vegansaurus!

01/15/2014

Muchas Gracias! Gracias Madre is opening in West Hollywood this Friday!   »

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Thanks, LA Times, for this photo. 

When I saw this article posted on FaceBook yesterday, I thought, “THANK MAUDE, THIS IS FINALLY HAPPENING!” This Friday, January 18, all your vegan Mexican dreams come true in West Hollywood.* Rumors about their opening date have been flying for awhile now, so this confirmation comes as a great relief! 

Being new to LA has its definite perks (remember when I ate fried green tomatoes at Crossroads?!), but there were a few things I was sad to leave behind in San Francisco. Gracias Madre was at the top of that list! (So was Rainbow Grocery, but then I found Viva la Vegan here.) 

If you’ve never had the mole from Gracias Madre, well, I pity the fool. There are countless ways I could count what’s great about this place (cashew cheese on errthang), and it sounds like they’re kicking it up a notch with this new location. Executive chef, Chandra Gilbert, has some tasty ideas up her chef’s coat sleeve. And the beverage director, Jason Eisner, seems to as well. They posted a few photos on their Instagram showing the process of how the organic tequilas and mezcal they’ll be serving are made. Since I don’t drink, I expect all my lush friends to pick up the slack. I’ll make up for it by eating ALL THE VEGAN FLAN. 

The only info on their website is a link for people interested in working there (please get a job there and give me free food!). I expect they’ll update it soon with the full menu and any upcoming events. 

Spoiler alert: both Gracias Madre locations are part of the same family as Cafe Gratitude (which VS has done several pieces on in the past). I’m pleading the 5th and staying out of that discussion (whilst stuffing my face with controversial, yet delicious, Mexican vittles). 

Los Angeles, “GRACIAS” for giving me another reason to love living here!!!! (Sorry, not sorry for that.)   

*Unless you have some crazy dream of being a vegan luchador, Sorry, I can’t help you on that one. 



10/25/2013

LA bans bullhooks! Huzzah!  »

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Yay! Good news for eles! Los Angeles has officially banned the use of bullhooks—i.e. that awful fire poker-looking thing above that Ringling Brothers and other circuses use to “guide” elephants. They also happen to use it to beat elephants. Because they love them so much. 

As the LA Times says, this kind of just makes it so circuses can’t go to LA. As the LA Times also says, 

Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros., said the ordinance would have the effect of “kicking us out of Los Angeles.”

Ringling allows trainers and elephants to be in close proximity — or “free contact” — and therefore the tool must be used for safety purposes, Payne said. He contends that the company’s handlers use it professionally and humanely.

The Assn. of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits North American zoos, has instructed all its members, by 2014, to allow only restricted contact between keepers and elephants — meaning there will be a barrier at all times between person and pachyderm. Although the association does not expressly prohibit bullhooks, restricted contact lessens the need to use them.

If the circus can’t come to town without bullhooks, then it shouldn’t come.

Right?!

Sadly, apparently it might take up to three years to take effect but it’s still a super great advance in the terrible treatment of imprisoned eles. 

A classic Megan Rascal cartoon. 

07/02/2013

TODAY: the veggie-lover’s sriracha cookbook arrives with epic LA launch party  »

quarrygirl:

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i have been anxiously anticipating the veggie-lover’s sriracha cookbook ever since i was lucky enough to test a few of the recipes back in summer 2012. my copy finally arrived here in london a couple days ago and it’s even more beautiful than i imagined. filled with gorgeous color photos, it packs 50 ridiculously tasty-sounding vegan recipes that revolve around my all time favorite condiment: SRIRACHA. we’re talking beer-battered fried avocado tacos with sriracha curtido, jackfruit “pulled pork” sandwiches with pickled red onion, and fiery pho chay just to name a few.

the official release date for the cookbook is july 2nd (tomorrow!), and to celebrate, author randy clemens is throwing an epic sriracha-themed LA launch party at golden road brewing. GOD I WISH I COULD GO TO THIS. not only does the menu look fantastic, but david tran (founder of huy fong foods!!) will be in attendance with special limited edition bottles of cock sauce printed with “The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook — July 2, 2013” for everybody who purchases a book that evening. I WANT ONE, IT ISN’T FAIR!

full details from randy clemens himself pasted below:

The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook Release Party
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 — 6 to 11 p.m.
Chloe’s at Golden Road Brewing
5410 W San Fernando Rd., Los Angeles

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I’m beyond proud to announce that The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook will be released on July 2nd, and naturally, I’m throwing a big party to celebrate.

