Pub Food Made Vegan in LA

I had heard such great things about the food at the Pub at Golden Road Brewing.  The menu lists a ton of vegan options – and some of these options are very creative.  I was super excited to try it.  My vegan guy and I headed all the way over to the north-east side of Los Angeles to get some grub.

The Fritters ($4) were my favorite.  Fried wild mushroom risotto with a vegan pimento cheese?  Yum!  I love risotto on its own and had no idea that a crispy outer layer could make it a whole other thing.  Well done, Golden Road, well done.

Golden Bridge Fritters

Fritters

And the Pretzel ($7) was one thing that I read such nice things about prior to coming.  It was good, I’ll give them that, but I think it was covered in what would be the average person’s daily recommended intake of sodium.  Yikes!  Too much salt for me.  It was like ocean in my mouth.  I had to rub some of it off with my fingers just so I could eat it.  I wonder if one can order it lightly salted?  It came with spicy mustard and some more pimento cheese.  Still, the sauce was not enough to cover the flavor of all that salt!

Golden Bridge Pretzel

Pretzel

I appreciate the eclectic menu, which included some international dishes – like the Bahn Mi ($7).  The deep fried tofu was a little bland (I wish they marinated it in something more flavorful), but the pickled veggies were nice.  The sriracha mayo was way too spicy for me.  I’ve said this before, but I’m a weakling when it comes to spiciness.  Because the tofu was kind of bland, most of the flavor came from the sriracha.  I wouldn’t get this again.

Golden Bridge Bahn Mi

Bahn Mi

The Quinoa Burger ($9) is handmade and deep fried.  It’s served with lettuce, tomato, onion and a remoulade sauce.  To me, this burger was just so-so.  I liked the fried part of the patty, but the inside was just too mushy to be put on a bun.  It reminded me of a giant potato croquette.  The flavor was there, but I just wish they added some texture to the patty.

Golden Bridge Burger

Quinoa Burger

And for dessert, they actually had a vegan option!  It was a mini Gingersnap Cheesecake ($5).  Again, while I appreciate the effort, this cheesecake was just too chewy.  Maybe it was accidental and the baker just baked it too long, but I didn’t like it.  The strawberries were pretty tart (it wasn’t strawberry season) as well.  I think I’ll stick to baking my own vegan cheesecakes.

Golden Bridge Cheesecake

Cheesecake

I bet this place would be great to hang out with friend while sipping on some of their handcrafted beers.  It’s a nice place and I am disappointed I didn’t like their food that much.  There are a few more menu items I’d like to taste some day and maybe I’ll come back to give them another try.

Golden Road

The Pub at Golden Road

5410 West San Fernando Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
213-373-4677

Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 2am
Sunday – Tuesday 11am – midnight

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Dim Sum at Susan Feniger’s Street

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!  I may be a week late, but I still wanted to give you a re-cap on some amazing dim sum I had for the occasion.  It’s been a crazy week here in SoCal Vegan land.  This past week, I have moved to a new place and started a new job.  But the plus to all this craziness is that I get to see my vegan guy everyday now!  And it’s a good thing I keep him around, because he was the one who told me about a special Chinese New Year Dim Sum Brunch at Susan Feniger’s STREET.

 

We got a big group of friends together and ordered some of each of the menu items.  All of them were vegan, except the donuts (but could be made vegan).

Street Dim Sum Menu

Dim Sum Menu

The first in our marathon of eats was the Cantonese Style Radish Cakes.  These were one of my favorites (as well as my vegan guy’s).  Great tasting and lightly crispy on the edges.

Street Radish Cakes

Radish Cakes

The Sesame Fritters were filled with a red bean paste that kind of made these sweet.  I think I would have preffered these fritters filled with something more savory, because the outer layer was quite tasty.

Street Sesame Fritters

Sesame Fritters

The Mushroom Shu Mai were another one of my favorites (and among a lot of people according to STREET’s facebook page).  These had a bit of spice in the filling and were on top of a spicy mustard sauce.  It definitely had that burst of fire running up your nasal passage, but subsided quickly.

Street Mushroom Shu Mai

Mushroom Shu Mai

The Vegetable Potstickers were also good.  These were filled with yams and were sort of sweet, but went well with the crispy wrapper.

Street Potstickers

Potstickers

I liked the Jackfruit Bao, but I would have liked a lot more jackfruit.  We split this bun into pieces to share and everyone got a lot of dough and a tiny bit of jackfruit.  The jackfruit was well seasoned, but I just really wanted more of it.

Street Jackfruit Bao

Jackfruit Bao

The Mung Bean Crepes were nice.  Splitting this dish was hard, so I didn’t get much crepe part.  But the tofu scramble topping was simple, flavorful, and good on its own.

