Sunday, May 25, 2008

LA (Santa Monica) Day 3

After much delay, I finally got around to finishing up the posts
on the LA trip from two weeks ago.

Lots of other things have been coming up,
so this last post was on the back-burner for a while...
wait...lets say it was on the bottom shelf of the dehydrator.
That's more like it :)

Day 3 was our last full day in LA, so we headed over
to Santa Monica to eat at Euphoria, visit the community garden,
and hang out with John from

We didnt even take pics of anything from Euphoria.
We were visiting with one of Dawn's friends and I
didnt feel like looking like some tourist and taking pics
of Au Lac, I HAD to, but this time it was no biggie.

Im not really going to get into the food there.
I would say go and try it and see for yourself if you dig it.
The Egg-less salad was really good, as was the Spirulina Earth Pie.
HOWEVER...the S.E.P. at Lifethyme will ALWAYS rule the roost
as far as we are concerned. Here is one other thing.
Matt Amsden (of Euphoria) has a GREAT raw food prep book.
Its WONDERFUL. Dawn and I make the onion bread all the time...
(with 10% of the recommended nama shoyu however),
so I was really excited to finally have HIS onion bread.
It was more like an onion tortilla...not thick at all and bulging with onions
like the ones we make. Wait...more like an onion chip. Wait again...more like a..chip.
We didnt even really taste much onion. Big let down.
Maybe someone in his kitchen was getting lazy that day...who knows?
Check out his recipes for sure though...we really love them.

Matt...if youre reading this...take it as some loving constructive criticism.
And if you want to know what a good raw burger tastes like...
go to Quintessence in NYC. Dan has it down like no other.
I am NOT being negative...there is just room for improvement.
We really want you to be the best, and we want everyone to be blown
away when they eat there so the COME BACK again,
and tell all of their friends to go to your place too.
It pays to put out a good quality product.

After lunch we went to the community garden.
The growing season in LA is so long and productive...
maybe that growing season makes up for the car culture.
You could really grow everything you need, and then just order
your superfoods online and be totally set. Its so great there for that.

Some shots of the gardens...

A little bee doing his thing...

Since we had some free time before meeting John,
we drove over to Venice on Lincoln Blvd where I shot
that job for Acura back in March. I wanted to see if I could
find some wild aloe again.

This is what it looked like 2 weeks ago,

And this is what it looked like back in February.
Such a difference.

Not exactly a place you would look for wild food,
but it was off the main road, and everything was untouched.
You never know what little jewels you will find off the beaten path.
This was the aloe vera back in February -

And then me with it in May.
Everything was teaming with life back in Feb...
now it seemed cold and abandoned.
Timing really is everything in life.

So I got a few leaves, and we were on our way to meet with John.
We talked and walked...had some kombucha and green juice.
He has a ton of cool projects going on,
and gave me some insight on getting my work published.

He just sent me this TED video...I believe we can all learn something from this.

We met up with Bueller from Bueller's Kitchen for dessert
at Cru again (couldnt resist...the dessert is too good!)

Bueller is doing really well...tweaking her diet and learning more
about herbs now too. One great thing about food and nutrition
is that there is always room for more knowledge.
People are discovering new things all the time!
We are just on the tip of the iceberg everyone!

We went to leaf the next day with Dawn's dad, then
he dropped us of at LAX. We were both glad to be going
back to NY. There is just too much driving time in LA.
It takes up way too much time of a person's day.
AND THE STRESS! I forgot how tense it can get on the freeways.
Talk about an acidic environment. People need to do some walking
meditations and get things together. In a strange way, Im glad that
gas is going up. Maybe it will get people off the road
more and that is good in SO many ways.

When we returned to NYC, we went to Quintessence right away.
My two favorites now are Quintessence in NY, and Au Lac in LA.
Others are good too, but these are in my opinion, the best by far.
Sorry to offend anyone else, but its just one man's opinion.

Check out all the Loquat seeds I saved too!

I am sprouting a bunch right now. I could start an orchard
with all of these. Save your seeds!

Speaking of sprouting...check out the black sapote seeds
I sprouted about 6 weeks ago.