Join me and a bunch of people with exceptional taste at Chloe’s, the semi-private club at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. We’ll have tasty grub and splendid beers to fill your mouth-hole, and sweet bluegrass tunes to serenade your ears. 

Try some of the following dishes from my book expertly prepared by Golden Road’s Executive Chef Adam Levoe: 

  • Not Your Mama’s Party Mix 
  • Southeast Meets Southwest Lettuce Cups
  • Burning Thai Bruschetta
  • Edamame-Sriracha Succotash
  • Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” Sammiches with Pickled Red Onion
  • Beer Battered Fried Avocado Tacos with Sriracha Curtido

I’ll be there to chat about all things vegan and to sign copies of both The Sriracha Cookbook and The Veggie-Lovers Sriracha Cookbook. (They will of course be available for purchase at the event.) 

The event is free to enter; food and beer are available for purchase à la carte. There will be a list of suggested Golden Road Beer pairings and a TBA Sriracha-infused DESSERT. Stay tuned for other rooster sauce madness… 

RSVP/invite friends on Facebook | RSVP/invite friends on Google+

please, please, please go to this event and eat lots of sriracha jackfruit sandwiches for me. i’m so bummed to be missing it. 

in closing, here’s a photo of the mean quiche florentine i tested from the book, which i can honestly say is the best quiche i’ve ever eaten (vegan or otherwise) in my life. 

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Be there, L.A. vegans! How can you go wrong?

06/18/2013

Our girl QG went to our girl Kate D.’s dad’s restaurant, Veggie Grill, and interviewed co-founder and partner Ray White about its delicious fare. Are you starving watching this video? It makes me so hungry, and I’ve never even had Veggie Grill (I know, my life is a disappointment to everyone).

06/17/2013

Tattoo review: James Spooner’s vegan tattoos don’t hurt (animals)  »

imageI was always intrigued by tattoos in my early years, but never thought enough about them to ever want one. Thoughts like Why does that guy love barbed wire enough to have it tattooed on his arm? or I wonder what “tribe” that tribal tattoo represents? would cloud my mind and sully the idea of ever getting something meaningful tattooed on the temple I call my own body. Fast forward to my (really) late twenties, here I am thinking of different designs paying homage to my parental units to be permanently drawn on my skin. I knew I wanted something and began my research about two months ago.

In L.A., there’s really just one choice when it comes to 100 percent vegan tattoo joints. I came across a couple of artists that could use vegan inks, but James Spooner of Monocle Tattoo was the only one who would be using vegan-friendly soaps and aftercare, and, as far as I could tell, the only vegan himself. I remember either an old Quarry Girl post or tweet or something regarding Spooner a couple of years back, so when my own research came back to him, I shot him an email (or nine) with some basic questions. He was extremely helpful and informative, and once I met him in person and he was as excited, if not more, than I was regarding my idea. I knew it was a match. Plus the “Vegan Tattoos Don’t Hurt (Animals)” framed artwork in his shop warmed my heart more than standard adjectives can delineate.

I was ridiculously impressed on Spooner’s ability to put his art on paper based off of my descriptions. He sent me a drawing and the next day it was on my arm, permanently. I’ve never been as excited as I was, still am, about this tattoo. I have many more sessions left to fill in and have it colored, which I feel like a kid on Christmas morning in anticipation. This was my first tattoo but Spooner made it feel like I’ve been there before, and even after 3+ hours on the “table” (it was actually a chair) I was never uncomfortable (other than the needles-into-the-arm part.)

Southern Californian vegans would be making a mistake if they went elsewhere. And if you get a non-vegan tattoo because you like the artist’s work, it’s the same as eating a non-vegan pizza because you like the taste. Ya dig? If you want more information on vegan tattoos or if you’re serious about getting something done, for the first time or 100th time, hit him up. Tell him Vegansaurus sent you. 

Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, California.  He co-created and contributes to a Rhode Island based Hip-Hop website, The Echo Chamber Blog, under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.

