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dineLA Restaurant Week is a 2-week dining event created by the Los Angeles Convention and Visitor Bureau (aka LA, inc) to introduce diners to hundreds of neighborhood restaurants throughout Los Angeles County.

:: Check out my dineLA Vegetarian Roundup – my top 10 picks for restaurants who have vegetarian and even vegan items on their dineLA menus.

To celebrate, dineLA hosted a party at the W Hotel in Westwood last week on Jan 11th, 2012 with flowing scotch, champagne, beer, and wine. Though I’ve taken a break from drinking, I had to have just one scotch because it was Highland Park 12 year, neat with one ice cubes on the side please.

Chef Jason Fullilove from The Tar Pit has the best last name ever! He may look familiar because he was on the 1st episode of Chef Hunter on Food Network last month. Keep a look out, as he’ll soon be on Cooking Channel too. Finally, diversity on TV, yeah! Chef Jason’s food is yummy. For dineLA, you will find 2 vegan dishes on his vegetarian menu including a Roasted Vegetable TerrineWinter Root Vegetable Pasta, and a choice of 3 decadent desserts.

Executive Chef Chris Morningstar from Ray’s and Stark Bar, hailed by Esquire Magazine as “One of the best new restaurants of 2011″. Bravo Chef Chris! Chris and I first met while we were both preparing for our Test Kitchen dinners as Chris’ dinner was the night following my 2-nights of Ani Phyo’s Gastrawnomique. His menu was completely opposite mine….all animal products vs. my vegan raw. I get a kick out of the fact his last name, Morningstar….it’s the brand name of popular vegan and vegetarian breakfast sausages….though Chris’ expertise is with meat. Ray’s and Stark Bar is a Patina group restaurant, and I was super stoked when Chris told me his boss and Master Chef Joachim Splichal had given him a copy of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials to use while creating menus and recipes for Google campus.

Exec Chef and owner Kerry Simon from Simon L.A. is offering several vegetarian items on his lunch and dinner dineLA menus including Market Roasted Vegetable Kale Salad, Fennel Pollen, Sherry Vinaigrette (I love kale!), Spinach Salad with Dates and Persimmon, plus desserts that look amazing like a House Made Kit Kat. Yum! Chef Kerry is very accommodating, is happy to let you order items from the dineLA menu, plus is fine with you making substitutions and requests. So just ask, and you shall receive!

dineLA asked artist Phil Lumbang to illustrate chef characters that were being silk screened onto canvas dineLA bags for everyone. What a fun idea, and very cool bag. Chef Chris Morningstar had a character screened onto his chef jacket, super cute!

Shana Wong (LA Magazine), William Karz (LA, inc), Shelley Leopold (LA Weekly), and I watching the screening of characters onto the canvas bags.

Our hostess Stacey Sun is red. She makes dineLA happen. Thanks Stacey! Excited to check out new restaurants beginning next week!

Join our discussion on my Facebook page and at Twitter.
Watch my award-winning cooking shows on YouTube.

Download my free 2012 Healthy Jumpstart report with tips for recharging your immune system, nourishing your body, and boosting your metabolism at www.RawFoodRockStar.com.

On May 19. 2011 I got to visit Seattle along my tour for Ani’s Raw Food Asia. First stop was with host Margaret Larson at King 5 TV’s NewDay Northwest Show. Everyone in the studio audience received a copy of Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

Next was Evergreen Radio’s Kitchen Corner Show where I had a pleasantly challenging conversation with host Jo Ann Henderson. Jo was skeptical at first, but I hope I was able to convince her that raw foods are simply a way to enjoy more whole, fresh, organic ingredients.

At the same time, another pre-recorded radio program aired on Seattle radio where I spoke with host Keesha Ewers on her Healthy You! Radio Show.

By lunch I was hungry for some local raw food treats, and we stopped at Thrive Cafe for a meet-and-great and book signing, and they fed me delicious salad, green juice, and desserts.

Next stop was KOMO Newsradio where we aired during afternoon drive-time traffic. The hosts Herb Weisbaum & Jane Shannon are already into raw foods, and were already making their own kale chips. I love how main stream kale chips have become!

