Beginners Guide to Eating Vegan Around Highland Park in L.A.  »

Move somewhere new, and then pinpoint the nearest vegan donut. That’s the best practice, right? Luckily for me, I moved to the Eagle Rock-Highland Park border in Los Angeles, where there just happens to be a gooey epic of a donuttery rightfully named Donut Friend.


Ah, Donut Friend, the glaze-coated BFF you’ve always dreamed of, topped liberally with rainbow sprinkles.

Owned by musician-record producer Mark Trombino, Donut Friend on York at 51st has all kinds of crazy delicious donut combos — or “signature combinations” — named after bands. All the donuts are vegan and most of the fillings and toppings are vegan too (everything is clearly marked).

Recently, I got the Nutellavision, a fluffy sugar donut injected with vegan Nutella and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. WHAT. I would also recommend Rites of Sprinkles, Drive Like Jelly, and Bacon 182, with vegan bacon.

Also on the same strip of York there’s new-ish pizza place, Town. They always have two vegan slice options behind the glass along with regular pizza, and those vegan slices are thin crust heaven. They do one with Daiya vegan cheese and one cheese-less option, with rotating toppings.


Sandwiched in between Donut Friend and Town, there’s Scoops, which is another branch of the popular LA ice cream shop with inventive flavors including many vegan scoops. Recent non-dairy options include salty chocolate, maple Oreo, and Cinnamon Coconut Burnt Sugar. So yes, three amazingly vegan/vegan-friendly none-to-healthy shops dotting the same small strip of land. It’s all just so decadent.

I promise there are other streets besides York. Highland Park also boasts tempeh-bacon experts/mostly vegan & gluten-free Kitchen Mouse Cafe on Figueroa. The adorable breakfast spot serves the popular Buffalo Bowl with brown rice, black beans, collard greens, yams, and topped with dill cashew and buffalo sauces, along with more perfect brunch dishes like the smoky Tempeh Reuben, served open-face, with caraway sauerkraut, cashew cheese, and chipotle aioli. Not only do they have a way with tempeh bacon, they’ve really mastered sauces here.


For a tad fancier evening out than say, splitting a jelly donut on the walk home, there are a few vegan options at popular sit-down Italian eatery Maximiliano, including the vegan pizza with pomodoro, spinach, mushroom, kalamata olive, eggplant, and best of all, truffle oil.

You could also try Good Girl Dinette on 56th at Figueroa, a very vegan-friendly Vietnamese diner with vegetarian pho with rice noodles and tofu, mushroom imperial rolls, and rice cakes with crisp scallion tofu.

Around the Highland Park-Eagle Rock border, there’s also pop-up Plant Food for People, which shows up regularly at vegan grocer-deli Organix in Eagle Rock on Colorado, the Eagle Rock Brewery in Glassell Park, and many neighborhood spots. They make the best jackfruit tacos you’ve ever had, hands down.

 And speaking of Organix, stop by this small grocer for your essentials (Earth Balance cheddar squares and Kombucha) but also for that little window of a deli. It’s a porthole to sandwich paradise.

Their sandwiches often come decked out in Beyond Meat and Veganaise, or in the case of the Pulled Pork, shredded jackfruit and cabbage slaw. The seasonal menu also includes gourmet vegan hot dogs, a fried “chicken” sandwich, veggie burgers, and the Poncho (Vegan Carne Asada) burrito. Everything I’ve tried there so far has been worth the wait.

In fact, Organix is the first spot a friend recommended when I mentioned I’d be moving to the area. And what a great suggestion it was.

This leads me to my next point: Surely there are more spots I haven’t yet discovered in the Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glassell Park region — vegan meals that I’ve missed with this tasty breakdown. Let me know in the comments. And hey, let’s split a vegan donut when you’re in the neighborhood. 


Crossroads is now serving brunch!   »

Is there anything better than vegan chicken & waffles? (Photo courtesy Crossroads)

Tal Ronnen strikes again, and this time he means BRUNCHNESS. Starting this weekend, you can go to Crossroads in Los Angeles on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and indulge in both savory and sweet dishes (guaranteed not to disappoint). Some menu items include Chicken & Waffles (drool on photo above), French Toast (gluten-free options available), Crossroads Benedict, two types of frittatas, and much more. Also, for you boozy brunchers, there will be a “tableside bloody mary cart.” (Can you roll me out of there on said cart when I’m done chowing down?) 

Click here for the full menu, and to make your reservation!


