I was in Los Angeles a week ago for a couple of events revolving around some new books that have just come into the market. The first was an event up at the home of James Costa in the Hollywood Hills for Rory Freedman and her new book, “Beg.” It was a wonderful evening and it was such a pleasure to actually meet Rory for the first time. It was the book that she co-authored, “Skinny Bitch,” that helped build a bridge to conscious eating and living for me almost six years ago. It was nice to be able to share that with her. I was also there to do a SoCal book launch for my new e-book, “Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere.” I had a wonderful evening meeting with people at Elderberries vegan cafe on Sunset Blvd. It is always a joy for me to be able to meet people in person that I have only been connected with via social media. Well, while I was in LALA land it was going to be absolutely necessary to try some of the many vegan food options that one can enjoy in the Los Angeles area.
My first stop was at Pizzanista on 7th St. in the Downtown area. This is owned by pro skateboarder Salman Agah, an old friend of mine. I enjoyed a couple of big slices of Veggie Vegan Pizza and a cold artisan Butterscotch Root Beer. The pizza was excellent and it is great that they always have vegan pizza options available by the slice or a whole pie. They also feature Clara’s vegan sweets as well…which I love. It was also just really good to be able to sit down and talk with Salman a while and catch up on a beautiful afternoon.
For lunch the next day I headed over to Elderberries on Sunset Blvd. I would be having my book event later that evening there but I wanted to stop by and check things out and have a bite to eat. I enjoyed a terrific vegan burger panini along with a salad, some fresh elderberry juice, and a great cup of coffee. Later that night we enjoyed some more of that coffee and tea along with Almond/Chocolate Chip Cookies, Raw Apple Pie, Banana-Chocolate Muffins, as well as some amazing Hummingbird Muffins (not sure what hummingbirds had to do with them, but they were really, really good). I am so thankful to Elderberries for opening their doors to me and the group and it all made for a very memorable evening.
Before my book event on Friday evening I was able to meet some friends over at Tal Ronnen’s new restaurant, Crossroads, on Melrose Ave. This beautiful restaurant is a venture along with Travis Barker of Blink 182 and it was an amazing plant-based meal. It was such a treat to be able to chat with Chef Ronnen prior to dinner and be able to share with him what a powerful influence he has had with the vegan menu options at the Wynn and Encore restaurants. Steve Wynn brought him in to develop the vegan menu items along with each restaurant chef, something he continues to do to this day.
Chef Ronnen brought out a plate of artichoke “oyster” shooters that were phenomenal. Artichoke leaves topped with artichoke cream, a crusted oyster mushroom, yellow tomato hollandaise, and kelp caviar. Do it in one bite, savor, and smile afterwards. We then enjoyed a series of small plates that we all shared. One was a Kite Hill cheese plate, featuring the new artisan cheeses that Chef Ronnen helped to develop. All three were outstanding and the two aged ones were particularly good. We then enjoyed a small lasagna in a cast-iron pan, the special risotto of the night, and Chick’n Scallopini, which were all superb. Great company and great food were enjoyed. This restaurant is already making an impact in the area.
It was very important to be able to build a strong bridge with Southern California because it a getaway city for those of us in Las Vegas, and Las Vegas serves as a getaway city for so many in the Los Angeles area. We are only four hours away from each other and we need to support one another’s events and endeavors. I know I will be headed back to the FYF Fest in Los Angeles in August, but I certainly hope for another getaway before then. The area is such a great place for vegan cuisine and I know that I just barely scratched the surface on this trip. To quote the former California governor…”I’ll be back.”
2019 E. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA. 90021
7564 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90046
8284 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA. 90046
Food-tasting for royalty has been around for a very long time. Some lived through it while others unfortunately did not. So when the call went out from one of Las Vegas’s vegan food blogger Queens, Apryl Lyttle of Eff Yeah It’s Vegan, that she needed tasters for one of her new recipes…I gladly answered that call. I had an open couple of hours and I headed out to the home and kitchen where the magic of Eff Yeah It’s Vegan originates. I knew I would happily live through it and be able to tell you about it.
Apryl was trying out a new recipe of hers for “Cheese” Blintzes and this is something I have not been able to enjoy for well over six years now. First of all, they looked great. Slightly thicker than crepes, these blintzes were filled with a slightly sweet tofu “ricotta” that was just divine. I mean spot on and I am sure would fool a lot of people in a blind taste test. I knew what I was eating and it still fooled me. Great texture for both the blintzes and the filling. Topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries and drizzled with a little maple syrup, they were to live for. This food-tasting is a great gig.
There was more to try. I also had a slice of her Cinnamon Oat Cake which was just terrific and very simple to make. We had been talking about her recent recipe post of the Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and she remarked that still had a little of the mixture left. We tried it on a little bread and it was superb. I can only imagine what it would be like melted between a couple of slices of grilled bread…my imagination will no doubt become a reality very soon. We also tried some of her Pizza Hummus, which is just as good as it sounds. Conscious eating begins at home and it really rocks here and that is why Apryl’s recipes are so wonderful. She is one of our treasures here in Las Vegas and the world is quickly finding out about her. All I can say is when Eff Yeah It’s Vegan puts out the call for taste-testers…drop what you are doing and go. You will Effin’ love it.
I am not sure I can state it any more plainly than that. If you want amazing vegan sushi where you will not cast even a single thought about missing fish on it…then there is only Miko’s…just minutes from the S. Las Vegas Blvd. It is one of my favorite places to go in all of Las Vegas and this veg-friendly restaurant has been a go-to place for vegans, vegetarians, and the v-curious for many years now. You might find a place about town that has a roll here or a roll there…but none can compare to the sheer selection, freshness, and flavor that this wonderful, traditional Japanese sushi restaurant has to offer.
I have blogged on a number of occasions about the terrific Hawaiian rolls, The Popeye The Spinach roll, The Agetofu roll, and a list of other vegan sushi roll options. They also some amazing vegan-friendly noodle dishes. I am still thinking about the Vegetable Yakisoba and I already have my eye on another noodle dish the next time I come in. They use only the freshest ingredients that are also free from all of the additives and GMO’s we are trying to avoid. They make all of their own sauces and anything else that is possible for them to do so. They have tremendous customer service and take such great care of their customers which include many locals and visitors from afar.
I was treated to a little bowl of the Kinpira Gobo…slivers of braised burdock root with carrots, mirin, soy sauce, sake, and sesame seeds. It was wonderful along with my edamame. I also ordered the Lilly Roll, which actually is filled with the Kinpira Gobo and has a sliver of avocado on top with Sriracha Sauce. It is not only beautiful to look at but delicious to eat…especially with a little help from Mr. Wasabi. It was a perfect little meal.
Miko’s also serves traditional fish sushi items so it is a place where you can bring anyone and everyone will leave happy. Miko’s not only offers the finest vegan sushi in Las Vegas, but perhaps anywhere. I need to get out and try new places all of the time and visit others again, but Miko’s is a place that I could very easily dine at almost every day…I enjoy it that much. Whether you live here in Las Vegas or you are one of our welcome visitors…Miko’s needs to be a regular stopping place for you. It is that good.
500 E. WIndmill Ln.
Las Vegas, NV. 89123
Hours: Tues-Sat 5:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
So here is a little bit about how I try and eat each and every day. Obviously, plant-based all of the time. No exceptions. Then, it would be unprocessed, organic, and local whenever possible. One other thing that I have been doing this past year that has been really good for me is that I have been trying to consume all of my food within an 8 hour window. That might differ some days…but most of the time I am able to fit my consumption of food into an 8 hour time frame…usually something like 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. This allows proper time for the body to digest the food and then get busy on other things that it needs to do…even if that is just rest. It is like a little mini-fast built into each day. I usually have one larger meal and the rest smaller meals during my eating zone.
Of course there always exceptions based on my workload, special events, etc. But on those days when I know I am going to be eating late, I also try and get a later start on when I start consuming my solid food…juicing doesn’t count on any of those days…as well as water, coffee, tea, hot water and lemon… whatever. The great thing about Las Vegas is that when you know your schedule is going to require a late meal, there are plenty of quality places that can accommodate you. Such is the case recently when I had a later dinner Downtown at one of my favorite spots, Le Thai. Le Thai is located on E. Fremont St. between Las Vegas Blvd. and 6th St., perhaps the hottest little area going in Las Vegas right now. Le Thai offers some vegan-friendly dishes and most can be adapted to plant-based except for the curries. The only exception to that would be the Vegan Massaman curry…which is delicious.
One of the things that you have to be careful of in Thai cooking is the fish sauce, so it always good to let your server know that fish sauce is a no-no. This late night at Le Thai I tried the Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry with Tofu (and no fish sauce) with brown rice and a side Cucumber salad and peanut sauce. The spiciness range from 1 to 5 at Le Thai runs a little on the hot side, so 3 is plenty hot for most people. I only go for 4 or 5 if I want a good cry. The Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry with Tofu was delicious and the Cucumber Salad was a nice, cool compliment to it. It was a wonderful little meal, no matter the time of day. If you love good authentic Thai food, like I do, then Le Thai is a must for you to try, especially if you are already long into the night.
523 E. Fremont St.
Las Vegas, NV. 89101
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m.
Fri-Sat 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 a.m.
I had the pleasure of being able to make it back to The Bronze Cafe at The Center in Downtown Las Vegas. I was fortunate to be able dine there shortly after they opened about a month ago and I know many of you have visited since then. It is really a beautiful place and is such a wonderful addition to the Downtown area and the community as a whole. The Bronze Cafe located in The Center is very vegan-friendly and has been adding a number of wonderful things to the menu since I had last been there.
I had heard about The Tree of Life Pita Sandwich and I knew that it was the next thing that I was going to try. The sandwich is filled with red peppers, avocado, mixed greens, tomato, house-made pickled onions, house-made vegan sour cream, brazil nut “parmesan,” and a mango/cilantro/ginger vinaigrette on a flat pita bread. It was outstanding…so delicious and bursting with freshness and flavor. One note…they are not making their own breads as of yet and this pita does contain some sugar if that is not something you partake of. You can always order it without and it will be still be very enjoyable. I also had a terrific side salad…the Poblano Black Bean Corn salad with roasted corn, roasted poblano peppers, pico de gallo, and the mango/cilantro/ginger vinaigrette. A great compliment to the sandwich.
David Mozes, the Bronze Cafe general manager, also brought out one of their amazing and refreshing drinks that they made…a Watermelon Q-Cumber Chia concoction that was simply one of the best drinks I have tried in quite a while. I also had a chance to sit and chat with David and he is such a remarkable person and it was tremendous to be able to share heart about the change that is taking place in the world, not only for humans, but for the animals as well. It is a discussion that will be continued soon because I know that I will be back to The Bronze Cafe in The Center as soon as I possibly can. You must come down and experience all of this goodness for yourself.
The Bronze Cafe (Inside The Center)
401 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas. NV. 89101
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Sat 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.