Eating Vegan In Vegas

FOR ANIMALS...FOR HEALTH...FOR THE PLANET

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Beautiful, Delicious and Vegan at Table 34

Las Vegas is a wonderful city filled with so many things to do…one of which is dining out.  We have gone from a town known for its steakhouses and cheap buffets to a world-class dining destination.  People would be remiss if they thought that all of the prime dining destinations were all located on The Strip in one of the casinos.  We also have a number of fantastic restaurants off The Strip that the locals know and love and are also becoming places sought out by those visiting our city as well.  One of those restaurants is Table 34, led by celebrated Chef Wes Kendrick.

Located just a few blocks east of The Strip on Warm Springs Rd., Table 34 has garnered much praise from locals and visitors alike for their wonderful and inventive food and stellar service.  Table 34 is now expanding their reach even farther now with an expanded menu featuring plant-based options. Nearly one-seventh of the world’s population is either vegetarian or vegan with that number growing by tens of thousands each day.  Las Vegas has seen this change coming and has embraced it with many restaurants now offering vegan menus or a section of vegan-friendly options and has become one of the top ten vegan-friendly cities in America.  Table 34 is the latest to add it’s fine name to this list.  

We will be hosting our July Las Vegan Eatz dinner at Table 34 where we will be enjoying a five-course meal featuring many of the items from the upcoming plant-based menu that will be debuting in the near future.  We had the opportunity to enjoy a little preview of what is to come and we were impressed to say the least.  Things started off with an Organic Summer Asparagus Puree.  It was an explosion of fresh flavors and a perfect consistency.  It was followed by a salad of Organic Baby Arugula with Ruby Grapes, Crisp Green Apples, Candied Pecans and a superb Citrus Dressing. It was not only visually appealing but was one of the best salads I have enjoyed in quite awhile.

The main entree was not only a thing of beauty but taste-tempting layers of plant-based goodness all working together to create something magical. Every bite of this Grilled Eggplant Stack with Zucchini, Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Peppers, Marinara, and Basil was memorable.  It was one of those dishes that as you are eating it you know that you will be enjoying it again and again.  The dessert was something to behold. The Grapefruit Granita with Grapefruit Segments and Fresh Berries was a revelation and so enjoyable on a hot summer day. A perfect way to end a fabulous meal.  We will be enjoying it all again at our upcoming Las Vegan Eatz Dinner.  A limited number of tickets are available at http://lasveganeatzeventsjuly.brownpapertickets.com.  I will also visit Table 34 again soon after and try a few more items from their new menu before it is released.  Las Vegas and the world awaits.

Table 34

600 E. Warm Springs Rd.

Las Vegas, NV. 89119

(702)263-0034

http://table34lasvegas.com

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People eat meat and think they will become as strong as an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass.
Pino Caruso

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Visiting a zoo is not educational and entertaining, but like touring a prison for the innocent.
Kim Stallwood

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New LYFE Comes To The Las Vegas Valley

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There is new life indeed with the opening of the new LYFE Kitchen in Henderson this week.  This exciting restaurant concept has taken California by storm and is now expanding into Nevada, Colorado, Texas, and Illinois. The first LYFE Kitchen here has opened in The District in Henderson on the Whole Foods side of Green Valley Parkway and is just a couple of doors down from the popular Settebello’s.  

While not a vegan restaurant, it does have a really strong vegan menu.  As you walk in the door you are greeted and can select from a variety of menus, including the vegan one, from which you can make your selection at the counter.  The restaurant features bright colors, lots of natural light, fresh herbs growing, and some very innovation design concepts.  One great things at the bar where you can get your silverware, glasses, and napkins are three kinds of water on tap that you can select from, including a sparkling one. When your food is ready it is brought to your table.

LYFE Kitchen is the creation of two former long-term McDonald’s executives.  Mike Roberts, the President and CEO of LYFE KItchen, was the Global President and COO of McDonald’s for three decades. Partner and Chief Communications Officer Mike Donahue was an executive with McDonald’s for twenty years.  Together they are bringing their knowledge of restaurant systems and management to a healthy fast-food type idea and the public has responded enthusiastically.

