.

The pizza we got was the large build your own with vegan chicken, avocado and caramelized onions.

The pizza was very scrumptious. The bread was crispy, the tomato sauce was sweet with a slight tartness, and the daiya cheese was perfectly melted. The soy chicken was very savory and meaty and had a wonderful seasoning. The avocado balanced out the soy chicken with its buttery, more mellow flavor. The caramelized onions were cooked to perfection and had a nice crunch.

Despite being in a rush, we opted for a dessert to end the meal. We had the Brownie with the Vegan Sorbet.

The brownie was so moist and very decadent. It had a strong chocolate flavor and was rich and heavenly. The taste lingered on my tongue for awhile after. The coconut sorbet was very creamy and also had a luscious buttery flavor. This was a great finale and almost redeemed the horrible service.

Overall, the food was good as usual but the service was definitely lacking, which was a bit surprising, since they seemed very attentive during my previous visits. I think this restaurant has a lot of potential to be really great and of course I would love them to add even more vegan options! I used a living social voucher for $10 for $20 worth of food and drink, which was a pretty significant discount and made the food more reasonably priced.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Fierce Meal At Follow Your Heart

On a hot summery afternoon, I ventured to Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park for a scrumptious lunch. The all-vegetarian restaurant was completely packed with a lone table waiting just for me. The menu was even bigger than it was my last visit, so I was excited that I had more options (although I was also a tad overwhelmed).

I started the meal off with a refreshing shake, which was a meal in itself. I opted for the Peanut Butter Shake made vegan ($6.50).

The shake was so decadent and had a rich peanut butter flavor. It was very thick and frothy and filling. It served as a dessert replacement in having the perfect amount of sweetness and a great accompaniment  with my entree by counteracting the saltiness of my meal.

For my entree, I had the Spanakopita ($14) made vegan.

This dish was amazing. The spanakopita was fantastic and had a flaky, crispy outer layer and a savory interior. The spinach and tofu feta concoction had a creamy texture and were generously coated in Mediterranean spices. It was so flavorful and melted in my mouth as I ate it.  On the downside, the rice was a little bland, however and could have used some seasoning and the salad was dry without any dressing. The onions were also very overpowering and I felt wasteful not being able to eat all of them, since my mouth was on fire. It is such a shame that such a delectable entree was accompanied with underwhelming sides.

Overall, I felt satisfied with the meal and found the tastes lingering on my tongue for quite awhile after. I would love to see Follow Your Heart improve the Spanakopita dish as it has such potential. I used a $20 voucher that I purchased for just $8 so the meal was very reasonably priced. Follow Your Heart had raised the prices of its dishes slightly since my last visit, but it is still well worth it. The food is delicious and the portions are quite large. I cannot wait to return again and wish they would add a second location on the West Side so I could visit more often!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Charismatic Meal At Crossroads Kitchen

During my dad's visit, we ventured to the luxurious, recently opened restaurant, Crossroads, to experience their magnificent food. The restaurant has had quite the buzz and has been lauded by many celebrities and food publications. Luckily, his visit coincided with Dine LA's bi-annual Restaurant Week, so we decided to take advantage of the special pre-fix menu.

For our first course, we had the Kale Salad and Pee Wee Potato Salad.

First we tried the Kale Salad.

The salad was fantastic. The kale was well massaged and had a light, citrusy vinaigrette. The currants added a lovely sweetness to contrast the tangy dressing, while the pine nuts were a nice touch. 

Next, we had the potato salad.

This salad was a little heavier than the kale salad, but was very hearty. The dressing was fabulous and very savory, with a slight bitterness. The potatoes and green beans were well cooked and easy to chew. I also enjoyed the crunchiness of the toasted pine nuts.

For our second course, we had the Spiced Chickpeas and the Wood Roasted Okra.

First, we had the Spiced Chickpeas.

These were fantastic. The chickpeas were soft and delectable and were coated with succulent roasted tomatoes and Mediterranean seasonings. The creamy garlic whip was heavenly and took the dish to a whole other level.

