Beam us up We want to eat everything on Beaming's superfood-loaded menu

7.30_LA_Beaming_wordpress

Not to get all hippie-dippie, but do you ever feel like every electron in your body is vibrating on a positive frequency when you walk into a new restaurant? That's how we felt at Beaming.

The "culinary superfood" café—which started in San Diego but recently arrived in Brentwood, Santa Monica and West Hollywood—offers juices, smoothies, grab-'n'-go meals and naturally sweetened baked goods that are 100 percent organic, vegan and gluten- and GMO-free.

L.A. is littered with smoothie joints, so why does Beaming in particular make our cells do the happy dance? Founder Lisa Odenweller is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and uses the mantra "let food be thy medicine" to guide her ever-changing menu.


the menu choices have us…well…beaming.

Smoothies ($8 to $13) are packed with exotic superfoods like maca, matcha, camu camu and lucuma; they get an extra boost of nutrition from Beaming's plant-based protein made from brown rice, yellow pea, chia and hemp proteins. The house-made sprouted almond milk serves as a delicious base for the smoothies, which you can have sweetened with yacon (instead of date or banana) if you want to keep things low-glycemic.

On the food tip, there are acai protein bowls ($11), Buddha bowls (soup of the day, such as carrot-ginger, poured over quinoa and lemon kale, $8) and a variety of salads and entrees ($7 to $12) from coconut "ceviche" to falafel wraps and pineapple gazpacho. And for dessert? Vegan ice cream sandwiches made with Millie's agave-sweetened gelato ($7).

We're beaming, of course.

Beaming
Santa Monica, Brentwood and West Hollywood livebeaming.com

Firmly planted Matthew Kenney opens two vegan restaurants and a raw academy

Make Out

If summer barbecues of sizzling burgers and steaks are giving you the “vegan blues,” cheer up! Plant-based dining in Los Angeles is having a moment, and the options for great animal-free fare are mushrooming.

Chef Matthew Kenney has opened two new additions to L.A.’s vegan landscape: Make Out, a casual, everyday café in Culver City, and Plant Food and Wine, a chic, upscale restaurant in Venice. (Kenney’s raw food Culinary Academy is now housed upstairs from Plant Food and Wine.) So whether you’re in the mood for grab-‘n-go, a special occasion meal or a home cooking lesson, Kenney’s got you covered.

Plant Food And Wine (Photo credit: Geoff Souder)

 

Make Out is a healthy, all-raw alternative to fast food, the kind of place you pop into for organic smoothies ($10), gluten-free flatbreads ($10) and kelp noodle bowls ($11).

Plant Food and Wine, on the other hand, offers both raw and cooked dishes and is a place to linger for hours—especially on the patio, where fairy lights are laced through the olive trees and a lush edible garden helps supply what’s on your plate. House-made vegan cheeses (3 for $17) are meant to be paired with the selection of organic, biodynamic wines. Move on to sharable plates like silken zucchini “tagliatelle” ($13), robust salads like a vegan take on a niçoise ($16) and hearty entrees like socca cakes made with chickpea flour and lentils ($17).

Tempting desserts like olive oil cake with balsamic gelato and fennel-seed chocolate ($12) are naturally sweetened with agave. So long, vegan blues!

Make Out
9426 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City
(310) 280-9355

Plant Food and Wine
1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
(310) 450-1009

One-Stop Shop Supermarket newcomer Haggen makes healthy shopping easy

7.16_LA_Haggen_wordpress

If your healthy food shopping routine is anything like ours, then you might feel a bit like Goldilocks in trying to stock the fridge from just one grocery store. Whole Foods can be too pricey, Trader Joe’s can be too limited in selection and Ralph’s or Vons can lag on organics.

But thanks to Haggen—a Washington-based grocery chain that’s recently arrived in Los Angeles—you can hit one store that feels just right.

Founded in 1933, Haggen has a long history of commitment to organic offerings, natural brands and local farmers and producers. At the same time, it stocks mainstream national brands you find at standard supermarkets, putting it somewhere between Whole Foods and Vons in price and selection.

Get your shopping list ready.

Here are our tips on how to shop Haggen healthfully:

  • Produce: Right now, 15 percent of the produce is organic (with plans to add more); just follow the purple signage for organic fruits and veggies like Tuscan kale, heirloom tomatoes and black plums.
  • Meat/Seafood: Pick up some Bartels Farms grass-fed, antibiotic-/hormone-free beef, Sweetwater Creek organic chicken and seafood sourced sustainably from Santa Monica Seafood.
  • Dairy/Eggs: Finds include Angelo & Franco organic mozzarella, locally produced Stremick’s Heritage Foods organic milk and NestFresh non-GMO, pasture-raised eggs.
  • Pantry: The “natural” aisle is like the greatest hits of a health food store, with brands like Annie’s, Amy’s and Bob’s Red Mill and a dedicated gluten-free section.
  • Miscellaneous: Organic products, noted with purple display tags, are dispersed throughout the aisles. Keep your eyes peeled for Dr. Bronner’s fair trade organic coconut oil, Full Circle organic coffees and teas and Spicely organic spices.

Haggen
Multiple locations throughout Los Angeles County

www.haggen.com

Diner 2.0 Ingo's takes the "grease" out of "greasy spoon"

7.9_LA_Ingos-Diner_wordpress

There’s a reason that American diners have been nicknamed “greasy spoons” for nearly a century. Burgers and shakes, fried eggs and bacon … you know the drill.

But sometimes nothing beats sliding into a vinyl booth and loading up on comfort. That’s why we’re ecstatic that Ingo’s Tasty Diner—a Santa Monica newcomer—has traded “grease-to-spoon” for “farm-to-table.”

Ingo’s occupies the space where Callahan’s, a neighborhood diner, had endured since 1946. The counter seats and retro booths remain, but the menu completely re-imagines diner classics with healthy, high-quality ingredients.

Salad at a diner? Yes if it’s Ingo’s!

Take the spaghetti and meatballs ($16), for example. The typical meat-and-carb fest has been upgraded with pasta made in-house with Chino Valley Ranchers organic eggs and Strauss grass-fed beef. Ingo’s version of the chopped salad ($14) has rotisserie Jidori chicken, Nueske bacon, tomato and avocado on a bed of marinated kale instead of the usual limp, pale lettuce.

There are burgers (grass-fed) of course, but Ingo’s also goes well beyond diner fare with dishes like succulent pasture-raised rotisserie lamb with harissa yogurt ($19) and grilled Campbell River salmon with a raw market vegetable salad ($25). Vegetarian and vegan choices abound as well—don’t miss the crispy brussels sprouts ($10).

The restaurant’s close relationships with sustainable farmers are evident from the sprawling list of partner farms scrawled on the wall above the counter seats. If you can’t resist the pie, at least you know it’s made with farmer’s market fruit and organic whipped cream!

Ingo’s Tasty Diner
1213 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
310-395-4646
ingostastydiner.com

See salt … ... in the making at Terranea Resort's sea salt conservatory

7.2_LA_Terranea-salts_wordpress

So you know that vast ocean sitting right next to us? Yeah, the Pacific. It won’t solve our drought problems, unfortunately, but thanks to chef Bernard Ibarra of Terranea Resort, it can satisfy our cravings for sea salt.

Ibarra has unveiled an onsite sea salt conservatory to harvest salt straight from Terranea Cove. The conservatory was inspired by his childhood memories in French Basque Country, where his mother brought buckets of seawater home from the shore and let natural evaporation produce salt for the family’s use.

Chef Bernard Ibarra shows off Terranea’s sea salt conservatory.

Terranea’s sea salt conservatory is a more-sophisticated version of those buckets. Three salt “ponds” are housed in a greenhouse-like structure that allows the sun and the wind to penetrate. After the seawater evaporates, Ibarra flavors the salt crystals by cold smoking them with apricot wood, saturating them in Meyer lemon zest or infusing them with herbs grown with organic practices on the property.

The salt is being used throughout the resort’s eight restaurants. At Mar’sel, you might find the smoked sea salt sprinkled over roasted Jidori chicken with apricot preserve, zucchini and wild saffron rice ($30) or the Meyer lemon sea salt dusted over grilled asparagus ($16).

It’s seriously delicious stuff—and packed with minerals, too. The salts contain less sodium chloride and more calcium, potassium and magnesium than standard table salt. Want to taste for yourself? Purchase some in the resort’s casual café and gift shop, Sea Beans ($6 each).

Terranea Resort
100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes
310-265-2800
www.terranea.com

Dinner, solved Get healthy, chef-prepared meals delivered by Munchery

6.25_LA_Munchery_wordpress

After a busy workday, figuring out how to get dinner on the table—one that’s healthy, tasty and suitable for everyone’s dietary preferences—can be like solving a word problem.

Do you:
A. Shop, cook and hope it’s ready by midnight?
B. Order takeout from four different restaurants?
C. Admit defeat and go to Chipotle?
D. Live the dream and hire four private chefs?

Thanks to Munchery, we’re choosing D. The new-to-L.A. meal delivery service puts wholesome, freshly prepared dishes from four talented local chefs (and one pastry chef) at your doorstep.

The chefs and their cooking styles reflect the cultural diversity of L.A. Options on the ever-shifting menu of entrees, salads and sides run the gamut from Caribbean chicken with rice ($9) to Asian-style peppered steak and soba salad ($10) to all-American herbed salmon ($12). Dishes arrive fully cooked and chilled, so there’s no prep aside from a quick warm-up or addition of dressing.

Chef Scott Garrett, one of four talented chefs creating your Munchery meals.

With no dish over $13, Munchery is an affordable luxury, and a healthy one, to boot: gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and nut-free choices are clearly labeled (there are never any additives or preservatives). Produce is local, sustainable and organic when possible; the majority of meats are antibiotic- and hormone-free. Packaging is recyclable or compostable, and carbon offsets make your delivery “carbon neutral.” Major bonus: every time you order, Munchery provides a meal to someone in need.

Order up to seven days in advance ($2.50 delivery fee) or, for a $4.50 fee, get your goodies within 45 minutes. Delivery, which happens from 4pm to 9pm Monday through Friday, is currently available on the Westside, expanding across the city to Downtown by mid-July. So, consider your meal riddle solved … at least until breakfast. For that, we’re glad Munchery also delivers vegan berry muffins and Blue Bottle coffee!

Munchery
1-888-458-5376
munchery.com

Fijian voyage Journey from South Pacific to Southeast Asian flavors at E.P. & L.P.

6.18_LA_EPLP_wordpress

Ah, Fiji.

Unreal beaches, lush tropical forests, and ridiculously healthy cuisine. The archipelago’s traditional staples include local seafood, fresh coconut milk, nutrient-dense taro leaves  and root vegetables like cassava.

With the arrival of West Hollywood’s E.P. & L.P.—a stylish new pan-Asian restaurant (E.P.) and rooftop bar (L.P.)—you can sample Fijian cuisine and skip the 10- hour flight. Drawing from his own Fijian-Chinese background, chef Louis Tikaram blends the flavors of his heritage with Thai and Vietnamese influences.

Dishes like nama “sea pearls” ceviche ($11)—a vegetarian ceviche made with South Pacific seaweed, hand-squeezed coconut milk, lime and chile—and L.P. “nachos” ($10)—chicken simmered in coconut cream with cassava crackers and lemongrass—offer a taste of Fiji.

Chef Tikaram blends Fijian flavors with Thai and Vietnamese influences.

Other plates hop the map across Southeast Asia, like the tender steamed fish with black bean, ginger and green onion (market price) and grilled baby leeks with spiced eggplant yogurt ($16). Tikaram cooks primarily with coconut oil and seasons the dishes with fresh herbs like turmeric, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.

The chef grew up on his parents’ 110-acre farm in Australia; at E.P. & L.P., he won’t source from a farm until he’s visited it in person and can vouch for its sustainable practices. The restaurant’s poultry is organic, the beef and pork are antibiotic- and hormone-free (some dishes, like brisket with red curry sauce, peanuts and Thai basil ($32), employ grass-fed beef) and the seafood is wild-caught or sustainably farmed.

Just think of it as paradise—minus the coconut palm trees.

E.P. & L.P.
603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood
310-855-9955
eplosangeles.com

Home sweet home Chomp on locally sourced salads at Sweetgreen

6.11_LA_Sweetgreen_wordpress

Sweetgreen—the hip-‘n’-healthy East Coast salad spot—has finally arrived in Los Angeles.

Inevitable corporate expansion? Nope. More like a homecoming.

Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman, both Los Angeles natives, were students at Georgetown University when they hatched Sweetgreen with co-founder Nicolas Jammet. It was a case of California dreaming: the Cali lifestyle of local sourcing, healthy eating and balanced living inspired the restaurant’s build-your-own salad concept. The trio opened the first Sweetgreen in Washington, D.C., in 2007 and grew it into a robust East Coast chain with cool cachet (à la the Sweetlife music festival), prompting lines out the door wherever it landed (it’s a go-to lunch spot for the Clean Plates NYC team!). But an outpost in L.A. was always part of the master plan.

LIKE THE MENU, THE DESIGN OF EACH SWEETGREEN LOCATION IS DISTINCTIVE.

Ru and Neman aren’t the only locals at the new 3rd Street location—the restaurant’s fresh produce and artisan ingredients are equally so. The menu at each of Sweetgreen’s 30 locations (31 if you count the Santa Monica store opening later this summer) reflects what’s freshest in its vicinity. The founders, who prize building close relationships with sustainable farmers, source mostly organic produce and all antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and dairy (75 percent of which is grass-fed).

Aside from the build-your-own option, offerings unique to the LA location include salads like strawberries and Humboldt Fog goat cheese with baby spinach, snap peas and walnuts ($11.75) and grain bowls like the Hollywood Bowl, with wild rice, shredded kale, jicama, grapes, sprouted almonds and roasted chicken ($11.25).

And Sweetgreen’s most enduring East Coast menu item, the Guacamole Greens salad ($10.75), has leapt to the West Coast—but it’s also making a homecoming of sorts. It was inspired by the awesome avocados and Mexican flavors of California. Pretty sweet.

Sweetgreen
8055 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles
323-934-3404
sweetgreen.com

Clean habits: Moby How the multi-platinum musician stays healthy

6.4_LA_Moby_wordpress

Singer-songwriter Moby has worn many hats throughout his career: DJ, photographer, book editor and now, Los Angeles restaurateur. Later this summer, the LA resident will be opening Little Pine—a vegan restaurant serving comforting dishes like mushroom leek pot pie and roasted cauliflower “steak”—in Silver Lake with chef Anne Thornton in the kitchen.

A vegan for 28 years, Moby—who initially stopped eating animal products because of empathy for his cat—strives to spread awareness of the diet’s health and environmental benefits. Read on for his thoughts on plant-based eating and planet-conscious living.

What inspires you to maintain a vegan diet?

When I was growing up, I had the same terrible American diet that everybody had. I ate Frosted Flakes for breakfast, bologna sandwiches for lunch, Burger King for snacks and meatloaf for dinner. The more I found out about the way my diet affected my health, the environment, and climate change, it reinforced my desire to eat vegan.

How do you stay fit? 

I live by Griffith Park so I go hiking six days a week. I do yoga five or six days a week and do tai chi and ride a bike every now and then.

Watch Moby talk about why he is vegan.

What’s a typical day of eating like for you? 

Every morning, I have the same breakfast, which is what I call the “mother of all smoothies.” It has bananas, berries, flax seeds, fresh turmeric, parsley, broccoli, mixed greens like chard and kale, DHA oil and ginger. For dinner, my favorite, easiest meal is what I call “kimchi pasta fagioli” (pasta with beans, olive oil, and kimchi made with ginger, cabbage, daikon and carrot).

How do you stay balanced and healthy while working in the music industry?

When I first started touring in the late ’80s and early ’90s, being a vegan was really challenging, especially in Eastern Europe or South America. But now, the world has really changed. A lot of conventional chefs who cook with meat and dairy are happy to make vegan food. Some of the best vegan meals I’ve had have been in conventional restaurants.

How does sustainability play a role in your life and in the upcoming restaurant?

I just tore up all my grass, put down drip irrigation and planted a bunch of native drought-tolerant plants. The restaurant will very much be an extension of my own principles of sustainability. It will be 100 percent organic.

Little Pine
2870 Rowena Ave., Los Angeles

The veg table Feast on plant-based comfort food at this appropriately named restaurant

5.28_LA_Vegetable_wordpress

A vegetarian for more than 20 years, chef Jerry Yu admits to a bit of meat-free blasphemy: “I do not crave salads,” he says.

At Vegetable, his new—and yes, vegetarian—restaurant in Studio City, Yu does offer several quite inventive salads. But his preference for more comforting veggie-based dishes guides the homey menu.

Yu crafts healthier twists on hearty favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese ($14)—his made with quinoa macaroni, heirloom tomatoes, cashew “cheese” sauce and walnut-garlic crumble—and pasta-free lasagna ($15), made from eggplant and baby spinach layered with fava bean “ricotta.” Warm soups like tomato-basil ($6) and a seasonal array of roasted vegetables (we swooned over the rainbow heritage carrots with maple syrup and cinnamon, $8) round out the selections.

Not your average mac ‘n’ cheese: quinoa macaroni, heirloom tomatoes, cashew “cheese” sauce and walnut-garlic crumble.

Vegetable’s vegetables are sourced locally and organically. “If I can’t get it organic, I’ll figure out a way not to use it,” Yu says. The menu is 80 percent vegan, but when dairy is used, it’s organic cheese or grass-fed butter. Yu eschews fake meat products (such as those made from soy) and favors wholesome, gluten-free grains, which he uses sparingly.

The warm setting is a perfect backdrop for the warm foods. Rustic woods, exposed brick and chalkboard black walls create a chic, intimate dining experience. But Yu does have a way with cold salads, especially the herb salad with watermelon, shaved radish and kumquat vinaigrette ($11) and the red leaf kale salad with avocado marinade ($10) that’s hand-massaged to order.

It’s everything you need to make your table into a veg table.

Vegetable
3711 Cahuenga Blvd. W., Studio City
818-754-1149
vegetablela.com