Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

by CHLOE Brings Vegan Comforts to Boston Seaport

by CHLOE, a New York-based casual vegan restaurant, finally opened a location in Boston. The first Boston location is in the Seaport district while a second store in Fenway is on the way. I attended their opening preview, sampling a lot of vegan dishes and desserts. I am surprised to say, I really enjoyed these vegan dishes! And you should all know I'm a carnivore by now.

They have pastas and salads, of course, but also other classic comfort food items that somehow tasted really good even as a vegan version.
by CHLOE
For example, the "mac n cheese". The "cheese" is a sweet potato cashew vegan cheese, and the mac n cheese was topped with crispy shiitake "bacon"
by CHLOE
The Guac Burger is quite popular, and I can see. It's made with a black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty and topped with corn salsa, guacamole, onion, tortilla strips, chipotle aioli on a whole grain bun. It was very flavorful!
by CHLOE
by CHLOE location in Seaport also has Boston-only specials, like the "lobster roll".

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Erven Gives Los Angeles Its Best New Vegan Restaurant

I've always enjoyed Chef Nick Erven's cooking from his previous restaurant, the now-shuttered Saint Martha. I wasn't expecting him to open a vegan restaurant in Santa Monica, but I looked forward to it just the same, especially after hearing all the glowing reviews!

Erven is divided into two parts: the Marketplace side which serves sandwiches, cookies, juices, and such. Then there's the dining room which is open for a casual lunch, but the highlight is of course, the dinner service (although the vegan sandwiches are also great).

We started with a bowl complimentary fried chickpeas - the amuse bouche seems to rotate based on the other reviews.
Erven
The savory portion of the dinner menu is divided into "Snackables", "Shareables", and "Principles".
We tried a couple of the snacks including the Black garlic chickpea fritters with yuzu and Aleppo pepper ($5)
Erven
The chickpea fritter is a good way to start and gives you an idea of Chef Erven's cooking.

Purple sweet potato rice roll with avocado and Korean chili ($5)
Erven
Vegan kimbap, anyone?

From the Shareables section: Tiny Beets with avocado mousse, curry-almond streusel, and cilantro ($12)
Erven
The beets weren't really "tiny" but regardless this was a wonderful and interesting take on beets, with the crispiness of the streusel, combined with avocado mousse.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Healthy Dining at Freshii (Boston, MA)

When you eat out as much as I do, and eat as much unhealthy stuff as I do, a dinner filled with salads and healthy options is a welcomed change. A couple weeks ago that change came in the form of a blogger dinner at Freshii in Back Bay.
Freshii
Freshii is a fast food franchise out of Canada that focuses on fresh, healthy items like salads, wraps, juices and such. They have multiple locations in Boston including one on Dartmouth St in Back Bay.

We tasted samples of quite a few things during dinner including the popular Metaboost Salad (field greens, spinach, kale, mangos, carrots, edamame, almonds, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette)
Freshii

Monday, October 26, 2015

Amsterdam Falafelshop, a Cheap and Quick Lunch in Fenway-Kenmore (Boston, MA)

Boston University students are lucky to have Amsterdam Falafelshop close to them in the Fenway Kenmore area. This place is perfect for a quick, cheap, and satisfying lunch (or dinner).
The menu is simple: you get falafels either in a pita or in a bowl, either small or large. There's also fries. But after you order you can go crazy with the toppings.

Amsterdam Falafelshop

Amsterdam Falafelshop has an impressive topping bar with hummus, garlic sauce, fried eggplant, various salads, sauces, and all kinds of other goodies to bury your falafel under! If you order a pita, you can fill it with as much topping as you desire/ can fit in. If you order a bowl, then you pay by weight.
Amsterdam Falafelshop

A small pita with 3 falafels is $6, and if you're good with fitting in your toppings you'll already get a filling sandwich. That's why this place is great for students (and postdocs like me)!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Brunch at Myers and Chang (Boston, MA)

Myers + Chang is one of the most popular restaurants in Boston, with Joanne Chang's Asian-inspired small plates. I finally made it there for brunch with a group of friends. Since there was a vegetarian mong us, we ordered the Wok-roasted wild mushroom omelet ($7)

Myers and Chang
This was a great breakfast dish, so savory and satisfying.

