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dineLA is an exciting 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. LA’s a huge county full of many great spots for food and drink. So, to help filter through over 300 participating restaurants, dineLA’s invited me to call out a few restaurants offering vegetarian dineLA menu items. I live in West Hollywood, so most of my recommendations are for spots in my area.

For dineLA, participating restaurants offer a fixed 3-course menu for lunch and/or dinner…a great way to taste popular dishes. If a restaurant offers only 1 or 2 vegetarian items on their dineLA menu, many will let you order just those vegetarian items, so do ask. You’ll also find a few vegan and almost raw items too.

With so many great dineLA restaurants, it was challenging to choose just 10! Here’s a few vegetarian items to look for. If you prefer vegan, ask to leave off the dairy. It’s that simple. Click each link below to view their dineLA menu:

  • Akasha - Chef Akasha and I share a similar outlook for living a life that’s eco green, treading lightly on our planet Earth. Her dinner menu includes a Black Kale Salad, Olive Oil Croutons, Sheep Cheese, Meyer Lemons Vinaigrette – I love kale for it’s texture, color, flavor, and potent nutrient profile. Meyer lemons have a sweeter, less acidic flavor that the more common store bought lemon varieties. Akasha’s desserts sound yummy too: Salted Caramel + Chocolate Fudge Sunday (sounds so gooey and decadent), Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and a Flourless Tiramisu (I always like to choose flourless as a  gluten-free option). Akasha is a sustainable business that was built using reclaimed materials, is lit with LED lights, and uses hemp material for their aprons.
    View Akasha’s menu
  • Bar + Kitchen - Located inside the O Hotel downtown LA, this spot has a wonderful ambience. For lunch, they’re offering a Watercress + Endive Salad with Pears, Maytag Blue Cheese, Walnuts, Honey Sherry Vinaigrette which sounds amazing as the sweetness of pears and the bitterness of endives pair well together. Also, a Roasted Mushroom Toast with fried egg and whole grain mustard. For dinner, they’re offering a Butternut Squash + Ginger Soup with Creme Fraiche and Spiced Pepitas (super seasonal), Farrotto (aka farro) with roasted broccoli, aged white cheddar, and crispy shallots. Farrotto mimics risotto, and is a thick and chewy whole grain similar to barley. Desserts are the same of lunch and dinner, choose between a Banana Pudding, Warm Chocolate + Peanut Butter Cake (peanut butter and chocolate, yum!), and Butterscotch Pot De Creme.
    View Bar + Kitchen menu
  • BLD - Owner and Chef Neal Fraser and I both had recipes featured in the Food + Wine Magazine’s Annual Cookbook, which was how I first discovered BLD, a great spot for comfort foods. BLD always offers vegan items on their daily menu. Vegetarian items on their dineLA dinner menu include a Roasted Carrot Soup; Grapefruit Salad with Fennel, Avocado, Pecorino Cheese, and Tangerine Vinaigrette; and a Butternut Squash Gnocchi. Now that’s an antioxidant and vitamin C blast from beta carotene, grapefruit, and tangerine…yum. Desserts include a Warm Monkey Bread with Bourbon Creme Anglaise (Monkey? I must figure out what this is, love monkeys!) and Banana Caramel Ice Cream, or a Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Parfait with Peanut Butter Pudding.
    View BLD menu
  • Lexington Social House - Owner Junella Chin is a fellow Cornell Alumni, and on their dinner menu they’re offering a Local Beet Salad with Tangerines, Pistachios, Arugula, Aged Goat Cheese, and Lemon or a Local Apple and Pomegranate Salad. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants for boosting our immune system for the winter months, a farmer once told me we should be eating a pomegranate daily for its vitamins and nutrients, to boost our overall health. So, the Apple Salad will help me eat more pomegranates! For the main, Parpardelle with Kale Pesto…love Kale! And dessert is a choice of Apple Tart, Monkey Bread (I’m year of the Monkey and love everything Monkey!), or Flourless Chocolate Souffle with and Almond Milk Cream (dairy-free, perhaps gluten-free too, nice!).
    View Lexington Social House menu