Next, we had the Wood Roasted Okra.

I've never been a fan of okra, due to its overwhelming bitterness. This okra was unlike any I have tasted before. Somehow the seasonings masked the okra's pungent taste and made it taste scrumptious. It had a savory flavor and had a wonderful crunchiness as if it had been deep-fried. The peppers added a lovely heat that lingered in my mouth, until the next course was brought out.

For our third course, we had the Ragu and Scallopini Piccata.

First we tried the Ragu.

This dish was very interesting. The eggplant stew was superb and I appreciated the contrasting sweet and bitter flavors of the tomatoes and kalamata olives. What made this dish so unique was the cottage cheese concoction on top, which added a wonderful nutty taste.

Next, we had the Scallopini Piccata.

I wasn't really sure what to make of this dish, but it was quite spectacular and perhaps one of the most memorable dishes of the night. The dish was purely concocted of vegetables and seemed to mimic meat almost perfectly. It was very tough and chewy and juicy. It was coated in a scrumptious gravy and had a slight tanginess. 

For our final course, we both had the Chocolate Ganache Tartlet. 

This was the perfect way to end the meal. The bite size pie was filled with a rich, decadent chocolate mousse and covered with perfectly crunchy popcorn glazed in a caramel coating. There was a slight saltiness to the dessert, which was a lovely contrast to the sugary flavors.

Overall, the meal was one of the best I've had in my life. The flavors were truly gourmet and the dishes were so inspired and unique. I appreciated that the chef used vegetables in such a creative way and limited the use of soy and gluten. The meal only cost $25 a person (not including tax and tip), which was a great deal considering how much food we were given and the quality. Ordering a la carte would have cost way more. I will definitely return to Crossroads again for an occasional splurge on scrumptious food.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Taco Tuesdays At Veggie Grill

Throughout the summer, Veggie Grill had a wonderful promotion on Tuesdays called Taco Tuesday. I ventured there a few times, since there are two Veggie Grills conveniently located to my house. I have had mixed feelings about Veggie Grill for quite some time now. I love that the food is reasonably priced (although I do think it could be more affordable) and the service is always very fast. On the other hand, the menu is uninspired and overuses Gardein products (although this is changing a bit) and the food is too greasy and heavy in sodium. Still, there are occasional times when my former omnivore comes out and desires the taste of faux meat. Luckily, this happened on a Tuesday, thus I headed to Veggie Grill in Westwood to satisfy the craving.

Since I wasn't super hungry at the time, I opted for an appetizer. I ordered my absolute favorite dish: nachos ($5).

While Veggie Grill's version is far from the best, it is still tasty and enjoyable. The chips were crunchy and the chili was very savory and hearty. The Daiya cheese was made into a creamy cheese sauce, yet retained its usual odd aftertaste. The guacamole and salsa made the dish, adding a wonderful spiciness to the nachos and balancing out the cooling "sour cream".

For just $1 more I added on the Steak Taco (which normally costs $3.50 a taco).

The taco was delectable. The faux meat was juicy and succulent. It was coated in a smoky sauce and had fantastic seasonings. The lettuce and tomatoes were crisp and crunchy and took on the flavors of the faux steak very well.

The meal at Veggie Grill was satisfying, yet left a lot to be desired. The nachos could have been more flavorful and a more innovative fake cheese could have been used (perhaps cashew cheese like Native Foods and Real Food Daily use). I also would have loved the dish to have had more seasonings. I did really enjoy the taco, however, and would definitely order that again. The meal was very inexpensive and came out to less than $7. I hope Veggie Grill does this promotion again soon.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Switching It Up At Sage Bistro

On a lovely summer night, I ventured to Echo Park to dine at one of my favorite restaurants: Sage Bistro. The food there is wonderful and so scrumptious. It is one of those places that is consistently good and they are always coming out with new items, so I never have to worry about getting bored with their selection. Since their menu is also vast, there are always plenty of options! They had just switched up their menu when I dined there, so I got to try a couple of new items.

