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VIDEO! quarrygirl presents clara’s cakes! a teenage-run vegan bakery in LA.

You go Clara! I wish I was this awesome at 16!


you’re probably already familiar with teenage baking sensation clara polito, who owns & operates her own vegan business in los angeles called clara’s cakes…after all we’ve posted two recipe videos with her in the past. clara went vegan at the age of 12, & frustrated with the animal-free dessert options in her area, she decided to learn how to make her own treats. four years later, she’s got her own bakery with a menu that wows all kinds of eaters. in today’s video, we sat down with clara at her home in LA & learned about her most delicious creations & why she went vegan in the first learn where you can find clara’s cakes in LA, check out her website, twitter feed, & facebook page. i know that right now, you can find her cupcakes at pizzanista which happens to make the best vegan pizza in town. so go get ‘em.

4th Annual LAVBF Me & my homeslice - TONY KANAL!!!! SD Brewers Represent! Automatic Brewing Co! Wolfie from Frankenstand! He's so creepy cool!
Franken Weenie! Fave beer of the day!

LAVBF Part 1

Wow! What can I say? The 4th Edition of the Los Angeles Vegan Beer Fest presented by QuarryGirl, Tony’s Darts Away & The Roxy, was all kinds of AWESOME! This event was so much bigger than last year (2012 recap here!) - more food, more beer, more vegan peeps! It was so big, in fact, that they moved it across the street from its original location. It was so inspiring to see so many people out & about & living la vida vegan! It’s apparent that L.A. vegan foodie scene is going off right now - the amount of vegan food vendors was staggering, & that was just a small sampling. Kinda makes me wanna move to L.A., or get a stronger movement in my hometown of San Diego!

While I enjoyed tons of incredible food, sampled some tasty brews, & caught up with a few of my favorite vegan bloggers, the highlight of my day was meeting Tony Kanal of No Doubt! I’d caught wind that Tony would be in attendance via twitter & just about lost my you know what. I love that he is vegan & is becoming more & more outspoken about animal issues. I’ve been a huge ND fan since high school & was lucky enough to see them play a very intimate show at when I was in college at UCSB in ‘94. I shared that memory with Tony & he said “those were the best shows!” I’ve met very few “celebrities” in my life & it’s super out of my comfort zone to approach someone like that. But I’d seen him taking photos with other “fans” & took my opportunity! YOLO, as they say & I must say that he was super gracious while I dorked like a mega-fan. He was super gracious & his kindness totally made my day!

So let’s talk about what you see in some of the photos! It was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to decide where to start with the food, but there were a few “no-brainers.”

  • First off, I devoured the "Dynamite Roll" from Shojin, LA’s all vegan, macrobiotic, & organic sushi spot. I went there for this year’s pre-Moz show birthday dinner & it was awesome, so when I saw them on the bill I knew I needed to seek them out. Best vegan sushi ever!
  • Stopping by The Frankenstand is also always a must. They were slammed & sold out of frankenweenies by 3 o’clock! So glad my friend was able to grab one of the last "Creatures" before they closed up shop. The duo behind the cart “Wolfie & Vampy” are total characters & I love their spooky theme concept!
  • My friend Sarah recommended I try the "Korean Bibimbap Lettuce Wrap" offered by Susan Feniger’s STREET. I first learned about STREET from QuarryGirl’s video. While not an all vegan joint, there are vegan/vegetarian options always offered at the restaurant & is one QG’s top picks for dining out in LA. I had put it on my list of must tries, & there they were! The lettuce wrap was delicious. Super light & crisp with seasoned rice, tofu, kimchi & veggies. YUM!
  • Another dish that caught my attention was the “Chilled Soba Salad” from one of my fave LA joints, Mohawk Bend. I love a soba salad & this was super tasty with radish, avocado, orange, crispy onion, sesame, carrot, & soy vinaigrette. They were also giving away a small cup of "Spiced Horchata Cake" - how could I say no to that?

