A Very Vegan Valentine’s Day

Ahhhh Valentine’s. A time for flowers. A time for chocolates. A time for Hallmark to make a killing in its sappy card sales. And if you’re single, a time for listening to David Grey, eating an entire pint of ice cream and crying yourself to sleep (just me?).

 

For those of you looking to incorporate a fantastic V-day feast into your February 14th festivities, look no further. Because I love you all so much, I complied a list of the best vegan dinner offerings in the LA area so you and your honey can get down with love, vegan style.

 

Real Food Daily will be offering a four-course prix fixe menu from 5 pm to 10 pm, for $65 a person, that includes several options in each course.

This is my personal pick, but let’s explore some more.

Shojin is also offering a special V-day schedule starting tonight, and lasting all the way to the 14th. The schedule is:
Friday, 10th 5:30pm – 12am
Saturday, 11th 12pm – 12am
Sunday, 12th 12pm – 10pm
Monday, 13th 3pm – 10pm (Course menu ONLY)
Valentine’s Day, 14th 3pm – 10pm (Course menu ONLY)

The V-day specials for Fri – Sun are:

And the prix fixe four course menu for the 13th and 14th is:

Another option is at Sun Cafe, where they are offering both raw and cooked prix fixe menu on the 14th from 5:30 – 11:00 pm.

 

5-Course, 11-Item Valentine’s Day Dinner for 2

SunCafe is offering both a Raw & Vegan Prix Fixe Menu – Both are Gluten-Free and live guitar entertainment will be rovided which will surely add some romantic ambiance to your inevitably amazing V-day meal. Price per couple, $109, and individual meals are $60.

Raw Menu
Amuse Bouche + Elixir – Herbed-Rolled Truffled Cashew Cheese on Flax Cracker
Strawberry Kombucha Martini
Sushi + Salad – Triple Sushi Sampler, Micro Greens & Jicama Slaw with Orange Ginger-Miso Dressing
Soup + Tea – Cucumber Gazpacho w/heirloom tomatoes and yellow peppers
Raw Pear-Juice infused SunTea
Entrée – Savory Eggplant “Roulade” – thin-sliced eggplant rolled with marinated portobello mushrooms, truffled cashew ricotta, dehydrated onion strings, creamy sun-dried tomato puree, sweet kale crisps, herb-infused virgin olive oil, with “stir-fry” seasonal vegetables
Dessert Sampler – Strawberry Four-Ways
Strawberry Hand-Dipped in Raw Chocolate
Tart of Raw Dark Chocolate Mousse & Fresh-sliced strawberry
Bite of Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
Raw Strawberry Shake Shooter
Non-strawberry option available

Cooked Vegan – Prix Fixe Menu
Amuse Bouche + Elixir – Chia Seed Faux Caviar,Crème Fraîche on Blini Crepe
Strawberry Kombucha Martini
Sushi + Salad – Triple Sushi Sampler, Micro Greens & Jicama Slaw with Orange Ginger-Miso Dressing
Soup + Tea – Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash, herb-infused olive oil drizzle, sun-dried tomato puree, with roasted spicy pepitas
Raw Pear-Juice infused SunTea
Entrée – Pecan & Mushroom Crusted Tofu, roasted portobello mushrooms, garlic cauliflower puree, sautéed asparagus, truffle oil, port wine vegetable au jus, micro greens & pomegranate, sweet kale crisps
Dessert Sampler – Strawberry Four-Ways
Strawberry Hand-Dipped in Raw Chocolate
Tart of Raw Dark Chocolate Mousse & Fresh-sliced strawberry
Bite of Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
Raw Strawberry Shake Shooter
Non-strawberry option available

 

Sounds so yum!

 

Inn Of The Seventh Ray (which I have never been to but am DYING to and have heard AMAZING things about … ps: any male suitors free on Tuesday? You’ll pay.) is offering a regular and vegan/vegetarian prix fixe menu for $90 a person with an optional wine pairing for an extra $40. If I had money to burn I would make this my pick in a hot second.

