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Vegan Simplified

The Vegan lifestyle is not boring, complicated, or expensive. This blog was designed in the hopes to simplify the process of healthy eating. I welcome everyone, not just vegans.

Category

California

eLOVate

rating-5

About: It’s not that often that I give a restaurant a five-star rating, but this place was so perfect! We stopped here on a beautiful Saturday afternoon while taking a stroll around Santa Monica. It’s located just one block south of the Santa Monica Pier, which is a really great location. Right when I walked in, I immediately fell in love with the ambience. Our server, Miguel, was so friendly and gave us a quick overview of the menu. Everything on their menu consists of Local, Organic, and Vegan ingredients. That’s what the “LOV” in eLOVate stands for, just in case you were wondering. ;) Chef Roberto Martin, who is also the personal chef of Ellen DeGeneres, creates the most flavorful dishes. This isn’t just a place for vegans, even non-vegans would love the food here! This restaurant is such a great representation of how plant-based ingredients can be used to develop some really creative and delicious flavors!

What to Order: The Arugula Pesto Linguine was my absolute favorite! My partner also raved about the veggie sandwich he had, so you can’t go wrong with either one.

Overall Rating: I’m so in love with this place! Great food, service, and ambiance! I’m dying to go back!!

Times visited: 1

Location: Santa Monica, CA

For more info: http://www.elovatekitchen.com/

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(Arugula Pesto Linguine: cashew cream, sun dried tomato, parm with blackened tofu)
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(Grilled Veggie Sandwich: grilled ciabatta, portabella, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, tomato, pickled onion, hempseed pesto… with a side of Kennebec fries!)
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(Juice Flight: Ginger Apple Sour, Chillax, Evergreen, Alive on Fire. This was pretty fun to try out, but I really only liked the Evergreen juice.)

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Vegan Nirvana

rating-4_5 (3)

About: Vegan Nirvana is the newest vegan restaurant in Huntington Beach, CA. This place has a really unique ambience and some cool artwork on the walls to go along with that. Their menu consists of plant-based ingredients, with bold and delicious flavors that make the food really enjoyable to eat.

What to Order: The fish tacos were unbelievable! The “fish” fillets were crunchy in texture, and they were topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and a creamy chipotle sauce drizzled on top. Best fish tacos I’ve ever had!

Overall Rating: I was really impressed with how flavorful their dishes were. I was even more impressed with their fake meats- great texture and taste. I’m really excited to try out some other foods from their menu. Overall, this restaurant has a really great vibe!

Times visited: 1

Location: Huntington Beach, CA

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/Vegan-Nirvana-804444262942216/

 

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(“Kingdom of God“: poultry-free bites, tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, red onion, red bell peppers, and jalapeno wok-flamed in “Wisdom” sauce along with multi-grain rice with sesame seeds)
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(Strawberry Mint Limeade… yum!)
(“Ultimate Liberation“: crispy fish-free fillet topped with fresh cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, and Omnipotent sauce. Served on grilled soft corn tortillas with lime.)

Seabirds Kitchen

rating-4_5 (3)

About: Seabirds Kitchen is an organic, plant-based restaurant located in Costa Mesa, California. It has been around for almost 6 years and has grown from a food truck into their current restaurant. Their menu consists of locally grown fruits and vegetables, home-made sauces and condiments, and unique flavors.

What to Order: Their chaffle (churro waffle) is definitely a must-try! I’ve been craving a vegan churro for so long and had never found one until this one. Words cannot describe how delicious this is. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and pecans just takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness! I also enjoyed their grilled cheese sandwich. The cheese and basil sauce combination is so perfect, you won’t even believe it’s vegan!

Overall Rating: I’m so happy I discovered this place. I’m really impressed with how creative and delicious their dishes are. The atmosphere is very laidback and I always have a great experience. This is definitely one of my favorite vegan spots.

