Milky’s Frozen Yogurt

Los Angelenos finally have a fro-yo place that has vegan options!  Milky’s Frozen Yogurt sells regular dairy flavors and FOUR vegan flavors!   Look how wonderfully easy it is to find the vegan options.

Milky's

Inside Milky’s

The vegan flavors are made with organic soymilk and are self-serve (so you can mix and match).  Just take a cup, fill it, add any toppings, and pay by weight.

Milky's Poster

Poster Inside Milky’s

On the day that I went with my vegan guy our flavor options were chocolate, original, caramel, and strawberry-kiwi.  I ended up getting the first three (they were out of the strawberry-kiwi).  I thought the consistency was spot on.  Just as creamy as the dairy version.  My vegan guy and I both thought there wasn’t enough caramel flavor, though.  I found that the caramel flavor and original flavor tasted almost the same.  The chocolate was perfectly chocolatey- not too bitter.  I also didn’t taste any “beany” flavor that I’ve tasted in vegan varieties at other shops.  Unfortunately, they were all way to tangy for me and my vegan guy.  Apparently they are supposed to be that tangy?  I never remember having tangy dairy frozen yogurt in my life (and I was a frozen yogurt fiend back in the day!).  I actually don’t remember plain dairy yogurts (Yoplait-type) to be that tangy, either.   I still don’t even think soy yogurts (like WholeSoy) are tangy as well.  Am I completely wrong?  Maybe the fad when I ate dairy frozen yogurt was more sweet and less tang (like how I’ve heard it is now in modern Pinkberry-syle places).  For this reason, I probably won’t be back (sadness), but you should definitely check it out for yourself.  Maybe you’ll disagree with me.

Milky's Frozen Yogurt

Chocolate, Original, and Caramel Frozen Yogurts

The sign out front makes it super easy to recognize.  I love seeing “vegan” proudly displayed on buildings!

Milky's Frozen Yogurt

Milky’s Frozen Yogurt

Milky’s is located at:
1429 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Mon – Fri :11 am-11 pm
Sat: 11 am-12 am
Sun: 11 am-11 pm

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Sjaak’s Vegan Easter Candy

I’m not that into Easter, but I’m very into Easter candy.  Luckily for vegans, many companies now create cute little treats in vegan varieties.  Sjaak’s is an awesome company making some of those vegan candies.  I ordered two kinds of Easter themed chocolates from Vegan Essentials recently.  Wow!  Both were really good!

First was the Vegan Milk Chocolate Almond Butter Easter Bunny.  So adorable!  It’s a small bunny (1.1 oz) and can be eaten in one-three bites.  Sjaak’s vegan milk chcolate is divine!  Just how I remember dairy milk chocolate.  The almond butter inside was creamy and a perfect complement to the vegan milk chocolate.

Sjaak's Easter Candy

Sjaak’s Easter Candy

Wanting more, I opened up the second chocolate candy I ordered: Chocolate Easter Egg Filled with Crunchy Peanut Butter.  Again – petite (2 oz) and adorable!  Both of these would be perfect in an Easter basket for someone special!  The vegan milk chocolate was still wonderful and the crunchy peanut butter was great at adding some texture to the treat.  I’ll have 1,000 of these, please!

Sjaak's Easter Candy

Inside the goodies

Unfortunately, I just checked out Vegan Essentials website and they are no longer offering these products.  Sjaak’s website is sold out of the Easter Eggs, but still has the almond butter bunnies here.  Get them while you can!!

Cafe Muse in Hollywood

Cafe Muse is a great cafe to go hang out or get on your computer and do some work.  They have a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan food (one real tuna dish as well).  They also offer free wi-fi.

Their menu keeps adding many more vegan options.  The addition of Daiya cheese makes modifying their vegetarian items to vegan even easier.  On our last trip to Cafe Muse, my vegan guy got the BBQ Chicken Sandwich ($9.95): veggie chicken cutlets topped with melted cheese, mushrooms & red onions grilled in BBQ sauce, on a whole-wheat roll.  It’s served with your choice of sweet-potato fries, tri-flavor tortilla chips or salad of mixed greens.  I had a bite and thought the chicken, Daiya, mushrooms, and BBQ sauce were excellent. The BBQ sauce is thick and sweet – just the way I like it.  However, the roll was too “wheaty” for both of us.