They have surrounded themselves with some real talent in the kitchen with Top Chef Masters Chef Art Smith and recent Chopped Champion Jeremy Bringardner.  The vegan menu has been put together by none other than Tal Ronnen, chef/owner of Crossroads in Los Angeles, author of The Conscious Cook, and also the one who has helped formulate the vegan menus here these past few years at The Wynn and The Encore.  The vegan menu has breakfast, lunch, and dinner options with a number of LYFE Water drinks, smoothies, coffees and tees.  They have salads, flatbreads, burgers and sandwiches, entrees, and desserts.

We enjoyed a few items off of the vegan menu and I know I will be back in to sample some more soon.  We started off with the Vegan Farmers Market Salad with arugula, frisse, blackberries, pickled onions, spiced pecans and a balsamic vinaigrette.  One of the best salads I have enjoyed in a while. Next was the Italian Sausage & Mozzarella Ravioli, with with Gardein Sausage and vegan cheese stuffed raviolis with kale, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and basil.  These were also very enjoyable.  My favorite of the night was Tal’s Grain Bowl, with stir fried vegetables and Gardein Beefless Tips served over black rice and cilantro with a sweet chile-ginger sauce.  I could have easily eaten another bowl of that. We also enjoyed a couple of refreshing drinks. One was a LYFE Water, the Hibiscus Beet, which was Hibiscus tea infused with beet, apple, ginger and lemon.  The other delicious glass we enjoyed was a Ginger-Pomegranate Lemonade.

I did not have the opportunity to sample any of the desserts this time, but I will on my next visit. They also provide beer and wine on tap.  I can just tell you that this restaurant is going to very well in this market.  More good news is that they are looking for two or three other locations here in Las Vegas to expand to and that will be a wonderful thing for all of us.  One of their slogans is, “One bite. Everything changes.”  I see LYFE Kitchen as filling a real niche here in Las Vegas and is another of the hybrid restaurants here that truly has something for everyone, and I believe will be a great bridge for many of the v-curious to walk towards truly conscious eating and living and make a change in their own lives and the world as a result.

LYFE Kitchen (Love Your Food Everyday)

140 Green Valley Parkway #142

Henderson, NV. 89012

(702)558-0131

www.lyfekitchen.com

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V-Dogs in Container Park…BOOM!

Well…not real dogs in Container Park Downtown.  The dogs have their own Hydrant Park up the block.  We are talking about vegan hot dogs now available at Cheffini’s in Container Park next to The Black Cup Coffee Co.  I had the pleasure of venturing down there to try the vegan version with some special fixings.  I must say that I was glad that I did.

It is easy to say that I will never eat a regular hot dog again.  That will never happen.  But I could eat another one of these vegan hot dogs again very, very soon.  Cheffini’s are already ahead of other establishments by not only offering a vegan offering, but also making sure that the bun was vegan as well.  Why you would want to serve a vegan dog or burger on a non-vegan bun is beyond my comprehension…yet some do and we are helping to change that reality.  It is not necessary at Cheffini’s.

The vegan hot dog can be fixed up just how you want it from the toppings and sauces that are available.  Not all but a good number of them are vegan so you can make up some great combinations.  I had them put caramelized onions, cherry pepper relish, jalapeños, and pineapple sauce on mine.  Just name it the Paul Dog…I will let you.  It was really, really good.  We had a moment together…but it was much too brief…and then it was all over.  Darn.

There are many reasons to head Downtown these days for those looking for vegan-friendly options.  Cheffini’s is another one that you need to add to your list.  Go on down and make your own creation and know that a healthier, cruelty-free option does exist.  BOOM…indeed.