Street Mung Bean Crepes

Mung Bean Crepes

The Fried Rice was (by far) my number one favorite of the savory dishes.  I love fried rice dishes and this one had an intense amount of flavor covering the slightly sticky rice.  It seemed like the ingredients weren’t too uncommon – I need to learn to make something like this.

Street Fried Rice

Fried Rice

And my favorite of the sweet dishes (and, well, of ALL the dishes) was the Youtaio Donuts.  According to my vegan guy, these weren’t like the youtaio donuts he’s used to (those are not served sugared).  As for me, I’m glad they were served with soymilk and sugar crystals for dipping.  The fried dough was amazing – fluffy and not too greasy.  The sugar made it seem like I was eating a real fried donut at a state fair.  Yum!  This is really what I need to learn to make on my own (forget the fried rice!).

Street Youtaio Donut

Youtaio Donut

Sadly, the Coconut Tapioca Pearls with Shanghai Fruit were the big bummer of the night.  In fact, this dish was the only one that was barely eaten by the table (we devoured all the others).  I didn’t mind the tapioca texture – which a lot of the people at our table were against- it was just that the flavor was not to my liking.  It must have been the Shanghai fruit.  Not sure what that is, but I guess I don’t like it in my tapioca.

Street Coconut Tapioca

Coconut Tapioca

The Rice Batter Pancake was another one of the less-liked dishes at our table.  To me, the pancake had a funny flavor – kind of like there was too much leavening.  The sweet black sesame and almond syrups were delish, though.  I’d like to order some of that to dip more donuts in.

Street Rice Batter Pancake

Rice Batter Pancake

 

I hope they do this again – and before the next Chinese New Year!  They need to make it a monthly event, right?  I say let’s all badger them until they do it.  Ready?  Go.

 

 

Downtown LA’s Vegan Pizza

I’m actually cleansing as I write this post and have been craving pizza for about a week and a half.  So this pizza picture is killing me!  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Hot, cheesy, sweet, and full of bread… I think my stomach just growled.

But really.  Purgatory Pizza is so out of the way for me.  It’s this tiny shop in a random part of downtown.   One day, I just so happen to be on that side of town with some vegan friends.  I was determined to get it.  Luckily, my friends were up for a slice of the good stuff.  The pizza here reminds me of that greasy stuff you would get as a school kid after a game of soccer or little league.  The slice was thin, but the width was massive.  Oh the memories!   We opted for the very grown-up BBQ Chicken Pizza.  This large pizza set us back $20, but was delicious.

Purgatory Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken pizzas are one of my favorite varieties.  Sometimes it’s nice to have a sauce other than ordinary tomato.  And look at those nice hearty chunks of Gardein chicken and pineapple.

Purgatory Pizza

Pizza Slice

Purgatory Pizza has free delivery for orders over $15, but I’m not sure how far they will travel.  If you live in downtown, you should definitely give them a ring to find out if they will come to you.  And for everyone else – their address is:

1326 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
323-262-5310
Monday – Friday 11:30am – 11pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 11pm

Casa Maya in Mentone

I know, I know.  I said I was back and then I disappeared again.  I promise this time I will be more consistent with my posts.  I honestly have a whole bunch of draft posts of things I’ve eaten the past few months ready to be finalized and brought to you.   Please forgive me.

 

My parent’s neighbor recently gave me a great recommendation for food in the area where they live.  I actually was quite surprised I hadn’t heard of Casa Maya before.  I grew up in the area and had spent a lot of my childhood as a vegetarian. This Mexican restaurant gets its unique cuisine from the Yucatan region and has a special vegetarian menu.

 

I went to visit my family and my mom and I decided to grab some lunch here.  We ordered two dishes and split them.  Our first dish was the Veggie Panuchos ($11.95).  What is a Veggie Panucho?  I had to read the menu to find out: corn tortillas stuffed with black beans, topped with marinated onion, cabbage, xnipec, and fresh guacamole.  It came with a side of beans and potatoes.  Wow – was this thing good.  I was hesitant about the marinated onions (the pink stuff in the picture), because… really… pink onions?  But they were great and (I think) essential to the dish.  And the sides!  Oh the sides!  Insanely good.

Casa Maya Veggie Panuchos

Veggie Panuchos

 

The second dish was just as good as the first!  The Potato and Avocado Empanadas ($11.95) were amazing.  How can you go wrong with dough filled with avocado and potatoes and then fried?  Again, I was hesitant about one component of this dish, but it wasn’t the onions this time.  The cream of balsamic vinegar was not too vinegary and enhanced the flavor of the empanadas (Phew! because I don’t like strong vinegar flavors).  And more beans and potatoes!  I need me some more of this.

Casa Maya Empanadas

Empanadas

 

There are a few other items on their vegetarian menu – a few don’t look too easily veganized.  It doesn’t matter, though, the two dishes we got were satisfying enough.

Casa Maya Menu

Casa Maya Menu

 

1839 Mentone Blvd
Mentone, CA 92359
909-794-7458