LA: Come to The Lusty Vegan pop-up this Thursday in Venice!   »


Remember when we told you that Chef Ayinde Howell was trying to open a food truck here in our great city? Well, now’s your chance to eat some of his scrumptious food!! AND, his co-author of The Lusty Vegan cookbook and relationship manifesto (out October 14th), Zoe Eisenberg, will be there as well! Let me assure you that the food at this event will knock your wool-free socks off. I was one of the recipe testers for this cookbook and was incredibly impressed with everything I tested. I have also been to an event catered by Chef Ayinde and the man is a culinary sorcerer! Plus, look at the menu: 

Balsamic & Truffle Mac & Yease
Citrus & Salt Pickled Fennel Salad
Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cake with Garlic Dill Aioli
Fillet De Soy with Blood Orange and Napa Cabbage Slaw
Fresh Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Ice Cream


Buy your tickets! Then, RSVP (very limited seating) on Facebook. And enjoy stuffing your face with delicious foods!! 


Veggie Prom West (aka LA knows how to party!) PLUS $10 off for Vegansaurs!   »



Following in the footsteps of the successful NYC Veggie Prom, it’s time for the west coast to get in on the fun! The 2014 beneficiaries are The Gentle Barn, and the Animal Advocacy Museum. There will be music, dancing, complimentary vegan food and drinks, prom photos, prom court (vote here!), flash mobs portraying iconic prom scenes (Hand Jive from Grease, anyone?!), and raffle prizes donated by vegan companies (like Phoney Baloney’s and The Tree Kisser apparel). So, basically, there’s NO excuse not to come! 

The event is 21+ and will be held at the Animal Advocacy Museum in Woodland Hills, California on June 28th from 7pm-12am

USE THE CODE “VEGANSAURUS” TO GET $10 OFF YOUR TICKET! (Good for one week from today.) Tickets are $55 ($65 at the door, if they’re not sold out). This ticket price includes complementary hors d’voeuvres and unlimited spiked (or unspiked) punch, samples of Hint Water, two raffle tickets, and more shall be revealed! 

Whether you hated your prom, skipped (or missed) it, or had the time of your life, you can have a whole new prom experience of vegan awesomeness! 

Here’s a little throwback to mine (from way back in 1999):  

I think I went to the actual dance for all of 15 minutes. The remainder of the night (and well into the next morning) consisted of dinner at my favorite vegan-friendly restaurant (I still love you, Harmony Cafe!!!), cheap beer (thank you prom date’s mom!), a hotel room with a hot tub, a “chaperone” (my, then, 19-year-old cousin who passed out early while the rest of us got wasted in said hot tub), and a major make out session (#noregrets). Needless to say, it was a fun night (miraculous, considering my original prom date bailed on me the week before because he reunited with his girlfriend). Upon reflection, it sounds kind of like a tamer version of The Hangover. 

Regardless, bring a date, come with a group of friends, or fly solo to this kick ass event!!!! (GO BUY TICKETS NOW!


Even in flat shoes, I was towering over my date. (For the record, he was my buddy, and wasn’t the guy I had the make out session with.)


This weekend: Artisanal LA Spring show with Courtesan Cupcakes!  »


Plans this weekend? Why not hit up this artisanal spring show in downtown Los Angeles? It looks like Etsy in action. I LOVE ETSY! I wish I could go, but I’m moving. You know how that is: lifting heavy boxes and waiting for the electric/internet/gas company to show up and set things up. Exciting! Exhausting! Maybe I’ll go on Sunday, we’ll see! My heart wants what it wants, and that just so happens to be sweets by Jessika Lauren’s Courtesan Cupcakes, and she’ll be there! I’m dying to try her stuff—it’s all so beautiful and 100% vegan. Plus, our LA vegan queen (via London now, I know), Quarrygirl, says those cupcakes are some of THE BEST

I love these events because I always find fun vegan goodies that aren’t necessarily geared towards vegans, ya know? Presale tix are $12 and available right here. Otherwise, it’s $15 at the door. Happy shopping!


LA!! FREE book release party this Sunday with FREE bands, FREE Pure Luck Pop-Up & FREE Clara Cakes!!   »


I’m always on the hunt for fun FREE things to do here in the City of Angels, so you bet I’ll be showing up to this! (And, hello, FREE VEGAN FOOD!?! You’d be crazy not to come!) 

Farmhouse Publishing (vegan owned and operated) presents, SHOOT IT YOURSELF book release party and show. (Did I mention it’s FREE?!) Aaaaaand, if you pre-order the book, you get to jump the line (so DO IT)! 

Who doesn’t love looking at photos (aka why I’m obsessed with Instagram, and why you probably are, too!)? Now’s your chance to snazz up your boring ole coffee table with black and white photographer, Ignacio Galvez's book, Shoot It Yourself. Live shots of punk, hardcore, hip-hop (and more) musicians at shows. Get into it, people!!! 

FREE admission and FREE food!
Limited capacity
PRE-ORDER the book to jump the line!!! 

FREE Music by:
- Bouquet
- TUNA (dj)

FREE Food by:
Pure Luck Pop Up (Fingers crossed they’ll serve their infamous jackfruit tacos!) 
Clara Cakes (Have you see Quarrygirl’s video about Clara? Her cupcakes are legit good!) 