We also got two different dumplings: Mama Chang's Pork and Chive ($6) and edamame wasabi ($6)
Myers and Chang

Surprisingly, I actually liked the vegetarian edamame gyozas better. The pork dumplings were good but the edamame wasabi is more special and unique. Just like the mushroom omelet earlier, I enjoyed the vegetarian dishes here quite a bit.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Healthy Food that Surprises at Stamp Proper Foods in Los Feliz

If you're looking for healthier food that isn't boring, try Stamp Proper Foods that's recently opened in Los Feliz. Owner and Chef Catherine Baker was a model for 20 years before opening Stamp Proper with partner David Beckwith. Said partner is actually also Catherine's fiance, who apparently had lost a lot of weight since they started dating and loved the food so much he thinks she should open a restaurant.

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Sure, as with healthy restaurants, there are lentils, gluten free baked goods, smoothies/juices, and all that. But what I like about Stamp Proper Foods is Catherine's twists on all of these.

For breakfast, I really enjoyed the Moroccan Lentils and Eggs (lentils, sauteed spinach, poached eggs, date chutney, toasted almonds, currants, and grilled lemon - $14)
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It's the little things she added that impressed, like the crunch from the toasted almonds, and the sweetness of the chutney and currants.

Sandwich options included Bison meatloaf sandwich, with sharp cheddar, spicy ketchup on sourdough ($14, choice of house-made slaw or mixed greens)
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As you can see, this isn't a vegetarian restaurant, but they opt for the leaner meats.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fred 62: Beyond a 24 Hour Diner

The list you always need to remember is the list of late night eateries. Better yet, 24 hour ones! If you're in Los Feliz and looking for a late night diner, look no further than Fred 62, which is open 24 hours and serves much better and much more interesting food than your typical diners.

You can even get something healthier and lighter like this Asian inspired noodle soup dubbed "Noo Deli" ($9): vermicelli noodles, "Thai town vegetables", spicy lemongrass broth, sriracha, peanuts, hoisin sauce, cilantro, green onion

Although I'm usually skeptical about ordering something like this at a diner, the manager told us this is what he eats all the time, so we tried it. Indeed, it was a very comforting, if a little spicy, bowl of noodle soup with fresh vegetables and tons of great flavors.

Not all of Fred 62's menu is available 24 hours but lucky for you, the Noo Deli is. Fred 62's version of Farm to Table is a play of TV dinners, with menu items called The Partridge Family, The Lisa Simpson, etc. The TV dinners are available from 5-10pm daily.

I got the Lisa Simpson ($13), which is naturally vegetarian: tajine tofu scramble, Moroccan tomato sauce, chickpea fritters, green olive tapenade, couscous
This is another healthy alternative and we couldn't get enough of the chickpea fritters!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Vegan Sunday Suppers and Carnivorous Comforts at Willie Jane (Venice, CA)

Los Angeles vegans rejoice, Willie Jane has started a 3-course Meatless Sunday Suppers for $26 pp. Chef Govind Armstrong does have vegetables and herbs growing at the urban farm next door, Cook's Garden, so you can imagine how delicious and fresh his vegetables will be.

I tried out the vegan supper one night, and dinner started with a Hearts of Palm and Vegetable "Crab" Cake, miso remoulade, edamame hummus

Vegan "Crab" Cake

This was vegan? Chef Armstrong got the flavors and textures of crab cakes right on point with the hearts of palm. I couldn't even tell it was vegan, and it was in fact better than most crab cakes I've had!