Cafe Muse BBQ Chicken Sandwich

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

I got a vegan pizza ($11.95): 10” pizza on whole-wheat crust with cheese and your choice of 3 toppings.  For my toppings, I got grilled chicken, mushrooms, and sun dried tomatoes.  Again, everything was excellent except the crust.  It was too “wheaty” for me.

Cafe Muse Pizza

Pizza with Veggie Chicken, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Mushrooms

For dessert, Cafe Muse offers some vegan options.  I went with the cheesecake.  It was a basic vanilla flavor.  It was cold and creamy and hit the spot after the cheesy pizza, but the top of this cheesecake had a thick skin to it.  It created an interesting texture that I would have liked to avoid, but overall it was a nice dessert.

Cafe Muse Cheesecake

Cheesecake

Cafe Muse is located at:

6547 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles 90038
323-464-MUSE

Monday – Thursday 9am – 11pm (kitchen closes at 10pm)
Friday & Saturday 9am – 12am (kitchen closes at 11pm)
Sunday 9am – 10pm (kitchen closes at 9pm)


Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park

Follow Your Heart – the makers of the classic and delicious Vegenaise and vegan soy cheeses – has a wonderful vegetarian market and cafe in Canoga Park.  It’s so nice to be able to have a fantastic meal and then find some vegan grocery items all in one trip.  The menu at Follow Your Heart is huge, but apparently both my vegan guy and I were craving tacos on our last trip.

I got the Braised Tofu Soft Tacos ($11.50): corn tortillas served with braised tofu, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and cilantro.  It comes with black beans, spanish rice, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.  You also have a choice of soup or salad with this meal.  I got the soup (the picture didn’t turn out, sorry) which was tasty and came with a really delicious bread stick (reminiscent of Olive Garden’s amazing bread sticks).  The tacos were huge!  I couldn’t finish it all, but they were very tasty.  The side of black beans and rice were kind of bland on their own, but nice together.

Follow Your Heart Braised Tofu Soft Tacos

Braised Tofu Soft Tacos

Not being a huge fan of tofu or soft tortillas, my vegan guy opted for the Organic Tempeh Tacos ($9.50): corn tortilla shells filled with seasoned and grilled tempeh, cheese, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.  It was also served with black beans, spanish rice, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.  He enjoyed these tacos, except the shell wasn’t as crisp as he had hoped.

Follow Your Heart Tempeh Tacos

Organic Tempeh Tacos

We were so full that we couldn’t even take a bite of any dessert.  They do have a large selection of vegan desserts – many I have tried and have enjoyed.

Follow Your Heart has a small parking lot next to it and is located at:
21825 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91303
818-348-3240

They are open daily from 8 am – 9 pm

Golden Mean Cafe in Santa Monica

Golden Mean Cafe is a cozy all vegan restaurant in Santa Monica.  They have a variety of dishes including salads, sandwiches, International entrees, desserts, and even brunch on weekends.

For a recent lunch, my vegan guy went healthy and got a Cobb salad ($12.95): romaine hearts, tofu egg, breaded chicken, tomato, and cashew cheese in a creamy ranch dressing.  OK, well maybe ranch and breaded chicken isn’t exactly the epitome of health, but it sure was good.

Golden Mean Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad

I got the Chicken Parmigiana ($13.75): breaded chicken served with ancient grain pasta in a tomato sauce, topped with Daiya soy-free cheese and served with mixed green salad.  The salad was your basic side salad with a nice dressing.  The chicken parmigiana part was amazing.  The pasta was light on sauce, but not on flavor and the slice of chicken had just the right amount of crispy to it.  I want to eat this again right now.

Golden Mean Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

Gold Mean has a nice bakery case full of vegan desserts.  This little guy caught my eye: a gluten free chocolate, pumpkin brownie topped with chocolate ganache ($4.25).  Gluten free goodies tend to have a grainy texture – not this one.  It had a wonderful flavor that even my vegan guy (not a sweets person) couldn’t resist taking a few bites.