  • Loteria! Grill – Hollywood - Owner and Chef Jimmy Shaw tells me since most of his food is meat stock based, he is offering optional vegetarian/vegan sauces. For lunch, Esquites with corn, crema, guse anejo, onion, epazote, and chile; Chile Relleno De Quesillo O Picadillo (the red sauce has meat, so ask for the green tomatillo sauce that’s vegan); and desserts include Helado De Chocolate O Chongos, Guava Cheesecake, and Poached Pear. For dinner, he’s  offering a puree of Chile Poblano; an interesting Hibiscus Flower Salad that sounds beautiful; Ensalada De Milpa Asada; and 3 desserts to choose from including Crepes, a Rum Custard Ice Cream (recipe inspired by Nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara in Puebla, how intriguing); and the Guava Cheesecake.
    View Loteria! Grill – Hollywood menu
  • Penthouse at the Huntley - This is one of my favorite spaces as it sits at the top floor of the Huntley Hotel with amazing view of the ocean and Santa Monica. I’m forever grateful to Exec Chef Seth Greenburg for inviting me in to  spend the day with him in his kitchen teaching me his molecular gastronomy techniques. The lunch menu has several vegetarian items including a Romaine Hearts Salad with Sourdough Croutons and Lemon-Caper Dressing. I love capers, which are a pickled vegetable and a great source for probiotics that aide digestion. Spicy Tomato Capellini; and 3 desserts to choose from including a Chocolate Lava Cake, Creme Brulee, and Profiteroles.
    View Penthouse at the Huntley menu
  • Ray’s and Stark Bar - Bravo to Exec Chef Morningstar for being named Best New Restaurant 2011 by Esquire Magazine. Chef Morningstar has a garden where he grows some of his green and herbs behind the restaurant. Dinner items include Little Gem Lettuces, Truffled Rice Agnolotti with hen of the woods mushrooms and wild arugula, yummy; Aged Nantes Carrots; and choice of 2 desserts: Chocolate-Peppermint Mousse or Johah Gold Apple Crumble or Variations of this week’s market citrus. I was stoked when Morningstar told me his boss Master Chef Joachim Splichal gave him a copy of “Ani’s Raw Food Essentials” to use while designing recipes and menus for Google campus.
    View Ray’s and Stark Bar menu
  • RH at Andaz West Hollywood - I was taken to this restaurant recently and was pleasantly surprised to see that about a third of their menu is vegan, with a “V” denoting vegan items placed throughout their menu. For lunch, Vegetable Soup; Caesar Salad; Truffle Grilled Cheese with Fries (I love truffle anything!); Portabello Mushroom Burger with Fries; and an Agnolotti Pasta. For dinner, Vegetable Soup; Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata and baby arugula. Heirloom tomatoes have been open-pollinated, are not hybridized, and are not genetically modified. Truffle Risotto with wild mushrooms (I love mushrooms for flavor and they have been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine to boost immunity). For dessert, choose between Apple Tart or Chocolate Cake.
    View RH at Andaz West Hollywood menu
  • Simon LA - Owner and Exec Chef Simon is all about making his diners happy, and is super accommodating with substitutions and requests. So just ask to leave out the cheese or dairy if you’re looking for vegan. For lunch, Market Roasted Vegetable Kale Salad with Fennel Pollen and a Sherry Vinaigrette; Mascarpone Polenta; and 3 desserts: Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Vietnamese Banana Creme Brulee, and House Made Kit Kat (omg, yum!). For dinner, Spinach Salad with dates, persimmon, blue cheese and a warm sherry vinaigrette. Desserts include Warm Goat Cheese on Toast with Frisee and toasted almond and citrus zests, Sea Salt Chocolate Pot De Creme, or a Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Blueberries.
    View Simon LA menu
  • Tar Pit - Chef Jason Fullilove (great last name!) has moved over from Campanille to revamp the Tar Pit menu, and is offering 2 vegan dishes on his dineLA dinner menu including a Terrine of roasted vegetables, caramelized kumquats, and plantains or a Pasta with winter root vegetables, roasted tomato, and bitter greens. Love kumquats this time of year for their tart flavor, beta carotene, and vitamin C. Choose from 3 desserts including Bandy Chocolate Cake, Bananas Foster topped with toasted marshmallow (whoa), and Apple Tart Tatin.
    View Tar Pit menu
:: Check out photos from the dineLA Kickoff Celebration at the W Hotel in Westwood last week with my Exec Chef friends.

