Posted by vegetablediaries on January 14, 2010
bheh, khumbi aur matar (lotus root) at Ajanta
if you are in berkeley (solano avenue to be exact) and are in need of unique and delicious indian food for cheap (lunch=cheap, dinner=moderate), then i highly recommend eating at Ajanta. i’ve been to many indian restaurants and none of them can compare to Ajanta’s varied menu and awesome preparation of regional dishes. although they are not a vegan restaurant there are usually a few vegan lunch specials from which to choose. your lunch will include yummy aromatic rice (brown rice is an option for a little more money), kala chana (black chickpeas), or saag (pureed spinach). Ajanta’s menu changes weekly, so there are always new and interesting things to try. some things stay on the menu depending on season and popularity (i think), so if you fall in love with their sambhar like i did, then rest assured it’s been on the menu for a couple of months now… and hopefully they will keep it on! i’m also quite fond of the bheh, khumbi aur matar (lotus root, shiitake mushrooms, and peas cooked with caramelized onions, ginger, garlic and spices). however i think my favourite is their hyderabadi baingan baghare (organic eggplant slices sauteed and cooked in a sauce made with onions, sesame seeds, tamarind, coconut powder, cashew paste, ginger, garlic, and spices). i don’t have a photo but take my words that you MUST order the baingan baghare if you see it on the menu. it is so rich and the eggplants are like tender little gems that explode in your mouth.
i’ve visited Ajanta for dinner, too but nothing can beat the fantastically cheap and filling lunch specials ($10 or less!).
brown rice & kala chana at Ajanta
i love the caramelized onions on the rice…
sambhar with vegetables at Ajanta
the sambhar is a south indian dish and includes toor dal (lentils) cooked with spices, tamarind eggplant, okra, carrots and potatoes. i didn’t mention this yet but Ajanta is prepared to serve your food spicy HOT if you so desire. i ordered the sambhar “hot” but for the other dishes i recommend ordering them “medium” if you’re not used to the heat. if you like the heat then by all means you should go for HOT!
lobhia aur khumbi (curried black eye peas) at Ajanta
1888 Solano Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94707
Posted in gluten-free-friendly, indian, sf bay area, vegan-friendly | Tagged: ajanta, berkeley, gluten-free-friendly, indian, unique, vegan-friendly | Leave a Comment »
Posted by vegetablediaries on December 16, 2009
big box o' desserts from Chamomile Cafe
hooray for discovery: Chamomile Cafe! i discovered this delightful cafe in carpinteria, and it’s mostly all vegan with the exception that they serve wild salmon, eggs, and dairy. it’s also mostly organic! as for the bakery part of the cafe, half of the goods are vegan and they are questionably vegan in a major way because they are so incredibly delectable. in my big box o’ desserts i tried the blueberry pie in miniature, pecan muffin, oatmeal raisin walnut cookie, zucchini muffin, and the lemon poppyseed muffin with blueberries sprinkled on top. these didn’t last very long.. i shared them with my family and i sort of ate them up! the baked goods are not cheap, but also not overly priced in my opinion because they use organic ingredients and they are insanely good. that pie is made with organic blueberries! this place was like finding a little gem all covered in tar (did you know the beaches in carpinteria are dotted with tar?) by the way, i’ve learned that mineral spirits are the answer to tar stains!
blueberry pie from Chamomile Cafe
and now onto lunch: i tried the grilled veggie panino, which is made from their handmade organic ciabatta rolls (YUM) and then inside goes the eggplant, mushrooms, red onions, tomatoes, radish sprouts, vegan ranch, and dijon. you’ll want to be a fan of dijon if you order this. although it’s not overly dijon-y, the mustard is quite noticeable in a very delicious way. i really enjoyed my sandwich and it also came with a small side salad. i would like to try their dinner menu sometime because it’s all vegan except for the wild salmon. my pescatarian, gluten-free friend enjoyed the wild salmon tacos. thank you, Chamomile Cafe!
veggie panino from Chamomile Cafe
i should have moved the lettuce off of the tomato, but you get the idea.