06/12/2013

VIDEO! quarrygirl presents clara’s cakes! a teenage-run vegan bakery in LA.  »

quarrygirl:

you’re probably already familiar with teenage baking sensation clara polito, who owns and operates her own vegan business in los angeles called clara’s cakes…after all we’ve posted two recipe videos with her in the past. clara went vegan at the age of 12, and frustrated with the animal-free dessert options in her area, she decided to learn how to make her own treats. four years later, she’s got her own bakery with a menu that wows all kinds of eaters. in today’s video, we sat down with clara at her home in LA and learned about her most delicious creations and why she went vegan in the first place.

to learn where you can find clara’s cakes in LA, check out her website, twitter feed, and facebook page. i know that right now, you can find her cupcakes at pizzanista which happens to make the best vegan pizza in town. so go get ‘em.

QG does it again! Laura’s in LA now and if she isn’t following quarrygirl’s exhaustive guides to the vegan shangri-la that is the city of angels, she’s not doing it right. Same goes for anyone else in SoCal.

06/10/2013

YOU GUYS. I moved to LA just as quarrygirl left it, and that is very fucking sad. Come drown all the sorrows with me at the echo park vegan pizza crawl, where we will eat pizza until we sob.

heads up!! the echo park vegan pizza crawl is coming back this year on june 29th for vegan pizza day. don’t miss it!! same deal as time: there will be deals and specials at all your favorite echo park pizza spots including mohawk bend, masa, two boots, sunset beer co, and los angeles pizza company. join the facebook event here, and check out specifics after the jump ——->
Read More

YOU GUYS. I moved to LA just as quarrygirl left it, and that is very fucking sad. Come drown all the sorrows with me at the echo park vegan pizza crawl, where we will eat pizza until we sob.

heads up!! the echo park vegan pizza crawl is coming back this year on june 29th for vegan pizza day. don’t miss it!! same deal as time: there will be deals and specials at all your favorite echo park pizza spots including mohawk bend, masa, two boots, sunset beer co, and los angeles pizza company. join the facebook event here, and check out specifics after the jump ——->

Read More

04/03/2013

A night of vegan celebrities: Farm Sanctuary throws mega-swanky poker benefit in L.A.  »

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March 16, I happened to be in L.A. for an unrelated work event and got a chance to stop by Fun For Farm Animals: Celebrity Poker Tournament & Cocktail party to benefit the work of Farm Sanctuary

I had never thought about gambling as a gateway drug to vegan activism, but now that I’ve experienced it firsthand I’ll say this: It works! There were SO many famous people who aren’t reported vegetarians/vegans who came out to get photographed in classy outfits help support the animals!

In the penthouse of the Petersen Automotive Museum, celebs and normies willing to pay $200 for tickets descended on hella cocktails and amazing All Hail Kale salad from Veggie Grill, vegan buffalo wings, and other treats! Performances from Grammy winner Colbie Caillat and others took place on this really cute stage they had over near the snacks and open bar, and there were magicians and psychics and, again, loads of FAMOUS people—Michael Vartan! Jennifer Coolidge! So many more!—whom I don’t think are vegan but who opened their hearts and wallets for the animals! It was beautiful.

Images courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.

More than a few of the attendees I talked to planned to gamble for the animals and then run the L.A. Marathon the next morning. Talk about dedication! I also ran into my current favorite vegan celeb, Mercy For Animals’ Ari Soloman, who was super cute in person and grounded me while surrounded by a bunch of people I’m used to seeing on television shelling out for farm animals. If this is the future of vegan activism, deal me in!

04/01/2013

Kite Hill Cheese Is Here  »

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Meave reported on Kite Hill cheese rumors last month, and we’re back with an update. The rumors are a reality, and the fabled cheese has arrived OTS at Northern California Whole Foods. 

We took to the streets to report on the new vegan product that has all the vegans (and omni food-lovers!) dropping their edible panties (and checkbooks!) for. Here’s our HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM:

I learned the following from the Whole Foods in Los Gatos cheese people:

1. Kite Hill has an exclusive contract with WFs and will only be available at Whole Food stores for a year — after that, the rest of the world can have at it.

2. It’s currently only at Los Altos, Palo Alto, and Oakland Whole Foods, but it’ll expand to either 9 or 11 more Northern California WFs “very soon”. They weren’t sure which stores, but they THINK Redwood City and Berkeley are in. Los Angeles folks can try the cheeses at Crossroads, Tal Ronnen’s new vegan restaurant on Melrose, and I think there’s a cheese shop opening up next door or inside the restaurant or something CONFIRM OR DENY PLZ.

