Vegan Grilled Cheese at Heywood

Today is the last day of Vegan MoFo.  I don’t think I reached the 20 post suggestion this month, but I wanted to close out the month with a quick taste of Heywood Grilled Cheese Shoppe in Silverlake.  This place serves (can you guess it?) everything grilled cheese.  And luckily for vegans, they even have an option for us!

Their Vegan Grilled Cheese comes with a side salad and tomato soup.  In the beginning, they did not have a vegan tomato soup option, but now they do.  Score!  I got my sandwich on Country White with tomatoes.  I thought it was decent.  For an $11 sandwich, I think this might be reserved for when I’m in Silverlake and craving a grilled cheese.   Otherwise, I think I’ll make it myself.  The salad was just a salad – nothing too special, and the tomato soup was not to my liking.  It tasted to sour for me – like the tomatoes used in this soup were not ripe enough.  But hey, I’m glad they have something for us!  And they are open very late on Fridays and Saturdays.  It’s always great to have a vegan option at such a late hour.

Heywood Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

3337 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 667-1522

Sunday thru Thursday: 11am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am – 3am

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More Comfort Food from Doomie’s

Vegan MoFo Day 27:

I think I may have found one of my new favorites at Doomie’s Home Cookin.  I was actually craving some mac and cheese, but I wanted something in addition to that.  It was like their BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8.95) was meant for situations like this.  The sandwich is piled with pulled pork drenched in a sweet and delicious BBQ sauce (my favorite kind!).  It’s served with fries or fruit and the mac and cheese I was craving.  Bonus – they might still be serving up their new thicker mac and cheese that  they were serving up at the Vegan Mac and Cheese Showdown I mentioned in a previous post (ask for it… seriously!).

Doomie's Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

My vegan guy also got one of his favorites: the BLT ($8.95) – also served with fries or fruit (although my vegan guy upgraded to chili cheese fries).  Guys just love (vegan) bacon.

Doomie's BLT with Chili Cheese Fries

BLT with Chili Cheese Fries

And have you heard of Green Menu?  Well, if you sign up, you get all sorts of discounts at veg restaurants – including Doomie’s.  Here, you will get a free dessert (cupcake or fried oreos).  The Chocolate Cupcake reminded me of the cupcakes you got from the grocery store as a kid.  The cupcake was dense and chocolatey and the frosting was whipped and airy.  I plan on trying one of each of their cupcakes with my Green Menu Card.  Yum.

Doomie's Chocolate Cupcake

Chocolate Cupcake

1253 N Vine St Suite #9
Los Angeles, Ca 90038
323-469-4897

Open Everyday: 12pm – 10pm

Vegan Deliciousness at Evo Kitchen

Vegan MoFo Day 25:

I’m here to tell you that there’s an upscale (yet casual) pizza place in West Hollywood that is serving up delicious vegan eats.  This used to be the location of a Pizza Fusion (which also had some vegan eats), but is now Evo Kitchen.  They have a bunch of vegan options, including three of my favorite items combined into one: bread, Daiya, and garlic.  Evo’s Garlic Cheese Bread ($4.99) is basic but good.  The marinara is the perfect compliment.

Evo Kitchen Garlic Cheese Bread

Garlic Cheese Bread

They also have gross meat mini burgers, but you can substitute to make them vegan.  The Mini BBQ Burgers ($6.99) are made vegan with portobello mushrooms and Daiya cheese and weren’t my favorite.  I liked the concept, but the execution wasn’t the best.  I think the smaller pieces of mushroom made these hard to eat (the mushrooms kept falling out).  The BBQ sauce was great, though – that’s why I got the next item…

Evo Kitchen Sliders

Mini BBQ Burgers

My favorite item here was the BBQ Chicken Wrap ($9.99).  You’ve got nice chunks of vegan chicken covered in that wonderful BBQ sauce and wrapped in a nice, soft tortilla. Yumsters!

