Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

SunCafe ups the ante for vegan fare



ShopEatSleep was invited to try out the expanded menu at SunCafe’s new location in Studio City. Being a total novice to vegan food — my experience with veganism was limited to a vegan burger that I had a great many moons ago — I was curious to see if the meatless offerings at SunCafe could satiate my usually insatiable appetite.

Known for serving up imaginative plant-based cuisine, SunCafe operated out of a modest Studio City storefront for five years before moving to its current home on Ventura Boulevard. With more than triple the capacity, including a spacious outdoor patio, the fully renovated 1920s-era ranch-style house delivers a good blend of old and new, lending itself to a cozy and relaxed ambience.

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10 2014

Eat better with The Better Chip + World Cup recipes

the better chipYou like snacks. More specifically, you like chips. But you struggle to balance your desire for delicious crunchy goodness with eating healthily. (And by “you,” I of course mean “me.”)

Enter The Better Chip. They’re made with few ingredients that are actually recognizable, are gluten-free and vegan-friendly, and are non-GMO Project verified. What also makes these chips stand out is the use of whole foods baked right into the corn chip base; I spied part of a kale stalk in one of my chips, so they’re legit.

I’ve tried all The Better Chip flavors: corn, beets, spinach & kale, chipotles, and jalapenos. I like them all, though beets doesn’t have as much flavor as the others. Chipotles and jalapenos are spicy — remember, the peppers are baked right in! — so watch out. The chips are a bit on the heavy side but are still crispy, so they make for a good nacho base.

Speaking of nachos, The Better Chip has come up with some World Cup-themed recipes that you can enjoy while watching the games (most of these teams are still in contention, too!):

  • Germany Kraut Nachos: The Better Chip beet chips topped with sauerkraut, finely diced bratwurst, diced bacon and drizzle of brown mustard
  • Ghana Tatale Nachos: The Better Chip chipotle chips topped with grilled marinated beef, fried sweet plantains and fresh baby spinach, sprinkled with unsweetened coconut
  • Greek Salad Nachos: The Better Chip spinach & kale chips topped with hummus, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives and feta cheese (grilled lamb optional)
  • Japanese Sashimi Nachos: The Better Chip jalapeno chips topped with chopped up yellow tail, diced avocado and a drizzle of wasabi-infused soy sauce
  • Mexico Authentic Nachos: The Better Chip chipotle chips topped with marinated carne asada, pinto beans, crumbled queso fresco, cilantro and guacamole
  • Brazilian Samba Nachos:  The Better Chip corn chips topped with feijoada (Brazilian black bean and meat stew) and a fresh mango, onion, cilantro and tomato lime salsa
  • American Hawaii Style Nachos: The Better Chip jalapeno chips topped with pulled pork, grilled pineapple and a drizzle of melted cheese

    Greek Salad Nacho

    Greek Salad Nacho

Even if you’re not into soccer, these recipes would make for some fun international-themed party eats. I even made some satisfying gringo-style nachos with the chipotle chips topped with melted shredded cheddar cheese, refried beans and salsa (don’t judge — it’s all I had in my fridge), so anything is possible.

Note: These chips were complimentary.


06 2014

Vegan crab? That and more new dishes at the Veggie Grill

B-Wing Salad at Veggie Grill

B-Wing Salad at Veggie Grill. Photo by Brian Goodman.

Growing vegan restaurant chain Veggie Grill continues to surprise me. The first time I ate there, I was skeptical of its food because I’m not a big fan of faux meats, but Veggie Grill’s menu manages to please crunchy granola vegans without alienating meat eaters. Now the restaurant has added tasty new items to its menu, including hearty dinner plates and a crab cake sandwich — yes, seafood!

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04 2012

Bottoms Up at Mohawk Bend

Mohawk Bend, Echo Park’s new restaurant in a converted movie theater with an impressive 72 beer taps, is a great place for a drink and light meal. Appetizers and salads, as well as a nicely curated beer list, are the stars here, and the atmosphere is lively if a bit crowded. But where Mohawk Bend excels, it overreaches in other areas, especially when it comes to burgers and pizza.

Mohawk Bend

Dining room at Mohawk Bend

Mohawk Bend

...and behind the curtains, the back room

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09 2011

The Veggie Grill will surprise, delight you

Chili Cheese Fries at The Veggie Grill

Just when you thought you had The Veggie Grill figured out – it’s tasty, but no, the meat isn’t real – The Veggie Grill surprises you. There’s a secret menu!

As with many secret menu items, these dishes are variations of items already on the menu. The one we tried were the chili cheese fries, which uses the restaurant’s signature sweet potato Sweetheart Fries topped with the Bean Me Up chili, vegan cheese and sour cream, and garnished with chopped tomatoes and parsley. This is a huge dish, so be prepared to either share it or to bring at least half of it home. The chili cheese fries are tasty but heavy. Who knew vegan food could be so substantial?

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07 2011

Breadbar going vegan with “Skinny Bitch” menu

Broccolini bruschetta with kimchi (left) and smokey eggplant caviar hummus (right). From Hungry Hungry Hanh.

Broccolini bruschetta with kimchi (left) and smoky eggplant caviar hummus (right). From Hungry Hungry Hanh.

West Third Street’s BreadBar‘s Chef Noriyuki Sugie (that’s Chef Nori to you) has teamed up with author Kim Barnouin to create recipes for the upcoming “Skinny Bitch: The Cookbook,” and you can have first crack at those recipes. Starting tomorrow, BreadBar will be offering special vegan dishes and meals that are being considered for the cookbook.

The “Vegan Greetings” menu will be offered from Wednesday, Dec. 9, through Saturday, Dec. 12 and again from Wednesday, Dec. 16, through Saturday, Dec. 19 for dinner only. Chef Nori will extend the event to Dec. 20 and 21 if there are enough additional reservation requests. You’ll be able to order à la carte (dishes will range from $8 to $15 each) or as a four-course prix fixe menu for $25.

No word on what’s actually on the menu, but Barnouin and Chef Nori have teamed up before, so maybe the dishes will be similar.

UPDATE: Expect to see dishes such as fried tofu with seaweed salad and white sesame sauce, salad pizza with garnishes changing daily, and lentil tacos in a corn tortilla with avocado, salsa and fresh cilantro.

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12 2009