Times visited: 4

Location: Costa Mesa, CA

For more info: http://www.seabirdskitchen.com/

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(Chaffle: a churro waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and chopped pecans. Super delish!)
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(Flax Jax: three fluffy flax pancakes served with butter and maple syrup)
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(Porque Maria: smoked sliced tofu, cashew, “gruyere” cheese, rocket arugula, toasted sourdough, with powdered sugar and fresh fruit)
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(Old Town Grilled Cheese: sourdough grilled cheese melt with sharp cashew “gruyere” spread, basil avocado sauce and provolone cheese)
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(BBQ Jack Sliders: whole wheat buns with shredded bbq jackfruit, Seabirds slaw, caramelized onion and dill pickles)
(Natural Cut Fries)
(Natural Cut Fries: house seasoning salt, served with ketchup and Seabirds sauce)
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(Jack Asada Taco: marinated and grilled jackfruit, Seabirds cabbage slaw, pickled red onion; Beer Battered Avo Taco: fried avocado, Seabirds sauce, cabbage, red onion, lime)
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(Butternut Enchiladas: butternut squash, spinach, black bean and mushroom enchiladas with roasted pasilla pepper sauce, almond feta, Seabirds sauce and cilantro, served with arugula salad and sliced avocado. Tasty but a little spicy!)

Blossom Vegan

rating-3_5 (3)

About: Blossom Vegan is a plant-based restaurant that is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. They pride themselves on their ability to prepare everything from scratch daily and use only the freshest ingredients.

What to Order: The Golden Rolls and the Stir-fried Broccoli were my favorite. The taste and texture of the soy “beef” in the broccoli dish were great!

Overall Rating: I was really pleased with the flavors in each dish. The only thing I didn’t like were the noodles in the chow mein dish. I thought they were a bit undercooked. Other than that, the service and ambience were both good.

Times visited: 1

Location: Pleasanton, California

For more info: http://blossomvegans.com/

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(Organic Vietnamese Ice Coffee: So yummy!)
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(Golden Rolls: Traditional fried eggless rolls, filled w/ taro, cabbage, carrot, and tofu.)
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(Stir Fried Vegetable Chow Mein: Wheat noodles, mixed vegetables, organic tofu, soy protein and mushroom, stir-fried in garlic sauce.)
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(Stir-fried Broccoli: Broccoli, soy “beef”, onion, and carrot, stir-fried w/ garlic sauce.)

Patxi’s Pizza

rating-4 (3)

About: Patxi’s Pizza has over 15 locations and is best known for their Chicago style deep dish pizza. This particular spot is located in Hayes Valley, a very cool neighborhood in San Francisco. Anyway, this place has a really nice, laidback vibe. It gets super packed on the weekends, so be prepared to wait. It’s definitely worth it though!

What to Order: You can order the “Vegan Deep Dish Pizza” listed on their menu, which consists of whole wheat crust, fresh spinach, garlic, red onion, and daiya vegan cheese. This is the one I tried and it was unbelievably delicious! OR, you can customize your own pizza and add as many veggies as you’d like.

Overall Rating: Their pizza definitely exceeded my expectations! The crust was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and had just the right amount of cheese and veggies to make a perfectly balanced pizza. This restaurant is not 100% vegan but you are welcome to make any modifications on their menu items.

Times visited: 1

Location: San Francisco, CA

For more info: https://patxispizza.com/

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East West

rating-4_5 (3)

About: East West is a Mediterranean Cafe located in Santa Rosa, CA. With over 25 years in business, East West offers plenty of vegan and vegetarian options made up of a large variety of tasteful, fresh and local ingredients – a must-stop for any health-conscious foodies in Sonoma County!

What to Order: The Falafel wrap was so fresh and delicious! It was very rich in flavor and the falafels were cooked perfectly. And that tahini sauce.. amazing!

Overall Rating: This was such a great find! The ambience was very casual and the food was amazing. If you’re in the area visiting some wineries, this is the perfect lunch spot!

Times visited: 1

Location: Santa Rosa, CA

For more info:http://www.eastwestcafesantarosa.com/

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(Falafel Pita: Organic pita bread filled with falafel patties, hummus, tomato, lettuce and Tahini sauce.)
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(Falafel Wrap: Falafel patties, hummus, tomato, lettuce, and avocado with Tahini sauce wrapped in organic whole wheat chapati bread.)