Evo Kitchen BBQ Chicken Wrap

BBQ Chicken Wrap

And, like I said before, they create pizzas here.  My vegan guy and I had to try one, so we created our own and got a Vegan Chicken and Mushroom Pizza.  I liked everything about it, except the chicken.  I thought the chunks were too big – next time I think I’ll just leave the pizza with veggies only.

Evo Kitchen Mushroom and Chicken Pizza

Mushroom and Chicken Pizza

And for dessert, we (well, mainly I) got a Vegan, Gluten-Free Brownie a la mode ($6.99).  I liked this brownie.  It was one that sticks to your mouth, but the flavor was good and they were great about warming it up.

Evo Kitchen Brownie

Brownie a la Mode

We parked at a meter on the street, but then noticed that there was a sign indicating that they have a parking lot for the restaurant behind the building.  This makes it so much more convenient.

7950 W Sunset Blvd #104
West Hollywood, CA 90046
323-375-3390

Sunday – Thursday 11am-10pm
Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm

Junk Food That’s Healthy

Vegan MoFo Day 23:

Healthy Junk in Anaheim.  Get on it… Seriously.

They have revamped downtown Anaheim and it now has a bunch of cute boutiques and a food court-type place that houses the newest vegan watering hole.  It’s got all the vegan junk food you loved as an omnivore, without the “omni” part.  Just take their Nachos ($5.50) – these tortilla chips are loaded with black beans, taco meat, chez sauce, tomatoes, and avocado cream.  They did not skimp on the toppings!  I think these might be my new favorite vegan nachos.

Healthy Junk Nachos

Nachos

Another snack I tried was the Curly Yam Fries ($4.95).  A friend ordered this, so I thought they were onion rings at first (they look like it, right?).  The flavor was awesome – not to mention I loved the BBQ and Ranch sauces they drizzled over them.  However, they were a bit too mushy – something you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at them.

Healthy Junk Curly Fries

Curly Fries

My entree was their Classic Burger ($6.45) and I opted to add chez and bacon for an extra $2.  I liked the burger – typical soy patty and a great bun.  I did feel that they could have added more chez and the bacon was more like a slice of vegan ham (still good, though).

Healthy Junk Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger

And I got a BLT ($5.95) to-go for my vegan guy.  It was also quite nice, but I wouldn’t call it a BLT.  It was more like a ham sandwich.

Healthy Junk BLT

BLT

And they have shakes!!  I’m an insane person when it comes to shakes, so I had to try their Chocolate Shake ($5.50).  I thought it was delicious!  Even better than their Strawberry Shake (more on that in a later post).  I also had a sip of my friend’s Pumpkin Shake (which is available for a short time only) and thought it was extremely good, too! I heard it’s made with tofu and pumpkin spices and some other stuff.  Way better than I thought it would be.

Healthy Junk Chocolate Shake

Chocolate Shake

Let me take a moment to say that my friend “J” is awesome!!  We happened to be with a large group and it happened to be the day before my birthday, so she went ahead and did what I dream to do at every vegan restaurant – order one of each of the desserts!  The first was not really a dessert, but still so good.  The Cornbread Muffin had the perfect amount of cornmeal flavor and sweetness.  It comes with a small container of vegan butter to make it even more tasty.

Healthy Junk Corn Muffin

Corn Muffin

The Apple Crisp is gluten free.  It was a nice dessert.  My only problem was that the crust was super hard to cut – making sharing difficult.

Healthy Junk Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp (GF)

The Chocolate Chip Cookie was giant and thick!  Definitely one of the favorites of this evening.

Healthy Junk Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie

My birthday cake turned out to be Carrot Cake.  This one is super moist and topped with vanilla frosting.  Talk about dessert overload!!  I still have one more…

Healthy Junk Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

The Fall special is a Yam Pie.  I think this one is also gluten free, but you’ll have to ask about that one.  It’s like cream on a crust.  I thought it was good, but the raisins or cranberries (or whatever they were) were kind of a weird chewy thing amongst the delicious creaminess.  Next time I might just pick those off and eat them separately.