Obviously I was feeling the Asian foodie fare!

As for the beer…there was a lot. People consumed a lot. I however, did not. For one, I was driving. For two, I am not a day drinker. For three, & try as I might, I’m just not THAT in to beer. I can hear my craft beer nerd friends GASP at the sound of it! Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate beer, especially vegan craft beer, but I just don’t geek out on it! But I was super happy to see a familiar face, though, as Lee Chase, the vegan 1/2 of SD’s Blind Lady Ale House & Tiger!Tiger! Tavern, & the brewmaster behind Automatic Brewing Company was there with his "Don’t Run Me Over" Tangerine IPA. And because I am a creature of habit, I naturally gravitated toward what I know I like - Saison - & really enjoyed North Coast Brewing Co’s "Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale.” Other than that, I stayed pretty dry & enjoyed watching the drunken shenanigans of others go down! You put that many people & unlimited beer pours together on a hot day in LA & you know tomfoolery is gonna go down hard. Fortunately, as this was a place full of compassionate vegans, no one had a drunken bro-down throw-down! At least not that I witnessed. Sloppy, yes. Disorderly, no.

Believe it or not, that’s not all folks! Oh yes there’s more! And you bet I didn’t forget about Seabirds! Oh no! Their fried avocado tacos really float my boat. But you’ll have to wait for part II to hear all about that.

And, that concludes part 1 of my LAVBF recap. Stay tuned!


The LA Vegan Beer Fest is fast approaching. I am really excited to be heading up the coast next weekend for what will surely be an EPIC event! You don’t wanna miss this! So many awesome vegan vendors, breweries, bands & more are lined up for a day of food, booze, tunes, & fun! Get your tickets here before they sell out!


in case you haven’t heard the news already, the LA Vegan Beer Fest has gotten so big that we had to move it across the street from The Roxy to a vacant lot on Sunset. we are going to have more food vendors and more beers than ever before, so don’t miss what’s sure to be the most epic event of the year! 

VIP tickets and non-drinking tickets are already SOLD OUT! click here to buy your general admission tickets now! they will sell out soon!

Who else is digging these awesome vids from quarrygirl? Tony’s is definitely high on my list of LA vegan joints to check out, & stat! OMG THOSE BRUSSELS SPROUTS!!!! And you better believe I’ll be headed back up to the The Roxy for this years LAVBF!

i’m super excited because today’s video is on our favorite pub in los angeles, tony’s darts away. many of you are probably familiar with the numerous meatless sausage options at tony’s…but did you know about the long list of inventive rotating daily specials, most of which are are vegan? we caught up with chef randy st. clair and learned how he makes traditional meat offerings vegan, as well as his favorite vegetable based dishes. if you haven’t been to tony’s darts away yet, definitely check it out. the food and beer cannot be beat.

oh, and don’t forget to buy tickets to the upcoming LA vegan beer fest that we’re throwing with tony’s and the roxy! it’s gonna be the best vegan event of the year. 

quarrygirl presents: Sage Vegan Bistro & KindKreme

I’m loving quarrygirl’s new "Vegan Video Series" & was so excited to see that she recently featured Sage Vegan Bistro & KindKreme! I have an ever growing list of Los Angeles area vegan eateries that I want to visit, & blog about, & Sage has definitely been at the top.

via quarrygirl:

in this week’s edition of our new vegan video series, we catch up with mollie englehart, the owner of sage vegan bistro & kindkreme dairy-free ice cream parlors. sage has been open less than 2 years, but has already gained a reputation as one of the best vegan spots in los angeles, & is definitely one of my personal favorites. similarly, kindkreme is the go-to place in LA for vegan dessert & has already opened 3 locations! in this video, mollie, who was born & raised vegan, fills us in on what inspired her to open kindkreme & why all foodies should check out sage.