I started the meal off with the Crispy Samosa Rolls ($8).

These were superb. They were a great fusion of spring rolls and samosas. The rolls were perfectly crispy on the outside and filled with a spiced potato and green pea concoction. I loved the mixture of Indian and Chinese seasonings. The sauces also were a fantastic compliment, especially the succulent mango aioli.

For my main dish, I ordered one of my favorites and fairly recent new addition to the menu: Butternut Squash Tacos ($12). 

These were very delicious. The kale was soft and well-massaged. It was coated in a creamy, savory cheese sauce that had a lovely chipotle flavor. The sweet, juicy butternut squash was a great contrast to the spicy sauce.

My mom had the Butternut Squash Ravioli ($14).

This was fantastic and totally not what I was expecting. The ravioli pieces were huge and were very thick. They were filled with a rich, luscious butternut cream filling. The sauteed kale was similar to that in my dish and was very easy to chew. The pesto sauce really took the dish over the top, adding a bitter, garlic flavor.

For dessert, we shared a small brownie sundae ($10).

This sundae was magnificent. Although the ice cream was not as creamy as I prefer, it was still very decadent. There was a great mixture of chocolate and coffee flavors from the ice cream and a wonderful salty caramel sauce to balance everything out. The chocolate chips were very crunchy and had a sweet taste.

Overall, the meal was excellent. Everything was so flavorful and I enjoyed the uniqueness of the menu items. Since I used my Green Menu card, I got a 10% off discount, which took a few dollars off the bill. I will definitely return to Sage again very soon and am excited that they will be opening soon in Culver City, which is way closer!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Steamy Meal At Sun Cafe

During my mom's visit to LA, we ventured to the steamy valley to dine at Sun Cafe in Studio City before seeing a musical. We were a little pressed for time, since we had a show to catch, but that didn't stop us from fully appreciating the scrumptious food Sun Cafe has to offer. 

We began the meal with two complimentary Lettuce Leaf Tacos, which I received by presenting my Green Menu card. These are normally valued at $2 a piece.

These tacos were fantastic and great to have during the hot summer in the valley. The lettuce was very crisp and absorbed the flavors of the taco very well. The "chorizo" was very juicy and meaty, while the avocado was soft and succulent. The cashew cheese added a lovely saltiness and was so creamy, while the basil ranch was very cooling and balanced out the spiciness the salsa and "chorizo". The pecan pieces were a nice touch and added an extra nutty flavor.

Next, our entrees were brought out. I had one of my favorites: Mac & Cheese ($14).

This is hands down one of the best macaroni and cheeses I've had in my life, vegan or not. As a former cheese addict, I appreciated the nutty, tangy flavor of the sauce, which had the perfect amount of creaminess to mimic the real thing. I was also surprised that this was gluten-free, using quinoa pasta as the base. This definitely had the soft, doughy texture of wheat pasta and no weird aftertaste that many gluten-free pastas typically have. The pecan cheese really took the dish over the top, adding a wonderful taste and texture to the dish. I also found the accompanying salad to be quite enjoyable. The lettuce tasted fresh and the bitterness was complimented by the subtly sweet, refreshing vinaigrette. 

My mom ordered the Cutlets & Sweet Potato Mash ($16) for her entree, which she really enjoyed. She gave me some to try.

This dish was superb. The seitan cutlets were tender and juicy and seemed like a close replica of steak. They were coated in a sweet and tangy orange sherry sauce. What was even better, was the balsamic glaze on top of the sauce, which added a slight tartness. The sweet potato mash was so heavenly. It was very light and airy and whipped to perfection. 

For dessert, we shared the Cookie Dough Cheesecake ($8).

The cheesecake was delicious and a great way to end the meal. It was very dense and had a rich chocolate flavor. It had a lovely combination of bitter and sweet tastes. I appreciated this, since I don't particularly enjoy desserts that are too artificially sweet. This in fact was more natural tasting than the desserts I typically have at restaurants.

