It is true that this is a blog about eating vegan in Las Vegas…let there be no confusion…but sometimes this Las Vegan has to step out of town for some very important business…family love business that is. That is what I found myself doing in traveling back to the Bay Area for a couple of days to spend some time with my children and grandchildren for an for an early Thanksgiving, visit my son Tyler’s new restaurant in Campbell that he has helped open up, and attend another virtuoso guitar performance by my youngest son Cody. I can fit lots of wonderful into two days.
I flew into San Jose and traveled just a few minutes to Campbell to Liquid Bread for brunch to be prepared by my son Tyler. The streets were full of people for their weekly Farmers Market, which is a very good one. I was able to shop at the market for a bit to pick up some things for the meal the next day. Brunch was everything that I hoped it would be and more. Liquid Bread has a few vegan-friendly items on the menu and I was about to try all of them. If you ever come by just let them know you are vegan and they will take care of you. I started out with a small plate of Israeli Couscous with mint, almonds, golden raisins, and enoki mushrooms in a lovely Romesco sauce. I then had some of the Grilled Kale Salad with jicama and bannock root in a blood orange vinaigrette. It was delicious and was screaming out the word “healthy!” I finished things off with their Tofu Lasagna, which does not have noodles but thin layers of gently-fried tofu layered with caramelized onions, enoki mushrooms, and pea sprouts in a purple sweet potato puree. It was absolutely fabulous. I loved on the top of their menu where it says, “We gather here today with intent and desire to partake in the most primitive form of comfort.” Indeed…bravo Chef Tyler.
I then headed to a concert/recital in Modesto that my youngest son Cody’s music school puts on a couple of times a year. They form the students into various bands and have them perform at least 4 or 5 numbers and make an afternoon and evening of it. Cody is such an accomplished guitar player and I so enjoy listening to him play. I truly loved when the music school director when introducing the band to the audience says, “And of course, the incredible Cody Graham.” He shredded it with some great guitar solos and was such a delight to watch. For the limited amount of time they had to practice together they sounded terrific.
It was time to do some shopping and head to Sacramento to my daughter’s and do some more shopping and prepare for the meal the next day and my children, their significants, and grandchildren would gather together for an early Thanksgiving meal. I spent the better part of the day in the kitchen preparing most of the meal and awaiting the arrival of the rest of the group. My vegan contributions to the meal started with the appetizers of Indian Pakoras with red pepper/eggplant, roasted garlic/eggplant, and tamarind dipping sauces. I made a pre-dinner course of Butternut Squash & Chile Soup. Dinner items included Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Israeli Couscous Salad, Fresh Berry Bowls, Kale and Shitake Mushroom Stuffing, Soyrizo Cornbread Stuffing, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with capers and walnuts, and a Turkey-less Stuffed Roll from Trader Joe’s. It was the first time that I had tried this Turkey-less product and it was actually one of the better ones that I have tried. My son Corey’s girlfriend, Kimiko, even made little vegan chocolate-avocado pudding cups that were delicious treats for afterwards. It was so good to have everyone present in one place and I can only begin to describe the beautiful spirit that is present when they are all together. My heart was full of thanks…and food…and gentle spirits. It was then back to Eating Vegan in Vegas, but for a two days…Nor Cali took very, very good care of me.