Another pricey but sure to be mind-blowing option is at Madeleine Bistro, one of the best vegan restaurants in LA (Tarzana actually, so I rarely go, but when I have it’s been like best thing I’ve ever had good). Madeleine’s is offering a Valentine’s Day Chef’s Tasting Menu Tuesday, February 14, 2012, for $125 a person.

 

MENU:

“Looking through a glass onion…” – “Butter”-poached white asparagus, truffled kaesespaetzle, green herb pudding

Creamy sorrel soup – Wild mushroom fricassee, red pepper espuma, frizzled leeks

Heirloom beet salad – Asian pear, walnut brittle, wild arugula, smoked cashew cheese coulis, beet watercolors

Pan-seared portobella “scallops” – Artichokes barigoule, caramelized garlic, sun-dried tomato tapenade

Korean barbecue-style seitan “short ribs” – Braised pistachios and their puree, sunchoke rosti, pickled Tokyo turnips

Tuesday night ice creme social… – White chocolate-raspberry swirl, butterfinger crunch, bananas foster, blood orange-pomegranate sorbet “Savoy Truffle”

“Creme tangerine and montelimar, a ginger sling with a pineapple heart…”

 

CHRIST I think this is the only time in my life I wished I lived in Tarzana. I’d roll solo, that’s how good this sounds, and Chef David is one of the best in the city. (Official Madeleine Bistro post coming soon).

 

Akasha has a Vegetarian prix fixe menu for $60 a person, BUT will make a completely vegan menu for you upon request! Obviously do this in advance, but here is the one with the vegetarian options.

Valentine’s Day
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Prix Fixe

** = vegetarian

amuse bouche
cros­tini / goat cheese / pre­served fig / truf­fle honey **

starters – choose one
hamachi crudo
blood orange / avo­cado / bali sea salt

saf­fron risotto
lob­ster but­ter / shrimp / scallops

red leaf let­tuce & dates **
mid­night moon sheep cheese / red walnuts

main – choose one
niman ranch NY strip steak
aspara­gus / chanterelle & wild mush­rooms / roque­fort & cognac butter

tan­doori lamb chops
spinach puree / egg­plant with tomato masala / raita

mar­ket fish / blood orange gas­trique
cau­li­flower & candy striped beet puree / pea tendrils

wild mush­room & sheep ricotta ravi­oli **
spelt pasta / ore­gon truffles

sup­ple­ments
grilled baby broc­coli / meyer lemon / chile flakes / parme­san 9 **
but­ter­nut squash gratin / goat cheese / leeks / hazel­nuts 10
cur­ried cau­li­flower / greek yogurt raita 9 **
grilled cole­man farms radic­chio / pro­sciutto / bur­rata / pome­gran­ate vine­gar 12

dessert — choose one
chocolate-hazelnut creme brûlée / bis­cotti **
flour­less trif­fle / pas­sion fruit curd / pud­will berries / vanilla bean whipped cream **
dark choco­late tart / dark cherry sauce / rose scented whipped cream **

choco­late truf­fles for the table **

Vegan Menu & Dessert Available by Request

Seed Bistro is also offering an amazing looking six-course prix fixe menu for $65 a person
Here’s a peak at some of the items on this very special V-day menu!

Faux foie gras, blackberries preserve, sourdough crostini

Seitan bourguignon stew, twice baked potato fries

 

And those are my picks. I will continue to update until D-day, I mean V-day, with any new options.

 

In addition M Cafe is offering some special Valentine’s Day Sweets from now until the 14th if you feel like taking home some sugar bombs to drown your single sorrows (again, just me?)

These limited time only sweets include Chocolate Petit Fours, Linzer Cookies, Strawberry Shortcake, Sacher Valentine Torte, and whole cakes are also available. Make sure to order 24 hours in advance.

