vegansaurus!

09/24/2014

Los Angeles: Vegan Oktoberfest Is Almost Here! Get Your Tickets! DO IT.  »

You guys. YOU GUYS. Vegan Oktoberfest is coming to Los Angeles and it’s gonna be SO DELICIOUS. There’s gonna be a shitton (technical term) of beer and food for you to indulge in on Saturday, October 4th in Santa Monica! Let’s do this!

CHECK IT FOOD LOVERS:

Vegan Oktoberfest will feature delicious, traditional Bavarian food that just happens to be vegan. We’re talking sausages, pretzels, potato pancakes, chicken, sauerkraut, ice cream, and many more delectable delights including gluten free options! 

BUT WHAT ABOUT BEER DELICIOUS BEER??

Participating breweries include: Ninkasi Brewing, Einstock, The Dudes’, Lammsbrau, Sierra Nevada, Venice Duck Brewery, Four Sons Brewery, Karl Strauss, Eel River, Ace Ciders, Epic Brewing, Modern Times, Bison Organic Beer, Oskar Blues, Drake’s, Coronado Brewing, Angel City, Golden Road, Anderson Valley, Saint Archer, Bravery, Lagunitas, Hangar 24, and more to come!  And don’t worry there will be gluten free beer and cider available.

OK??!?!?!

Get your tickets now and we’ll see you there to EAT AND DRINK ERRYTHING. Prost! (That’s how you cheers in German. I think.) (I’m hella worldly.)

09/23/2014

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If you’re in Los Angeles and you’re not attending Mohawk Bend’s “Authors Worth Celebrating" dinner and drinks series, you are seriously missing out. Each month, the restaurant has an author with a new cookbook swing by and prepare a four course dinner (with beer and cocktail pairings! BOOZE!) and then feeds you the entire thing while the author tells you all about it. I’ve been to two—one for the brilliant Tal Ronnen (Crossroads FOR LIFE!) and one for also brilliant Terry Hope Romero (Salad Samurai! Yes!)—and they were both two of the best meals I’ve ever had. AND YOU KNOW I LOVE TO EAT. Plus, it’s so fun to hear the author speak about the process for coming up for each dish, and it’s just all together a really lovely night. Oh! And there are awesome giveaways after the meal, and you have the opportunity to buy the chef’s cookbook. It’s all inclusive, you guys!!!

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The mastermind behind the festivities is Mohawk Bend co-owner Amy Yanow (that’s her interviewing Terry Hope Romero above!), a genius in her own right for devising this delicious idea. We sat down with Amy and asked her a few questions about the series, and here are her terrific answers:

Why did you decide to start doing this series?

We had always visualized using the Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend to facilitate conversations and serve as a community hub for interesting events. We just hadn’t necessarily found a format that worked.

Prior to this year, we did host the occasional book event at Mohawk Bend and Tony’s Darts Away, but under different formats in which the event guests usually comingled with the regular dining service.  To me, the prior formats lacked customer engagement.

Late last year, I found myself so inspired by some of the values-based cookbooks coming that I wanted to actualize that dream of using the Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend to curate interesting conversations that reflect the values of my family and our restaurants. The original idea was to ensure that customers felt that they had direct contact with the featured guests, an opportunity for conversation and an experience that was different than the usual dining experience.

Why have most of the authors been vegan?

We had always intended for the series to have vegan offerings regardless of whether or not the author was vegan.  Naturally, we started off by approaching people we knew and not so coincidentally most of them were vegan. 

However, an early event featured Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt, two women I respect greatly, who included a lot of plant-based options in their book but the book isn’t vegan.  Regardless, I keep finding myself most compelled by the books featuring plant-based recipes, because that is something that I am passionate about and there are so many great cookbooks to celebrate.  Further, there is an interest in the vegan authors we feature, so it’s win-win. 

Ultimately, we’ve just been really blessed with the quality of guests we’ve been able to host and have been rolling with the punches. I would definitely consider having another guest that published a book I believed in so long as we could have a vegan friendly offering as well, but everything in the pipeline at the time continues to be vegan.

It seems like, in addition to the Authors Worth Celebrating series, you always have vegan options at your establishments (Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, Tony’s Dart’s Away in Burbank, and Golden Road Brewing in Glendale!). Why is catering to vegans important to you?

Yes, having an inclusive menu was a decision made on Day 1.  My husband and I couldn’t fathom opening anything that wasn’t hospitable to eaters of all kind, particularly because we prefer vegan offerings. 

 That spirit of bringing vegans, vegetarians and carnivores together in a space that they could all be happy in only supported our goal to serve as a neighborhood gathering space and pub.  

Do you plan to continue the series indefinitely?

So long as we are inspired by what is being published, people are interested and quality conversation continues.

Who do we have to look forward to in the future?