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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.

 

 

One of my favorite foods is cabbage because it’s super versatile, has hardly any calories, is free of wheat and gluten, is great for digestion, and is beautiful in color (purple and green). It tastes awesome in salads, gives us valuable probiotics as pickled sauerkraut, plus it works perfectly as a “shell” to be stuffed with yummy fillings to make a delicious hand held treat. I’m currently reintroducing heart-healthy fats into my diet from flax and chia seeds (omega-3), some nuts (vitamin E and antioxidants), and olives to keep my skin supple and moist, especially now that autumn is upon us. I picked up a bunch of avocados at the Farmers’ Market, but am disappointed they didn’t make it into my bag!

Today, I filled up a red cabbage shell with Chiffonade green cabbage. Watch our “How to Chiffonade” video I shot for Vegetarian Times Magazinehttp://www.vegetariantimes.com/video/10). Please watch on the Vegetarian Times website to help generate viewer numbers. Thank you!

I’m also embedding it below from my own YouTube channel:
Ani’s Raw Food Asia + Vegetarian Times Magazine: How to Chiffonade

I first filled up my purple cabbage shell with Chiffonade green cabbage. Next, I layered on a Black Olive Tapenade, from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, page 155,  and Candied Onions, inspired by my Buckwheat-Battered “Fried” Onion Rings, from page 116 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, plus I added maple syrup to sweeten the onions. I then topped it all with artichoke hearts, and would have added avocado, if I had some on hand.

Black Olive Tapenade
makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced, about 1 clove
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, fresh
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, fresh
Place all ingredients into food processor, mix well.
Will keep for a week or longer stored in fridge.

Candied Onions
makes 4 servings 

  • 4 cups thinly sliced sweet onion, about 1 whole
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), to taste
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup, to taste

Place all ingredients into mixing bowl. Set aside to marinate and wilt for at least 10 minutes. Add syrup to your liking. I choose to make this sweet! Squeeze excess liquid before using.

Will keep for several days in fridge.

Old school friends came down from San Francisco last weekend to host the most wicked day of dance, tunes, and great vibes…and it was the best day I’ve enjoyed in a while! DJ’s Solar (above) and Galen (below) are both Sunset and Pacific Sound crews. (I used to have a multimedia studio back in the day in SF, and we threw a historic NYE party in 1995 together with Sunset). When I lived in SF, all I would do is dance for exercise. It’s the best workout ever! Plus, Solar cooks, and of course loves Raw Food!

Here’s Galen. These guys still look the same as they did back in the early 90′s! And they put so much love into their music, you can feel it. We agreed dancing, good music, and raves are what keep us young! I was just up in SF a couple months ago, and went to the Sunset boat party hosted on a ferry that sails the Bay from 6 to 11pm. A perfect way to finish off the weekend, always.

Since I’m usually in bed by 10pm, this daytime party in the park was exactly what I needed! The sun was bright and warm in Van Nuys where we all laid out picnic blankets, brought food, and danced up a storm. Galen, Solar, and the Sunset Crew are known for their outdoor parties on Sunday afternoons. They’ve been hosting them for probably over 20 years now! We’d all end up at Sunset parties after a long weekend. Great way to taper down off the weekend.