Healthy Junk Yam Pie

Yam Pie (GF)

I love it here.  Order at the counter and then sit and wait for them to bring you your amazing food.

Healthy Junk

Healthy Junk

201 Center St. Promenade Unit B
Anaheim, California 92805
714-772-5865

Monday – Saturday 11am – 8pm

Chreesy Mashed Potatoes

Vegan MoFo Day 19.  Enjoy your Friday night plans, but first, a quick review of Chreesy Instant Mashed Potatoes:

It’s always nice to have convenience products made especially for vegans.  Yes, they may be a processed foods, but in those moments when you just don’t have the time to cook certain things from scratch, these products certainly help out.  I recently ordered some goodies from Vegan Essentials and decided to throw Chreesy Mashed Potatoes in.

Chreesy Mashed Potatoes

Chreesy Mashed Potatoes

This product is easy to prepare: add the powder to a pot with some liquid, cook, then add some soymilk and buttery spread.  The final product, in my opinion, wasn’t that great.  I thought the texture was too mushy and the flavor could have used some more spices.  I think the best application for these potatoes would be in a casserole or shepherd’s pie type dish and not as a solitary side.

Chreesy Prepared Mashed Potatoes

Chreesy Prepared Mashed Potatoes

I did set aside half the product to prepare a recipe described on the box: Croquettes.  Just like the basic product preparation, this recipe was easy to prepare: shape cooked mashed potatoes into patties, coat in panko bread crumbs, and pan fry in a little bit of oil.  This method of preparation made it taste so much better.  The panko added the bit of texture I was missing with the original potatoes.  This would make a better side dish than the basic mashed potatoes.

Chreesy Croquettes

Croquettes

I’m not sure where they sell this product in stores, but it is still being offered by Vegan Essentials.

Jyoti Bihanga in San Diego

Vegan MoFo Day 18:

Jyoti Bihanga is a restaurant run by the followers of Sri Chinmoy.  It is totally vegetarian with some vegan options and happens to be one of my favorite places to eat when I’m in San Diego.  I will always get the same thing here, because I just love it.  What is it?  Keep on reading, because I first have to tell you it comes with a salad.  You get your choice of dressing (vegan ones are clearly marked).  I got mine with the Lemon Tahini.  Simple and basic.  Now onto the entree…

Jyoti Bihanga Salad

Salad with Tahini Dressing

The Neatloaf ($12.95) is the most amazing vegan meatloaf I have ever had.  The first time I had this, I was with my mom and she just about flipped.  She said it reminded her of her childhood.  I’ve never had real meatloaf, but I can see where she’s coming from.  This stuff is good.  And it comes with some delicious mashed potatoes and gravy.  Yum.

Jyoti Bihanga Neatloaf

Neatloaf

I also got something to-go for dinner.  I’ve had the Mock Duck Sandwich ($8.25) before and thought it was great.  Of course nothing on the menu will ever beat the Neatloaf, but this is a close runner up.  It’s made with their homemade BBQ sauce and served with those delicious mashed potatoes and gravy.

Jyoti Bihanga Mock Duck Sandwich

Mock Duck Sandwich

And since I was all the way down in San Diego – a place I frequent rarely – I thought I might as well get some dessert (you know – for blogging’s sake).  The Chocolate Mousse Pie ($5.95) is one of those vegan desserts made with tofu and natural sweeteners.  I thought it was a nice little sweet something, but not something phenomenal.  It was very chocolate-y and satisfying.

Jyoti Bihanga Chocolate Mousse Pie

Chocolate Mousse Pie

If you are ever in San Diego, you have to go and get the Neatloaf!  Even if you can’t eat it at that moment, get it to-go (it’ll taste just as good the next day).  Seriously.  You’ll thank me later.

