On the corner of Hipsterville and Echo Park is a gem of a restaurant! It’s there on Sunset Blvd. that you’ll find Sage Organic Bistro. I’ve been wanting – but too busy – to check out this place since it first opened back in March 2012, so when I saw a deal on Blackboard Eats for it, I jumped! I grabbed my friend and fellow major foodie Lynn and we made the trek all the way to the far east side.
There are many things I loved about this restaurant but appearance is definitely a standout. This is not your typical “hippy” vegan hole-in-the-wall, but instead a simple, clean-lined, modern, cafe. Crisp white walls and sleek tables welcome you to a decent size dining room. The specials are posted in chalk on the wall. The servers were nice, and prompt. And the place was laden with super cool looking people, many taking pictures of their food. And yes, there was even a celebrity spotting – not uncommon here in LA – but you won’t find a lot of pretensions here, just really good food!
The menu was very appetizing! After taking about 15 minutes to decide Lynn ordered the Soul Bowl and I the Chipotle Bowl.
When the bowls arrived, we were both shocked by the size! Huge portions are not something you usually get at a vegan restaurant, but we were both super hungry and welcomed the size! Here’s Lynn’s Soul Bowl (yes, that ball is a deep fried ball of vegan mac n’ cheese!):
And here is my Chipotle Bowl:
And the winner was: The Chipotle Bowl! The Soul Bowl had the mac n’ cheese ball, which was very yummy (and spicy), and dehydrated okra, which I had never had before and am now wondering why you would ever eat it any other way… was delish! But the deep fried jalapeno and nacho cheese sauce were stars in the Chipotle Bowl. Both of us only got through about half a bowl. But I enjoyed mine (again) for dinner.
Sage’s owners also own Kind Kreme (the vegan ice cream joint on Cahuenga, which I love!) so we knew there would be dessert involved in this lunch. We’ve both been to Kind Kreme many times so we passed on the ice cream and went for the heavenly-looking cake that was tempting us from the display case all through our meal. The divine dessert staring back was a raw-vegan espresso chocolate cheesecake. We’ll take it!
We are such goobers! I think we spent two minutes taking pictures of it before we ate it lol!
Holy cow it was delicious! Bursting with rich flavor this dessert was indeed, heaven!
I almost hate when I go to a restaurant and love what I ordered the first time because I’m then hesitant to try something new the next time I’m there… but this place has a very tempting menu…so I think I’ll tackle the burger section on my next visit!
The best news is that Sage is opening another location on the westside, but ’til then, my advice is to head east!
I am an animal lover. I hate nothing more than seeing animals being mistreated. Thank goodness for rescue sanctuaries around the country like SquirrelWood! Squirrelwood Equine Sanctuary is located in Montgomery NY (which is in upstate) and is run by two wonderful women named Diane and Beth. Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and adopt out as many farm animals as possible. They not only rescue horses, but also sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys, cows, ducks, and chickens! Here are some pics from my visit to this magical place!
How beautiful is this farm!
This is who I fell in love with at the sanctuary! His name is Abraham and he is a Belgian Draft who was a former Amish plow horse. He was rescued from the kill pen at a Pennsylvania auction. He was severely neglected and emaciated, and had such badly neglected hooves that he could barely walk! Abe has scars on his body and mouth from an ill-fitting harness and bridle. He is now fully recovered and doing very well! And he’s just about the sweetest horse I’ve ever met!
I can’t believe anyone could mistreat these sweet animals!
Check out these adorable boys!
Here I am with Diane and one of their miniature ponies and Pete the resident pig (who thinks he’s a dog!)
My nephew Hank getting a little ride
And my other nephew Johnny hanging out with one of the goats!
What farm is complete without a rescue cow and donkey
SquirrelWood Sanctuary is truly a magical place! If you find yourself in upstate NY you should definitely give them a call and stop by! If you are looking for an animal, almost all the rescues here are up for adoption! And of course they run this entire sanctuary on 100% donations from people like you! They do so much amazing work here, please help them continue! Please see their website for donating and more information about the wonderful animals who have been saved by these special people.
Mexico has its share of stunning beaches, incredible food and of course margaritas, but it’s also home to the most stunning Mayan ruins on earth. Known as one of the worlds most powerful healing centers the village of Tulum sits on the edge of the Caribbean and now is your chance to visit this site and enjoy an amazing retreat!
Join us at Maya Tulum Resort and Spa—voted one of the top destination resort spas in the world—for an unforgettable week of relaxation and fitness that will create strength, release stress and build personal empowerment in your life.
