World Vegan Day on Nov. 1

This Sunday is World Vegan Day! Here are 8 culinary spots in the Los Angeles to celebrate with healthy and delicious vegan dishes.

Chavela 

Plant-based Executive Chef Rachel Carr uses Latin inspiration in all of her vegan dishes. One of her signature dishes includes pumpkin blue corn tamales with spicy, organic blue corn tamale stuffed with sugar pie pumpkin, with anasazi beans, roasted red pepper-tomato sauce and sautéed market vegetables. Be sure to order a signature sangria inspired by traditional Peruvian flavors and seasonal California produce. www.chavela-la.com.

(Photo Credit: Lisa Romerein)
(Photo Credit: Lisa Romerein)

Crossroads

Artichoke Oysters, “Crab Cakes,” and Scaloppini Marsala are served alongside new dishes from Chef and Owner Tal Ronnen and Executive Chef Scot Jones. Attracting epicureans to its chic dining room, the vegan menu highlights autumn’s best ingredients such as pumpkin, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and squash. Ronnen’s highly anticipated cookbook Crossroads (Artisan Books) launches this fall featuring recipes for his ever popular and inventive plant-based cuisine.  http://www.crossroadskitchen.com

CafeGratitude-BLT-250x300
(Photo by Jill Weinlein)

Cafe Gratitude

The I Am….menu offers dishes named after affirmations to inspire you to love yourself, accept the world, and be full of gratitude. Try the I AM….EXTRAORDINARY sandwich. It’s touted as a BLT made with coconut bacon and layered with lettuce and tomato. It’s delicious and much more healthier than bacon filled with nitrates. http://cafegratitude.com

(Photo by CocoWhip)
(Photo by Rawberri)

Rawberri

In West Hollywood is an eatery serving up delicious cold acai bowls. These seasonal superfruit bowls are an excellent source of dietary fiber and natural energy. There are no added preservatives or artificial flavorings, and the bowls are full of vitamins, antioxidants and flavor.

Rawberri is the first in the U.S. to carry the world’s best non-dairy frozen yogurt – Cocowhip. It’s a vegan soft serve ice cream, made with coconut water. There is no added sugar and it’s naturally infused with probiotics. Plus it’s only 90 calories per serving! http://rawberri.com

Manhattan House

(photo by Manhattan House)
(photo by Manhattan House)

Chef Diana Stavaridis takes Manhattan Beach’s local gardening program by crafting her menu items from her own local garden, She works with farmers and purveyors within 5 miles of her Manhattan Beach restaurant. Passionate about supporting the local community, Chef Stavaridis has partnered with local garden center Deep Roots, where she sources hard to find herbs & veggies that are custom grown for her; Pacific Elementary School, where she has a community garden; and the local charity supporting education & sustainability, Growing Great. The result: local produce and a garden to table concept with a seasonal daily changing menu at Manhattan House, which offers a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

One of her most progressive dishes is Carrotology 2.0 – a masterpiece of orange featuring carrots prepared in eleven different ways! From carrot hummus, to sous-vide puree, to carrot caramel, this dish is not only visually stunning but also completely unique. http://www.manhattanhouse.pub

(Photo by Jill Weinlein)
(Photo by Jill Weinlein)

The Gadarene Swine 
Executive Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and Pastry Chef Margarita Lee feature whole plant-based food for dinner with Vegetables in a Box. The box is made with Yukon potato shavings placed on a bed of charred Japanese eggplant puree. Inside is an assortment of seasonal veggies roasted in white wine and garlic
For dessert try Margarita’s Pear Pie made with braised pear and a pecan pie ice cream (no dairy) and brown sugar streusel. http://www.thegadareneswine.com

(Photo by Gracia Madre)
(Photo by Gracia Madre)

Gracia Madre

Try the Gorditas made with grilled potato-masa cakes topped with warm salsa verde, avocado, and cashew cream or the Empanadas made with homemade pastry filled with grilled plantains, served on a bed of spicy mole sauce, topped with cashew cream. Be sure to add Guacamole con Tortillas made with mashed avocado with cilantro, onion, chile and lime. http://gracias-madre.com

(Photo by Daily Dose Cafe)
(Photo by Daily Dose Cafe)

Daily Dose Cafe 
Offers a Big Salad with seasonal mixed greens tossed in orange citrus vinaigrette with roasted seasonal veggies and house pesto. http://www.dailydosela.com

Enjoy eating healthy!