Cheffini’s Hot Dogs

707 Fremont St. #1050

Las Vegas, NV. 89101

(702)629-0396

www.cheffinis.com

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Chickens, Pigs, Fish and Cows all feel pain, just like you and I do.
Dick Gregory

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Rockin My Noodles Downtown

Well it wasn’t really my noodles…more like Israeli Cous Cous.  I ventured Downtown, which happens to be one of my favorite things to do these days and finally made my way into Rock ‘N’oodles in the Arts District on Third St. It looks like a small space but it has a lot going on inside with an entire wall filled rock music album covers, good tunes always playing, and  a menu with a few vegan-friendly items.  Which was a good thing…because I was ready to eat.

Most of the pasta dish entrees would be a lot of work to veganize so I would steer more towards the Cold Noodle section or the Salads.  Most of these would work fine with just asking them to leave off the cheese…please don’t get me started though on that subject. I settled in on The Marrakesh Express…all the dishes are named after songs.  This was my fave Israeli Cous Cous (love those little balls) tossed in a fresh lemon vinaigrette with roasted eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, tomato, and olives.  It was topped with toasted pine nuts and harissa sauce.  Just ask them to hold the feta cheese and the bread that comes with that.  Other than that, it was a delicious and colorful bowl of wonderful.  There is a tray of hot sauces nearby and I indulged as well to kick it up a bit.

Next time in I will try one of the other cold noodle dishes, One NIght in Bangkok or Walking on Sunshine. Or perhaps one of the salads like Smoke on the Water, China Girl, or Rock the Casbah.  Indeed.  I am glad they are having fun with it.  I wish the pasta entrees were a little easier to work with and maybe sometime I will come back and give it a whirl.  I want to help the restaurants understand that the world is changing and it is best now to get ready for it and with a little adjustment they all can.  It is just a matter of getting them to rock with the right tune.

Rock ‘N’oodles

1108 S. 3rd Street

Las Vegas, NV 89104

(702)522-9953

www.RockNoodles.com

Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Closed Sundays

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Getting Back To The GrassRoots

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There have been few things in the past year that I have anticipated more than the opening of GrassRoots Juice Bar in Downtown Las Vegas.  It was so exciting to be there on Opening Day and witness first hand the palpable pleasure that was being experienced by so many who had found there way to the new location at the refurbished John E. Carson building at 6th and Carson.  This juice and smoothie bar is going to be a daily spot of health and vitality not only for the Downtown, but for all of Las Vegas.  This fabulous juice and smoothie bar will serve only the freshest of organic produce from California Family Farms.

GrassRoots features a splendid variety of whole food juices, smoothies, and soups.  There will be even more goodness to come as more vegan, whole food love comes our way.  We were able to sample a couple of the wonderful creations from Chef Shane Stuart and two of his raw mixologists Paul and Chanslyn.  The Bud & Vine was a delicious blend of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, sage, rose water, spinach, avocado, raisins, lavender flower, turmeric, rainbow chard, and wheatgrass.  We also tried the Beetaccino from the Caffeine and Greens section and it was nothing short of remarkable with beets, raspberries, coffee beans, raisins, curly kale, purple cabbage, avocado, lemon, vanilla, turmeric, and coconut oil.  We just entered the gates of smoothie heaven.

There is so much life, vitality, and love packed in the confines of GrassRoots that I know that it is just going to just bust out and spill all over.  You will be seeing people all over the Downtown area carrying containers of these fresh, vibrant, and extraordinary concoctions.  All of the people associated with GrassRoots are wonderful human beings that are eager to share these cups of love and life with you.  I hope that you will all travel down to Grassroots and develop and long and life-enhancing friendship as you experience all that this very special place has to offer.  Welcome to Las Vegas and welcome to our lives GrassRoots Juice Bar.

GrassRoots Juice Bar

124 6th St. #160

Las Vegas, NV. 89101

(702)550-6444

http://grassrootslv.com

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Some of the things I do, I think are very important and much more important than the radio show or the television show or anything else that I do. I think right at the top of the list is the basic thing. And of course the basic thing is to hopefully stop people from killing anything. And to create a non-violent diet for themselves, because a non-violent world has roots in a non-violent diet.
Casey Kasem