Golden Mean Pumpkin Brownie

Gluten Free Pumpkin Brownie

Golden Mean is located at 1028 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401  310-393-6500

Sunday – Thursday 11 – 9pm
Friday – Saturday 11 – 9:30pm

Vegan Pizza at Cruzer Pizza in LA

Cruzer Pizza is an all vegan pizza shop in Los Angeles.  This place used to be all meat, then switched to all vegan, and is now under new ownership and have since added even more vegan options.

While I wanted to get their Cheese Bread Sticks for a starter (they are so good!), I decided to get something new.  Their Potato Skins ($5.99) sounded great, but actually weren’t that good.  The Daiya and marinara were the good parts, but the potato part didn’t really taste like much.

Cruzer Potato Skins

Potato Skins with Marinara and Daiya Cheese

I love pasta – especially pasta that is more than just noodles and marinara sauce (I’m talking to you generic meat-serving restaurants).  Cruzer Pizza has a plethora of vegan pasta dishes.  I got their Chicken Parmigiana ($9.99): noodles, marinara, and chicken all topped with Daiya.  I really liked this dish.  Their marinara sauce is great and the chicken wasn’t chewy.  My only problem was that it was a bit watery at the bottom.  It seems like the noodles weren’t drained well enough when taken from the pot of water to the serving container.

Cruzer Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

And of course we got a pizza from Cruzer Pizza.  My vegan guy opted for the Hawaiian Pizza ($15.99): tomato sauce, Daiya, pineapple, and ham.  I love Cruzer’s crust- not too thick and not too thin- and they always add just the right amount of toppings.

Cruzer Hawaiian Pizza

Medium Hawaiian Pizza

You can even order online instead of calling it in.  Cruzer Pizza is located at:

4449 Prospect Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323.666.0600

Monday – Saturday 11am – 11pm
Sunday 11am – 10pm

Trip 2 to Hugo’s Restaurant

I took another trip to Hugo’s Restaurant in West Hollywood and again I couldn’t resist some of their monthly specials.  Sadly for you, I went on the last weekend of the month and didn’t have a chance to post these amazing dishes in time.  I do hope they add these to their regular menu.  Both dishes I got were superb!

For an appetizer, I got their Grilled Polenta & Portabello Ragout ($7.75): grilled polenta topped with sautéed diced portabello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, broccolini, and sun dried tomato, in a cashew-cream marsala-tomato sauce and sprinkled with fresh chopped basil.  I wish they bottled this sauce.  Vegans don’t have a creamy red sauce readily available in grocery store and I think our time has come – Hugo’s, are you listening?!  I loved this dish.

Hugo's Polenta and Portobello Ragout

Polenta and Portobello Ragout

For my entree I ordered their special of Oyster Mushroom Tacos ($12.75): warm corn tortillas filled with breaded crispy fried oyster mushrooms and topped with shredded lettuce, jalapeno-marinated vegetables, fire-roasted-tomato salsa and cilantro. Served with chopped romaine salad and Caesar dressing.  I already knew I’d love this dish, because I’ve been recently obsessed with oyster mushrooms.  These mushrooms were perfectly seasoned and not too oily.  The salad was also wonderful.  I couldn’t think of anything I would change about this dish.

Hugo's Oyster Mushroom Tacos

Oyster Mushroom Tacos

In case you missed it in my first post about Hugo’s, here are the details:

Hugo’s Restaurant West Hollywood
8401 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 654-3993

Hugo’s Restaurant Studio City
12851 Riverside Dr
Studio City, CA 91607
(818) 761-8985

Monday – Friday
7:30am – 10pm 
Saturday – Sunday
8am – 10pm

Babycakes NYC in LA

Babycakes is an all vegan bakery that specializes in gluten-free and wheat-free goods.  They opened their original storefront in New York City, but have since expanded to the west coast (aka “the best coast”).  I finally got the chance to check out their downtown location.  It’s so hard to find parking down there, but their treats are definitely worth it.