Our final destination for the day was the Woodmark Hotel and Yacht Club in Kirkland, on the lake. This was the view from my room, you can see snow topped mountains in the distance.

The Woodmark Hotel hosted what they call “Happy Hour and a Half”. They made 2 recipes from Ani’s Raw Food Asia, I gave a talk, answered questions, and then signed books. It was another clear, sunny, dry, warm day in the Seattle. After this final event, I went on a long walk along the lake front. The air was fresh, clean, and crisp. And I felt grateful for all the wonderful people who welcomed me to their beautiful city.

This was the awesome lady who made this day happen for me, Joy. In addition to shuttling me around town, she also hooked me up with a food assistant so that I didn’t have to carry all my food, plates, props with me on the airplane! Plus, she kept the car stocked with cut, prepared veggies of all sorts for me to snack on all day long.

This was Joy’s assistant Lee, who had shopped for props and ingredients, and helped me prep for my TV appearance. Thank you Joy and Lee!! You’ve officially spoiled me.

Vitamix hosted a Mix + Mingle reception at Expo West where I signed another 100+ books in the evening. Earlier, I had signed 200+ books at the Vitamix booth.

These photos were all shot by the amazing talented Sherman Lee….love his photography!

They had the bartender make up my blended frozen Raspberry, Orange, and Lime mocktail.

Ken Spector of LivingEco.com has been a host for years, interviewing hundreds, if not thousands of people.

The beautiful Elenia Love, a long time friend.

Carolyn Scott, the Healthy Voyager. Look at her skin glow.

Debbie Merrill is super fit, and a rollar skating pro!

Bob Linden, host of Go Vegan Radio.

Chris Whitcoe, Vivapura…love their spirulina sprinkles, and John Kohler, Living-Foods.com.

My family attended too, here’s Max Phyo, my brother who runs GoSuperLife.com.

The Vitamix team that made this all happen. xoxo

ani phyo raw food essentials expo west vitamix

Vitamix invited me to sign books for 2-hours at their booth on Day 2 of Expo West. We had a line that was so long the other vendors complained our fans were blocking their booths. Hum…I would have thought they’d be stoked to have a captive audience to sell to.

ani phyo raw food essentials vitamix expo west vegan vegetarian raw

Even the fire marshall was called in because our line was too long. A good problem to have! I signed 200+ books in 2-hours! (Plus, I signed another 100+ at our reception later that eve.) Thank you Vitamix for generously gifting these books to our friends and fans.

vitamix ani phyo raw food essentials expo west

This is the amazing Vitamix team that made this all happen. You can see the video of my 60-minute DVD they’re including with the TurboBlend-VS playing in the background.

vegnews magazine vegan raw food ani phyo elizabeth castoria

I love Expo West because I get to connect with old friends I haven’t seen for a while. Here’s Elizabeth Castoria from VegNews Magazine. Their booth was just down the isle from Vitamix.

ani phyo koya webb

I found the beautiful fitness model Koya Webb. I love how ripped this girl is…so pretty.

ani phyo go raw raw food vegan

This was the most brilliant display at the Expo. GoRaw simply hydrated their bar, and set it to sprout over time. Perfect demonstration of why raw….raw generates more life. Now, try that with processed cooked food.

eric botner raw food ani phyo earth circle organics

Eric Botner is an amazing man helping make superfoods available to the mainstream. Earth Circle Organics was one of the generous sponsors for my Gastrawnomique dinner event last November. And, they have a cacao and cashew crunch that is sweetened with coconut syrup (the latest in low glycemic sweeteners) that is to live for!

chris ochs sunfood ani phyo raw food superfood vegan

Chris Ochs at Sunfood was another generous sponsor for Gastrawnomique.

ani phyo airheads raw food expo west oxygen bar

After a day of being inside a huge convention center under fluorescent lights, I needed an oxygen infusion. Luckily, I found an oxygen bar, AirHeads, at the Seventh Generation booth, and plugged in for several minutes to recharge.

I ran into many, many other friends including Ryan and Jeremy Black from Sambazon, Frederick from Big Tree Farms, Jane Kim from Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles, my friends at Sequel, ….but unfortunately didn’t get photos with them.

Next…photos from the Vitamix Mix + Mingle with moi later that evening.

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