915 Linden Ave.
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Posted in gluten-free-friendly, los angeles, vegan bakery, vegan cafe, vegan-friendly | Tagged: carpinteria, chamomile cafe, vegan-friendly, yum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by vegetablediaries on October 11, 2009
grilled vegetable salad from The Landing Grill and Sushi Bar
sometimes i get surprised to find a vegan meal in unexpected places. usually if i go to a non-vegan-friendly restaurant there will at least be a mixed greens salad or something similar to order but i was happy to find a big grilled vegetable salad on the menu at The Landing Grill and Sushi Bar located in westlake village. the salad was fresh and filling, and i ate it with balsamic and olive oil. i think the other vegan item on the menu was pasta but i wasn’t feeling a pasta mood, so i stuck with the salad.
we sat outside next to the ducks..
ducks at the lake!
a little bunny hopping..
bunny & duck
The Landing Grill and Sushi Bar
32123 Lindero Canyon Road
Westlake Village, CA 91361
Posted in los angeles, vegan-friendly | Tagged: grilled vegetable salad, The Landing Grill, vegan mofo, vegan-friendly | Leave a Comment »
Posted by vegetablediaries on October 6, 2009
carrot cake from M Cafe de Chaya
it’s officially fall in many parts of the world, except for maybe here in southern california.. and to celebrate i ate a slice of carrot cake from M Cafe de Chaya! i must say the people at the M patisserie really know their carrot cakes. although i found the frosting too sweet, i enjoyed the walnuty, raisiny, autumny warmth of this dessert. i also bought a gingersnap cookie but i ate in the car while driving home! the cookie was crisp but it also had a nice chewiness from the molasses and raisins. i quite enjoyed it. there are so many sweets to sample at M Cafe. they do tend to sell out of things in the early evening so be quick if you need a dessert fix!
carrot cake from M Cafe de Chaya
M Cafe also serves up great non-dessert items like sandwiches, salads, sushi (they do serve fish but none of their products contain dairy), wraps, and more. they call themselves contemporary macrobiotic cuisine; however don’t let that scare you away, the food is tasty! i visited their location on melrose but there are other locations in culver city and beverly hills.
M Cafe de Chaya
7119 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Posted in gluten-free-friendly, los angeles, vegan bakery, vegan-friendly | Tagged: carrot cake, los angeles, M Cafe de Chaya, macrobiotic, vegan dessert, vegan mofo, vegan-friendly | 2 Comments »
Posted by vegetablediaries on August 17, 2009
sweet basil thai cuisine
sweet basil will knock your socks off with their thai spice. when i first ordered the lunch special (above) i ordered it “very spicy” and almost died. they do not mess around with their thai chilies, and if you like it spicy you are in luck. if you don’t need too much spice then go ahead and order it “not too spicy” and you will be quite pleased. i love spicy food but its nice to be able to control it… so, i usually just ask for the hot sauce if i want it to be more spicy.
i really enjoy sweet basil. the lunch specials are so affordable, delicious and filling.. and it’s located on solano avenue, with all of the nice shops and the xocolate bar is right across the street! for lunch i like to order the green curry with drunken tofu and brown rice combination. all for $9.50! i’ve also tried the basil eggplant, which is outstanding! the staff are very accommodating if you have any food sensitivities. enjoy!
Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine
1736 Solano Ave
(between Ensenada Ave & Tulare Ave)
Berkeley, CA 94707
Posted in gluten-free-friendly, sf bay area, thai, vegan-friendly | Tagged: asian, berkeley, gluten-free-friendly, sf bay area, sweet basil thai cuisine, thai, vegan-friendly | Leave a Comment »
Posted by vegetablediaries on August 12, 2009
mediterranean platter from razan
i had eaten at razan organic kitchen many times before i tried the mediterranean platter and was already in wow-mode, but after trying the mediterranean platter i was hooked! this is a great meal for lunch or dinner, however i prefer it for lunch because it holds me over all day long with no hunger pangs to speak of. it’s also very affordable! let me break this down for you: hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, dolmas, salad and tahini dressing, brown rice, whole wheat pita, and unlimited hot & mild salsas! i also love their egyptian and lebanese wraps. it’s so incredibly fresh at razan and there are numerous things to choose from: salads, wraps, burritos, and platters. the portions are giant size, so be prepared to eat it all, share, or take home. the owner is very nice and will smile at you more if you finish your meal.
Razan Organic Kitchen
2119 Kittredge St
(between Fulton St & Shattuck Ave)
Berkeley, CA 94704
Posted in gluten-free-friendly, mediterranean, mexican, sf bay area, vegan-friendly | Tagged: berkeley, gluten-free-friendly, mediterranean, mexican, razan organic kitchen, sf bay area, vegan-friendly | Leave a Comment »