Another great thing about partying in the park is that Kanga can join in too! She laid down in the middle of the dance floor early on, and made folks dance around her the rest of the afternoon. She loves to be in the center of everything. She was very popular, and calm, but, …..no parking on the dance floor Kanga!

My lovely lady friends, and Max the dog. Maria’s the beautiful blond, and is the talented photographer who took the cover photo on Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

Galen spun last, and brought in the sunset while pumping the dance floor. He and Solar both motivated me to go to their after party downtown, which started past midnight, …..and it went to dawn! A Sunset, and then sunrise event! (Small world too because the party ended up in a warehouse space owned by Thomas, who has assisted me in my raw food kitchen!)

Thank you Sunset, Solar, and Galen. Come visit us in LA again soon, and host more outdoor parties for us…please! I miss great SF tunes, the Sunset sound, and vibe. I’d head to SF for their Halloween Boat Party, except Mom’s coming to visit me in LA. Thanks for bringing your tunes to LA for us to enjoy! Love you guys! xoxo

Labor Day marks the weekend my Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kanga, and I rescued one another….9-years ago! How time flies. (and yes, I cake sunblock on my face, as you can see).

Kanga had been at the Humane Society for over 2 weeks, and no one adopted her. Surprising, since she is a beautiful specimen of this breed. Plus, she came fully trained, so someone had spent a lot of time and energy with her. She was skin and bone, and 50+ pounds underweight with kennel cough and dusty fur. Poor baby.

Luckily, a truck intercepted 20 dogs on their way to get euthanized, and brought them back to a no-kill shelter in Portland, OR called Family Dogs NW. This was where I found Kanga early the very next morning. I applied the same raw food principles to Kanga as I do for human healing, and over the next month or two she gained 50 pounds and regained radiant health on a Raw Food diet. You can read more about her journey in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, where Kanga has her own dog food chapter.

My brother Max saw this photo of Kanga and said she looks like she’s “mugging”. I had to ask him what the heck that means. Max said “mugging = posing, like rappers do for pics”. Hahaa. Yup, Kanga is a superstar, and very popular too. Folks always stop us to pet her, especially young children.

Kanga’s from Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe Rhodesia, and the Sahara so she loves the sun, warmth, and sand. She hates water, but it was so hot out that Kanga got her paws wet. I love dog beach because here she can roam off-leash, and run free to play with other dogs.

Kanga and I love laying in the sand and soaking up the sun. It’s never hot enough for us, and soaking up sun is one of our favorite past times. I’m happy I got to take Kanga to Huntington Dog Beach yesterday on the final hot day of the summer (it was 90 F) to celebrate her 9-year Bday and Dogversary with me. Thank you Kanga for being my family, love, and for hanging out with me for the past 9-years! I love you.

 

Watch my debut on Los Angeles TV with ABC 7′s Health Coach Lori Corbin. I show her 5 raw food recipes that have gone mainstream including my Zucchini Pasta (featured in Food Network Magazine), Nut Mylks (like Almond Milk), Green Smoothies, Kale Chips (from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials), and Seaweed Chips (from Ani’s Raw Food Asia).

Watch the 3-minute video, and learn how raw foods helps with weight loss too!

I had so much fun celebrating the pre-launch of Ani’s Raw Food Asia at Artisanal LA in Santa Monica.

All of these beautiful photos were taken by the amazing Sherman Lee. Thanks Sherman!!

It was a weekend full of local and seasonal gourmet foods (though way too much bacon! – what’s up with bacon these days?) and great expert panels and talks.

I love this fish eye photo, it was a full crowd with great people old and new to raw foods and the raw food diet and lifestyle. Thanks to the wonder woman organizer Shawna Dawson for all her support, for announcing my talk over the loud speaker, and for putting me and Ani’s Raw Food Asia in their printed program.

Q+A is my favorite part of my appearances because I get to listen and interact with my new friends.

It’s always so nice to have my brother Max and my family with me at my events.