Many people love Govind Armstrong's shrimp and grits. At least for the entree, you can try his grits. The entree is a plate of Anson Mills grits with romanesco cauliflower, "chorizo" aioli, cabbage chip
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It's hearty full of flavor - you won't be missing the meat with the mushrooms around in this dish.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Top 12 Bakeries and Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in LA

Foodie.com has asked me to curate even more "collections" of my favorite places in LA, and I decided to create 4 more lists! Here are two of them:

I have a sweet tooth so I asked if I can create one with bakeries! Here are my 12 favorite bakeries in the Los Angeles area, from where to get cakes to baguettes to cream puffs.


I'm not a vegetarian but I do like to eat healthy sometimes, especially after a week of indulgent meals. Here are my top 12 vegetarian-friendly restaurants - some of which are vegetarian or vegan, some of which are not but simply serve amazing vegetarian dishes.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Healthy Vegan Cuisine at Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe (Downtown LA)

Being a food blogger is hazardous, so a healthy, vegan dinner is a welcome change once in a while. Recently this came to me with a preview dinner at the new Dr J's Vibrant Cafe in downtown LA.

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Dr J The owner of Dr J's is the young man in the picture who opened this cafe to honor his mother and her cooking. His mother is the cute little woman next to him. Story was that he got really sick after attending college and was supposed to go on life long medication, but his mother, Dr. J, told him to try eating her pure, clean eating lifestyle before going on the medication. As you can guess, he got better and no longer needed his medication. Now he wants to spread this lifestyle by opening the cafe.

What I liked about Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe is that the food is not only vegan but actually healthy - as in low sodium, low sugar etc. Some vegan or vegetarian places around didn't actually seem that healthy to me because they tend to be overly salty to make up for the lack of meat or dairy. The food here, like the kale salad, quinoa spring salad, or brown rice medley, tasted healthy but still has enough flavor (the rice noodle one was still a bit bland to me)
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Of the ones I tried, I really liked the brown rice medley (with peas, onions, carrots, and tofu) and the Curried Potatoes with carrots, green beans, and peas.
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Neal Fraser Serves Up Gourmet Hot Dogs at Fritzi Dog (The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles)

I usually shy away from the processed meat that is hot dog, but Chef Neal Fraser (BLD) changed my perception with his gourmet hot dogs at Fritzi Dog, all made with humanely-raised, organic meat. There's a dog for everyone at this stand inside The Original Farmers Market.

You can build your own by choosing one of the many options: Porker Dog (pork with French spices and curry), Deli Dog (classic Kosher style all beef dog), Bird Dog (turkey and duck with mesquite), Stadium Dog (smoky pork and beef), Cali Dog (beef, pork, spicy Merguez and Chilean Merken), and for the vegetarians there's the Carrot Dog. You can get the original bun or switch it up with the pretzel bun, and they have something for the gluten-free folks, too.
Overwhelmed by the choice of toppings? Try one of the signature creations. Most of the dogs are $6.25 or $8.95 as a combo with fries or tots. There are a couple of special ones that cost more.

The signature dogs include fun flavors like the Tokyo Dog (Porker Dog, wasabi aioli, peas, Sriracha ketchup, nori )
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Finishing touches like the crispy pea crumbles make Neal Fraser's hot dogs extra special. The dogs are all great, with a nice snap to them, but if I have to pick a favorite it might be the Cali Dog!

My favorite signature dog was the Garlic Dog (Cali dog on pretzel bun, garlic aioli, crispy onions)
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One big reason is probably because I love garlic! But I also love the slightly chewier pretzel bun and the flavors of the Cali dog.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dine LA Menu Preview: Loteria Grill, Summer 2013

Mark your calendars for this summer's Dine LA Restaurant Week on July 15-26. To help you decide where to go, here's a preview of Loteria Grill's Restaurant Week dinner menu, available at their Studio City, Santa Monica, and Hollywood locations.

The Loteria Grill menu is $35 for 3 courses and there are three choices for appetizers:
Huarache Azul de Medallon de Res (blue corn masa oval disk with black beans, grilled beef medallion, roasted tomatillo and Poblano salsa, queso anejo, cilantro, onion)

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Cuarteto de Sopecitos de Camaron (four mini shrimp sopes, two with Morita salsa, two with salsa verde cruda, black beans, avocado, crema Mexicana)
Mini Sopes
I really liked the sopecitos and we argued which salsa we liked better. The morita is creamier while the salsa verde had a fresher taste.