3. As of last Friday, all No Cal WF stores were sold out, but the’re supposed to get shipments this week. If you call in advance, make sure the employees look in the dairy case, and not with the vegan cheese!

OK, so what I tried… descriptions from Kite Hill’s FB page:

Costanoa, a semi soft dusted with a piquant blend of paprika and fennel pollen; and White Alder, a soft ripened cheese with a delicate white rind, pungent aroma and velvety texture. 

There’s one more flavor — Casuccio, a soft fresh with a supple, silky texture — but they didn’t have it at Whole Foods.

The people working the cheese section at Whole Foods were crazy about both cheeses, but particularly loved the White Alder. They were all genuinely excited about it, and impressed by it. 

I sampled it with a professional food critic (an omnivore!) and she thought it was good, if a bit salty. My vegetarian sister liked it a lot, but said it didn’t “trick her” into thinking it was cheese. She mentioned that it was crumbly like tofu, and not creamy like cheese — which was also my experience eating it. However, if the critic or my sister didn’t know it was vegan to begin with, who knows if they would’ve been able to tell. 

For my part, I thought it was good. Very good, especially when I ate it as instructed on the Kite Hill FB “info” page.

Costanoa:
Costanoa is a semi-soft cheese encrusted with a piquant crust of paprika and fennel pollen. Its texture is smooth and compact, making this cheese excellent for slicing and serving on crackers or fresh baguette rounds. We love to offset Costanoa’s buttery, earthy, peppery flavors with a pairing of fresh or caramelized figs.

Suggested wine pairing: A crisp, zesty dry white wine with citrus or floral notes. 

White Alder:
White Alder is a soft ripened velvety cheese with a white, fluffy rind. It has a tangy mushroomy flavor profile with a rich, silky texture and pungent aromatics. This cheese is best served straight from the refrigerator and pairs well with white grapes.

Suggested wine pairing: A dry white wine such as a Chardonnay with fruit or citrus notes or even Champagne.

I did think both flavors were a little salty, but mainly delicious. I preferred the White Alder because the rind was extra fun and reminded me of brie; I would be excited to eat this as part of a cheese plate at a fancy restaurant.

That said, I’m not sure if it’s as revolutionary as all that, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing — the more good vegan cheeses on the market, the better. Plus, the fact that the Whole Foods cheese people were SO excited about it, got me excited, too. Because if they say it tastes like cheese, it must taste (at least kinda) like cheese, right? And if the rich people are willing to switch from their cow cheese to this vegan cheese, that’s a good thing. And, uh, it’s gonna have to be rich people because this shiz is NOT cheap: White Alder is $14.99, Costonoa was $13.99 for six ounces. 

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So, what’s up? Have any of you tried it? What did you think?? 

UPDATE:

From San Francisco Magazine, here’s the list of Whole Foods the cheeses will be available at (and when!):

The brand will debut today (March 25) in Whole Foods Los Altos and Palo Alto; Tuesday in Oakland, Berkeley, Noe Valley, Franklin, and Potrero Hill; Wednesday in Mill Valley, San Rafael, and Sebastopol; and Thursday in San Jose, Cupertino, and Capitola. The cheeses are all exclusive to the Bay Area until they go national later this summer.

UPDATE 2:

Super Vegan tweets that Crossroads is out of Kite HIll and won’t have it back for “awhile”. DEMAND IS HIGH, MY FRIENDS. 

03/28/2013

Ike’s takes Los Angeles!   »

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Ike’s is the top spot in the Bay Area for serious business vegan sandwiches, and this very spring he’s opening a new shop in L.A. What’s more, he’s replacing a Subway! What? Per Scott James:

Ike’s secured the Westwood spot after a campaign on Facebook that encouraged fans to email the property owner, asking her to rent the space to Ike’s after Subway’s lease expired. It was a risky move that Shehadeh admits could have backfired. “If she was going to get mad, she wasn’t going to rent to us anyway,” he said.

Instead, Shehadeh said, the landlord was impressed when she was flooded with 1,000 emails in favor of Ike’s. Such passion…for a sandwich shop? Soon the deal was signed.

The rest of the article is mostly about James’s relationship with his reportage of the saga of Ike’s in San Francisco, which is significantly less interesting. The point is: Congratulations L.A., the king of vegan sandwiches is coming to you! Viva Ike’s!

[photo by digiyesica via Flickr]

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