This lovely lady kept asking me about how to learn to make raw food. I say if you’re interested in making food, you have to learn how to make all foods first. Then you can translate it into raw food prep.

Libby drove all the way up from San Diego with her friends just to grab an early copy of Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

Please check my homepage and also my calendar of events for upcoming events and stops along my book tour. Hope to see you all very soon. xoxo

It was Kanga’s 8th ‘birthday’ and also our anniversary on Labor Day. Each year, I make my darling pooch a heart shaped cake (you may have seen the photo from last year’s birthday on page 301 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials). This year, the cake was made with sunflower seeds and a few Medjool dates. Kanga was so eager to eat it, she got green birthday candle wax on the tip of her nose….so cute!

In a blink of an eye, the cake was gone! And, I wonder if you can guess who’s in the background with her ‘magic’ tatoos….hint….London and the UK.

For our birthday ladies’ luncheon, I made Jicama Rice, Mexican style by processing Jicama, then adding chopped red bell peppers, onion, corn kernels, cilantro, and a pinch of sea salt. Recipe below…. It was a lunch of British guests, one of whom is a celiac. That means she needs to avoid wheat gluten. I love that about the raw food diet, it’s free of wheat, gluten, refined sugar, dairy, and guilt!

I had made myself a beet, parsley, lemon, and cucumber juice earlier that morning, then mixed in the beet pulp with a sunflower pate. I used this pate to stuff poblano peppers, then dehydrated them for a few hours to soften. For a sauce, I blended a simple tahini with lemon juice, salt, splash of water.

This was the dessert my lovely friend Kate Magic made us for dessert! It was made with figs, cacao, coconut, and lucuma…and it was incredible! But this was one course poor Kanga didn’t get to try (dogs and cacao don’t mix well…chocolate).

Jicama Mexican Rice
makes 4 servings

  • 4 cups jicama, peel, dice
  • 1/2 cup onion, yellow, chop
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, dice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chop
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chop, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or hemp oil, optional

Place jicama in food processor, process into small bits. Be careful not to over process. Scoop into mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, toss to mix well.

Kanga’s Birthday Cake
1 serving

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted

Place sunflower seeds in food processor. Process into small pieces. Add pitted dates, and process. Sunflower will stick together and bind into a cake ‘dough’. Form dough into heart, and serve.

Note: Sweets should be served in moderation to dogs, as to humans as well.

If serving to humans or to mix up variations to this recipe, try adding in sea salt, vanilla, cacao / carob, and or  goji berries.

I made several smoothies in San Diego on FOX TV including an Almond Buttered Banana Freeze.

Watch my 6-minute video segment here.

Almond Buttered Banana Freeze + Açaí
Recipe (adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials)
Makes 4 servings

Almonds provide calcium, protein, and vitamin E, bananas are loaded with potassium, and açaí is full of antioxidants and healthy omegas. This easy smoothie is a great post workout fuel – it helps increase circulation and blood flow to stressed muscles, while building lean tissue.

  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 3 to 4 cups Organic Sambazon Açaí Juice

Combine the banana, almond butter, and organic Sambazon Açaí Juice in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Best served immediately, but will keep for a couple days in the fridge.

I’m using my favorite blender, the Personal Blender. It costs about $69, and you can find more about the Personal Blender and find organic ingredients at www.GoSuperLife.com.

I was invited to Rockefeller Center for a guest appearance on LX New York with hosts Janice Huff and Jane Hanson. I talk about 4 key ingredients in the raw food diet, and made 3 recipes using ‘secret’ ingredients: Marinara Pasta, Strawberry Tartlets, and Chocolate Pudding “slash” Frosting.

(this video’s audio is totally out of synch, and I’m trying to get my hands on a better copy of the segment, which I’ll upload later)

I was a guest on San Diego Living with host Erin Mikael’s Green Scene segments on June 24, 2010, and then again on June 27th. We make Cashew Kream with Fresh Red White and Blue Berry Parfaits and Fruit Tartlets.

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