i enjoyed my vegancation in LA two years ago….so of course when i booked a photo gig at cesar millan’s dog psychology center in santa clarita, i jumped at the chance to eat my way through LA again!
my first five days were not very exciting as i was working and exhausted. i did try a cool cafe in santa clarita my first night. eat real cafe has an assortment of bowls, wraps and sammies with plenty of vegan options. i grabbed some beet juice to wake me up after my long flight!
i wasn’t sure if the seminar i was shooting would be vegan friendly (it wasn’t when i shot it in florida) so i went to sprouts (think trader joe meets whole foods) to grab some stuff for lunch every day. i made sunflower butter & jelly sammies and added apples, cuties and cookies to my lunch bag every day. so good!
i ordered a pizza my second night from tomato joes. basically had cold pizza for breakfast every morning. was so happy tomato joes offered so many vegan toppings for their pizzas. mine had vegan cheese, pickles (YES – PICKLES!!!!), vegan chicken and avocado cream drizzle. YUM. somehow i was so tired every day i forgot to take a picture of my fabulous pizza! sad face.
the second day of the seminar i was cold so i asked the food truck if they had anything vegan. i got some rice & steamed broccoli. the next day they made me special tacos with refried beans. (fresh delicious guacamole not pictured).
my days were long but i was surrounded by an amazing team and wonderful participants. and also got some quality time with the animals. lorenzo the llama was my favorite. cesar might be the dog whisperer, but i’m clearly the llama whisperer. i still stand by my belief that animals know i won’t eat them so they flock to me. 😉
the last day of work they made me this beautiful dish. so impressed. i mean look at that tomato rose!!!
at the end of the day there was a special bbq for all of the participants. i hadn’t planned on eating, but the awesome food truck guys set something aside for me yet again.
i guess it never hurts to ask about vegan options! these guys went above and beyond for me! so grateful i wasn’t stuck with pbj sammies the entire four days! awesome! great way to start my LA adventure.
the day after my job ended i headed north three hours to meet up with a friend in san luis obispo. he was visiting from the bay and it was a great chance to see him since the bay is a 6 hour drive! woohoo. for lunch we had some fresh veggie sushi at a local place in arroyo grande where he was staying. man how i’ve missed avocado from california! YUM.
we drove into SLO for dinner at bliss cafe. i wasn’t expecting anything spectacular but bliss proved me so wrong. what a great dinner we had. everything was delish! it’s colder here than florida so i started with some soup.
the tempeh tacos were perfection. more beet juice because i’m determined not to get sick during my travels. need all the iron i can get! 😉
hello yummy delicious maple donut. i’m on vacation… don’t judge me.
bliss cafe was awesome. can’t wait to go back next time i’m visiting SLO.
have i mentioned how much i love my friends?!?!? andrew made me tofu hash for breakfast! what a way to start my day. so good. can’t wait to be his roomie and cook for him on the regular!
i made my way south towards orange county and stopped at a veggie grill in 1000 oaks. i got a tempeh blt with avocado. so yummy. also grabbed a side of fries and some cauliflower popper things. such a great lunch on my way down to costa mesa!
for dinner my friends let me choose where we were dining. i chose au lac. humanese restaurant with raw options. it reminded me of a fancier version of golden lotus (downtown oakland). food was good. i ordered the veggie rolls and the lemongrass chickn. so delish! really enjoyed the black rice it came with!
for brunch the next day we headed towards LA. i went to crossroads two birthdays ago and honestly was not impressed. how are you serving gardein for $20 a plate? so i gave it another chance opting for brunch instead. so good. we started with the kite hill cheese plate. YUM. everything was really tasty.
for my main course i tried the hollandaise. ohmylord. this was the best brunch item i’ve ever eaten anywhere. shitake bacon, crispy flatbread with a chickpea patty concoction. i need this recipe. it was seriously incredible!
we walked around the area for a while and then headed to griffith park for some hiking. stopped for some more juice. i opted for another beet concoction and added a shot of ginger. i’m coming home healthy people!
i love that LA has nature. it’s not my favorite nature but it gets the job done! i definitely prefer the bay area in terms of weather and landscape but LA definitely has a place in my little vegan heart!
after our hike we headed over to glendale to hit up donut friend. i placed an order earlier in the day to ensure we got everything we wanted to try.
i think donut friend just became my favorite donut place. i mean i love dunwell. i’ll always love dunwell. but donut friend is AWESOMMMMMMMMMMMME. i tried everything. and every bit was delicious. i saved a few for my friends…definitely didn’t eat them all. ha ha. my favorite was the siracha, peanut butter, coconut bacon flavor. HECK YEAH. spicy thai donut for the win!
after our quick stop to donut friend we headed to little pine… a newer vegan spot in silver lake. we had to wait a bit (reservations are recommended apparently) but it was worth the wait.
i started with a strawberry milk (made with cashew – so good). made me think of my strawberry yoohoo addiction when i was little! 😉 we shared a few plates – some broccoli croquettes, gluten free mac and cheese and lentil shepherds pie. yum yum yum.
the best part of the night was when moby was standing near our table talking to his friends. my little vegan heart exploded. i didn’t want to bother him (sound familiar??? owen wilson @ candle cafe circa 2011) so i didn’t get a photo with him. so cool though. i love LA. can’t wait to read his memoir next month!
okay… last full day in LA. my friend and i headed up to santa monica to have lunch with another friend of mine. i chose real food daily because it was my favorite place last trip! still really good.
i ordered the kale cucumber lemonade at the servers suggestion. so good.
we shared the not chos for an appetizer. they were pretty tasty.
i ordered the burger with the works. it was okay. not my favorite meal from RFD. i’ll have to order better next time!
this trip has been so awesome. i really had a hard time driving to the airport this morning. i want to stay. or drive north 6 hours to the bay. i love you cali. i’ll be back soon……..