3351 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 282-4116

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11 am to 9 pm
Saturday noon to 9 pm
Wednesday 11 am to 3 pm

Loving Hut Inside the Brea Mall

Vegan MoFo Day 17:

I don’t remember the last time I ate in a mall’s food court.  The closest thing to food court food I’ve eaten in the past decade would probably be at a no longer existent location of California Pizza Kitchen ASAP at a fancy Orange County mall (their delicious hummus and pea and barley soup are vegan).  It’s kind of weird to dine in a food court as a vegan.  Most of the time there is nothing to eat but a standard bean burrito or sometimes a smoothie.  The giant vegan food chain know as Loving Hut is changing that – well, at least at the Brea Mall.  This was the first time I’ve gone to a mall just to visit their food court…. and I’ll be back.

Loving Hut Brea

Loving Hut Brea

The guy at the counter seemed new and looked as if he was only in control of the Chinese portion of the menu.  When I asked him questions about other items on the menu, he kept having to go back and get the lady in charge to help me.  I asked her about the Dragon Roll  and she responded with a description of something I had to try.  It’s filled with soy protein, cucumber, and avocado.  I asked to hold the cucumber and only drizzle a little bit of the spicy mayo sauce on top and absolutely love it!  The sauce actually wasn’t that spicy, so next time I might ask for more.  I can’t emphasize how much I love plain avocado rolls, so add some extra vegan goodness to it and you’ve just blown my mind.

Loving Hut Dragon Roll

Dragon Roll

I was also going to get a burrito, but the lady in charge said it was no good (I guess she meant it – the burritos are no longer on the menu).  So instead I got a Crispy Chicken Sandwich (which is also no longer on the online menu).  I thought this sandwich was also fantastic.  They really made the chicken crispy.  The bun was also tasty and the toppings were simple and fresh.  It looks like they have varied up their new sandwich menu with crispy patties with other toppings, so try one of those.

Loving Hut Spicy Crispy Burger

Spicy Crispy Burger

And I couldn’t resist getting some of the Chinese food displayed in front on steam tables.  This is that greasy take-out Chinese food that is so good, but not so good for you.  I got the Two Item Combo which comes with Chow Mein Noodles and Fried Rice.  The first item was a single Egg Roll and the second was some Tofu (I can’t remember which kind).  Seriously good.  I wish I was closer and they delivered.

Loving Hut Chinese Buffet

Chinese Buffet

I know where my next meal is coming from when I’m passing through Brea.  And I think you should try it, too.

1065 Brea Mall
Food Court Store 2163
Brea, CA 92821
714-990-2261

Monday-Friday: 10am – 9pm
Saturday: 10am – 7pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Vegan Mac and Cheese Showdown Recap

Vegan MoFo Day 16!  We’re already half way through this fabulous month!

This past Saturday I was one of the lucky 100 people that got to taste test (and vote on) five different mac and cheeses from local LA restaurants.  Get ready to be jealous, because I’m about to recap this showdown.

The first Mac and Cheese is from Hugo’s Restaurant and happened to be my favorite from the event (and the #1 pick of the judges).  I had had their mac and cheese when it was a special at the restaurant and didn’t really like it – I thought it was a lot of crap with a little bit of mac and cheese.  At the competition, however, it was mac and cheese with a little bit of crap in it.  The Hugo’s team serving up this deliciousness described the dish as their homemade noodles with a sunflower and nut (cashew?) cheese mixed with peas and mushrooms and topped with crispy onions.  I absolutely loved their cheese sauce.  It must be the sunflower part.  I thought it tasted very similar to the mac and cheese at Sugar Plum in Sacramento (which also uses sunflower cheese).  You can get this at their restaurant – just hope that they prepare it with more parts mac and cheese than the stuff they mix in it.

