Friday, May 30, 2008

La Dolce Isola: Just like The Ivy but without all the jerks

La Dolce Isola is The Ivy's little sister cafe where all the baked goods for the main restaurant are made and we can practically smell the fresh bread all the way over here on the other side of the 10. This is definitely not the most vegan-friendly place on the planet, but they are very accommodating: When we went a few weeks ago they whipped me up an excellent roasted veggie dish.

Today I had some left over Indian food to get rid of, so I went light and just ordered the Carrot Salad. It doesn't look like much, but this little salad is killer. It's loaded with cilantro and something with kick (pepper?).

My coworkers drool over the baked goods here, especially the chocolate chip cookies and the homemade gelato. If I were you, I would skip The Ivy and head straight to La Dolce Isola where both the prices and the staff are nice and you won't risk getting smacked in the brain with a paparazzo's 3 foot lens.

La Dolce Isola
2869 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What does a vegan eat at a grilled cheese restaurant and where can I find some smuggled soda?

Meltdown Etc. is another staple in our art department's diet. Luckily for me, those melty chefs offer up some of the best soup and slaw in town. I always order the same thing: Fennel-Red Onion Slaw and a bowl of soup. I couldn't tell you what is in the slaw besides the obvious fennel and red onion, but it's awesome.

As far as I'm concerned, Meltdown is the soup nazi of L.A.--in terms of quality, not service! In fact, the service is quite the opposite of that meanie soup nazi, but I digress. The tomato soup is super tangy and creamy yet is somehow vegan. How do they do it?! They also always have a soup of the day which is vegan 99% of the time and is always sooooo good.

When I went to pick up our order this past time, I was bummed to see that they stopped selling Coke Light! (For those of you who don't closely follow the cola business: Coke Light is the version of Diet Coke that is sold in every country except the U.S. of A. It is illegal in the states because it has some chemical that the FDA thinks is toxic or something which is too bad because unlike Diet Coke, which tastes like toilet paper, Coke Light is t-a-s-t-y.) Anyway, apparently the inspectors were not too fond of Meltdown smuggling in Coke Light from Mexico so they made them take it off the shelves. Blast!

Anyone know where I can find some Coke Light in this town now???

Meltdown Etc.
9739 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

"Home" again, Home again, Jiggity Jig

Rare is the restaurant that makes it's own veggie burger instead of serving up a gray, reheated, chemically-enhanced patty. Rarer still is the restaurant that makes a vegan veggie burger that tastes good. Three cheers to Home in Los Feliz for their Homemade Tofu Burger that is amazingly good tasting and totally natural! I always order it with a side of their vegetable soup which is basic but full o' flava.

Home is my neighborhood joint--the ole standard for me and my hungry friends--so I wasn't too surprised when we ran into my dear pal Kirby Von Scrumptious! Gotta love that small town feel!

1760 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Has Bloom finally gotten their shit together?!

Bloom was once a staple on our daily lunch rotation at the office. But at some point we got sick of the terrible service. They would always give us the wrong food or charge us the wrong amount and on a couple occasions they completely lost our order and I had to sit and wait for up to an hour for them to remake everything.

But I missed ole Bloom so I thought we should give them another shot and to my utter surprise, when I went to pick up the food today, it was complete and ready to go!

My Berry Good smoothie was made with berries, mango, and coconut water and it was rockin'. The bee pollen garnish is a fun touch.

I am a mondo fan of quinoa so, of course, I had to order the Indian Delight Quinoa Salad. Sunflower seeds, chili, and mint were mixed with the quinoa and served over spinach leaves. T'was super healthy and super deelish.

So the moral of the story is that it seems Bloom has learned how to act like a restaurant and that is good news for me because now I'll be able to convince the rest of the office that we should eat there more often.

Bloom Cafe
5544 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019