They are doing SO well. I am so glad I decided to bring seeds
back from my trip. One day they will be in the
the zaniest fruits Ive had yet. Chocolate pudding fruit. Maybe 3 years!

TONS more to come! Hope the weekend was great!



Megan said...

Great post Anthony. I really hope the black sapote works out. They are fantastic blended with cacao and agave and used as a dip for fruit - esp strawberries, yum :)

Exotic Fruitarian said...

It is really unfortunate that there are so many places in the U.S that make driving a necessity. I live at the beach in NC but around town, there are little (if any) sidewalks. We have bike lanes but those only take you directly to the beach and if you have kids forget about biking anywhere. It must be nice to live in a city where walking is an easy option but for many of us driving is a must. But I do agree we could ALL do a little less driving.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever read any Derrick Jensen? His "Culture of Make Believe" is my favorite book ever, and something I think you would enjoy (as much as one can enjoy such hard-hitting, eye-opening, life-altering truth - the good, the bad, and the ugly).

Michelle J said...

Hey Anthony,
I totally agree with you about it sort of being good that the gas prices are going up! It definitely makes me think twice about hopping in my car now! I tend to walk much more now, everywhere, even here in Brooklyn! It's fun to walk and good exercise too! Your sprouting stuff looks amazing too!!!

I loved Quintessence when you took me there! Still can't figure out how they make something that tastes like pepperoni!! Good stuff!!! See you soon hopefully!

debbiedoesraw said...

Hey Anthony,
We went to Au Lac last night, what a wonderland it is!
I have to tell you all about meeting Chef Ito.. as soon as I said your name he got so excited, then hugged me, then brought 5 raw chocolates to our table, that were only OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS!!!
More when I blog all about it.. thanks so much for the tips, we enjoyed each bite and my family ate the rest for breakfast today!
I agree about cru and the desserts, fantastic stuff!
Au Lac though.. just simply amazing!
Peace and love to you, more later!

Raw Chef Dan said...

Hey guys! Raw Chef Dan from Quintessence here.
Thanks for the props. You I gotta say I was not too happy with Matt’s place ether. I love the guy and they have their heart in the right place but the food needs a little love. I found all the raw spots in Cali to be missing something. Leaf, Rawvolution, Juliano’s Raw… They are all really salty and nothing really taste like the name implies. I thought they tasted the restaurant, like it was all the same food. Not much creativity out there. I want my burger to be a burger so I worked at it till I had one. I want my Burrito to taste like a Burrito so I worked at it till I had one. You know it make all the difference in the world when customers are not just satisfied but literally blown away. So I worked at it till it did. I would love to do some consulting out there to help these guys really pull it together and also separate each other so they don’t all taste the same. Just kick it up a notch a bit you know.
Anyway, thanks for the Kudos I look forward to seeing you in the Q again soon.
Peace and Gratitude Raw Chef Dan

nancycola said...

Hey Anthony,
Look forward to the Q-spot visit next week.
THANKS SO MUCH for posting the Mark Bittman video. I sent it around to about 20 people. He has just the right kind of authority, not to mention sense of humor, to reach the masses of my family and friends that might make a difference at their next trip to the market. I really love this guy for spreading his revelations about meat consumption.
Thank you, THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

Raw Chef Dan -

Your raw food rocks and you have a talent for creating amazing dishes like no other. It's places like yours that will really help spread the knowledge about how healthy and delicious raw food is. We need as many truly exceptional raw food chefs and restaurants as possible to help educate and convince people that raw food is simply the best tasting and healthiest food there is.

Anthony posted a bit of a critique on Euphoria and he did that in his usual classy way. I don't think it was a good time or place for you to jump in and add your self-praise in there, though. Not that there is never a time for self-praise - there is - but not when you've already been lifted up during a critique of someone else's efforts. Come on, man. Let's get some class going on there, to match your awesome raw food talent. Just a bit of constructive critism for you to think about, or leave, as you will. I will always be in awe of what you have accomplished.

Sharon from Canada

Diane said...

next time you're in LA there's an excellent vegan restaurant called leaf. =]