Thug Kitchen (ED.: YES!! We fucking love them!!!) is coming in October and we are thrilled. After our Laurie David event, their publisher approached us to host their LA book release and we couldn’t be more honored that the series gained their attention and that they would like to use our space for such a milestone event.  (Note: I I’m still not actually sure who Thug Kitchen is other than that they are a duo.  I can’t wait to find out!)

What’s been your favorite dish so far and why?

You can’t make me pick one. They’ve all been amazing. What I can tell you is that, I love a good salad and I tend to prefer easy for myself. I have found myself making Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Caesar salad and Terry Hope Romero’s wedge salad.  I have found myself day dreaming about Tal Ronnen’s kale ricotta tortellini with saffron cream sauce.

DID YOU HEAR THAT: THE NEXT ONE IS THUG KITCHEN YALL. You can call me lots of things (fat, sexy, adorable, hilarious, full-of-swears), but don’t call me late to that fucking dinner. xoxox.

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08/29/2014

Vegan Superhero Terry Hope Romero is coming to Los Angeles TO COOK FOR YOU. She is THE BOMB DOT COM (technical term). We love Terry so so much, and this will be a meal to remember! So get your ass to Mohawk Bend and eat all her food at the Authors Worth Celebrating dinner! YUM YUM GET YOU SOME ETC I AM STARVING IS IT LUNCH YET.
Event Details:Monday, September 156:30pmRSVP authors@mohawk.la$30/per person, 4-course vegan meal Mohawk Bend2141 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026Event link on FB
About Terry Hope Romero:Terry Hope Romero is the author or co-author of several bestselling and award-winning cookbooks, including her collaborations with Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Vegan Pie in the Sky, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and the “vegan Bible” Veganomicon), as well as Viva Vegan!, which contains 200 recipes for Latin food lovers, and Vegan Eats World, a 300 recipe worldwide culinary tour of vegan cuisine. In 2011 she was named “Favorite Cookbook Author” by VegNews. She lives in Queens, New York. http://veganlatina.comAbout the Authors Worth Celebrating series:The “Authors Worth Celebrating” series at Mohawk Bend spotlights authors who share Mohawk Bend’s community values. With inspiration from the guest author, our Executive Chef creates a delicious multi-course meal for attendees to enjoy while they get to know the guest author, and the inspiration for their books, through robust conversation. Past authors featured include Joseph Shuldiner, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Tal Ronnen, Laurie David, Mayim Bialik and Randy Clemens!

Vegan Superhero Terry Hope Romero is coming to Los Angeles TO COOK FOR YOU. She is THE BOMB DOT COM (technical term). We love Terry so so much, and this will be a meal to remember! So get your ass to Mohawk Bend and eat all her food at the Authors Worth Celebrating dinner! YUM YUM GET YOU SOME ETC I AM STARVING IS IT LUNCH YET.

Event Details:
Monday, September 15
6:30pm
RSVP authors@mohawk.la
$30/per person, 4-course vegan meal 
Mohawk Bend
2141 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Event link on FB


About Terry Hope Romero:
Terry Hope Romero is the author or co-author of several bestselling and award-winning cookbooks, including her collaborations with Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Vegan Pie in the Sky, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and the “vegan Bible” Veganomicon), as well as Viva Vegan!, which contains 200 recipes for Latin food lovers, and Vegan Eats World, a 300 recipe worldwide culinary tour of vegan cuisine. In 2011 she was named “Favorite Cookbook Author” by VegNews. She lives in Queens, New York. http://veganlatina.com


About the Authors Worth Celebrating series:
The “Authors Worth Celebrating” series at Mohawk Bend spotlights authors who share Mohawk Bend’s community values. With inspiration from the guest author, our Executive Chef creates a delicious multi-course meal for attendees to enjoy while they get to know the guest author, and the inspiration for their books, through robust conversation. Past authors featured include Joseph Shuldiner, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Tal Ronnen, Laurie David, Mayim Bialik and Randy Clemens!

08/25/2014

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

08/13/2014

VEGAN CHEESE SHOP OPENING IN WEST HOLLYWOOD (yes, I am screaming this)!!  »

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I don’t like to use caps locks excessively, but learning about Vromage opening in WeHo in late September makes me want to TEXT SCREAM ABOUT HOW AWESOME THIS IS! VEGAN CHEEEEEEEEESE SHOP, PEOPLE!!!!

Okay, now the facts: 

  • Chef Youssef is the mysterious, magical man behind this new endeavor 
  • Cheeses will mostly be organic and many gluten free
  • There’s no social media links on their webpage, but Youssef put his cell phone number, so feel free to text him to say how much you love him
  • I will eat there all the freakin’ time
  • Vegan cheese, ZOMG

I’ll keep ya’ll updated (BECAUSE I’LL BE CAMPING OUTSIDE UNTIL THEY OPEN).

