Los Angeles, Part 2

It’s Saturday evening and Mark and I are preparing to head home tomorrow. I’m becoming extremely anxious to see the kittens, but I’ll be sorry to leave our friends – and all this delicious food – behind and am looking forward to returning soon. Unfortunately, Virgin America may end up charging me for two seats I’ve eaten so much!

Earlier in the week, Fortinbras and I went hiking in Runyon Canyon and afterward stopped at the first vegan restaurant we came to, California Vegan on Sunset Blvd, which had a very similar menu to Lotus Vegan, which I discussed in the previous post, although that just meant it was delicious. I had the baked soy “fish” with vegetables:

For dinner that evening, Fortinbras found and wanted to check out Veggie Grill, which Fort kept calling “vegan fast food”, but it was so much more than that. We started with the wings, which were incredibly tasty:

Fort ordered the Carne Asada on a bed of kale instead of a bun. He absolutely loved it.

I had the Bayou Chickin’, the char-grill taste of which was amazing, and the mac & cheese, which seemed to use Daiya (which impressed Fortinbras, although I’ve made very similar at home).

Veggie Grill also has beer and wine (a house red and white on tap; the red was really pretty good). Fort’s planning to go back often.

Last night Mark and I dragged V to Shin Barbecue, which I was dying to go to after reading Quarry Girl‘s post about it. Now, one of my all-time favorite meals is dolsot bibimbap and I have no problem going into a “normal” Korean restaurant and asking them to make it veggie for me even if it’s not on the menu. But I could absolutely not pass up the opportunity to check out a Korean restaurant offering vegan meals right on the menu, separately prepared from the meat in the kitchen. Boy am I glad we didn’t miss this! Our waiter was extremely helpful when I told him we were vegan; the service was really outstanding. And the food? Incredible! Really, really good.

We got six vegan banchan, including the kimchee, which was vegan! Yum, yum, yum. We ate it too quickly for me to get a picture, although we also later got refills.

Then, our appetizer, the tofu steak:

Next up the kimchee fried rice. I’m not always a huge fan of fried rice because it seems so greasy and heavy, but this was soooo good! It was not at all greasy and seemed almost light.

And the seitan bulgogi, which Mark in particular loved. We had intended to actually barbecue this at our table, but the kitchen forgot and sent it out already grilled. I wouldn’t have said anything in the first place, but the waiter brought it out with apologies, then brought us some beautifully sliced, marinated veggies for us to play with on the barbecue to make up for it! (As if we needed more food…)

We also got the kimchee soup, which they made vegan for us (it usually has beef broth). Oh, yumminess in a bowl!

This morning we went to the Getty Villa and afterward wanted lunch. Fortinbras found a vegan restaurant just a few miles from the museum, but either Mark entered the address into the GPS wrong or the GPS just hates us, because we ended up on I-10 nowhere near the alleged restaurant. So we decided to just head back to Fort’s ‘hood, but the GPS wasn’t done messing with us and delivered us to some heavy off-highway traffic. I was started to get cranky-hungry and was quite displeased, when I happened to look over to my left as I was driving and see “Ethiopian Vegan Restaurant” in big green letters. So I pulled into a very handy parking spot and we enjoyed an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet for $9.99 each. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Ethiopian food? Well, I do, and this was all-vegan and all-amazing. A very happy detour indeed! The restaurant was Rahel Ethiopian and I wish it would relocate to Northern Virginia.

So, the question everyone is asking is: am I going to move out here or what? Well, quite frankly, I would actually consider moving here solely for the food. And the lack of snow. There is still a lot to explore and I’m eager to return; this city is very large. I didn’t take many great photos on this trip for various reasons, but here are a few sort of crappy ones that show some of the non-food-related things I did.

Jathan took us to Venice Beach, where Mark was interested in the graffiti artists.

(By the way, Jathan also showed us the Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, which was really good. Watch it if you can.)

I didn’t know there were really canals in Venice until Jathan showed them to us and now Mark and I are both dying to live in one of the houses that line them. (I saw a lot of cats here, too.)

Mark and I accidentally found ourselves on Mulholland Drive one evening around sunset and very much enjoyed the views. This was taken with my phone and looks like a fake movie backdrop to me.

Fortinbras and I went hiking in Runyon Canyon, which gave me my first close glimpse of the Hollywood sign:

V and Mark and I went to the Griffith Observatory, which has fabulous views of the city, although it was so smoggy or hazy when we went that my pictures aren’t that great. The Hollywood sign is actually behind me in this picture, but you can’t see it.

Not a great picture, but from the Observatory, here’s the city at sunset.

All of tomorrow will be consumed by travel and time zone changes, but the reward will be two sweet, probably very confused kittens whom I miss very much!


  1. Josiane Said,

    December 5, 2010 @ 1:12 am

    I had never really been attracted to LA, but really, you’re making me want to head over there right this minute! Reports of amazing food will do that to me… 🙂 Seriously, I’m glad you had such a great time, and I wish you a smooth trip home.

  2. Basil Said,

    December 5, 2010 @ 9:24 am

    That food looks amazing! I really wish that there were vegetarian restaurants around where I live, but there’s really nothing. Every time I have traveled, vegetarian restaurants have always seemed so exotic to me. You are lucky to have gone there!

  3. Jes Said,

    December 6, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    A Korean restaurant with vegan menu options?! Holy awesomeness! I can’t even find veg options at any place in Atlanta or out here (there’s finally 1 Korean restaurant in Roanoke). Everything’s always beef broth based. Everything you’ve eaten looks delicious & it looks like you had such a fun trip! Safe travels!

  4. V Said,

    December 6, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    Shin Barbecue WAS amazing. Miss you guys already.

  5. Zoa Said,

    December 7, 2010 @ 12:09 am

    You had me at “the first vegan restaurant we came to.” I’d have to travel a long time in my area of the world to stumble upon a vegan restaurant. You make LA sound fun, and really delicious. The canals are very kewl. Happy reunions with the kittens.

  6. Tiana Said,

    December 7, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    Rahel is amazing! Definitely my favorite Ethiopian food joint.

    I’ve lived in LA my whole life and hate it. I’m tired of the traffic everywhere I go but if you’re a patient person, you won’t mind =P

  7. renae Said,

    December 7, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

    Tiana, I live in the DC metro area and I didn’t find LA’s traffic to be any worse than what I encounter every day, so I’m used to it. However, a major reason I hate this area is the traffic, so you’re right that moving to LA wouldn’t help in that regard. However, you don’t get snow, so big plus for LA!

  8. Tiana Said,

    December 8, 2010 @ 2:03 am


    The weather here has made me a weakling (I complained all last week about how freezing it was).

    Plus if you move here you’ll have access to Monterey Park which is notorious for Asian grocery store goodness!

  9. Amy Love Said,

    December 10, 2010 @ 2:21 am

    LOL, love that thick layer of smog on the last pic… socal for ya 🙂

  10. muck Said,

    December 11, 2010 @ 2:25 am

    Looks like you had a great time renae myers! You should go there again March

  11. Silvia Said,

    December 22, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

    Great post! I’d heard about Rahel’s and was curious about the quality of the food. Thanks for posting!

    The asparagus soup looks yummy yummy, the cat pics are adorable and you look amazing (Michelle Williams has nothing on you!)



  12. renae Said,

    December 23, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

    Silvia, why, thank you! Try Rahel’s next time you are in the area – $9.99 for the buffet is a great price and they had a pretty large selection.

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