May 17th was the LA vegan beer and food festival!
We seized the opportunity to take a few days to fly down to OC to visit relatives and be closer to LA, and try to eat as much vegan food as possible. We were posting some of these fine eats on our IG and someone smart suggested we compiled all of them somewhere. So here it is.
Note: This is just a written list of those places, and what we had there (provided that we can remember). Please check out our instagram @smvegan for photos of the eats and places we tried out (we'll be adding more soon if we find some pics had been hiding in our phones this whole time). Feel free to add suggestions in the comments!
You might notice that we gave in to a little Reuben-mania during our stay. There's an explanation: ordering the same item at different spots usually offers a fair point of comparison. It also made ordering much easier and you can't really go wrong with it. Now, sure, when trying to get a taste of as many places as possible there probably (certainly) are lighter options to save up on stomach space, but hey... So each time we saw a Reuben on a menu, Reuben time it was.
Above is a picture of our meal at Seabirds Kitchen: brussel sprouts, arancini and sliders. We hadn't really heard much of this fairly new spot before entering and although there was a little wait (to be expected during lunchtime), it was worth it. As you can tell the light in there is great, the food was uncomplicated, fresh, bright and well made. We can't think of a city or town that couldn't use a place like this. Oh and they were selling perfect fried jalapeno poppers at the festival too.
- CROSSROADS KITCHEN www.crossroadskitchen.com . Tal Ronnen's fine dining restaurant. We were so excited to be there we ordered a lot to sample each type of dish. Great ambiance, gorgeous platings and an inspiring fresh (and vegan) take on Mediterranean classics.
- SHOJIN www.theshojin.com . Reputed for their fun, creative, colorful, unique maki, eating there was a pleasure and an eye-opener. They also offer entree plates and have a downtown LA and Culver city location.
- SAGE VEGAN BISTRO http://www.sageveganbistro.com/ . We went to the Culver city location, which is huge and boasts an outdoor beer garden as well as a pizza menu. They also have Kindkreme ice cream flavors, some of which we had never seen since going vegan before (durian-coconut...). We got the Reuben, which had a lot happening inside of it and involved tempeh and avocado.
- NATIVE FOODS https://www.nativefoods.com/ . Not sure exactly which one we went to but service was great and their Reuben lived up to our (high) expectations.
- MOHAWK BEND http://mohawk.la/ . A great selection of vegan bar snacks and a well-curated drink menu in a beautiful setting.
- MAKE http://www.matthewkenneycuisine.com/restaurants/santa-monica/m-a-k-e/ . The famous Santa Monica raw food spot. We had an incredibly inspiring and enjoyable time there a year ago, and found the experience to be mitigated this time.
- REAL FOOD DAILY http://www.realfood.com/ . Well reputed. We look forward to returning to this restaurant for a second try.
- LOCALITA & THE BADASSERIE http://localiyours.com/localita/ Tiny and hard to find eatery with a really badass Reuben.
- GTA (GJELINA TAKE AWAY) http://www.gjelinatakeaway.com/ . There are always a few (excellent) vegan items in this handsome spot, that you can enjoy right around the corner in a small, cute, outdoor sit-down space. A former pastry Chef from Millennium now works there and what we tasted was absolutely delicious.
- DOOMIE'S HOME COOKIN' https://www.facebook.com/doomieshomecookin . We had their much raved about Big Mac at the festival and we'll definitely be making it to their brick-and-mortar joint next time.
- FRANKENSTAND http://www.thefrankenstand.com/ . This stall at the festival had a particularly long line that actually went pretty fast! We're lucky we managed to grab one of their last hot dogs because we would've missed out.
- SEABIRDS KITCHEN http://seabirdskitchen.com/ . Pictured in this post. A great find that we can only recommend highly, based on our visit.
- AU LAC http://www.aulac.com/map.html . Nice place with a menu that has something for everyone. We shared a few different styles of dishes and the surprisingly springy, chewy and moist raw bread really stood out.
There's so many more we intended to try but ran out of time! Please let us know which places you think we shouldn't miss next time.