The vegetarian option is Crema de Elote (cream of white corn soup, roasted corn, Poblano chile strips, quesillo de Oaxaca, crispy corn tortilla)
Crema de Elote
The slightly sweet corn soup is poured over the cheese, corn, chile, and tortilla so that the cheese melts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Eastbound Food Caravan 2: Ashirwad (Upland, CA)

As Eating LA said when we were eating at Ashirwad, the best Indian restaurant in Los Angeles is actually not in LA - it's in Upland! On our latest food crawl, after Taza and Falafel Me, Food GPS led us to this place, following a tip he got from someone he met on an airplane.

Ashirwad, which means "the blessings" in Sanskrit, is strictly vegetarian and features many Gujarati specialties. I'm no expert in Indian food, but I have visited my share of Indian restaurants. Still, I was entirely unfamiliar with some of the dishes here! There are some street food like the Khasta kachori ($4.99)

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The khasta kachori is a puri (crispy pastry) stuffed with potatoes, roasted spices, topped with onion, cilantro, yogurt, and a sweet and sour (and spicy) sauce made of tamarind, jaggery, and cumin.

There's also Bhel Puri ($3.99) consisting of puffed rice, papadi (small, deep fried puris), sev, onion, potatoes and sweet and sour chutney.
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Both of the dishes above were crunchy, sweet, sour, and spicy at once. They pack a lot of strong and unusual flavors.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thursday Night Family Dinners at Huckleberry Cafe (Santa Monica, CA)

Huckleberry is always crowded during breakfast and brunch, but not many know about their dinners. Huckleberry usually opens until 8pm on weekdays, but on Thursdays they stay open later serving a family style prix fixe dinners!

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The Thursday night dinners are $30 per person (half price for kids 12 and under) and the menu changes every week. I went on August 30th and had a feast!

Before the "courses", each table got some House Marinated Olives (marinated in orange juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, olive oil)
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The orange juice was a nice touch.

This wasn't part of the menu, but we also had some guacamole spread on baguette
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I usually also don't pay attention to the beer and wine list here, but in the future I shall. We tasted some good wines that night, starting with a 2011 Red Car, Rose of Pinot Noir, Bybee Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fast and Cheap at Bawarchi Indian Kitchen (Culver City)

I don't think most people run into this problem but somehow we find ourselves spending $50-70 for two when we go eat Indian food. He likes variety, he says, so we order 4-5 dishes, plus rice and mango lassi. Well, I've found a solution at Bawarchi Indian Kitchen.

For $9, you get your choice of plain or garlic naan or tawa roti (wheat), saffron basmati rice or pilau rice, and three dishes. It also comes with salad and raita/yogurt.

Bawarchi Combo
The only drawback for me is that this place is vegan, but for the most part I don't really miss the meat when having an Indian meal (with the occasional tandoori cravings).

The vegetable dishes change daily and are displayed in the buffet containers so you can point and choose. The guy with the turban behind the counter (Chef Sabharwal's son, apparently) will guide you through it all.
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With this setup, two people can taste six dishes, two different types of naan or roti and rice!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vegan Feasting and Boozing at Shojin

I am never one who'd decide to go vegetarian one day, but I've heard many great things about Shojin, the organic/vegan/macrobiotic Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo from fellow bloggers (mainly LA-OC Foodie and inomthings).

Seitan Steak
Seitan Steak Marinade
I've been meaning to try it for a while and an invitation to a blogger dinner provided the last push and I finally made it there!
Shojin's Dining Room
Shojin's dining room was much nicer than I had expected, especially for being in that neglected mall in Little Tokyo. White tablecloth, chandelier, and all.