Space 15 Twenty
1520 Cahuenga Blvd
LA, CA 90028

For more info:


Van Leeuwen Ice Cream has SEVEN vegan flavors! We try the Salted Caramel!  »


The popular NYC ice cream company Van Leeuwen now has 7 vegan flavors you can buy in stores!!!! THIS IS THE BEST! Why didn’t you tell me? Well actually I saw the banana nut flavor but didn’t really feel like trying, though I thought it was cool they had an exotic vegan flavor. But I didn’t know they had a million vegan flavors! So I saw this Salted Caramel—with Maldon, my favorite salt! (SHUT UP)—at Union Market in Brooklyn and I had to try it because I am such a scientist.


It’s delicious! Creamy, salty, caramel-goodness. It’s very rich, I don’t know how much I could eat in one sitting, but so good. Top a slice of vegan apple pie with a scoop of this and you’ll probably die of happiness. But it’ll be worth it!


As you see, these are all soy-free. I know some of you like that. They didn’t have the Coffee Crunch at Union Market and YOU KNOW I love coffee ice cream! But Van Leeuwen’s FB says they have it at the Whole Foods in BK. I hope they also have the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk! 

More exciting news: looks like Van Leeuwen has branched out to LA! Their FB seems to have the truck in Venice mostly but they also said you can get all the vegan flavors at The Oaks Gourmet at 1915 n. Bronson ave. So there you go LA, you get all the good vegan stuff! 

Has anyone tried the Coffee Crunch? TELL ME ABOUT IT!


Take a peek inside Beyond Meat’s headquarters! Plus, coupon for Vegansaurus readers!  »

Vegan meat substitutes are officially taking over the world right now, at least according to The New York Times, Fast Company, and my tummy

I recently visited LA, and while I was in town posting pics of enormous gluten-free vegan pretzels from Sage, Beyond Meat messaged me on Instagram notifying me that I was selected as the “fan of the month,” and invited me to visit their office in El Segundo! What an honor! Of course I accepted their invitation!


Vegansaurus’ Sarah and her brother Asher visiting the Beyond Meat offices in El Segundo.

The Beyond Meat staff was so incredibly welcoming and friendly! I love it when vegan companies are as epic towards their fellow human beings as they are towards non-human animals. Let’s just say the warmth and idealism was brimming over throughout the sunny, El Segundo open-floor plan office. I love that Beyond Meat is doing a campaign to reduce meat consumption by 25% in the next 20 years!

Other office highlights: I got a Beyond Meat t-shirt, I met an adorable puppy named Winnie, and got to see the talented Beyond Meat chef cooking up some new products that are too top secret to mention here!


Winnie, the cutest office dog ever, plays with the Beyond Meat family.


Vegansaurus’ Sarah making beef-free Beyond Meat with her vegan brother Asher in Echo Park!


Beyond Meat Beef-free crumbles are so delicious in pasta sauce!

After Beyond Meat showed me their great office and gave me and my brother a bunch of beef-free crumbles and chicken-free strips, I served Beyond Meat beef-free crumbles to a bunch of omnivores in the form of pasta sauce. Everyone thought the product was delicious! Beyond Meat’s team also told me some top secret details about new products coming out, and while I’m not allowed to spill the beans, OMG, you guys, this is a very good time to be a plant eater!

Beyond Meat is available at select grocery and health food stores nationwide.

EXCLUSIVE: Vegansaurus readers can get a $2 off coupon by clicking here!


Della: vegan, socially responsible accessories and tech cases!  »


Della is a socially responsible fashion line that provides jobs, education and skills training to women and men of Hohoe, Ghana. So the company sounds pretty amazing, but the bags also look super cute! And I just so happen to need a little sleeve for my bitty work computer! AND 30% of all sales for THIS WEEK are being donated to PETA! It’s DESTINY. So I bought this cute vintage coral one. I’m in love. 


No really, this is just what I was looking for. I have a giant bag with a big open interior. So far, I just shove my work macbook in when I need to bring it home but I’m always like, “this seems like the worst idea ever.” Well, never no more! I now have a perfect responsibly-made macbook sleeve to protect it.

And as I was saying, the company looks really awesome. It was started by an LA designer and an entrepreneur in Ghana as a way to help the women of the Hohoe community. The women who make the Della products not only make a fair wage, they also take classes in literacy and finance. You can read all about it on their site. Here’s a little peek inside the company:

If you are looking for a cute bag, laptop case, headband, or THIS FREAKING AWESOME POCKET SQUARE, check out Della! And if you want to support PETA, this is the week to shop!


Hey Hollywood! Doomie’s Pop Up Dinner is gonna be poppin’!   »


Photo courtesy of Doomie’s Facebook page

Doomie’s Home Cookin' in Hollywood has a plethora of seitanic foods (their secret menu item the vegan “Big Mac” has a cult following), so imagine my surprise when I saw that they'll be doing a gluten-free menu! And SIX COURSES?! People, this is a don't-miss! 

Email to make your reservation. 

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