vegetable diaries

Archive for November, 2009

shojin organic & natural, part two

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 30, 2009


i’ve been eating at Shojin since they opened last year and it’s been amazing to see how well they are doing and how their menu is constantly growing and changing. in addition, they also offer cooking classes, which i’m hoping to attend soon. it’s always a treat to eat at Shojin and here are some photos from a recent visit.

the bento box! you must must try the pumpkin croquette and the hamburg steak (i’m not a fan of seitan but Shojin makes it so YUM)! i also tasted the okara cake and spicy tofu and they are delicious, too. it’s truly a hard decision when ordering at Shojin but they offer great lunch specials so you can try different things. the bento box also includes a big bowl of brown rice and a small bowl of the daily soup. it’s a fantastic lunch deal for $10!

Shojin's bento box!

and now to my favourite, dessert! i tried the spiced pumpkin tart with chocolate ice cream and thought it was really good. i was a bit hesitant because i usually don’t like to mix pumpkin with chocolate but it actually went together quite nicely. on my last visit to Shojin i ordered the chocolate and banana parfait and thought it was exquisite. there were layers of vanilla ice cream, fudgey sauce, almonds, and bananas. i don’t have a photo but you can find it on their website.

Shojin's spiced pumpkin tart

i’ve also tried the shitake avocado sushi rolls and enjoyed them. there are so many things to try.. i can’t wait for my next visit! to see my part one review of Shojin you can go here.

by the way, i took my meat loving family to Shojin and everyone, including my finicky-eater-10 year old niece loved it!

Shojin Organic & Natural
333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310
(Little Tokyo Shopping Center 3F)
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 617-0305

Posted in japanese, los angeles, vegan | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

goodbye thanksgiving, hello shopping madness

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 29, 2009


brussel sprouts, parsnips, and butternut squash all ready for roasting

well, now that the big feast is behind us and the mad rush of shopping has begun i find it quite appealing to hole up in the house and roast the remaining year away! to start things off i roasted these vegetables on t-day with fresh thyme, olive oil, cracked black pepper and kosher salt. it’s so easy to just take a big bowl and dump all of your veggies in it, add the oil, etc. and toss with your hands. i line a baking sheet with foil and spread the vegetables evenly on it and bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes (depending on how big the veggies are). tonight i roasted brussel sprouts with whole cloves of garlic, et al. and it smelled so magical. everything gets so caramelized and delicious you will never want to leave the house!


Posted in gluten-free-friendly, recipes, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

more millennium, yayyayyay

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 19, 2009

french fries from millennium

mmm, Millennium!! i recently made a visit to the world’s finest vegan wonderland and here are the plates… this was the first time i tried the french fries are they are truly fantastic!

my friend's plate- tempeh something something..

everything was amazing.

my plate- forbidden black rice, curry something something..

i really loved all the flavours and the nutty black rice.

sweet potato tart with ginger ice cream

what a heavenly meal! to see more of my past millennium adventures you can go here.

580 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, sf bay area, vegan | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

sacred chow part two

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 18, 2009

sacred chow tapas

i know i already did a post about Sacred Chow, which you can find here, but i recently visited NYC and had the lovely opportunity to eat more hardcore vegan organicness. i think this was probably one of the best Sacred Chow experiences I have had (and I have had many!). my friend and i ordered three tapas each and i loved the way they served it to us in tiers.

i ordered the curried steamed broccoli, cilantro hummus, and indonesian roasted tempeh. my friend ordered the orange blackstrap BBQ seitan, grilled western tofu, and sliced ginger soba noodles with spicy peanut sauce. everything was delicious. i usually don’t rave about hummus because it is so ubiquitous and so easy to make, but wow (!), the hummus is rave worthy and i would definitely order it again. i’m especially fond of the indonesian tempeh.

Sacred Chow also has desserts but my lunch stuffed me to the gills in a very good way. thank you, Sacred Chow!