Lucky for me, this March I’ll be spending the weekend in LA, (kicking off with a Morrissey concert on my birthday, yay!!!), & was trying to decide what to knock of my vegan-foodie bucket list. After watching this video & seeing the owner Mollie’s heartfelt enthusiasm, I have now added Sage to my agenda! Perhaps for brunch (check out the yummy menu here) before my visit to The Gentle Barn? My birthday weekend is shaping up to be a blast!

BabyCakes NYC on Larchmont, L.A. Lemon & Chocolate Cupcakes, Toasted Coconut & Salted Caramel Doughnuts

BabyCakes NYC’s Larchmont Bakery

Last Saturday my Mom & I took a day trip up to L.A. for a class at Spork Foods. I still owe you that review & it’s coming, but first I wanted to share these sweet nuggets with you! On our way home we made a quick stop at the newest BabyCakes NYC on Larchmont. I swore to my Mom that there was no way we were getting out of L.A. without an arsenal of BabyCakes delights, & she was more than happy to oblige.

I had my first BabyCakes experience a few years ago while visiting my friend in NYC, & I became an instant super fan. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…cupcakes, brownies, cookies, waffles, donuts, cinnamon buns, custom cakes, muffins, & pies…all vegan…all the time. How I wished I could’ve taken a few slices of that heaven home with me right then & there. Did you know that sometimes wishes really do come true? 

A year after that trip to the original BabyCakes NYC, they opened a bakery in downtown L.A. & that is a heck of a lot closer for me than SOHO. I finally made it up there last summer to relive the magic, & this time I could take it home with me! While the downtown store front had all the kitch, charm & delectables of the NYC location, the one thing I could not jive with was the location. Maybe it was the time of day, but to me it was sketchy as all get out, & needless to say, I never returned. I mean no offense to you L.A. city dwellers, I’m just a bit of a sissy…

When I heard that a new BabyCakes had opened on Larchmont, I breathed a sigh of relief. I could still have my BabyCakes & eat it too! While trekking around L.A. in general stirs the anxiety in me, there are certain areas that I feel more comfortable in than others. Knowing that Larchmont is known for its cute shops & trendy restaurants, I figured this location would be a bit more my speed. It certainly was. We found the bakery sweetly tucked away on a cute tree-lined street abuzz with families & fashionistas alike. We stepped inside & were greeted by a darling girl, the sweet smell of fresh baked goodness & The Smiths blasting from the speakers overhead. They must’ve known I was coming, ever the Smiths/Moz fanatic that I am!

After fending off the overwhelming urge to order one of everything in sight & then some, I settled on a "Toasted Coconut Doughnut," a "Salted Caramel Doughnut," a "Lemon Cupcake," & a “Chocolate Cupcake." All for me? Well…maybe…with the exception of the chocolate cupcake, that was a treat for my dogsitter, & Mom got a box of her own. Somehow I made it all the way home without sneaking into that little box, & I even passed off the chocolate cupcake as I’d promised (I can’t be trusted when sweets are involved). I saved the doughnuts to enjoy with coffee the next morning, & I’ll admit, I ate them both, sharing just a nibble with my friend. Bliss…

I found my indulgent self longing for every morning BabyCakes NYC morning, yet my waistline begged to differ. Good thing L.A. is two hours away!

L.A. Day!

Yesterday, my Mom & I took a day trip up to Los Angeles for an afternoon of vegan food filled fun. First stop was lunch at Real Food Daily in West Hollywood…

Then we headed over to Spork Foods for a cooking class with Jenny & Heather themselves!

The day’s theme - "Fancy Pants!" We learned to make "Truffle Mac & Cheese, Green Beans Amandine with Spicy Gremolata, Tofu & Hearts of Palm Crab Cakes with Lemon Remoulade Sauce"

Of course there was no way in hell I was getting out of L.A. without a quick stop at the newest BabycakesNYC bakery on Larchmont to pick up some nibbles for the ride home!