Overall, the meal was fabulous. I enjoyed everything we had. I love that Sun Cafe takes traditional comfort food and puts a healthy spin on it. I never would have realized the seitan and mac and cheese were in fact good for me, since they definitely didn't taste it. While the meal was on the expensive side, it was very filling and worth the money. I appreciated getting the free lettuce tacos, which took a few dollars off the bill. I will definitely return to Sun Cafe in the future.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Sacred Meal At Shojin

It had been so long since I had eaten at Shojin (2 years!), so I was stoked to be able to dine there during my mom's visit to LA. We arrived just as they were opening and the well-dressed waitstaff smiled and greeted us as we opened the door to the quaint, sophisticated restaurant. As we took our seats on the large cozy pleather seats, the waitress unfolded the cloth napkins, placed it on our laps and put our purses in the bins below. The whole experience made me feel like royalty. A few moments later, the waitress returned to bring us a fizzy, fruity welcome drink and a complimentary appetizer.

This was scallions dressed in a lovely miso sauce. The bitterness of the green onions was enhanced by the saltiness of the miso sauce.

We began with the Osaka Ablaze ($14).

I am not much of a fan of brussel sprouts, so I was worried I wouldn't like this. The strong flavor of the ginger sauce and the various seasonings did a great job of disguising the brussel sprouts and I found that I barely noticed they were there. The sushi was so soft and had a slightly fishy flavor, which I actually enjoyed.

Next, we had the Pirates of the Crunchy ($14).

I have had my eye on this sushi roll since Shojin launched it last year and had been dying to try it. It was definitely worth the wait! This sushi was fantastic and truly was the standout of the meal. The tempeh was fried to perfection and seemed to mimic salmon really well. The corn flakes added a lovely crunch and a subtle sweetness. I normally detest mayo, but Shojin's homemade version was so creamy and scrumptious, I found myself licking the plate. I would order this dish again in a heartbeat. 

Finally, we had the Orange "Chicken" Seitan ($19).

This dish was delicious. The seitan had a wonderful chewy texture and was very meaty. The orange sauce had a spectacular balance of sweet and spicy. The vegetables were lightly seasoned and roasted, making them easy to chew. The tofu slabs were also very good and complimented the dish very well.

Overall, the food was amazing. Everything was tasty and had the perfect combination of seasonings and spices. I also love that the ingredients were all organic and macrobiotic, so I didn't feel weighed down by the food, as I typically do after eating Asian cuisine. The service was also impeccable. I appreciated that we were given some "freebies", ending with a complimentary cup of tea to end the meal. Since I am a subscriber to Shojin's e-newsletter, I received a coupon for a free sushi roll. The week we went it was a complimentary Osaka Ablaze roll, with the purchase of any entree. Thus we ended up saving $14, which was pretty significant. I cannot wait to return to Shojin again soon.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Creative Lunch At LA Vegan Crepe

For my mom's first meal during her visit to Los Angeles, we ventured to Beverly Hills to dine at the fairly new restaurant, LA Vegan Crepe. Despite that the cafe has been open since last December, this was my first time dining at the quaint establishment. The restaurant had such a relaxing atmosphere. When we arrived around noon, the place was nearly empty and the smell of freshly made pastries made my stomach growl. As we sat down, I looked over the menu and immediately settled on the crepe section. My mom and I opted to both get savory crepes for our meal and split a sweet crepe for dessert.

For my entree, I ordered the Savoyarde Crepe ($14).

This crepe was very delicious. The outside was soft and easy to chew. The inside was fantastic and the thin crepe absorbed the flavors so well. The meaty soy sausage worked perfectly with the hearty potato slices. The cheese mixture enhanced the saltiness of the soy sausage and helped bring out the flavors. The white wine sauce took the crepe over the top and had a great balance of bitterness and sweetness. The seasonings were fantastic and lingered in my mouth until dessert came. The accompanying salad was very good, although there were too many mushrooms. The salad was slightly creamy, but very light and refreshing.

My mom ordered the  Veggie Lover's Crepe ($12).

