June 25, 2013

Eating LA: Veg Favorites

If you’re anything like me, vacations equal opportunities to try new food. I get such a thrill on finding hidden gems, indulging in upscale restaurants, and exploring local markets. Thank goodness for resources like yelp, trip adviser, and blogs. Once I know we are heading out of town, I immediately begin researching, salivating, and making reservations.

We’ve got our system down; BL chooses the entertainment, I choose the restaurants. #madeforeachother

This past weekend, we decided last minute to hit the road and head down south. LA has always been a favorite summer destination for us, and one of my top food-envy cities (Portland & NYC still top that list).

For me, one of the hardest things when planning our eating adventures is figuring out which restaurants are veg friendly, offering something besides spaghetti with red sauce or roasted veggie sandwich. Spare me, I’d rather cook at home.

While LA is one of the more plant-friendly cities in the US, I still thought it would be fun to share with you our travels & menu choices.
What’s your go-to restaurant in LA?

veggiegrill
 

First up: The Veggie Grill

A happy coincidence that we ended up eating here our first night, our place was a block away from the West Hollywood location. Twist my arm, right? I just love the concept: healthy, vegan fast food. Really hoping this catches on in other cities. We ordered the buffalo wings (a no brainer when BL is involved), BBQ sandwich & All-Hail Kale Salad. The wings and the salad were our favorites. Kale salad at a fast-food joint? I rest my case.

 
realfood

Ready to head to Real Food Daily? The problem with places like RFD is that I go in wanting to eat a large salad, fresh juice, or macro plate but then I get there and those thoughts go out the window!
It’s rare that I get an entire menu where I can order anything I want, and I tend to get a little crazy. Our waiter suggested the Caribbean Quesadillas, which we split with a fresh mango smoothie. I loved this dish, spiced lentils, tofu herb cream, pepper-jack, fried plantains, mango, and fresh guacamole. A Caribbean party.
Everything on the menu is delicious, vegan,locally sourced, and organic. You are only limited by how much you can eat!

realfoodsmoothie

I admit, I love my hippie places. While BL can hang for a little while, at some point he wants mood lighting, a robust cocktail list, and a place that takes reservations after 10PM. El Carmen, we’re coming for you. We started with fresh fruit margaritas; blackberries muddled with mint, agave, and tequila… this is definitely a Saturday night place. I recommend the guacamole, squash & potato tacos.

honorbar

Honor Bar, inside of South Beverly Grill, offers some of the best sandwiches around. Sit outside, order a fresh mango iced tea and enjoy people watching in Beverly Hills. We ordered the vegetable burger and kale salad to split, my preferred way to order.
The burger was delicious! The patty was really flavorful, made with almonds and brown rice, and topped with onions, spinach, tomato, and avocado. The kale salad might have been one of the best things I tasted all weekend. Even BL, who much to my annoyance isn’t a huge fan of kale, loved the salad. You will be seeing this very soon as I am determined to recreate it.

santmonica

Ok. So, LA isn’t all about food. Other things to put on your must-do list include a trip to Santa Monica, one of my favorite places on earth & early morning hikes in Runyon Canyon.

Until next summer, LA I’ll be seeing you.

 
DKsignature

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    1. mish
      January 27, 2014 AT 9:36 am

      Hey Alex! Thanks for this post! I definitely referenced it last week when I was in LA/Santa Monica. I tried Real Food Daily (had the BLT), Cafe Gratitude (had the veggie tacos), and then we also went to a new vegan thai place that just opened. I tried a veggie/vegan restaurant every night when I was in San Diego also. Now I gotta figure out how I can MOVE to SoCal! (Although I did feel a little guilty for indulging so much – it felt like Christmas!) Anyway, thanks for being a great resource, as always. Hit me up if you are ever in DC!

      1. DK
        January 27, 2014 AT 11:27 am

        Let me know when you move to SoCal and I will be right there with you! I love Northern California but LA and San Diego are just so much more veg-friendly. Glad you got to try a few of my favorite spots! Don’t feel guilty for indulging… when I find a delicious veg restaurant I feel like ordering the entire menu- just because I can 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

    2. Hannah
      June 25, 2013 AT 6:05 pm

      LA truly seems like vegan paradise! I wish I could visit, if only just to eat through the entire trip. There are just so many options, I don’t know how I’d be able to fit in anything else to visit even half of them. 😉

    3. DK
      June 25, 2013 AT 1:20 pm

      You lived in Santa Monica! I am so jealous- we keep trying to figure out ways to relocate there. I just love it… and all the amazing vegan cafes don’t hurt either! Thanks for commenting Annie!

    4. Annie
      June 25, 2013 AT 1:11 pm

      Yep – travel means EATING! It’s been ages since I was in LA, but I remember very fondly the amazing food. I lived for a couple of years in Santa Monica and I miss all of the dining/eating choices and especially the wonderful farmer’s market. The ocean was pretty nice, too ;-). Your photos make me want to get on a plane tomorrow!