 

Hope everyone has a very happy February 14th, single, coupled, or otherwise! Any excuse to eat a delicious multiple course meal made by some of the best vegan chefs in LA makes this a holiday one to remember 🙂

 

 

xoxo

Your Vegan Girlfriend

 

 

Castle Gourmet’s January Dinner Event!

Guess what? Castle Gourmet is having another amazing dinner event this Sunday January 29th and there are still seats available! Last month I had the pleasure of eating the amazing four-course meal chef Anne Lee created for her holiday dinner event, which was truly one of the most amazing dining experiences I have ever had in my life.

scenes from last month's dinner event

the insanely delicious entrée from last month's event

You can read my full post on the December menu here, but to briefly summarize what the dealio is, about 12 guests are served a four-course meal hosted in Anne’s gorgeous Los Feliz home complete with optional wine pairing and wait service. I still fantasize about the menu Anne served up in December. It is the stuff vegan dreams are made of people.

Your Vegan Girlfriend caught red-handed destroying dessert from last month's event

Now, you can have these drool worthy dreams too!

 

This month’s Castle Gourmet menu is inspired by local, seasonal produce, as well as Anne’s lust for the return of warmer days. She also decided to give it a bit of a Mediterranean flair (my favorite yay)!

Here is the REEEEEEDIC sounding menu… check it out!

 

Castle Gourmet January Menu, Sunday Jan 29, 2012

Salad: Crisp Chicory and Winter Vegetable Salad ~  Sunchoke, Blueberry and Sweet Pea, Candied Hazelnut Crunches, Poached Apple Vinaigrette  

Start: Mediterranean Tart Trio ~ Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Matbucha, Caramelized Onion and Olive Tapenade Tartlets

Main: Eggplant Parmesan Timbale, Celery Root and Sweet Potato Gratin, Seared King Oyster Mushroom Scallops

Dessert:  Lemon Olive Oil Cake, Rosemary sorbet

 

All dishes are organic, and obviously 100% vegan. Bahh this menu sounds absolutely INSANE!!!!!!

Last month there was an optional wine pairing by Silverlake Wines offered for only ten dollars more so I am sure you can take advantage of that again (I know I will be).

Wine from Silverlake Wines

If you are interested in attending this or future Castle Gourmet Dinner event, which you would be crazy not to be, give chef Anne a shout. You can email her at castlegourmet@castlegourmetdining.com. Spaces are super limited so jump on this fast! Just email Anne and she will give you all the info and set you up for Sunday.

Anne preparing our feast!

Trust me, you do NOT want to miss this. It’s going to be epically yummy and super fun.

 

Eeeeeeeeee, I cannot wait for Sunday!! I hope to see some of you lovely readers there!!!

 

 

xoxo

Your Vegan Girlfriend

Castle Gourmet Dining

This Monday I turned 26. My dear friend Elizabeth (check out her amazing company Closet Rich for the best vintage designer duds here) invited me to a chef prepared 4 course vegan meal with an optional wine pairing at the chef’s home in Los Feliz, a night I knew would be a perfect way to celebrate turning another year older.

Happy bday to me and apparently I'm thanking the vegan gods for this meal...

 

Anne Lee, a vegan chef and graduate of The Natural Gourmet Institute, created Castle Gourmet Dining as a pop-up dining experience, a prepares a festive and unique all vegan menu each month for 12 lucky diners.  Here’s a little more from her website:

“For each meal, Chef Anne Lee combines gourmet techniques and presentation with locally sourced organic fruits and vegetables, focused on health but sparing no expense for taste. Menus are carefully selected using the freshest available ingredients, so each menu will be unique based on what fruits and vegetables are in season and bursting with flavor. The dinners are crowd funded, prix fixe, and vegan by design, with seasonal or internationally inspired themes. Invite only dinners ensure each diner is cared for and given five-star treatment in an intimate setting. Dinners are designed not to imitate traditional meat-based dishes but to create new menageries of tastes based on palates of flavor to create familiar but new sensations.”