When: November 10-17th 2012, Tulum, Mexico
Your Retreat Includes…
– 3 meals a day of fresh, organic, local vegetarian/vegan cuisine and non-alcoholic drinks. (Alcohol available for purchase and those with dietary requirements are accommodated. Some fresh fish also served.)
– Your accommodations for 7 nights and 8 days
– All resort tips and gratuities
– A welcome gift bag and retreat T-Shirt
– All of your health, wellness and fitness classes, and group activities, including:
Detox, Health & Nutrition Lectures
Gentle Flow Yoga
– There will also be time to explore Tulum, which is surrounded by ancient Mayan jungle and home to some of most well-preserved Mayan ruins ever discovered. You can explore underwater caves, take part in a traditional Mayan healing ceremony, salsa, shop or simply relax by the beach!
– Outside excursions, alcohol and spa treatments are extra.
In a city with a vegan restaurant list growing by the minute, it’s hard to know where to start. V-Note caught my eye because well, it’s close to where I stay on the Upper East Side and because not only is it a vegan bistro, but also a vegan wine bar The dining room is darling! No granola decorating here! The resto is lined with sleek booths and quaint tables. They also had live music the night I was there which was delightful.
The biggest challenge at V-Note is what to order since everything on the menu looks heavenly! Since my date was my veggie-loving cousin Emily, we ordered a bunch of options and tried a little of everything. Joe our waiter helped us navigate to the best options for us. We started with the roasted pumpkin and sweet potato gnocchi:
Not too heavy, not to light, this gnocchi was delish and would definitely recommend you order! The sage cashew cream they are sitting on is divine. Next up we got the Curried Unchicken Salad:
This salad was good for sure, but it probably wouldn’t be the first thing I order again. I am not the biggest fan of faux meat and while this was a very tasty salad I’ll probably stick to the all veggie ones next time. But I will say the dressing was fabulous. For our entrees we ordered the Pistachio and Pepper Dusted Tofu:
Yum!! This tofu sat on a crepe filled with roasted veggies and that sauce is a lemon truffle emulsion! Very very tasty! My cousin particularly loved the sauce and spices in this! And the Mushroom Lentil Ravioli:
Double yum!! The perfectly prepared pasta pillows were filled with lentils and smoked eggplant and were in a shitake cream sauce! Yum! Super rich and decadent. For dessert we split a cheesecake:
I’m a big fan of cheesecake and this one was good. I think I actually prefer “raw” cheesecakes to cooked ones, but this one was pretty well done. Great texture and flavors… next time I’m looking forward to ordering the tiramisu which they were out of this night.
Overall, definitely check out V-Note! Fabulous place for dinner, dates, and drinks!
1522 1st Ave. NY
Watch out Eastside, Silverlake has a new kid in town! Diablo Taco is open for business and very vegan friendly! Located right on Sunset Blvd., they tote themselves as an “urban taco fabricator and crafter of fine micheladas” and that they are! The menu, written in chalk on the wall, changes frequently and always includes plenty of vegan options which are clearly marked
When you arrive at the restaurant, you enter one room where you order at a bar and are given a number and you head into a second room lined with booths and has a long communal table down the center.
There are all sorts of really original menu items! I went with a few friends who are all meat-eaters and it was so nice to go to a restaurant where we all had plenty of options. I ordered the heirloom radish salad, a couple Brentwood corn picadillo tacos, and russet potato skins with diablo ketchup and green jalepeno sauce.
Um… these tacos were so good I immediately ran over to the counter to order two more lol! Corn, peppers, black truffles oh my!
Here I am with my good friend and Diablo Taco owner Summer Stearns (ps so nice to see a strong, smart woman in the restaurant biz!):
We ended our night with some homemade watermelon and cucumber popsicles sprinkled with chili!
Bottom line: I am a big fan of this place! The ambiance is awesome, the food fabulous, and the location is easy! Definitely my new favorite spot in town!
3129 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90026
Once a year, chefs from all over descend on Los Angeles and take over the A-list celebrity status that is usually reserved for movie stars and rock stars. Yes, it’s LA Food and Wine! Held downtown at LA Live, this festival truly gives you a taste of what the city of Los Angeles has to offer.
I was lucky enough to attend a few of the events. First up was the Festa Italiana hosted by Giada De Laurentis. I attended this night with my pal, foodie, and fellow veggie Fiona Gubelmann and look who we ran into as soon as we walked in:
There was LOTS of wine! But we were in search of veggies! We did find this fabulous salad made by Nina Clemente. It was a fennel and peach salad and was very tasty!