5 dineLA Restaurants To Experience in the San Fernando Valley

the-gadarene-swine10628524_741280945906993_2991626307606852015_n0With rents for brick & mortar restaurants in Los Angeles continuing to rise, The San Fernando Valley has become an attractive destination for some of the hottest chefs in Los Angeles to prepare some outstanding fare.

Summer dineL.A. Restaurant Week is now through July 26, 2015, showcasing some of the Valley’s premier dining destination with specially priced prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus. Here are 5 reasons to dine in Calabasas, Sherman Oaks and Studio City:

1. The Gadarene Swine

The Gadarene Swine_Dinner1

Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and Pastry Chef Margarita opened their second restaurant in Studio City after their first restaurant – Scratch Bar became an overnight sensation.

The Gadarene Swine offers an intimate, casual experience with dazzling vegetable dishes as the focus of the menu.

For dineLA order his multiple-course vegan menu is $25 per person and 6-course dinner is $50. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

11266 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604 – (818) 508-5500.

2. Public School 818

Located across from the Sherman Oaks Galleria, this chef-driven gastropub teaches “An Education in the Art of Food & Beer.”  School is open daily on Monday through Friday at 11:30am- and Saturday Public School_Dinner2_18and Sunday at 10:00am. Happy Hour or Recess for Food is on Monday through Friday from 4 to 6:30pm and Drinks from Monday through Friday 4 to 7pm.

Read my review of Public School 818 published in the Beverly Press – http://beverlypress.com/2015/04/back-to-school-night-public-school-818-grade-a-gastropub/. The dineLA dinner is $30.00 per person. 15300 Ventura Blvd, #102G – Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 – (818) 728-9818

3. Tipple & Brine If you like/love Gjelina in Venice, you will enjoy Tipple & Brine in Sherman Oaks. It’s a neighborhood oyster bar focused on sustainable, seasonal, and the overall Tipple and Brine_Dinner_30best available products. It has the Gjelina feel with distressed wood, Restoration Hardware decor in a sophisticated, but casual environment. The servers are friendly and Chef Marc Johnson freshly prepared food offerings, craft cocktails, local beers, small production wines. Read my review of Tipple & Brine published in the Beverly Press – http://beverlypress.com/2015/04/tipple-brine-oysters-cocktails-and-a-speakeasy-bar/. The hours are from Sun-Wed 5pm-11pm and Thurs. through Sat. they stay open until 12am Happy Hour is from Mon. 4:30pm-11pm and Tue-Fri 4:30pm-6:30pm. Late Night Happy Hour is on Mon-Sat 10pm-12am. The dine LA dinner is $40.00 14633 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (818) 528-2550.

4. Saddle Peak Lodge Saddle Peak Lodge_Dinner_29Half way between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley off of Las Virgenes Road is a warm, rustic retreat tucked away in the Santa Monica mountains. Guests dine on hearty game and fish dishes in multiple dining rooms that evokes a luxury hunting lodge. The restaurant is open on Monday through Friday froom 6:00 – 9:00pm. On Sat evenings 5:00 to 10:00pm and Sunday from 5 to  9:00pm. Sunday Brunch is from 10:30am to 2:00pm. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. Dinner is $50.00 per person. 419 Cold Canyon Road. Calabasas, CA 91302-2204 – (818) 222-3888

5. Downtown Johnny Downtown Johnnys_Dinner_4Just a few doors down from Tipple & Brine is another Chef Marc Johnson restaurant serving up classic American fare and craft cocktails until the wee hours. It’s Open Daily Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 a.m. Happy Hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dinner is $30.00 per person. 14649 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403  – (818) 205-1616.

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