Babycakes has donuts… DONUTS!!  Oh, these are good!  I didn’t even get all the flavors available that day (although I wanted to).  I did get maple, blueberry, pumpkin, salted caramel, and chocolate glazed.  The maple was sprinkled with cinnamon and was wonderful, the blueberry was simply topped with some powdered sugar and tasted like a fried blueberry coffee cake, the pumpkin was a cute heart shaped and had extra amounts of frosting in the indented center, the salted caramel was not too salty and had a lovely caramel flavor, and the chocolate glazed was nice (but a bit too bitter for me).  I could eat these everyday.

BabyCakes Donuts

Donuts (clockwise) – Maple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Glazed

I also got two spelt flour cupcakes – a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting.  Let me admit that I have had these before.  Long before Babycakes came to LA, I made a visit to their NYC location.  Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed with what I got (cupcakes and a cookie or two).  This is the main reason it took me so long to visit their LA location.  These cupcakes reminded me of that NYC trip.  The cupcake itself was a little dry and the frosting was a little gummy (my same reaction to the NYC cupcakes).

Babycakes Cupcakes

Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting and Chocolate with Chocolate Frosting

Fortunately, the cupcakes were the only disappointment.  I also got some brownies and some chocolate chip cookies.  The brownies were cake-like and moist.  They are the size of mini-muffins and I could have kept popping these little guys into my mouth.  The chocolate chip cookies were also good.  They were chewy, perfectly sweet, and had no graininess at all (something gluten-free cookies often have).

Babycakes Brownies and Cookies

Chocolate Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Babycakes has made it even easier to get their goodies.  They opened a new location in the Larchmont Village area.  So much easier to park there.  I recommend a trip to either location:

130 East 6th Street
(between S. Main Street and S. Los Angeles Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Sunday 10am to 6pm
Monday through Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday and Saturday 10am to 9pm

or

236 North Larchmont Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Sunday 9am to 8pm
Monday through Thursday 9am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday 9am to 10pm

Pizza Night at M Cafe

M Cafe de Chaya specializes in macrobiotic cuisine.  They are vegan with some fish selections.  Somewhat recently, they started offering pizza on Saturday nights.  My vegan guy and I finally went to try it out.

He ordered the pizza with tempeh bacon and avocado.  I want to say that I liked this pizza, but I kind of didn’t.  The bad thing about it was the crust.  It was not like pizza crust – it was more bland and doughy.  The toppings part was good, but the crust just killed it.  Maybe it was an off day, so you should go ahead and try the pizza to see for yourself.

M Cafe Pizza

Pizza with Avocado and Tempeh Bacon – $11.95

I ordered the California Club with the Soba Noodle side salad (a triple-decker of savory tempeh “bacon”, lettuce, tomato, avocado, carrots, sprouts & soy-mayo on your choice of house-baked toasted sourdough or multi-grain & seed bread).  For me, this club didn’t have enough filling.  All of the filling was concentrated in the center and the bites at the edges were just of bread.  The bread was also really chewy – tasted like a combination of not really toasted bread and day old  bread.  My vegan guy and I came closer to closing, so maybe we were getting the last of the pickings for the day.  I don’t know what was happening.  I’ve enjoyed M Cafe before (and I know other bloggers have raved about them as well).  The soba noodle salad (a cold salad) was nice and tasty, though.

M Cafe Club

California Club with Soba Noodle Salad – $11.25

I also was craving some fries, so I ordered M Cafe’s sweet potato fries.  I was a fan of the fries, but the sauce that came with it – Spicy Yuzu Mayo- was too spicy for me.  I should have asked for plain ol’ ketchup.  Next time I’ll ask when I order.

M Cafe Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries – $3.95

Parking is troublesome at M Cafe. There are a few spaces connected to the restaurant, but mainly you will have to find a spot on the street.

7119 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90046

(323) 525-0588

Monday thru Saturday
9 am – 10 pm

Sunday
9 am – 9 pm

They also have a location in Beverly Hills at:

9433 Brighton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 858-8459

Monday thru Saturday
9 am – 8 pm

Sunday
10 am – 7 pm