Guess who’s back, back, back, – back again… it’s me and I’m home from my California wonder week of adventure. The hubby and I jetted off to Lala land to stay a few days in the Los Angeles area before we headed to Palm Springs for Coachella!
Let me just start by saying Coachella has been on my adulthood bucket list for quite some time and it definitely did NOT disappoint. But, unfortunately the whole camping in the desert thing caught up with me and I’ve had a nasty little sinus infection since getting home earlier this week. Needless to say, I’m still recovering. But, I wanted to hop on and share a little recap about the amazing plant-based restaurants we ate at during the festival and in the other parts of LA! Here we go…
We started off the trip by staying in an adorable little loft-style Airbnb in Venice! Most of these places were walking distance from our spot close to Rose Avenue.
• Plant Food + Wine: Wow, we had an awesome dinner here. This restaurant has a more upscale atmosphere and is located on the famous Abott Kinney street- where hipster truly meets the meaning of chic. It has a beautiful outdoor area in the back with lush greenery and heaters for the chilly evenings (if you know me, you know I’m almost always cold so this was heaven!) Additionally, there is a private cooking school attached where people can learn plant-based dishes to whip up at home. Plus, I attended with two meat-loving young men (my husband and one of our dear college friends), and they loved the food just as much as me! All organic and completely plant-based, this place is a must in my book for a dressier night out.
• Moon Juice: I absolutely love this place that has a few spots in the LA area! The backstory about how founder & fine dining chef Amanda Chantal Bacon used holistic living and medicinal foods to heal her hypothyroid condition makes me fall in love with this company even more. Moon Juice features organic pressed juices, nut-based “Moon Milks,” that can be turned into a smoothie meal on the go, and adaptogens (hormone balancing herb blends) or “Moon Dust” that can be added to any order as well!
• Café Gratitude: Another winner with 100% organic and plant-based cuisine. Located right across the street from Moon Juice, this restaurant also has a few locations throughout CA. This place really puts a delicious vegan twist on classic dishes. For example, I had the Caesar salad with added blackened tempeh complete with homemade croutons! We visited for dinner when we landed in Cali on Tuesday evening and they even had their own version of a Taco Tuesday available!
• Whole Foods: I know- this may not seem as special since I live in Dallas where Whole Foods stores are abundantly available, but, I gotta throw it in! We grabbed coffee and a quick breakfast here one day just to see what the location was like. I’m a huge Whole Foods Tourist fan, so anywhere I see one, I always HAVE to check it out. I love exploring varying Whole Foods locations. They tend to stock the shelves with more locally manufactured goods that aren’t available in the Texas stores I’m so familiar with. Yes, I’m a weirdo and I don’t care. PS- I talk all about the top items to buy each week at Whole Foods HERE. Oh and it’s definitely on my list of local Dallas eats that I reference HERE, just in case you want to check those out!
Moving on to Hollywood! While we didn’t catch any celebrity sightings, we did manage to have a few amazing meals.
• Real Food Daily: Located in West Hollywood, I’ll admit, I had this spot on my list of places to try after seeing vegetarian Bravo-lebrity TV star from one of my favorite shows ever (Vanderpump Rules) eat here on camera with her BF. I honestly didn’t even realize it was vegan until we pulled up! Also, totally organic which always earns extra points in my book. We had a huge lunch here starting with the best nachos ever, then the Mediterranean salad, and finishing off with the “burger”. I also loved the environment. They have live trees inside the café that extend all the way through the ceiling- super cool.
• Sage Organic Vegan Bistro: This Century City spot was recommended to me by one of my favorite Vegan mega-influencers @rawmanda! Definitely another win with the mouthwatering walnut “meat” and lettuce wrap tacos I had (seriously stuffed myself into sporting a food baby the rest of the day). I was also so excited to see they had a booth for V eats at Coachella later on during our trip!
*Bonus: We tried to get dinner at Gracias Madre because I’ve heard from meat eaters and vegans alike that it’s to die for plant-based Mexican cuisine but we failed to make reservations in time so it’s still on my list! I’ve also heard Sadtha, Sun Café LA, & Falabar are awesome recommendations but we ran out of time- and room in our stomachs!
Ok, so I feel like this could be a whole separate post all about what you need to survive camping at Coachella (aka in the Indio, California desert for 3 long, very hot days.) But, I’ll just say the number one thing is definitely good food. Luckily, I was extremely impressed with the plant-based and organic eats available all throughout the fest! Not only that but the official Coachella app is super vegan user-friendly. The restaurants are mapped out and labeled by type of diet. I mean, there was even a raw kombucha bar! As The Lizzie McGuire movie used to say, “hey now, hey now- THIS is what dreams are made of.” Below are a few of the spots I made sure to take note of eating at but to be honest, between all the dancing and other festival activities, I lost track of a number of others! For now, I wanted to give a shoutout to…
• Strictly Vegan Authentic Jamaican
• Southern Fried Vegan
• Cena Vegan
So, there you have it! I hope this is helpful for your next trip to the LA area. Or, if you’re just a plant-based gal like me considering hitting up Coachella 2019! Questions? I have so much more to share but want to make sure I get you all the answers you want. Hit me up below in the comments.
For now, cheers!