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!!!
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.
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.
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!
Los Angeles: Come to This Sriracha and Beer Dinner at Mohawk Bend! »
2141 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
$25, per person
About the Authors Worth Celebrating series:
Mayim BialikAuthor of “Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours”June 16 at 6:30pm - 9:30pmJoin 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 email@example.comMayim will walk us through four courses from her latest book and engage in a Q&A.
Los Angeles! You need to get in on this! It’s an event at Mohawk Bend where you get to eat all of Tal Ronnen’s food and then hang out with your stomach out and have the best night of your life. It’s gonna be the most delicious thing that’s ever happened to you or anyone you know, and it’s only $35 and will totally sell out, so you should probably get on it now.
Join us for the next event in our Authors Worth Celebrating Series and meet Tal Ronnen, Chef and Co-owner of prized Los Angeles restaurant,Crossroads Kitchen and author of New York Times Bestseller “The Conscious Cook.”
*** Space is limited, reservations required. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve. ***
Enjoy a four-course prix fixe meal of Chef Tal Ronnen original dishes prepared in collaboration with our Executive Chef Erick Simmons followed by an intimate Q&A.
~The appetizer duo: Grilled artichokes with Caesar dressing and sweet onion beggar’s purses
~Cream of asparagus soup
~Kale ricotta tortellini with saffron cream sauce
~Oven roasted banana rum cheesecake with spiced pecan crust and maple rum sauce
The dinner costs $35 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Books will be available for purchase.
Also, I’ll be there so come by and say hi and let’s be best friends, OK?? BEST FRIENDS!!!
Guest post: Let’s crawl together with L.A. Beer Hop! »
Pub-crawling reeks of being 21 and not having to care about waking up on time and decisions you’ll regret early the next morning. But as real adulthood rears its ugly head, pub crawls are actually great ways to spend a night out with friends, if you pick the perfect “pubs” to “crawl” to. Well it seems LA Beer Hop was created with such nights in mind.
The places worth heading to in Los Angeles aren’t close enough together to warrant a good “crawl.” But now, for just a $5 ticket, you can be whisked away by shuttle to three of the L.A. area’s newest and best beer-and-bar-food joints. The Pub at Golden Road Brewing, Tony’s Darts Away, and Mohawk Bend make up the trifecta of destinations that LA Beer Hop will shuttle you to-and-fro every Wednesday in November. Take a peep at the tour schedule and reserve your tickets ASAP, because they’re sure to sell out.
Not only do each of these places have vast collections of tasty microbrews to sip on, they each have a cornucopia of vegan eats that’ll make your non-vegan friends say “I WANT THAT!” Tony’s Darts Away has gourmet vegan hot dogs, Mohawk Bend has vegan pizzas and buffalo cauliflower, and the Pub at Golden Road Brewing has ginormous vegan pretzels and fried avocado sammies, just to name a few!
Vegan-friendly bar-hopping, and no one has to worry about parking or driving for just $5? Oh L.A., sometimes you complete me. Who’s coming with me?!
Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to 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.
[photo by arvind grover via Flickr]
Awesome vegan food trends: Vegan seafood! »
In news that is not actually new and still very depressing, seafood is terrible for human consumption and the environment. These studies serve as such crucial reminders for me, as seafood has been the hardest non-vegan food for me to stop dreaming about. I loved the stuff. I won’t bore you with the gory details of my obsession with raw oysters, but an obsession it was.
Lately, however, I’ve been noticing a plethora of vegan “seafood” around me. I couldn’t be more excited about this! (Maybe with more veggie seafood options, we can lobby for this whole “pescatarian” thing to go away. Every time I check, seafood is still considered meat.) Let’s go over some options, shall we? In pictures, because we all love looking at pictures of food! Isn’t this why we’re all on Pinterest, styling our future parties, houses, and weddings? Yes it is.
Ocean Basket from Loving Hut. Those seaweed patties are my favorite!
You can add soy shrimp to any entree at Thai Idea. Don’t forget about those scrumptious and completely necessary Firecracker balls—they are the best appetizer in San Francisco! Have you been to the new location in the Mission yet?
Fish and chips from Weird Fish in the Mission. Not actually fishy-tasting, yet the batter is perfect, and just what I remember being the best part of traditional fish and chips!
Sea Cake from Real Food Daily in L.A. I don’t know what it’s made out of, but I want it!
What is that, amid all the brunch food at Mohawk Bend in L.A.? HEARTS OF PALM CRAB CAKES. Get me on the next plane to SoCal, I’m sold.
Where else can I get my fix, beautiful readers? What else is out there? I must know! And when do we get a creamy soup in a bread bowl here in San Francisco? Preferably one that rivals clam chowder and is served at Pier 39.
[Photos from Real Food Daily and Mohawk Bend are by my girl Marie Ferrier. Follow her on Instagram @kweenmahreeh!
Recipe: Wilted kale salad! »
Are you sick of kale yet? I’m not! I just keep finding new ways to eat it that are better than the last. My new favorite is the wilted kale salad!
Call me late to the party, because I usually am, but my first experience with the mystical wilted kale salad happened on a trip to LA in January, at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park.
Very tasty! Spiced to perfection and topped with crisp jicama slices!
So, I’ve come up with my own version!
1 bunch kale
1 tsp. olive oil
dash of salt and pepper
juice of one lemon
1 sliced avocado
Clean, de-stem and roughly chop the kale. Heat up your pan to about medium-high, with the oil drizzled in. Once it’s hot, put in the kale and keep it constantly moving, cooking between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. You are not sauteing it, but lightly wilting it. The point is, you don’t want it fully cooked, but just heated enough to take some of the bitterness out.
Transfer to a bowl and toss with avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Easy enough, right?
I personally think this salad pairs beautifully with pasta doused in vodka cream sauce!
How do you make your wilted kale salad? Next time, I think I will use strawberries instead of avocado, and balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice!