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Los Angeles: Sage Bistro, Spread PB, Sweet E’s, & fashion!

September 27, 2011

On day three of our trip to Los Angeles, Matt and I were still glowing from the day before, so we were in a great mood as we headed out to Saturday brunch. We returned to Sage Organic Vegan Bistro (where we’d just eaten KindKreme treats a couple days before), as their brunch menu was just too enticing to pass up.

Matt started with a soy latte…

…and I had brewed coffee with a bit of almond milk.

For his meal, Matt ate the Sweet Potato Enchilada: baked sweet potato, plantain, and black beans wrapped in blue corn tortillas, topped with homemade red sauce and served with Mexican rice. We both agreed that everything about it was amazing. (And to think, until he met me, Matt thought he hated sweet potatoes!)

I was somehow still in a pancake mood, but sweet potatoes sounded great to me too. Luckily, Sage has a choice of sweet or savory Sweet Potato Pancakes. I went for the sweet ones, which were served with apple cinnamon chutney, maple syrup, and soy butter…

…along with fresh fruit.

These p-cakes were jaw-droppingly good. So moist, so fluffy, so perfect! I’m going to have to do some experimenting with homemade sweet potato pancakes sometime soon.

Matt and I agreed that this brunch at Sage was our favorite meal of the trip!

Afterward, we spent the afternoon strolling up and down Melrose Avenue, window-shopping and soaking in the beautiful day. At one point, we happened upon a pop-up shop operated by the owner of Spread: The Restaurant, a San Diego establishment. What was he selling? About a zillion different flavors of artisan peanut butter. You know we had to go in. And you know we couldn’t come out empty-handed.

Matt got a jar of the dark chocolate pretzel PB, and I snagged a jar of the white chocolate pretzel variety. These were so good, they were gone before we even left L.A. You can buy them online tooβ€”just look at all those flavors! Now I know I have to visit Spread: The Restaurant if/when I ever make it to San Diego.

Also on Melrose, Matt and I had a run-in with some “fashion police”…more on that later. But here’s where we went after our shopping was done: Sweet E’s Bake Shop.

They have daily selections of vegan mini cupcakes…

…and vegan cake pops!

As usual, Matt and I didn’t hold back.

Matt had a chocolate-dipped Rice Krispie treat, a dark chocolate cupcake, and a red velvet cake pop, while I enjoyed a red velvet cupcake and a chocolate chip cookie dough cake pop.

Everything was delicious! And the shop was cute as a button, too.

So, about that run-in with the fashion police…
We ended up in a store on Melrose called “Flasher,” where as soon as we came in, the owner eyed us (and, apparently, our questionable taste in clothing) and asked where we were from. When we said Kansas City, he nodded, grabbed us by the arms, and told us he was going to give us an L.A. fashion makeover.

His name is Cosmo, and he’s flamboyantly gay, dresses in leopard print leggings, chain smokes like a mofo, and has the most colorful personality of just about anyone I’ve ever met. On top of all that, he clearly has wicked taste in clothes. He knew our sizes just by looking at us, and before long, we found ourselves literally playing dress up with this dude we’d just met. It was a riot. We each walked out of there with an all-new outfit, and Matt liked mine so much that he insisted on conducting a little “photoshoot” when we got back to our motel. So here’s me, L.A.-ified.

New “jeggings,” new slouchy boots…

…and a pretty awesome (vegan!) pleather jacket.

The [boring old] tank top’s mine, though.

Matt’s not a bad photographer, I gotta say!

Anyway! We spent Saturday night with my friend Steve from my Europe trip (the same Steve we lunched with last time we were in L.A.), dining at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills (where I ate a killer spelt spaghetti alla arrabiatta, but I was too busy enjoying the company to bother with photos!) followed by drinks at the famous Rainbow Room, before Matt and I turned the tables and took Steve to one of “our” bars of choice, Bar Sinister.

It was another awesome day! But I’ve got one more Los Angeles post left to go, so the awesomeness isn’t over yet.

3 years ago…
Indian curried lentils
2 years ago…
No posts this week…I was in Europe!
1 year ago…
My camera committed suicide!
Review: Pure Bars
Flourless chocolate almond butter cookies

56 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2011 3:47 pm

    Am I the only one that finds it funny that “dressing LA” apparently means wearing all black? Is this revolutionary fashion? πŸ˜‰ I do ****love**** the boots, though.

    The next time I’m in San Diego, I need to try some restaurants. I assume I won’t be in a hospital the entire time with a brand new baby, of course! Last time, the only place I made it to was a fish taco place that was literally right on the dock. Awesome, but I know there is so much more!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 27, 2011 4:39 pm

      Actually the all-black thing is my doing, heh…head-to-toe black is kind of a no-no in L.A., in fact (or so he said), so he dressed me in exclusively non-black shirts. I just didn’t buy any of them…so I rocked my $1 black tank top instead. I’m partial to all-black anyway, so I like it just fine. πŸ™‚

  2. September 27, 2011 3:58 pm

    What an awesome day in LA!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 27, 2011 5:35 pm

      Damn near perfect, I’d say! πŸ˜€

  3. September 27, 2011 4:16 pm

    Those cupcakes look amazing! And I love the outfit, so fun!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 28, 2011 11:51 am

      Thanks, Shanna! The cupcakes were great, but the cake pops took the…cake πŸ™‚

  4. September 27, 2011 4:19 pm

    Wow, what cool LA adventures–I love the story of the fashion makeover right in the midst of it all. Come to think of it, the food is all so styled that it fits right in with a fashion theme!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 28, 2011 11:53 am

      That’s true! Food can be fashionable, too. And I think photos of food are much more fun to look at than photos of myself. πŸ˜›

  5. September 27, 2011 4:45 pm

    Lookin’ good! πŸ™‚ I always want someone like that to make me over. Maybe after I have my baby and am feeling the need to look good again, I’ll give Cosmo a visit, ha. And I have NEVER seen vegan cake pops before.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 27, 2011 4:47 pm

      Do it! Cosmo clearly has a gift…and he’s so entertaining, it’s worth going for that reason alone (just might wanna leave the kids at the hotel; he’s got one hell of a potty mouth! Hehe).

  6. September 27, 2011 5:08 pm

    Killer outfit! And also loving those pretzel spreads, sounds amazing.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 28, 2011 12:19 pm

      Thanks! They WERE amazing. I’m so going to make some more white choc PB just to put pretzel bits in it.

  7. September 27, 2011 6:54 pm

    Wow, great finds! I know it’s a little rude to ask but it seems like you guys do a lot of traveling. How do you budget for this and any tips in this regard? I always spend too much when I’m traveling and maybe you have a secret I don’t know about. Thanks!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:50 am

      Well, this here trip to L.A. was free, so that’s pretty much THE reason we indulged and bought ourselves new outfits! Usually, we don’t buy anything on our vacations but food and drink. We also stay in shitty motels (sad but true) and collect airline points like crazy. We’re budget travelers! πŸ™‚

      • September 30, 2011 12:55 pm

        it would be great to get a post on tips! it always seems like you fit in so much.

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          September 30, 2011 12:58 pm

          That’s a great idea! I’ll add it to my list of potential Vegan MoFo post topics.

      • September 30, 2011 2:16 pm

        I am the same kind of traveler. Inexpensive hotels, no shopping for myself usually, but lots of money on food.

  8. September 27, 2011 8:07 pm

    you guys always go to the best places!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:50 am

      I can’t deny it! πŸ˜›

  9. September 27, 2011 8:17 pm

    wow, what an awesome day!!! I think Cosmo would have died if he had seen me….this mom of 2 has no fashion sense whatsoever….jeans and plain t-shirts for me!!!
    The pics of you look GREAT!!!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:51 am

      HAHA, if you’re ever in L.A. you MUST go to that store and get a “makeover” from Cosmo!

  10. September 27, 2011 9:45 pm

    I am so entirely jealous that you went to Sinister. And if I had known you were going I would have had you say hi to my friend Feenix, who runs the upstairs room. 😦

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:52 am

      Aw, I bet we saw him (him? her?) at some point; we spent most of our time there upstairs. πŸ˜‰

      • September 29, 2011 1:47 pm

        I assume you would have been mostly upstairs. Feenix is a bald man in his 40s, thin, wears very stylized Victorian garb.

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          September 29, 2011 1:57 pm

          Is he the Anton LaVey-lookin’ guy?

          • September 29, 2011 9:24 pm

            Probably the one you’re thinking of.

          • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
            September 29, 2011 9:25 pm

            If so, I totally commented on that guy. And then made Matt google-search for images of Anton LaVey on his phone so I could show my friend Steve what/who the hell I was talking about.

  11. September 27, 2011 10:09 pm

    I REALLY want a cupcake right now. NOW! Yum. πŸ™‚

    Love the photo shoot! Very awesome. So seductive. πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:52 am

      Haha, thanks! I was nervous about putting these pics of me up, but people don’t seem TOO appalled. πŸ™‚

  12. September 28, 2011 1:09 am

    I love that the two of you “never holds back”! It makes you eat all these delicious thing! Im so jealous! All the places you go to sounds amazing πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:52 am

      Hehe, too true! “Hey, it’s vacation” seems to be our motto when it comes to travel food.

  13. September 28, 2011 3:14 am

    Oh, how hilarious and fabulous! That said, I’ve always adored your fashion style, and have made funs of jeggings more times than I can count (sorry love πŸ˜› ) But you definitely are the Hot Raw Chef! πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 28, 2011 11:43 am

      Oh dear, I’ve made fun of them too…but honestly, I didn’t even know they were jeggings until I already had them on and he told me what they were! They’re not as I expected them to be, and admittedly they’re super-comfortable. Plus they’re black, not fake-denim, so that makes ’em cooler, right? πŸ™‚

  14. September 28, 2011 3:34 am

    smokin’….v. hot chef! Sage..SAGE!…i’m turning green..sage green. I LOVE that place. One of my favourite restuarants. I went there two days running back in May. My blog posts were v.gushing! (and rightly so). Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your winning free trip (now, about that lucky magic you have been sprinkled with…can you send me some…lol).

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:53 am

      We almost went to Sage for brunch again the next day, hehe!
      I’m going to have to learn to make a ‘luck’ extract or something so I can sell it… ;P

  15. September 28, 2011 10:56 am

    You guys really took LA for all it was worth! That jacket is awesome, how funny that the guy insisted playing dress up. And there’s no need to apologize for wanting pancakes all the time.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:54 am

      Indeed we did!
      Pancakes are never a bad thing.

  16. September 28, 2011 12:04 pm

    what an amazing trip! it’s astonishing to that that you were able to find so many vegan eateries! i need to get to la asap πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:54 am

      It’s easy in L.A.; it seems like there’s a vegan restaurant on every corner!

  17. September 28, 2011 1:36 pm

    I need to hang out with you so I can go to the fun eateries you visit!!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:54 am

      Hehe, that’d be fun! πŸ™‚

  18. September 28, 2011 5:49 pm

    Wow! Now I really have to go back to Sage for brunch! Those photos are unreal. I didn’t know about Sweet E’s either. I’m going to have a fun trip next time I’m in LA! I loved your modeling shoot too, you look great!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:55 am

      There’s always some new vegan or raw place popping up on the L.A. radar, it seems!

  19. September 29, 2011 7:38 am

    Sounds like you had a blast!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:54 am


  20. September 29, 2011 10:46 am

    Love those vegan cake pops! πŸ™‚ What a great vegan dessert treat.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 10:56 am

      Yes! If only YOU had a vegan cake pop shop… πŸ˜‰

  21. September 29, 2011 2:51 pm

    All that food looks delectable!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 3:05 pm

      It WAS delectable! πŸ™‚

  22. September 29, 2011 7:35 pm

    The food looks divine and so do you!! How gorgeous are you my friend?! LOVE!

    Ok, these pancakes are seriously making me hungry…I need a smoothie or something. Lol


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 29, 2011 8:42 pm

      Aw, you’re too sweet!
      A smoothie may knock out the pancake craving for a bit…but not for long…pancakes are devilish like that πŸ˜‰

  23. September 30, 2011 8:22 am

    Love this post! All the food looks fantastic and you do too! I can’t imagine the makeover he’d pull on me. Somehow I don’t think my Target wardrobe is LA chic.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 30, 2011 8:26 am

      Hehe, everything I was wearing was probably 5-10 years old and DIRT cheap stuff…I’m telling you, the guy can work wonders. πŸ˜›

  24. October 2, 2011 10:41 am

    Wooo awesome!! πŸ™‚ That must have been such a fun experience – only in LA hey?

    I went into a store one time about 12 years ago, and the guy was kind of like that, I was looking for a dress and he made me try on a bunch. I came out in one (which I thought was too form fitting for a curvy gal) and he was hilarious – “oh yah baby doll, work it… look at those curves – yay baby….” omg. I bought the dress and still own it to this day because when I put it on, I totally own it! haha

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 2, 2011 10:43 am

      Haha, love that! Not only is it a good sales technique, but to make the buyer feel great about herself is an awesome thing.
      This guy Cosmo said, among other things, that I was “totally Playboy” and that Matt and I need to make a porn together. HA!

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