Details, recaps & more coming soon!

L.A. Recap Via Instagram!

Just returned from my quick trip up to Los Angeles & don’t feel like hassling with my camera, editing photos, etc. I used my iPhone camera & Instagram quite a bit this weekend…so I’ll share those photos with you here!

Farmer’s Daughter, West Hollywood

We stayed at Farmer’s Daughter, a cute little boutique motel, right across the street from The Farmers Market. Cute spot, & very convenient & walkable location. 

"Herb Crusted Tofu" - sautéed with panko, macadamia nuts, lemon & capers

Sunday night we went to Duke’s Malibu for Anne’s friend’s 40th birthday. Great ocean view & a fun atmosphere, but one look at the menu & I thought my dinner was doomed! This is primarily a fish/steak house, with nothing on the menu except for one salad that would be suitable for a vegetarian. I decided to be brave & ask the waiter if there was anything “off the menu” that could be prepared for a vegetarian & he said "Oh yes, any of the fish dishes can be substituted with tofu." Hallelujah! It never hurts to ask & this was surprisingly tasty! 

Tart Restaurant at Farmer’s Daughter

"Home Made Granola” - Oats, Flaxseed, Almonds, Walnuts, & Pecans

There is a cute little restaurant at the hotel called Tart & we heard it was great for breakfast, so that’s where we began our Monday. Lots of vegetarian options, but I decided to go vegan & order the home made granola with soy milk & a side of fruit. A very wholesome way to start the busy day! Reminded me that I want to start making granola at home!


We walked down to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to check out the Tim Burton exhibit. Very cool. Such a dark & twisted talent. 

"Madras Tempeh Wrap" - masala-baked tempeh, brown basmati rice, toasted almonds, raisins, frizzled onions & crisp vegetables with curried soy yogurt dressing in a whole wheat lavash

We worked up quite an appetite at the museum & headed to M Cafe de Chaya for a light & casual lunch. I had the Madras Wrap & a side of Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing. It was fresh & delicious! I wish we had more restaurants like this in San Diego!

BabyCakes NYC, Downtown LA

Since we had the car out, we decided to make our way over to BabyCakes NYC for dessert! I am quite perplexed as to why they opened in such a dismal part of downtown LA, but of course it was as cute as ever! 

"Red Velvet & Lemon Coconut Cupcakes" from BabyCakes NYC

I ordered the above cupcakes to take to my Mom & a thank you treat for watching Lucie Lu & to also make up for not bringing her a roll from Cinnaholic, which she’ll never let me forget. I ordered a Lemon Coconut for myself & a Mocha Donut. Yum, yum & more yum!

Vegan Margherita Pizza - Herb white crust, light red sauce, mozzarella, roma tomato, vegan mozzarella, & fresh basil

For dinner we walked across the street to The Farmers Market. I’d read about Deano’s Gourmet Pizza on Quarrygirl & knew that they had a few vegan menu items & would substitute Daiya cheese on any of their pizzas! As if I could stuff anything else into my face in one day, I went ahead & ordered an individual sized pizza anyway. There was a small fridge at the hotel, & I figured I could save the rest for later! It was good, the crust a little too thick & doughy for my taste (I prefer a crispy thin crust pizza), but I was so appreciative of the Daiya cheese option!

"Kim’s Salad" - romaine lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, sprouts, tomatoes & sunflower greens topped with Ki’s Millet Burger

On the Tuesday drive home, we decided to stop for a much needed healthy lunch at Ki’s Restaurant, one of my favorite veg-friendly spots in San Diego’s coastal gem, Cardiff-by-the-Sea. I enjoyed Kim’s Salad, one of my very favorites! Full of fresh, crispy vegetables, & topped with a millet patty. 

Amazing ocean view from Ki’s! 

As fun as it was to get away, there is nothing like the comforts of home & I am glad to be back to see my snuggle-pug!