Hugo's Mac and Cheese

Hugo’s

My second favorite was hard to choose.  I thought it was a toss up between Doomie’s and M Cafe.  Doomie’s was definitely the most like a traditional mac and cheese from your childhood.  It was a creamier version of the kind you can get in their restaurant (and is currently on their secret menu).  I definitely like it better than the one they have been serving on the menu.  The thicker consistency makes a big difference.  My one problem was that I was tasting a certain flavor.  As described in a previous post on the Mac and Cheese by Daniel’s Choice sold at Follow Your Heart, it had this flavor that reminded me of having mac and cheese as a child with gross hot dog juices.  Did Doomie’s add some kind of roasted red pepper?  It tasted like it and I wasn’t a fan.  That’s my own weird thing, though.  The people didn’t think there was anything weird about it – Doomie’s came in second place in the People’s Choice prize.

Doomie's Mac and Cheese

Doomie’s

My other second favorite was the Mac and Cheese from M Cafe.  To be honest, it didn’t really taste like mac and cheese – more like a pasta with creamy white sauce.  It was really good, though.  It was gluten free noodles with a cashew cheese and mixed with sun dried tomatoes and asparagus and topped with arugula.  I thought the sun dried tomatoes were a little overpowering and would have preferred just the noodles with sauce.

M Cafe Mac and Cheese

M Cafe

Coming in at third place for me was the #1 pick for People’s Choice and #2 pick from the Judges.  A Mac and Cheese from SunCafe.  Described as gluten free noodles with pecan garlic cheese and nacho cheese.  I liked it, but something about it just didn’t sit right in my throat.  One of the flavors was just overpowering and I kept having to drink some water to wash it off the back of my throat.  Is that weird?  I guess so, since everyone else seemed to love it.

SunCafe Mac and Cheese

SunCafe

And my least favorite was from Southern Fried Vegan.  It looked like there was Daiya in it, but it didn’t really taste like it.  I’m not really sure how to describe the flavor.  Honestly, I didn’t get the comforting mac and cheese flavor out of it.

Southern Fried Vegan

Southern Fried Vegan

Here’s hoping they do this again next year and bring on more vendors!  Although, the portions were big for sampling (I’m not complaining!) and I’m not sure how much more mac and cheese I could have eaten.

Vegan FroYo at Tutti Frutti

Vegan MoFo Day 15:

Have you heard?!  Tutti Frutti has soy frozen yogurt!  They have all the nutritional information on their website.  It lists quite a few flavors, but I have only tried the Vanilla and Peanut Butter.  This was at their Marina Del Rey location.  I’ve also been to the one in Los Angeles on Wilshire, but they only had the peanut butter flavor.  The Irvine location got rid of it due to low demand.  I liked the flavor (more sweet and less tangy), but my vegan guy thought there was a chalky aftertaste.  I can kind of see what he means, but it didn’t bother me that much.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla and Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurts

So go out and try it.  If you like it, keep buying it – or it just might be gone forever.

More Brunching at Real Food Daily

In relation to where my vegan guy lives, Real Food Daily is quite convenient.  And this makes it especially nice when we want some breakfast foods, since RFD serves brunch on Sundays (you can see more brunch items in my last RFD post).

My vegan guy went with his usual tofu scramble, but I wanted something new and got The Weekender ($14.25): scrambled tofu, onions, tomatoes, cashew cheese, tempeh bacon, half order french toast or two pancakes with hash browns or fruit.  I got it with pancakes (added blueberries) and hash browns.  I love this meal, because (1) it fills you up and (2) it combines sweet with savory.  This is great for those of us (like me) who are indecisive when it comes to menu ordering.  I still don’t like their tempeh bacon, but everything else was delicious!

RFD Weekender

The Weekender

And this sweet-aholic always eyes the bakery display case at their Santa Monica bakery.  I didn’t want something too heavy after eating that large meal, so I got the lightly sweetened Blueberry Coffee Cake.  I only thought it was decent – not spectacular.   Maybe it was just too dense and not moist enough for me.  Won’t stop me from trying their other desserts, though!

RFD Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Did you here?  RFD is now serving Pasadena!