Tag Archives: Los Angeles

With Gratitude

During a recent trip to California, I dined at Cafe Gratitude. Previously, I had only patronized their Bay Area locations.  So, I was grateful for the opportunity to enjoy some heart-healthy food at this organic vegan eatery in Los Angeles.

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I AM…sooooo glad that I wore my Madewell Afternoon Dress in bright cobalt.  In doing so, I was *ahem* prepared to enjoy an abundance of vegan creations from their affirmation-filled menu…

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I AM…COMPLETE.  I love fresh juices.  For me, this blend of kale, pineapple, celery, cucumber, lemon, and turmeric, was the perfect “sweet green.”  Aaaaah!!!

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I AM…PRESENT.  How could I refuse the bruschetta when my friend passed the plate?  I must admit that it was hard to eat just one.  However, I felt the need to pace myself during our feast.  There was more to come.  Le sigh…

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I AM…DAZZLING.  I’m still thinking about this simple, savory, and satisfying caesar salad; and plotting to re-create the magic at home.  Yum!!!

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I AM…BLISS.  You didn’t think I’d leave without having dessert, did you?!?!  I’m convinced that this dreamy raw chocolate cream pie is one of the best I’ve ever had.  In fact, my son and I stopped short of licking the plate.  More, please, and thank you!!!

Cafe Gratitude is located at 639 N. Larchmont Blvd in Los Angeles.

Try it.  I AM…sure that you will like it.

Have a wonderful week, with an attitude of gratitude!

XOXO

 

Real Food Daily

I go, you go, let’s go to WeHo!!!

Real Food Daily is my “organic vegan mother-ship.”  It’s like an oasis in an urban jungle, and usually my first stop upon arriving in LA.  In addition to the delicious meals that I have enjoyed there, I have over a decade of memories.  I’ve received compliments from celebrities about my children, mourned my father’s passing, been serenaded by the staff on my birthday, introduced friends and family to the restaurant, and so much more!  And, after many years of patronage, I finally met RFD Founder/CEO Ann Gentry, while vacationing in LA with my family this past year.  I did not hesitate to tell her, personally, how much RFD has meant to me.  As strange as it may seem, I think that it’s important to let others know how they have impacted my life.  Oftentimes, they are encouraged and deeply moved to hear that they’ve made such a difference, and it spurs them on to continue their work.  I am, and will always remain, an RFD fan.

I usually gravitate towards staple RFD menu items, such as The Club Sandwich and Faux-stess Cupcake.  However, exciting changes are made to the food roster on a seasonal basis.  Here are some highlights from lunch during my most recent visit to LA in April:

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Glow Juice and Caribbean Quesadillas, anyone???  YES, PLEASE!!!

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No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  That’s a gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Cupcake with strawberry butter cream frosting.  FABULOUS!!!

The West Hollywood location feels like home to me.  However, you can indulge your taste buds at any one of the Real Food Daily restaurants.  For more information, check here.

You down with RFD?

Veggie Grill

Vegan doesn’t have to be boring, and Veggie Grill serves up plant-based comfort food that is both delicious and budget-friendly.  When I was first introduced to this restaurant, a few years ago in Los Angeles, it was love at first bite…

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Honey, I’m HOME!!!  What’s for dinner???

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All Hail Kale Salad with Blackened Tempeh and a side of Mac-n-Cheese, that’s what!!!

Although I have tried other items on Veggie Grill’s extensive menu, the All Hail Kale Salad is my absolute favorite.  I love it so much that I searched far and wide for a recipe, so that I could “bring the party to my house.”  Fortunately for me, I am not alone in my addiction.  I found recipes here, here, and here.  And who couldn’t use another great salad recipe in their arsenal?!?!

The West Hollywood Veggie Grill holds a special place in my heart, so that’s where I get my “fix.”  That said, this casual contemporary eatery continues to expand.  For other locations check here.

Viva Veggie Grill and ALL HAIL KALE!

 

 

 

 

 

Crossroads Kitchen

Recently, I dined at Crossroads Kitchen for the first time during a visit to LA.  This gourmet vegan paradise was the perfect place for a birthday celebration for two vegan-lovin’ cousins.  In my opinion, it was much-needed and long-overdue.  LA has the “casual-vegan-dining-thing” down, so it’s nice to have a more upscale option.  Thank you, Chef/Owner Tal Ronnen!

Here, it’s as much about the experience, as it is about the food.  The atmosphere at Crossroads is beautiful.  Everyone on staff was warm, friendly, and engaging.  We were seated in a comfortable booth, at a candlelit table.  Once we made our selections from the menu, our server brought on the flavors, and we embarked on a gastronomic journey that we still talk about to this day.

Melrose Mule and Sunset & Vine "mocktails" at Crossroads.

Melrose Mule and Sunset & Vine “mocktails” at Crossroads.

For our drinks, we chose the Melrose Mule and the Sunset & Vine, and had them made as “mocktails.”  YES YOU CAN!  The Melrose Mule was light and refreshing, and the  Sunset & Vine was sweet and fruity.  Both drinks were delicious, and quickly disappeared.

Kale Salad and Asparagus Soup at Crossroads.

Kale Salad and Asparagus Soup at Crossroads.

Next, we enjoyed the Kale Salad and Asparagus Soup.  You can’t go wrong with kale, as far as we’re concerned.  And the Asparagus Soup was creamy and flavorful.

Artichoke Oysters, Kale Spanakopita, and Crab Cakes at Crossroads.

Artichoke Oysters, Kale Spanakopita, and Crab Cakes at Crossroads.

Artichoke Oysters, Kale Spanakopita, and Crab Cakes…OH MY!!!  The flavors were amazing, and the presentation was awesome!  And the placement of the Artichoke Oysters on a bed of sea salt, instead of ice, was really creative.  Made from hearts of palm, the Crab Cakes were well-seasoned and had great texture.

Grapefruit Salad and Scaloppini at Crossroads.

Grapefruit Salad and Scaloppini at Crossroads.

Then we ate Red Grapefruit Salad and “Chicken” Scaloppini with marsala-glazed morel mushrooms.  The Red Grapefruit Salad was a nice palate cleanser in between some of our courses.  The Scaloppini was tender, nicely spiced, the sauce was wonderful, and we devoured it.

Chocolate Bundt Cake and Cannoli at Crossroads.

Chocolate Bundt Cake and Cannoli at Crossroads.

For dessert, we had the Chocolate Bundt Cake and the Cannoli with candied kalamata olives and almond cream filling.  INCREDIBLE!  The cake was rich and delicious.  And the cannoli were mind-blowing, with the candied kalamata olives providing an unexpected twist.  Whaaat?!?!

Chef Tal graciously came over to our table, where we showered him with compliments about the great food and service, then listened as he explained his approach to gourmet vegan cuisine.  His goal is to inspire others (regardless of their dietary preferences) by offering them foods that are familiar to them, go together, pair well, are easy to eat, and enjoyable.  He has done just that, and we’ll be back!

See you at Crossroads

Location:  8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, California 90046

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