today’s episode of quarrygirl presents features m cafe de chaya, my favorite spot in los angeles to get decadent yet healthy food. the restaurant focuses on contemporary macrobiotic cuisine, and other than fish, the entire menu is vegan. whether you’re craving a hearty burger, a slap up breakfast, or something light like sushi or salad, m cafe has it all. we caught up with chef lee gross to talk about healthy eating and the best dishes for everyone at m cafe. check it out!
the chicago diner!!i can’t believe i’ve been a vegan for nearly a decade and i’m just now trying this place. the small bustling vegetarian joint has been serving up meat-free classic american cuisine in wrigleyville since 1983 (hey that’s older than me!), and on our five day trip we dined there twice and still left wanting more. check out the “best of” what we ate montage above: the titatnic burger, the chocolate chip cookie dough shake (made with temptation), a plate of potato skins, and the radical reuben with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. people have been telling me for years that this is one of the best reubens in the country, and i wouldn’t argue with that. i’ve been to a lot of vegan or veganish fast food type places in my time, and this one rules them all. wish they’d open up a location in LA! …actually no i don’t. chicago diner has a nice small business feel, and i’d hate for it to get all chain restaurant corporate-y. when in chicago, don’t miss this place.
*one thing to note: the reuben normally comes with bell peppers (which is straight up disgusting), so if you have an aversion to them be sure to ask for it without.
i am so excited for the LA Vegan Beer and Food Fest on saturday…especially since M Cafe, one the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Los Angeles, is making a generous donation of grub for the volunteer after party!!
photo credit: cindy choi
seriously, if you haven’t been to m cafe, get over there now!! the menu is macrobiotic and entirely vegan with the exception of clearly labeled fish items, and has something for everyone—-breakfast, healthy salads, sushi, burgers, and plenty of desserts.
great news! the new expanded native foods location opens today in westwood! if you’ve ever been to the old location, you probably remember the awkward seating arrangement and ordering process due to limited space. i attended the soft opening of the new space with some friends over the weekend, and i’m happy to report they’ve fixed all the old problems. they’ve completely taken over the restaurant next door, so there is now tons of comfy seating, you order at the counter, and food is brought to your table.
as usual, the food was incredible. we feasted on entrees such the reuben, the oklahoma bacon cheeseburger, and the kale macro bowl as well as appetizers like the maryland tempeh cakes and nachos, plus a slew of desserts. everything was top notch. my only complaint about native foods is that they garnish EVERY dish with bell peppers, which i fucking hate (and this isn’t even disclosed on the menu!). plus, they’re chopped so small that they’re impossible to pick out. so if you hate bell peppers, specify no garnish. sometimes i forget, and then my food is totally ruined.
i’ve heard that chef tanya is no longer involved with native foods, which makes me sad. i hope the new owners continue to fulfill her vision of creative compassionate cuisine that vegans and meat-eaters can enjoy together. so far they’re doing a great job.
go check out the new location when you have a chance!