I got to try some of this crepe and it was fantastic. It was very simple in comparison to mine and the focus was more on the crisp vegetables. I enjoyed the melty Daiya cheese and the wonderful seasonings used.

For dessert, we had the Banana Chocolate Crepe ($8.50).

This crepe was not what I expected, but still very good. The waiter explained to us that the chocolate used had a bitter flavor and was unlike Nutella, which is traditionally used in crepes. I still enjoyed the crepe despite that it was not as sweet as I would have liked. The chocolate still had a rich flavor and the bananas added a natural sweetness. The crepe itself had a slight sugary taste. The ice cream made the dish even better, adding its own creaminess and heavenly taste.

Overall, the food was very good. It was a little on the expensive side, but considering that the food is completely vegan and it seems like they use organic ingredients, the food is definitely worth the price. Even better, I used my Green Menu card for a 10% off discount, which saved us a few dollars. I will definitely be back soon to try more of their lovely crepes. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Real Food Daily!

Last month, my friends and I ventured to Real Food Daily for a delicious dinner. Their birthday celebration consisted of sampling some yummy juice concoctions along with the option of ordering from their original 1993 menu. We were delighted to scan over this special menu and find that the options twenty years ago were way different than those today. It's exciting to see this progression occurring and even more motivating to imagine how much improvement will happen in the next few years. While the original menu was a bit limited, I still was able to make a wonderful choice: The Real Food Meal. Today, this meal values at $15, but on the original menu it was only $7.50.

This entree was fantastic. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy and lightly seasoned. The rice and beans had a savory flavor. The best part of the meal was the creamy house dressing, which was a lovely miso tahini dressing. It had such a rich taste and really brought out the sweet and savory flavors of the various vegetables. The seaweed and greens especially added a wonderful bitterness that was greatly enhanced by the fabulous dressing.

For dessert, the owner brought us a complimentary piece of birthday cake, which despite being cold from the refrigerator, it still tasted heavenly. The cake was so moist and decadent and the sweetness lingered in my mouth for hours after.

Overall, the meal was superb, as is every meal I eat at Real Food Daily. I was so happy to be able to eat this great meal for half off. It was so filling and tasty, yet was healthy and invigorating. I highly recommend dining at Real Food Daily, and while their food is normally a bit pricy, it is definitely worth the splurge.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Shining Meal At Sublime

During my recent trip to Florida, I ventured to Fort Lauderdale to dine at one of my favorite restaurants, Sublime. This restaurant is truly unique, with a picturesque waterfall in the restaurant and classy ambiance. It lacks the traditional hipster vibe that so many Vegan restaurants have. I also feel great about dining at the restaurant since the food is not only 100% Vegan, but the proceeds benefit the restaurant's Foundation, which spays and neuters dogs and cats. 

We began the meal with a must-have: the Frito Misto ($11).

This dish was fantastic, as usual. The cauliflower was perfectly deep-fried and crispy and coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. The sesame and poppy seeds added a slight crunchiness, while the green onions added a lovely bitterness.

Next, I had my entree, the Reef Tacos ($15).

These were delicious. The tofu was coated in a wonderful crunchy batter and had a "fishy" flavor.  The slaw was very creamy and crisp. It had a superb saltiness to it, which contributed to the seafood taste. The rice and beans were very hearty and were well-seasoned. 

I tried some of my grandma's dish: the Thai Red Curry ($15). 

This dish was also very good. It was quite spicy and the red curry taste was very strong. The sauce was fairly creamy and had a slight coconut taste. The tofu and vegetables were perfectly grilled and was easy to chew. 

My grandma's friend had the Mushroom Risotto Cake ($16), which she also let me try.

As a mushroom loather, I was a bit nervous to try this dish. But I have to admit I was surprised that I actually liked it. The risotto was very creamy and had a rich flavor. It had a slight tanginess and the mushrooms had a meaty texture. 

For dessert, we all shared the Chocolate Nirvana ($9). Since everyone else was full, I ended up eating the majority of it. 

