VIDEO: quarrygirl presents m cafe de chaya »
today’s episode of quarrygirl presents features m cafe de chaya, my favorite spot in los angeles to get decadent yet healthy food. the restaurant focuses on contemporary macrobiotic cuisine, and other than fish, the entire menu is vegan. whether you’re craving a hearty burger, a slap up breakfast, or something light like sushi or salad, m cafe has it all. we caught up with chef lee gross to talk about healthy eating and the best dishes for everyone at m cafe. check it out!
photos by cindy choi.
Anyplace that serves a healthy vegan hollandaise sauce on top of kale is a place I want to be. Like all the time.
Potala Organic opened in Albany (Calif., right next to Berkeley!) and it’s definitely worth checking out. Several times. And then again. It’s from the former chef at Oakland’s Shangri-La Vegan and the healthy, hearty fare reflects that. Seriously, if you feel disgusting after Thanksgiving because you’re awesome and gave it your fatty all, detox at Potala!
Angelica Kitchen NYC »
If you’ve visited New York and have wanted a grand tour of all of the top vegan restaurants in the Village, you’ve probably been recommended Angelica Kitchen. It’s pricey, often overcrowded (by hipsters), and some of the waitstaff can be really fucking rude. Like, obnoxiously self-entitled and bitchy. For no reason. Oh, and the food is kind of mediocre. That was the negative vibe I had about the place the first two times I went.
I figured the third time’s the charm, and sure enough it was. Granted, I went to AK at a relatively un-busy time (read: 3:30 p.m. on a Friday). But I got a really really sweet waiter who served up some really amazing food. The story is this: after a heavy night of drinking I had Pommes Frites at like 2 a.m. Oh, greasy amazingness. But even worse than the hangover was the post-2a.m.-French-fry-gorge-guilt. So I needed something really healthy and balanced. I needed macrobiotic food. I needed Angelica Kitchen. And can I just say that this healthy meal TOTALLY HIT THE FUCKING SPOT. Pictured was the daily special: lemon-glazed seitan; sweet potato mash; quinoa, corn, and olive salad; arugula; and steamed green beans.
I also added two items from the “basics” menu for $2 or something reasonable like that. It was steamed kale, collard greens, and napa cabbage on a bed of soba noodles with a side of black sesame dressing. It was arguably my favorite part of the meal.
This was the Southern-style cornbread my meal-mate got. It was so good I didn’t even get a bite of it.
All in all, the service at Angelica Kitchen is totally hit-or-miss, which is really a drag. An obnoxious waiter/waitress can totally ruin the experience (and consequently, the food), so I recommend going at a non-peak time. It’s 100 percent cash-only, and you’ll probably get castigated if you go ill-prepared for that. Oh, and a lot of hipsters hang out there so be sure to wear your horn-rimmed glasses and ironic mustache.
[photos by Brianna!]
Restaurant Review: Shangri-La Vegan in Oakland! »
Manzanita Shangri-La Vegan is the place to go when you’re sick of feeling like a big fat greasy intoxicated pig and need to feel cleansed, which is obviously not good for all occasions but certainly has its place. It’s organic, vegan, macrobiotic food FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. I know that just made half of you go, “oooh…tell me more” and it made the other half (the smarter half, some might say) go, “DISGUSTING I HATE YOU LAURA I HOPE THIS BLOG BURNS TO THE GROUND.” However, I would ask you to reserve judgment as I am so often unwilling to do. Manzanita Shangri-La Vegan is actually quite fantastic. Be prepared to be surrounded by white people with dreads who might step outside for a delightful mid-meal game of hacky sack (but you’re used to that by now, aren’t you). Just go with it. If you can’t handle a woman coming up for some fresh air after an invigorating partner yoga session to openly breastfeed her seven-year-old, what can you handle!? JESUS, GROW A PAIR.
Things that are especially delicious: the salad dressings, the kale (I don’t know what they do but MAGIC!), and actually pretty much everything is really good. Except the vegan baked goods. As you might have guessed, I’m a junk food vegan so I know how hard it is to get the baked goods right, but come on. You’ve got time and a kitchen, let’s get to practicing! Less time making daisy chains and sexing in communal hot tubs (SHUDDER) and more time in the kitchen! ALL SAID, this place sounds way more hippy-dippy than it actually is (lie) and the food is way worth a visit (truth).