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

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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

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.

My Favorite Store Bought Mac and Cheeses

Vegan MoFo Day 10:

I just want to take a moment to tell you how amazing Leahey Gardens Mac and Cheese is.  I purchased a bunch of these from Vegan Essentials, because I can’t find it locally.  In my opinion, this is the best vegan mac and cheese in a box (or bag) on the market.  It’s prepared very similar to the conventional kind in the blue box.  The sauce is a powdered mix that you cook with some water or non-dairy milk (I also add some Earth Balance to it) then mix it in with the cooked noodles.  So simple and so delicious.

Leahey Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

And also a shout out to the best frozen mac and cheese out there:  Amy’s Rice Macaroni and Dairy Free Cheeze.  Even easier than Leahey Gardens!  Just pop this guy into the microwave.  It’s a small meal, but very satisfying.  And the best part is that this one is pretty readily available in your local grocer’s freezer section and is gluten free.

Amy's Mac and Cheeze

Amy’s Mac and Cheeze

(Source)

But if you don’t want to clean up dishes from either of these, I’d like to tell you about a Vegan Mac and Cheese Competition coming up this Saturday, October 13th in Los Angeles. Pay $5 to sample vegan mac and cheeses from local restaurants.  There will be a People’s Choice Award and a Judge’s Choice Award.  Get there early, because (apparently) only the first 100 will get samples.  See details here.

Dinnertime at Real Food Daily

Day 4 of Vegan MoFo:

My last two posts from Real Food Daily have been about their brunch items.  Because it is one of the few places to get vegan breakfast foods, my vegan guy and I come here a lot in the (late) mornings.  Very rarely do we actually come here for dinner, but sometimes we do.

In my pre-blog days, I tried numerous lunch/dinner menu items here that I did not document.  I am a big fan of their sandwich menu, including their Reuben ($11.75): tempeh, tofu cheese spread, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing on sourdough rye bread.  I got it with a side Caesar Salad (really good!!).  This reuben is full of sauerkraut and is so juicy.  It doesn’t make you feel heavy after eating it, either.

RFD Reuben

Reuben

Another great item is their Mexico City Tacos ($15.95): two crispy tacos, red chili beans, tempeh, vegetables, smoky chipotle cheese, avocado, jicama slaw, and Fiesta rice.  This is one item off their specials menu.  I am a big fan of mexican inspired dishes and this had all the components of a tasty south of the border meal.   Two things I loved were the creamy beans and cheese.  One thing I wasn’t that into was the jicama slaw – not a big fan of jicama.

RFD Tacos

Tacos

And again with the dessert!  I have terrible willpower when it comes to dessert.  A few other tables around my vegan guy and me ordered a Cookie a la Mode, so I did too.  The thought of a warmed chocolate chip cookie with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream sounded so wonderful and decadent.  Unfortunately, the cookie was not warmed and wasn’t particularly good at room temperature, either (I think it was gluten free).  I did like the ice cream.

RFD Cookie a la Mode

Cookie a la Mode

Vegan Divas Sent to Your Door

Day 3 of Vegan MoFo:

 

A while back I got a sample of products from Vegan Divas in New York City.  I was curious if a freshly baked product can make its way to the west coast and still taste good.  Did it?  Read on.

Assorted Goods

I got three different Baked Doughnuts – I’m a huge Homer Simpson and was really excited about the doughnuts.  The Toasted Coconut was very moist, but I thought it had an aftertaste – maybe the baking soda?  The Chocolate Iced was also moist – although not as moist as the coconut – and had a nice flavor.  Last, the Cinnamon Sugar was kind of plain for my taste.  Not too much to it.  The quest for an awesome donut I can get in SoCal (or mailed to me) continues…

Doughnuts: Chocolate Iced, Toasted Coconut, Cinnamon Sugar

I liked the other goodies better than the doughnuts.  First were some Chocolate Chip Cookies made with spelt flour. At first glance, these looked thin and crispy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that these were thin and soft.  They had a very nice flavor and had just the right amount of chocolate chips.  Spelt products have really taken a turn for the better.