The cake was fabulous. It was moist and had a rich, chocolate flavor. The butter creme was light and heavenly and a great contrast to the more dense cake layer. The chocolate ganache was a superb finish, making the cake even more decadent. 

Overall, the meal was very good. Everything we had was very tasty and it felt great supporting such an amazing restaurant. During Black Friday, I had ordered a few $50 Sublime gift cards for $25 each, which made the meal half price. Regardless, the food was so wonderful and flavorful, I would have paid full price for it. I cannot wait to return again on my next trip. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Distinguished Dinner At Darbster

On my recent trip to West Palm Beach, Florida, I dined at one of the few vegan restaurants in the area, Darbster. Since the food and ambiance are so fantastic, I actually dined there three times. The first occasion occurred on a stormy night. My grandma was reluctant to go, but the weather did not deter me from venturing there. When we got there, the rain had nearly stopped and there was a slight wait in the cool dining room.

Since we had eaten a late lunch, we decided not to order an appetizer. For my entree, I had the Tacos ($13).

The tacos were spectacular. They were filled with juicy tempeh slices, succulent tomato, buttery avocado, and slightly melty daiya cheese. The only think that would have made this better would be a nutty cashew cheese. The tempeh really stole the dish and had a wonderful assortment of spices and seasonings. The rice and beans made a great accompaniment and was very hearty.

My grandma ordered the Quinoa Loaf ($15).

This dish was very innovative and tasty. It was very meaty, yet was not heavy at all. The mixture of quinoa and vegetables had a lovely nutty flavor. The mashed potatoes had a creamy consistency and was well-seasoned. The gravy took the dish over the top, along with the tangy balsamic glaze. The fried onions on top were a nice touch and added a crunchiness to the dish.

Lastly, we had the Peanut Butter Ganache Cake ($8).

The cake was fantastic. It had layers of moist peanut butter cake, creamy frosting, and rich chocolate mousse. The culmination of the layers was very decadent. I liked that the cake was not too sweet. The chocolate syrup and berries were a superb addition and enhanced the already perfect cake.

Overall, the meal was very good. The food was a little pricy, but we did have a coupon that I received from Darbster's e-newsletter. With the coupon, we got the cake for free, which took $8 off the bill. Everything we had was tasty, yet fairly healthy. I felt really good after eating the meal and ready to take on the windy, humid weather.

Friday, June 14, 2013

An Exquisite Meal At Evo Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured to Hollywood to dine at Evo Kitchen, a lovely restaurant which was formerly the beloved pizza chain, Pizza Fusion. The day I dined there it was hot outside, yet the restaurant was cool and refreshing. The waiter was attentive and noticed I was overheated from the short walk over from my car and brought me water almost immediately. I was happy to sit in the cozy restaurant and relax for a bit on the lethargic day.

For an appetizer, I got the Raw Veggies with Fig & Hummus Tapenade Platter ($7).

This was delectable. The vegetables were very crisp and fresh and took on the flavors of the dips very well. The fig tapenade was sweet and succulent, while the hummus was creamy with a slightly bitter tahini flavor. The portion was very good and filling.

For my main dish, I got the personal size BBQ Chicken made Vegan pizza ($10.50).

This pizza was fantastic. The BBQ sauce had a lovely sweet flavor, with a subtle smoky taste. The faux chicken was slightly chewy and very meaty. It absorbed the sauce perfectly. The red onions added a slightly sweet and bitter flavor, which was enhanced by the green onions. The Daiya mozzarella cheese was melted very well and was not too oily.

To finish off the meal, I had the Vegan Coconut Sorbet ($4).

I'm usually not a fan of sorbet, but I loved this concoction. The sorbet was very creamy and resembled ice cream more than the typical icy sorbet. The coconut flavor was very prominent, but did not taste artificial at all. The sorbet had a lovely sweetness, but was not too decadent. It was light and refreshing on the warm pre-Summer day.