Sacred Chow
227 Sullivan St
(between 3rd St & Bleecker St)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 337-0863


Posted in gluten-free-friendly, new york city, vegan | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by vegetablediaries on November 16, 2009

blackened tempeh burger from Seed

it’s a little bit difficult to find parking around Seed’s venice location, but if you’re on your bicycle or walking (which, hopefully you are) around the beach path then you might want to stop in for a quick bite at Seed. there are so many vegan and vegan-friendly eateries cropping up around los angeles these days! Seed offers ‘macrobiotique’ vegan cuisine brought to you by chef eric lechasseur. you might know him from his famous cookbook, “love, eric,” and he’s also been featured in many notable magazines. he also did a second cookbook with his wife, sanae suzuki titled, “love, eric & sanae.”

the food: i only tried the blackened tempeh burger with sauerkraut for $9.95. i thought it was average as it didn’t send my tastebuds singing. call me crazy but for ten dollars i was expecting more. it was filling but it wasn’t really what i had in mind for a blackened tempeh burger. i needed more flavour and i would have enjoyed more sauce because it seemed too dry. however, i would still go back to Seed to try other things. their menu includes salads, soups, one-dish grain bowls, paninis, curry bowls and desserts. i appreciate the philosophy at Seed, which you can learn more here.

1604 Pacific Avenue
Venice, CA 90291

Posted in los angeles, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

more things i miss from NYC: sahara’s turkish restaurant

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 16, 2009

falafel plate from Sahara's

a weekday lunch at Sahara’s Turkish Restaurant is probably one of the best values and overall excellent lunch experiences i have had in NYC. i think i paid around $13 for a four course meal, which included the most heavenly bread in the world! yes, the world! the servers were all very prompt and professional and easily tended to my vegan needs. here is what i ordered:

*eggplant salad (wow! this is incredible… you will want more! i like to scoop it up with the bread.)
*mediterranean salad sans the cheese (again, wowo! i think they use a lemon vinaigrette, it’s so fresh and tangy.)
*falafel plate (i’m usually full by the time my main lunch comes around thanks to the bread, but who cares, i’m going in.)
*baklava (they told me this is vegan… it is seriously sweet.)

they will also serve you turkish coffee or tea, but i’m well past my food coma at this point and decline.

eggplant salad from Sahara's

mediterranean salad from Sahara's

baklava from Sahara's

although Sahara’s is quite meaty, there are plenty of vegan items to choose from. some things are even gluten-free, but always ask to be sure!

Sahara’s Turkish Restaurant
513 2nd Avenue (29th & 2nd)
New York, NY

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, new york city, turkish, vegan-friendly | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

manzanita restaurant- organic vegan macrobiotic cuisine

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 15, 2009


carrot soup from Manzanita

i recently visited Manzanita Restaurant in oakland after hearing how wonderful and fresh it is (in addition to being vegan and macrobiotic). i must say it is wonderful and fresh, and quite affordable at $11.95 for a moderate meal, which includes a medium-size bowl of soup. however, i was really put off by the grain portion of the meal, which in the picture below is a mixture of brown rice and quinoa. the texture seemed awkward and too mushy for words, but everything else was quite a delight. the vegetables were flavourful, and not what i would expect from a macrobiotic restaurant. i also enjoyed the atmosphere. there is plenty of outdoor seating, and inside you can seat yourself.


moderate meal at Manzanita

the moderate meal is a good size, but if you’re feeling extra hungry they also offer a full meal for $13.95. my plate featured brown rice & quinoa mush (i will forgive them), black beans, spring salad, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dinosaur kale. i think the sauce was ginger-based, and everything was gluten-free. this place is a winner! i didn’t try any of the desserts but they seemed to have a lot going on. oh, and the menu changes daily.

Manzanita Restaurant
4001 Linden Street
Oakland, CA 94608

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, sf bay area, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »