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Los Angeles: Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, Real Food Daily, hangin’ with Brendan Brazier & the Vega team, California Vegan

September 23, 2011

On day two of our trip to Los Angeles, Matt and I made the mistake of deciding to drive to Santa Monica for breakfast. The traffic was a nightmare, but it actually turned out to be worth it. We grabbed a quick morning meal at Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, Matt Amsden‘s casual raw restaurant.

Matt had an upset stomach, so he kept it light with a Sweet Green Smoothie. I went for the Simple Buckwheat Granola.

It was served with almond milk, raisins, strawberries, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I was hoping it would be chunkier, but any buckwheat granola is good in my book.

I couldn’t resist grabbing a raw chocolate chip cookie dough ball on our way out.

We barely had enough time to drive back to our hotel and get ready for the day before we had to leave again. At noon, we met up with Brendan Brazier and Krystal from Vega at Real Food Daily! It was nice to see Brendan again and get reacquainted.

I started with a Power Green smoothie (raspberries, strawberries, banana, MacroGreens, raw almonds, flaxseeds, and coconut water) and Matt drank a fresh apple juice. The whole table shared this epic order of Not-Chos: tortilla chips, melted cashew cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, tofu sour cream, and more.

I didn’t get a photo of Brendan’s meal, but Krystal ate this raw Living Wrap with red pepper sunflower spread, cucumbers, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, salad greens, and citrus herb dressing wrapped in collard greens.

I had a Basic Four bowl with quinoa/millet pilaf, anasazi beans, mixed vegetables, and marinated tempeh.

Matt had the prettiest platter of the bunch, if you ask me—Taco’O The Town, with corn tortilla shells, seasoned seitan, onions, peppers, guacamole, pico de gallo, tofu sour cream, spanish rice, and black beans.

After lunch, we headed into HOLLYWOOD, BABY! We joined Victoria at the Vega table in the Alive! Expo Green Pavilion in Beverly Hills.

We snagged some promo pics with Brendan and chatted with the Vega team for a bit before touring the Expo center ourselves, snagging free samples of lots of eco-friendly products.

I wish I could say I saw people I recognized, but I don’t actually watch many tv shows or movies!

Next, we sauntered out onto the patio, where we took advantage of the open bar and had a few cocktails while people-watching.

The view from the 4th floor terrace was pretty impressive.

We mixed and mingled for a little while, talking to a few people in between trying to celeb-spot. We also met Peggy Kotsopoulos, Vega’s house nutritionist, who was a total doll; I’m so sad we didn’t get a photo together! Luckily, I did get a copy of her book, Must’ve Been Something I Ate, so I’ll be reviewing that here on the blog sometime semi-soon.

All in all, it was a somewhat surreal afternoon. Hanging out at a swank little Hollywood party with Brendan, the Vega team, and a bunch of actors, actresses, agents, photogs, et cetera? Too cool.

After chilling at the Expo for several hours, we’d worked up an appetite. I was inexplicably craving pancakes (must’ve been the alcohol talking…), so I searched high and low for a vegan restaurant in L.A. that served pancakes at 8pm. California Vegan seemed to be the only place! The pancake I had there, though (made with a combination of kamut flour and gluten-free flour), was surprisingly fluffy and yummy; thumbs up.

Matt had the Cowboy platter, with teriyaki-grilled seitan and steamed vegetables. It was super-salty, but still quite tasty.

We were so zapped from the long day that we didn’t even entertain the idea of going out that night. Instead, we went back to the hotel, relaxed, and basked in the glory that was our amazing second day in Los Angeles. THANK YOU again to Vega and Brendan for bringing us there! We had a BLAST!

But the trip’s only half over! Stay tuned for more amazing SoCal vegan eats.

3 years ago…
Vegan lo mein
2 years ago…
No posts this week…I was in Europe!
1 year ago…
An almost vegan wedding
Marathoner’s lentil taco filling

33 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2011 2:03 pm

    Looks like an amazing time. Thanks for posting this. Krystal was there, too? She’s always so sweet (online, as I’ve never met her in person).

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 23, 2011 2:12 pm

      Yup! Krystal was super-sweet, as were Victoria, Peggy, and Brendan. 🙂

  2. September 23, 2011 3:56 pm

    oh my goodness, i don’t think i’ve ever seen so many yummy eats in one post!
    what a wonderful trip, can’t wait to read more!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 23, 2011 4:30 pm

      Hehe, thanks Katie!
      There’s lots more good stuff to come! 🙂

  3. September 23, 2011 4:24 pm

    oh LA traffic, I have heard stories. i loved santa monica when i visited. so much fun. rawvelution was great, they have their own nachos too. i wished I had gone to real food daily when I was there but i was being strict about raw so it was raw only for me. sounds like so much fun to be in hollywood. i probably would have recognized a few folks, i have a little celebrity watching vice. 🙂 looking forward to reading more!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 23, 2011 4:31 pm

      I missed both Rawvolution and RFD the last time I was in L.A., so I was happy to be able to hit both of them this time. I’ll have to remember to try ELR’s nachos next time (there WILL be a next time!).

      It would’ve been handy to have you there at the expo whispering to me who’s who among the crowd 😛

  4. September 23, 2011 5:19 pm

    That looks like such a good time! I’m so glad you had fun! And you’re right–those pancakes look SO fluffy and yummy!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 23, 2011 5:20 pm

      It was a GREAT time! And if you think that pancake looks tasty, just WAIT till you see the p-cakes in my next post… 😉

  5. September 23, 2011 5:20 pm

    Sounds like a blast of a time with some dreadly LA traffic punctuating it–how cool that you got to meet all the Vega team–they all seem so lovely over email and I enjoyed reviewing Peggy’s book too.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 23, 2011 5:27 pm

      I’d been looking forward to getting a copy of Peggy’s book ever since you reviewed it, actually – I’m about halfway through the book so far, and I concur with just about every point you made in your review. The typos are a shame, but her friendly voice and obvious passion for the subject matter are great. Within moments of meeting her, she slid into the conversation the fact of vitamin C being water-soluble, and I immediately thought “Ok, cool, this lady knows her stuff!” And her BFF-like tone in the book is very similar to how to speaks in person, which I think is great. Overall, the book so far is better than I was expecting – I’m even learning a few things! I’m seriously considering getting myself some Relora, for starters…

  6. September 24, 2011 12:47 am

    1. “[A]ny buckwheat granola is good in my book”. I bet there IS a buckwheat granola in your book. Amirite?

    2. “Matt had the prettiest platter of the bunch”. Yeah he did! For over a year now. 😉

    3. So glad you had an amazing time!

    4. I love your dress.

    5. P.S. I feel mopey and I miss you. HUGS.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 24, 2011 12:14 pm

      1. I do, thanks to Mr. Russell James 🙂 I should post it sometime!
      2. Aw, you.
      3. Thank you dear! Me too.
      4. Thanks! I bought it for just $15 the day before 😀
      5. MISS YOU TOO! Mega-hugs.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 24, 2011 12:26 pm

      Oh, but the buckwheat granola in my book isn’t Russell’s recipe…silly me. There will be a granola in there, but it’s buckwheat-free. Separately, I should post a buckwheat granola recipe sometime. Oy. It’s early.

  7. September 24, 2011 9:20 am

    I seriously WANT your life. Seriously. I love all the incredible experiences you’re having!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 24, 2011 12:14 pm

      Wish you could’ve been there! 😀

  8. September 24, 2011 11:09 am

    Amber, you were such the perfect person to win this trip! It looks like you enjoyed every moment and you looked gorgeous, too! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 24, 2011 12:15 pm

      I absolutely did! (Enjoy it, that is, not look gorgeous 😛 ) And I’m only halfway through posting about it – stay tuned! 🙂

  9. September 24, 2011 11:28 am

    WOOO HOOO!!! What a FAB time girl!!!! Vega really knows how to treat their loyal lover’s don’t they??

    How cute are your pics!?


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 24, 2011 12:15 pm

      They sure do! This day rocked. Actually, the whole trip rocked!

  10. September 24, 2011 2:58 pm

    Looks like you guys had a blast!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 24, 2011 3:21 pm

      Yup! And you haven’t even seen the half of it yet…

  11. September 26, 2011 11:16 am

    OMFG – I’m going to spend the whole day dreaming about those Not-Chos… Seriously. Looks like you’re having a great time on your trip – If you ever make it further up north, I expect a call 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 26, 2011 12:34 pm

      Will do! I’m actually dying to make it back to Living Light for a visit at some point, and to get there, you have to change buses in Petaluma 😉 Actually, do you realize that you’re only a 2-hour drive (a BEAUTIFUL drive, by the way) from Living Light? And only 1.5 hours from Ravens Restaurant in Mendocino?! You ARE going to make a trip up there and eat your little heart out sometime soon, right? You must!

  12. September 26, 2011 3:59 pm

    I’ve only looked at LA traffic (from the cozy view in Murietta), and that was bad enough. Driving it would most likely try my patience in ways that would render more than a few casualties along the way!

    I’m glad you’ve come around to buckwheat. I remember when you were not so much the fan!

    That raw collard green wrap needs to be mine. Grocery list time….

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 26, 2011 4:06 pm

      Tell me about it!

      Buckwheat grew on me by leaps and bounds while I was at 105. Now I looove crispy buckwheat, especially in the form of granola. I’m a big fan of buckwheat flour, too. Which reminds me, did you ever get around to making those dessert recipes I sent you? I’m turning in my manuscript next week, so any feedback you have would be great to hear. Feel free to email me your thoughts.

      • September 26, 2011 4:43 pm

        I haven’t yet. The day after you sent them to me was the day I was fired, and the unemployment benefit process wasn’t completed until recently, so I had to play careful with the money until I knew where my next check was coming from. I have my list printed out and will make what I can depending on the price of certain ingredients (I’m particularly worried about the cost of the coconut and cacao butter!).

        I do apologize for the delay! Stupid life getting in the way of yummy desserts.

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        September 26, 2011 4:47 pm

        No worries, I know all about how life can get in the way sometimes. I’m glad the unemployment stuff is finally sorted out. When you do make the desserts, even though my manuscript will already be turned in, I’d still love to know what you think! Btw, I can send you a recipe for homemade coconut butter if you want to try it and save some $$ there. As for cacao butter, most of the time you can just use coconut oil and it’ll turn out ok.

  13. September 26, 2011 4:08 pm

    What awesome looking and sounding foods! Some day I’m gonna have a meal like one of those…lol Congrats again! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 26, 2011 4:09 pm

      Yes, you will! BELIEVE! Hehe.

  14. September 27, 2011 7:50 am

    What a colorful voyage! So glad you had a great timein La-La Land.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 27, 2011 11:10 am

      Thanks Dynise! We sure did. I’ve got at least two more posts coming up about our trip. 🙂

  15. September 27, 2011 12:17 pm

    Sounds like a blast!! Those nachos stole the show though, holy cow!! haha

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 27, 2011 12:25 pm

      They were pretty amazing!

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