Shojin also recently started serving alcohol and we tried their "Mojito" made with unprocessed cane sugar, mint, apple juice, cranberry juice, vegan sake (Ichigo)

We started with a tasting of the three most popular appetizers:
Spicy rock shiitake tempura, spicy wasaby mayonnaise
Yuzu ponzu Seitan (pan fried sliced seitan with grated daikon and yuzu citrus sauce)
Spicy fried tofu (fried marinated tofu, spicy soy sauce)
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The shiitake tempura was chewy and meaty. I loved the tofu which had a light yet crispy breading. Apparently the batter was made with whole wheat and arrow roots which makes it stay crispy for a long time. The seitan was unremarkable compared to the other two.

Shojin also makes sure to serve vegan wine and sake. Wine isn't always vegan? Nope, apparently most wines are filtered using egg whites or egg shells. The appetizers were paired with some Nottage Hill Chardonnay from Australia.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

San Jose: Falafel Drive-In, a Local Foodie Landmark

Food aside, this drive-in has been in business since 1966 and seems to be a local favorite.

My cousin's friend took my aunt and I to San Jose to visit the Winchester mystery house and I was searching high and low for some good food, made more complicated by the fact that the friend was vegetarian. Luckily Kung Food Panda pointed this place out to me. Get the $7 falafel and banana shake combo! he says.

After going up stairs that lead to the ceiling, opening doors that open up to a 20 ft drop into the garden, standing in a seance room, we were ready for some good food.
The place was pretty busy even in the late afternoon but the line wasn't too long and moves quickly. You line up, you order, and then you grab a seat next to the stand.
Apparently the said falafel+banana shake combo is $7.50 now (KFP lieth!).

It doesn't photograph well (especially with a camera phone) but trust me, it tastes way better than it may look.
The crispiness of the falafel balls reveals a moist, green mixture of beans and spices. I have to first say that I haven't had too many falafels in my life, but based on my inexperienced falafel-palate, these were great.

These along with fresh lettuce and a generous dollop of tahini +hot sauce are stuffed into a pita pocket. Extra containers of the sauces (hot sauce for you, tahini for me) are available by request and are recommended (just because they're so good).

The banana shake in a large styrofoam cup had a lot of banana flavor and washed down the falafel quite well.
Mind you it isn't particularly thick and wouldn't be the best banana shake you've ever had, but did you note that this and the falafel sandwich are only $7.50 total?

If you're in the San Jose area, you can't go wrong with Falafel Drive-In. In fact, if you're in the area, do make a point to stop by.


Falafel Drive-In
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 294-7886
Falafel Drive-in on Urbanspoon
Falafel Drive In in San Francisco

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Real Food

A couple of weeks ago we went to lunch with someone who was a vegan. Since we didn't really know any vegan places, we went along with her suggestion: Real Food Daily in Santa Monica. They serve purely vegan (and of course, organic) food, but with a lot more choices and innovation than most other places.
Of course, you can still go with one of your salads or vegetable sandwiches. They have an amazing portabella mushroom sandwich with hemp bread! Give it a try!

After that we've come back, and the place is always packed. The bad thing is that they don't take reservations, so you end up waiting for quite a while for it. Usually they will send you to the spiritual bookstore right next door and will come get you there when your table is ready.

The special for March was this vegetarian lasagna, which was absolutely delicious (I didn't really catch what was in it, sorry ... next time).
Also to note is the Better with Cheddar nachos for appetizer. They used melted cashew cheddar cheese and tofu sour cream and this was really really good.

Someone got one of the specials which consisted of noodles in peanut sauce topped with some tempeh (for those who don't know, tempeh is made of soy beans- kinda like soy bean cake). I didn't get to try this, but they seemed to really like it.
We ordered the chocolate pudding for dessert. Of course, dairy free and gluten free. And it was amazing. It tasted very rich and chocolatey.
I'm glad someone suggested this place. I would never have tried it otherwise since I don't really venture into vegan eateries, being a red meat lover myself. This place serves really good food though, and it sure comes real handy when you have to take someone vegan/vegetarian out to dinner and need to pick a place :)

Real Food Daily
514 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Real Food Daily on Urbanspoon

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