Another goody was the gluten free Macaroons. I normally don’t like macaroons, because every one I’ve had has been wet and full of long strands of coconut (ew).  This one reminded me more of a cookie.  The chewier texture was a delightful surprise – score for the coconut!

Lastly, I tried the Spelt Brownie.  This is a stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth kind of brownie.  Luckily, it wasn’t a bitter tasting brownie, but still wasn’t my favorite.  I’ve had some better vegan brownies, but I also would not be disappointed had I ordered this for dessert at a restaurant.

Clockwise: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Spelt Brownie, Macaroon

You can order these goodies and more at their website.  Some items are only available for delivery in Manhattan, though.

 

Breakfast at Mother’s Market

Mother’s Market is an awesome place.  Not only is it a great grocery store filled with vegan food, but some locations have a sit down restaurant (available at Brea, Costa Mesa, Laguna Woods, Irvine, and Huntington Beach).  It’s one of the few places in Orange County to get a vegan breakfast – and it’s a good one, too!  The menu is entirely vegetarian (with one tuna dish) and most things can be made vegan if they aren’t already.

The newest member to the vegan breakfast menu are their Gluten Free Pancakes ($9.95).  They come with a healthy side of fruit.  These pancakes are really good.  Most people think gluten free foods are gross (and I agree a lot are), but not these pancakes.  They didn’t even taste gluten free.  I hope they don’t take these off the menu.

Mother's Market Pancakes

GF Pancakes

My vegan guy got the Ma’s Breakfast Melt ($8.95): two slices of toasted sourdough stuffed with tofu, avocado slices, vegan cheese, tomatoes and choice of “fakin’ bacon” or ”Gimme Lean” veggie sausage. It’s served with your choice of  herb roasted potatoes or organic brown rice.  I think my vegan guy thought it was too tofu-y, but I love that type of stuff.  I had a bite and thought it was delicious.

Mother's Market Ma's Breakfast Melt

Ma’s Breakfast Melt

Mother’s also serves lunch and dinner – and they have an incredible selection of juice, smoothies, and shakes.  I’ll have to post some of my favorites from those menus sometime!

I am Addicted to Chili Addiction

It has recently been announced that Chili Addiction will now be called The Addiction Bistro.  Whatever the name, I love this place.  It is an omnivorous restaurant with a large vegan menu (seen here).

I had never tried their Truffle Fries ($5), but decided to get them.  I love their fries, but I wasn’t getting a lot of truffle flavor in these.  I think the bottom fries ended up with most of that flavor.

Chili Addiction Truffle Fries

Truffle Fries

I always get a Chili Cheese Dog ($5.95) when I come to Chili Addiction – er… The Addiction Bistro.  They always have two vegan chilis to choose from, with two different spiciness levels.  I got a soyrizo-based chili on my dog, which was good, but I think I like the bean based chilis better.  I also wish they were able to melt the vegan cheese a bit more, but they end up topping the chili with cheese right before serving.

Chili Addiction Chili Cheese Dog

Chili Cheese Dog

My other favorite is the Chili Cheese Fries ($6).  This time I got it with a bean based chili.  I love this chili!  This one had a bunch of garbanzo beans – yum!  I can never find any recipes for chili like this.  Most chilis I see are the kind full of tomatoes.  I just want a nice beany chili – is that so hard to ask?  If anyone knows of any good recipes with limited or no tomatoes that are full of beans, please let me know.

Chili Addiction Chili Cheese Fries

Chili Cheese Fries

On another visit to The Addiction Bistro, my vegan guy and I tried their Chili Cheese Nachos ($8).  They make their own tortilla chips, but I actually wasn’t such a fan of them.  It was nice to try, but I think I’ll stick with the chili cheese fries.

Chili Addiction Chili Cheese Nachos

Chili Cheese Nachos

408 North La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
323-203-1793

Tuesday – Sunday: 12pm – 9pm
Closed Mondays

ROAD TRIP: Vegan Goodness in Sacramento

Let me begin this post by saying that there will be VEGAN DONUTS today!  And not just one place will have them.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Good.