Saturday I explored the grand tasting tent that was full of all my favorite restaurant chefs and so much wine it’s hard to know where to start!
I got to meet one of the chefs at one of my favorite restaurants in LA. Street.
Chef Kajsha is one of the chefs/owners of Street in Hollywood and she made two things I could actually eat!
And of course Whole Foods was there with a fabulously fresh kale salad:
And it was super fun to run into my friend Dani who was there doing interviews (stay tuned to see if my footage made it!)
Saturday night was a big party on the plaza hosted by Wolfgang Puck! It was a fabulous party and I loved getting to spend the evening with my friends Jenn Wong and Dawn Marie Ferrara drinking delicious Inception Wine.
Bravo to everyone who put this fabulous weekend on! Make sure to mark you calendars for next year because this is an event you are not going to want to miss!
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of cooking for 550 people at Evening On The Beach, a fundraiser benefiting St. Vincent Meals On Wheels. Sponsored by Audi, the annual event is held at The Jonathan Club in Santa Monica. And what a better way to spend an evening than serving my vegan food on the sand as the sun set into the ocean?
(and don’t make fun of my hair… it was very windy!) I served a new invention of mine! A Watercress and Watermelon Spring Roll with a Vegan Peruvian Aji Sauce. I love the idea of making something that looked a little like tuna and a sauce that is typically not vegan. Of course I did veganize it with a little help from my friends at Vegenaise 😉 To my delight, my dish and I were warmly embraced by the crowd.
Chefs participating included: Jacqueline Buchanan of Laura Chenel Chevre, and Urbani Truffles, Sally Camacho of WP24, Jeff Cerciello of Farmshop Brentwood, Brendan Collins of Waterloo & City, Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant, Michael Fiorelli of Mar’sel at Terranea Resort, John-Carlos Kuramoto with Michael McCarty of Michael’s Restaurant, Joe Miller of Joe’s Restaurant, Kris Morningstar of Ray’s and Stark Bar, Dahlia Narvaez of Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza, Mark Peel of Campanile, Paul Shoemaker of Savory, Kerry Simon and Nona Sivley of LA Market Restaurant, Clark Staub of Full of Life Flatbread, and Mako Tanaka of Robata-Ya. There were also a lot of wineries pouring, most notably of course my good friend and genius winemaker George Pitsironis with his Inception wine.
I have to thank Core Bamboo for supplying these goooorgeous bamboo appetizer plates to serve my spring rolls on AND Bella Beach for my darling dress and jewelry! AND of course Brian Leahy for these fabulous photos! And a personal thanks to Joan Wrede, who did a spectacular job organizing the event and assembling LA’s Best culinary talent on one beach!
It was a huge honor to be a part of the event! Mark your calendars and make sure not to miss next year!
I’m going to be a little MIA this week because I’m taking a much needed and exciting vacation! I’m going with some family and friends to my favorite place in the world: Lake Powell If you’ve never heard of Lake Powell, it’s a damned up section of the Grand Canyon bordering Utah and Arizona. So if I don’t update as often as I usually do, you know where I am But I promise to take lots of pics!
Enjoy your week!!
Even though I don’t have kids of my own (I do have 3 nephews I adore!), I am very passionate about children’s nutrition. To sound completely cliche, they are our future. The statistics couldn’t be more terrifying.
-Today’s generation of newborns might be the first to live a shorter life than their parents.
-31.9% of children and adolescents are classified overweight.
-1 in 4 American children are at risk of hunger (that’s more than 17 million children).
Fortunately, there are some amazing leaders in our country fighting to end childhood obesity and childhood hunger in this country! The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has become an ambassador for this national movement called: Let’s Move!, but there are a countless people and of fabulous groups who are making it their goal to feed our kids wisely and Share Our Strength is at the forefront of this fight. I was lucky enough to be invited to to film a video with two very special kids: Tristin & Tyler, to benefit Share Our Strength. If you haven’t seen these kids before, trust me, you will see them again! These twin brothers – also know as Eco Twins – are so much fun and so very passionate about teaching others kids (and adults!) tips to creating a healthier environment for all.
I hope you take a moment to watch us creating Earthburger ‘vegan’ sliders together at City Cookhouse in Harlem, New York City. And share what YOU know with a child in your life. As Tristin and Tyler prove, you can’t imagine what a difference you can make.