Gracias Madre

rating-4 (3)

 

 

About: Gracias Madre is a plant-based mexican restaurant, that serves healthy, delicious foods sourced from locally grown organic ingredients. It’s actually owned by the founders of Cafe Gratitude, which also serves 100% organic vegan food. Anyway, this place has amazing decor, beautiful outdoor patio, and a very cozy atmosphere.

What to Order: The Apple Cobbler and the Gorditas.

Overall Rating: Although I’ve only been here once, I was super satisfied with everything I tried that day and I especially loved the ambience. I’m excited to pay them another visit soon!

Times visited: 1

Location: West Hollywood, CA

For more info: http://graciasmadreweho.com/

(Bowl Uno)
(Bowl Uno: This bowl consists of romaine, brown rice, black beans, tempeh chorizo, guacamole, pico de gallo, and cashew crema. Great flavor!)
(Mushroom Taco AND Cauliflower Taco)
(Mushroom Taco AND Cauliflower Taco: One taco had mushrooms with mole and the other had flash-fried cauliflower. Both were very tasty!) + (Seasonal Sangria: Enjoyed this, the chocolate covered strawberry gave it a nice touch! )
(Apple Cobbler)
(Apple Cobbler: Simply DELICIOUS!)
(Gorditas)
(Gorditas: These were potato-masa cakes topped with warm salsa verde, avocado, and cashew crema. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. So perfect!)

Healthy Junk

rating-3_5 (3)

 

 

About: Healthy Junk offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for those who enjoy comfort foods. It is located in the heart of downtown Anaheim in the Good Food Hall. There are plenty of places to sit inside or outside the hall, and provides a very casual atmosphere. Their menu consists of snacks, salads, burgers, tex-mex, pizza, and desserts. Pictured below are the food items that I’ve tried, along with my thoughts on each.

What to Order: The BBQ Chicken Pizza and Nacho King… yum!

Overall Rating: Although I’ve enjoyed most of food here, there have been a few that didn’t really ‘hit the spot’. The service is always great though, so that’s a plus!

Times visited: 5+

Location: Anaheim, CA

For more info: http://www.thehealthyjunk.com

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(Nacho King: This consists of corn chips topped with black beans, taco “meat”, chez sauce, and avocado cream. This was pretty good and the cheese sauce was delicious.)
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(BBQ Chicken Pizza: This is so delicious! I really like the mozzarella chez because it’s not too overwhelming and does not have a sticky texture like most vegan cheeses.)
Peanut Butter Cookie
(Peanut Butter Cookie: This was okay, not amazing.)
Pepperoni Pizza
(Pepperoni Pizza: This was pretty good but it had a little bit of a weird after-taste.)
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(Chili Chez Fries: These fries were topped with homemade chili and chez sauce. The chili was a little overcooked.)
Portobello Burger
(Portobello Burger: This burger was made with a grilled portobello, marinated patty, aioli sauce, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. This was not that flavorful.)
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( Mighty Kale Salad: This salad was made with quinoa, red cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grilled chicken, tossed in olive oil, fresh lemon and sea salt topped with fresh mango. It was okay but a little bland.)

 

Thuyen Vien

rating-4_5 (3)

 

 

Overview: Thuyen Vien is a Vietnamese restaurant that offers delicious vegetarian and vegan food. There are only a couple of things on their menu that are not vegan. The food is great and the staff is always very friendly. They also offer takeout, which is great for the weekends when it gets really crowded.

Menu: Their menu consists of salads, soy-based meats, rice bowls, noodle soups, and more. You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy this food. A must try is the Garlic Chicken. It’s pretty amazing! I usually stay away from fake meats, but this one is so good! A lot of people like the Banana Flower Tacos but I thought they were pretty bland. The Thailand Fried Rice is another dish that has some really great flavors. I also just recently tried their Pho and it was okay, but the broth wasn’t my favorite.

Favorite Item(s): The Chow Mein and Egg rolls are both so delicious! Those are the two items I usually order when I visit.

Rating: This is a really great restaurant. If you’re ever around the area, you should stop by and grab some delicious food here!

Times visited: 5+

Address: 1740 S. Euclid St., Anaheim, Ca, 92802

Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-9pm

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(“Egg” Rolls)
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(Garlic “Chicken”)
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(Buddha’s Feast with Chow Mein)







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