Vromage will be located at: 7980 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046

07/15/2014

Los Angeles vegans, come to Sharon Palmer’s Plant-Powered for Life book launch at Real Food Daily!  »

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Delicious vegan food (a free tasting menu!), lively discussion between Plant-Powered for Life author Sharon Palmer and Real Food Daily owner Ann Gentry, and a raffle—anything else on a Wednesday night would be snoozeville in comparison. All this goodness happens Wednesday, July 16 (that’s tomorrow), from 6 to 8 p.m. at Real Food Daily in Pasadena.

RSVP to the Facebook event page or to info@sharonpalmer.com and invite all your friends! See you there!

07/09/2014

Los Angeles: Come to This Sriracha and Beer Dinner at Mohawk Bend!  »

YOU GUYS! It’s time for another DELICIOUS “Authors Worth Celebrating” dinner event at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, Los Angeles! And you should be there because this one involves SRIRACHA and BEER. Yes.

The details:
Join Randy, celebrated Los Angeles writer and BJCP Recognized Beer Judge, for a four-course vegan meal inspired by his plant-based book, “The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook.” Randy will explore the culinary delights of Sriracha through an evening of delicious vegan eats and California craft beers.
Monday, July 21
6:30pm
Mohawk Bend
2141 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

Reservations: Authors@mohawk.la 
$25, per person 

About the Authors Worth Celebrating series:
The “Authors Worth Celebrating” series at Mohawk Bend spotlights authors who share Mohawk Bend’s community values. With inspiration from the guest author, Chef Erick Simmons creates a delicious multi-course meal for attendees to enjoy while they get to know the guest author, and the inspiration for their books, through robust conversation. Past authors featured include Joseph Shuldiner, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Tal Ronnen, Laurie David and Mayim Bialik.

06/02/2014

Los Angeles!! You know you want to meet Mayim Bialik and we have JUST the opportunity, so there’s no good reason for getting all depressed. In my opinionation, you should go eat food from her cookbook (we love it!) at Mohawk Bend. DO IT.
Details:


Mayim Bialik
Author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours”
June 16 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Join Mayim Bialik, Emmy-nominated actress and author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table,” for an intimate four course meal featuring recipes from her newly released cookbook. Currently starring on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Mayim is passionate about creating a balanced lifestyle though delicious and fuss-free vegan fare. 

$30/person.
Ask about our beer and cocktail pairing options!
Reserve a tableauthors@mohawk.la

Mayim will walk us through four courses from her latest book and engage in a Q&A.


See you there! I’ll be the nerd in the giant flower BLOSSOM hat. Get it. Sorry.

Los Angeles!! You know you want to meet Mayim Bialik and we have JUST the opportunity, so there’s no good reason for getting all depressed. In my opinionation, you should go eat food from her cookbook (we love it!) at Mohawk Bend. DO IT.

Details:
Mayim Bialik
Author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours”
June 16 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Join Mayim Bialik, Emmy-nominated actress and author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table,” for an intimate four course meal featuring recipes from her newly released cookbook. Currently starring on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Mayim is passionate about creating a balanced lifestyle though delicious and fuss-free vegan fare. 
$30/person.
Ask about our beer and cocktail pairing options!
Reserve a tableauthors@mohawk.la
Mayim will walk us through four courses from her latest book and engage in a Q&A.
See you there! I’ll be the nerd in the giant flower BLOSSOM hat. Get it. Sorry.

05/05/2014

L.A. bans painful tools used to train elephants!  »

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Infuriating still from Peta’s "Elephants in Circuses: Training & Tragedy"

On Wednesday, Los Angeles sided with the elephants when the city council banned the use of “bullhooks, pitchforks, baseball bats and other goads that circus trainers use to control elephants and other exotic animals.”*

First of all, “pitchforks and baseball bats”?!

Secondly, thank you, L.A. The city council’s vote was unanimous (faith in humanity momentarily restored), and the ban takes effect in January 2017, a delay “meant to give circuses time to change how they handle elephants or remove them from the shows.” (You know which choice I’m rooting for.)

Naturally Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey spokesman Stephen Payne (insert snide remark about how much pain elephants are caused by this abuse), was pissed, and said the law was “completely unnecessary.” He went on to say that this new ban “would force the cancellation of Los Angeles circus events” (excellent!) and City News Service quoted him as saying that the circus may move to a venue outside the city limits. (I see a PETA protest happening.)

City Councillor Paul Koretz said using bullhooks is “inhumane and unhealthy,” and that “the circus is welcome in Los Angeles, just without the bullhooks. … We’re hoping that they follow the model of other circuses that don’t use exotic animals.” 

Happy day for the elephants and other “exotic animals!”

04/24/2014

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

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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!

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