if you are a vegan living in los angeles, you should make it a priority to eat at urbano pizza bar downtown. trust me. the establishment just changed chefmanship, and under the supervision of exec chef bruce kalman, there’s a newfound focus on fresh vegetables and vegan options. most of the ingredients are handpicked at a local farmers market, and it really comes through in the taste. in fact, i’d venture to say that even though urbano is new to the vegan pizza game, they already make the best pie in town. here’s what we ate:
vegan farmers market pizza special of the night: daiya cheese, truffle oil, hedgehog mushrooms, spring onions, green garlic, leeks and pea tendrils. $14
(we sat at the chef’s counter, which has a great view of the kitchen!)
roasted sweet garlic, warm bread. $4
LOOK AT THAT GARLIC!
garlic oil in a medicine dropper? yes!
leafy broccoli, garlic, chilies, meyer lemon, balsamic. $7
antipasti: locally grown farmers market vegetables and grains. $6
on this night it was mushrooms, roasted asparagus, fennel, leeks, faro, and more. they left off the carrots because they were cooked in honey. props to urbano for knowing honey isn’t vegan.
heirloom fingerling potatoes and herbs. (no dip!) $6
roasted artichokes sans aioli.
great interior at urbano too—-long sleek tables and dim lighting.
i really can’t speak highly enough of this place. we loved the food, the atmosphere, the wine…everything. plus, there’s $5 parking at the library tower. just be sure to get validated.
thanks for looking out for the vegans, urbano!
vegan “bbq sloppy faux” sandwich on special right now at mendocino farms: shaved seitan and pinto beans slow braised in chipotle citrus barbeque sauce with avocado puree, vegenaise, pickled red onions, candied jalapenos, tomatoes, shredded romaine on toasted ciabatte. $9.50
jon wiener ate it, loved it, and sent us these pix. here’s his review:
Unlike The Shitty Beatles, the Sloppy Faux isn’t just a clever name. It’s a fantastic combination of thinly-sliced seitan, big fat pinto beans, lettce, vegenaise, etc on amazing soft (with just the right amount of chew) ciabatta bread. Each bite is a struggle because you are so happy to be eating the amazing sandwich, but so sad that each bite contributes to it being finished sooner.
What I wanted to say, however, has nothing to do with the experience of the sandwich, but with the name.
The Sloppy Faux is clearly a take on the Sloppy Joe. When most people think of the Sloppy Joe, they probably are thinking about the meaty, saucy concoction that gets served in a bun so porous that it is incapable of holding the aforementioned death-slop, resulting in an in-tact top bun and a piece of bread-slime on the bottom.
You probably remember them from the classic scene in Billy Madison (warning: the following clip contains ground up animal carcass - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJf8Je5H7-k ).
I grew up in New Jersey, not too far from New York City. Where I’m from, a Sloppy Joe is something totally different. It’s a t stacked sandwich consisting of several different meats (pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, turkey, etc), cole slaw, swiss cheese & russian dressing on rye bread. It’s basically the TurDuckEn of deli sandwiches. This is what they sometimes look like (warning…more rotting flesh):
Here’s an accurately labeled diagram from a very vegan unfriendly site called The Porkchop Express: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V2vvFqyFKZ8/R-lT—OTDMI/AAAAAAAABYg/Er1kcjQEu8w/s1600/AnatomyOfASandwich.jpg
In my “pregan” days, these were a fixture at Super Bowl parties and downtown “hangs” with my friends. Jeez…I was so young and stupid!
Anyway, as much as I loved the SLOPPY FAUX, it should consider a name change, should Mendocino Farms decide to add it to the regular menu, and create a true SLOPPY FAUX that matches the name more accurately. Has anyone ground up seitan for a classic Sloppy Joe vibe? Maybe create a New Jersey Sloppy Faux using different “meats” along with the seitan. In fact, I’d like to challenge several Los Angeles vegan delis to step up and give it a try. Locali? Figuroa Produce? Let’s start giving the Ruben a run for its money in the sandwich wars.