Now let me explain how I got to the first set of vegan donuts in Sacramento.  As you may recall, I had just witnessed the beautiful wedding ceremony of my cousin with my mom and sister.  On our return trip to Southern California, we stopped in Sacramento for the night (it’s a very charming city, by the way).  Because my sister was craving pasta we just had to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory.  I like the Old Spaghetti Factory, but when I’m in a new place, I want to try something I’ve never had before.  One can get Old Spaghetti Factory any ol’ day in Southern California.  There are quite a few vegan options here and most Old Spaghetti Factories have renovated old train stations to make it a very lovely dining experience.  I didn’t snap any photos, because there are lots of resources already out there for vegan dining at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  See lists here and here.

Ok, ok, “When are we getting to the vegan donuts?!!” you ask.

After dinner, we stopped by the Sacramento Whole Foods to get dessert – and that’s where I spotted them waiting for me in the bakery section.  These gems are the creation of Posh Bakery – a wholesale only bakery in the Sacramento area.  The donuts were good.  It was late at night and they had been sitting all day, so they got to be a little dry – I still ate them, though.  The Blueberry Donut was my favorite.  It held its moisture the best, whereas the Chocolate-Nut Donut and Sugar Donut didn’t.  I also got a Whole Foods Chocolate Cupcake which was actually pretty disgusting, so don’t get it.

Whole Foods Sacramento Donuts

Whole Foods Cupcake and Posh Bakery Donuts

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ROAD TRIP: Vegan in Mammoth Lakes, CA (plus bonus cookie link!!)

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll probably have remembered I just went on a road trip to Oklahoma City for my cousin’s wedding.  Well, my mom and I (and a sister) were at it again and went on a road trip to Lake Tahoe for another cousin’s wedding.  Lake Tahoe is not too far from Southern California, but we wanted to make it a mini vacation, so we decided to have a few stops along the way.

Mammoth Lakes is a hot spot for skiing (so I’ve been told), but also is a great place for summer outdoor fun.  We weren’t there too long, but I did have a chance to notice plenty of bike and hike paths around the town.  And since Mammoth is full of nature loving individuals, it didn’t surprise me that there were a few spots for vegan food.

Our first stop was a place to get some snacks.  Sierra Sundance Whole Foods is an awesome little health foods market.  They had a great selection of vegan foods for snacking or preparing a meal in that cabin you’ve rented.  Being in a small car with three women, we weren’t thinking “healthy snacks,” so we stocked up on some comforting sugary sweets.  They even carried a local company’s vegan cookie!

Sierra Sundance Whole Foods Goodies

Sierra Sundance Whole Foods Goodies

Speaking of that local cookie company – we passed Mimi’s Cookie Bar’s storefront on our way to our hotel and had to stop to see what other vegan selections they had.

Mimi's Cookie Bar

Mimi’s Cookie Bar

This cookie bar is really cute and they have both non-vegan and vegan goodies.  We got some of their daily vegan cookies and their one and only vegan ice cream.  The Mocha Almond Fudge Cookie (I believe was gluten free) was a bit dry, but had a good flavor.  The Coconut-Lime Ice Cream was just ok – sort of gummy.  The Apple-Cinnamon Cookies (from Sierra Sundance) were also getting a bit dry from sitting on the shelf, but would be fantastic fresh.  And the Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were some of the best cookies I’ve ever had (gluten free or not)!!  We went back and got more of these cookies.

****Seriously, you have to try these cookies – and lucky for you, they are running a deal on Fab.com that allows you to do just that!  But hurry – this deal is only on for another 6 days!!  Go get them. Now.****

Mimi's Cookie Bar

Mocha Almond Fudge, GF PB Chocolate Chip, Coconut-Lime Ice Cream

And finally, on our way out of Mammoth the next day, we stopped to get a breakfast burrito at Stellar Brew & Deli.

Stellar Brew Coffee

Stellar Brew

The Breakfast Burrito ($5.50) was full of carrots, potatoes, bell pepper, and vegan sausage.  I thought it was a bit spicy, but good.  I also had wished they used some tofu and no bell peppers (yuck!).  It did give me that wholesome breakfast feeling so I could face the day of driving.

Stellar Brew Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

Stay tuned for more from my vegan road trip, including stops in Ridgecrest, Lake Tahoe, and Sacramento!