I really enjoyed my meal at Evo Kitchen and loved the atmosphere. It wasn't too noisy and would make for the perfect place to get work done or just take a break from a busy day. Everything was very tasty and did not leave me feeling heavy. Since I had a $12 for $24 Living Social voucher, the meal was very reasonably priced, at about $15 total. I will definitely return to Evo Kitchen soon and hope they have another deal.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Vivacious Brunch at Veggie Galaxy

On my recent trip to Boston, I dined at one of my favorite Vegetarian diners, Veggie Galaxy. The fun and futuristic vibe of the restaurant went hand in hand with the decadent food they served. My dad decided to order something sweet, while I ordered a savory dish. This may seem odd, but the dishes really complemented one another and left my mouth full of an array of flavors.

My dad ordered the Silver Dollar Pancakes with mixed berries & whipped cream ($8).

The pancakes were fantastic. They were light and fluffy and not too sweet. They had a lovely buttermilk flavor, despite that they lacked dairy. The mixed berries added a slight, natural sweetness while the coconut whipped cream was airy and had a subtle tartness.

For my dish, I had the "Road Not Taken", a build your own omelette. For my fillings, I opted for roasted tomato, seitan chorizo, and the housemade vegan cheese ($8.50). The "egg" was made vegan by using a tofu egg.

I loved the omelette. It didn't taste exactly like it's non-vegan counterpart in that it lacked the "eggy" sulfuric taste, but I preferred it that way. Instead, it had more of a chickpea flavor, which I attributed to the use of garbanzo flour, which I am sure they used. It was also very light and had a similar consistency to a pancake. The fillings were fantastic. The tomato was sweet and oily and was a great contrast to the savory, slightly spicy seitan chorizo. The housemade vegan cheese was almost an exact replica of dairy cheddar and retained a similar salty flavor and was so creamy and luscious. The omelette was accompanied by a crispy piece of toasted bread coated in vegan butter and home fries that were cooked and seasoned to perfection.

Overall, the food was fantastic. Everything was tasty and made me feel nostalgic for the diner food I grew up with. Nevertheless, this was such an improvement from the grease and cholesterol laden food that made my stomach feel ill after eating. I was so happy to enjoy such delicious food and feel uplifted afterward. We used a $10 for $20 Groupon voucher that significantly reduced the cost of our meal (we also both ordered drinks). I cannot wait to return to Veggie Galaxy on my next visit to Boston.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Vegan Frappy Hour Week

This week, Starbucks is having their much anticipated, much loved Frappy Hour! As long as I can remember, I have been addicted to the decadent coffee flavored milk shakes, so I am excited that I can continue to enjoy them all week as a vegan for half the price (from 3-5 pm).

I have already gone once so far and ordered the soy mocha frapp. While the frappuccino was perfectly frothy, chocolaty and decadent, I do have a few complaints. First, the soy milk is no longer complimentary, although with the deal it is 30 cents, rather than the standard 60 cents. Secondly, despite that I didn't get any whipped cream (sadly there's no vegan whipped cream option), the barista still did not fill up the drink to the top. This made me feel a little ripped off, since the cup is already so small. Nevertheless, I will still be back to get the caramel frapp and coffee frapp.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

An Earthy Deal At Veggie Grill

For the next few days, Veggie Grill is offering a fantastic deal to encourage patrons to be more eco-friendly. Of course eating a vegan meal is already the most eco-friendly thing a person can do, but since ALL of our actions are important, it's great that Veggie Grill is rewarding customers who are strive to help the environment through riding a bike or taking public transportation. All you have to do is bring your helmet or show your bus receipt to get a free meal. The deal is that if you purchase a meal, you'll get a voucher for a future entree. Make sure you read the fine print, though, since the entree card expires in a month.