The theme for her December menu was “A Holiday Winter Feast,” and  feast it was. Here is the menu I had the pleasure of devouring on Monday night:

First: Duo of  Haricot Verte and Cream of Mushroom Soup, layered and topped with Crispy Onions ~ A play on the traditional holiday favorite “Green Bean Casserole.”


 

Second: Market Fresh Maple Roasted Squash and Winter Vegetable Salad ~  Warm maple roasted squash tossed with the seasonal best from the local farmers market.


Main: Hearty Vegetable Wellington, Sweet Potato Puree, Crunchy Lentils, Reductions of Persimmon and Balsamic.


Dessert: Spiced Apple and Cranberry Crème Brulee, Gingerbread Crisps, Vanilla Crème Fraîche

 

And wine pairings (aka one red and one white) by Silverlake wines!

 

I can’t possibly tell you how amazing this dinner experience was because there are not enough words to describe.  I could go on and on about how creamy and playful her soup was, how I begged for the recipe, how perfectly frizzled the brussels were in the salad and how everyone talked about her dressing for days, how beautiful and hearty her puff pastry was, and how decadent and creamy her brulee was and how that gingerbread man got eaten faster than anything on my plate – but it would take a lifetime. Instead I will just say that I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the Castle Gourmet Dining experience. Anne and her husband are lovely as is their home, the other diners were really cool (although brining a bunch of your friends would be the best!), and the food was on a whole notha level good. If Anne had a restaurant in LA I would eat there every day. That good.

 

Check out more about Castle Gourmet on Anne’s website and sign-up for her news letter! Her next dining experience is prospectively scheduled for the end of January and you KNOW I will be there.  Thanks so much to Anne and Co. for making my bday so special!

 

xoxo

Your Vegan Girlfriend

 

 

 

(Note: All photos courtesy of fellow diner Erin Burrell – thanks so much for the great pics!)

 

Vegan Christmas in LA 2011

Now that quarrygirl is gone, someone had to do it, right???

 

Here are the restaurants offering dope vegan meals on xmas eve and/or xmas day:

 

Sohjin: (open on xmas and xmas eve)

A Special Christmas Course!!
December 24th and 25th 12pm – 10pm
Click here to see more info!

A Christmas five course dinner for two for $88

This sounds amazing! Click the link to see the full menu …

Follow Your Heart: (xmas eve only)

They have a crazy amazing special xmas menu, check it out:

Gosh I love FYH.

 

Madeline’s Bistro: (open for Brunch xmas eve)

More info as soon as they put it out! Madeline’s is super far but home of some of the best vegan food I have ever had in my life. Beet Tartare and Bigger Mac fo life! And their brunches are always epic too…. make the donuts!

 

M Cafe: (take-out for pre-order)

If you wanna take your dinner home, M Cafe is offering a special holiday menu including a special soup, salad, entree and lots of yummy sides.   Check out the full menu here. Orders have to be in by the 22nd at 5 pm so hurry!

 

Native Foods: (take-out for pre-order)

You can order their Native Totes filled with a full on holiday meal that only requires you to eat and serve. Awesome! Celiacs beware basically everything at Native Foods has gluten, but if you are not, then I would def try their take home Wellington! In each tote you get:

 

The Native Wellington*

Mushroom Gravy

Coconut Mashed Yams

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Wheatberry Waldorf Salad

Gingerbread Cheesecake

Pick up is on the 23rd or 24th. More info is here.

 

Planet Raw: (open xmas eve and xmas)

Planet Raw is open every single day even on holidays so for all you raw foodies out there, hit them up!

 

Hugo’s: (not sure if they are open but get stuff to go before!)

They have a crazy amazing dinner for 6 take-home box that’s vegan and gluten-free!!! Check out the menu here.

 

And for all my Jews out there, Follow Your Heart is where it’s at!!! Check out their special menu:

 

Yum!!!

 

I will update this with more info as soon as I have it! Keep checkin back!!!

 

 

 

xoxo

Your Vegan Girlfriend