I went yesterday with some friends to take advantage of the deal by bringing in a bicycle helmet and presenting it to the cashier. I ordered a baja fiesta salad which was quite tasty with the succulent papaya and buttery avocado slices. I still find the vinaigrette to be a little too sweet, though. I cannot wait to return again with my free entree card. If you haven't gone yet, you have until Monday to bike or bus yourself to one of their locations. I find it odd that walking doesn't count, since that doesn't cause any CO2 emissions, but I guess it's harder to prove that you walked there, unless you present the scuff marks on your sneakers. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Lingering Meal At Leaf Organics

On a lovely March evening, my friends and I had a delicious meal at Leaf Organics. This wonderful raw/cooked vegan fusion cafe had plenty of options for our growling stomachs and left us feeling pleased.

We began the meal with one of my favorites: Rawchos ($6).

These were even better than usual. I'm not sure if they revamped the recipe, but the appetizer was so flavorful and had the perfect amount of spices. I loved the variety of cheeses, from the smooth cashew "queso" to the the almond, nutty parmesan. I normally loathe sour cream, but Leaf's version is very light and doesn't have an overpowering sour taste. The chips were perfectly crunchy and the beets on top added a lovely sweet touch.

Next, our entrees came out. I had the Shanti in a baked sweet potato ($11).

This dish was fantastic. I loved the mixture of saag and chana masala, as both had wonderful Indian spices and seasonings. The chickpeas and spinach were soft and easy to chew. The cashew sour kreme was a nice touch and balanced out the spiciness of the curries with its cooling taste. The baked potato absorbed the flavors perfectly and was sweet and succulent.

One of my friends got the Sloppy Jose in a baked sweet potato ($11).

This was also very delicious. The chili was fantastic and so savory. The beans and corn concoction was  very juicy and had a meaty taste. The cashew sour kreme and pico de gallo enhanced the flavors of the dish. Similar to my dish, the sweet potato added a lovely sweetness and balanced out the spices very well.

Lastly, I tried my other friend's dish: Thai Simmer over quinoa ($11).

This was equally fabulous and enjoyable to eat. The grilled vegetables were soft and delectable and covered in a smooth, rich sauce that had a wonderful coconut flavor. The quinoa absorbed the flavors of the sauce well and provided its own nutty taste. The cashew kreme cheese took the dish over the top added a slight sweetness and enhancing the nuttiness of the quinoa.

Unfortunately, we were too full for dessert and the restaurant was about to close when we finished. Despite the lack of dessert, the meal was still fantastic and so tasty. Since we used a $25 gift certificate, the meal was about $20 total for the three of us. I cannot wait to return to Leaf again soon and order more of their delicious food.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Sweet Meal At Sage Vegan Bistro

On a lovely evening after spending the day with my friend at the Griffith Observatory, we headed over to Sage Vegan Bistro to enjoy a delicious meal. I love how the food is eloquently presented and has sophisticated flavors, yet the atmosphere is so contradictory with a laid back, hipster vibe. It was a little noisy, since the restaurant was packed, but my friend and I were still able to catch up over a wonderful meal.

For my entree, I ordered the Gluten-Free Vermicelli Bowl ($13).

I honestly had no idea what to expect from this dish, but I found it to be very good. The grilled tofu battered with a fantastic sesame ginger sauce was spectacular. It seemed like the perfect replacement for salmon (which I used to love prior to going Vegetarian). The kimchi added a wonderful bitterness, while the juicy mandarins and succulent pomegranate seeds were a great contrast, adding a subtle sweetness to the dish. The kale was well massaged and the cucumbers were nice and crispy.

For dessert, I had a waffle sandwich ($7).

This was spectacular and everything I would expect from a waffle sandwich and more. The waffle was so soft and buttery with a slight crispiness. The ice cream had a lovely chocolatey coffee mixture and was not too sweet. It was a little too icy in spots, but still very enjoyable. The maple syrup took the sandwich over the top and made it taste so heavenly. Eating this dessert made me feel like I was floating on clouds for the rest of the night.

Overall, the meal was fabulous. Everything was so tasty, but not too indulgent that I would feel disgusting afterwards. We used a 30% off coupon from Blackboard Eats, which significantly reduced the cost of the meal. It ended up being about $17 (with tax and tip) per person. I cannot wait to return to Sage soon.