Go Green Tomorrow: Celebrating Earth Day Around L.A.

Mojave Desert: Dawn Drive to Mammoth

Tomorrow, for Earth Day, you may want to change things up a bit. Maybe ride your bike or walk to a neighborhood watering ground when you’d normally drive. Eat lunch at a restaurant that prides itself on sourcing from local farmers. Or pack a trashless lunch.

Fortunately, some local restaurants and businesses are getting involved by hosting events or specials in an effort to celebrate conservation. Here are just a few:

(Added) Veggie Grill – West Hollywood or El Segundo

Are you a Veggie Grill virgin and have always wanted to try (or have a friend who is)? All such virgins need to do is accompany a veteran to their nearest location and cash in on a free entree with purchase of a first.

This goes on all day, so check below for their South Bay and Sunset Blvd. locations (there are also 2 locations in Irvine):

11 AM – 11 PM

Veggie Grill
8000 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
323.822.7575

11 AM – 10 Pm

Veggie Grill
Plaza El Segundo
720 Allied Way
El Segundo, CA 90245
310.535.0025

Church & State: Downtown LA

Church & State will be kicking off their on-site Production Garden on Earth Day with a short afternoon of planned events with the community:

3:45 PM – 4:45 PM – Church & State, Pedal Patch Community and the Heart of Los Angeles Youth will sow seeds in the Production Garden.

4:45 PM – 5:30 PM – Church & State will host a Q & A Reception with the Pedal Patch Community for HOLA Kids.

And if you can’t make the afternoon ceremonies, you can always stop by Church & State anytime during the week (Monday, April 19th – Sunday, April 25th) to try out their hand-crafted cocktails ($12 each) that are all made with fresh herbs from the brand new Production Garden.

  • Sorrel-Gin Fizz – Plymouth gin, Garden Sorrel leaves, fresh Lime, Sugar & Soda
  • Parsley Mojito – Garden Parsley, Garden fresh Mint, Rum, Lime, Sugar
  • The Spice Trade – Dark Rum, St. Germain, Garden Cilantro, Anaheim Chili & Saffron

Come in all week for Earth Week cocktails

Church & State Bistro
1850 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
213.405.1434

@churchstatela

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Ludo’s Lucious Fried Chicken Balls

Ludo Fried Chicken (Lemon Aioli, Collard Greens & Smashed Potatoes)

Oh, balls. I say such with adulation, not lamentation – since I was lucky enough to squeeze into Sam and Zach‘s reservation for a special Monday night. Ludo Lefebvre’s latest one-off collaboration took place at Akasha Restaurant in Culver City earlier this week – and the foodies were out in full force. This time, it wasn’t so much a showdown as it was an opportunity for LudoBites fanatics to get a taste of his famed chicken - juicy, fried goodness to which reservations were fully booked 12 hours (or less) after the reservation line went live.

Akasha Onion Rings (Garlic Aioli, Ketchup)

Akasha has not one but two deep fryers - and Ludo’s chicken certainly benefitted from the tools. We were each provisioned three rosemary chicken balls, this time furnished with a lemon aioli (as opposed to the sweet chili sauce provided at The Foundry). Rounding out each order were two side dishes – coleslaw, collard greens, sweet potato fries or smashed potatoes. There was a more lucrative $18 price point to match the chicken’s popularity (at The Foundry, the two pieces of chicken were just $6 – without sides). The sides at Akasha were delicious, but of course we couldn’t forget Akasha’s own specialty, their perfectly-breaded-and-fried onion rings. Not too greasy or bready, the rings – with their side of ketchup and garlic aioli – actually had me wishing more came per side order.

Sour Orange Pie (Key Lime Style) With Whipped Cream & Preserved Kumquat

Focus now! The chicken! As per usual, the chicken was perfect – a tad darker in mere color than I remember – but I was glad that there was an extra helping of breadding on my plate. It was seasoned with rosemary which was contrasted well by the citrus tang of lemon aioli; the juicy texture enabled each round nugget to fall at my fork. Before I was finished, I heard on my left, “If you leave that on your plate, you’ll never hear the end of it.” Yes, it was recent NYC ex-pat Zach of Midtown Lunch, the fan of all things greasy and succulent. He spoke too soon, as I savored each bite – including the extra skin – and washed it down with Syrah. Each intonation from the jazz trio that played nearby was lost on me as I concentrated on my palate. Thankfully, the movement the music provided to the already-cool, bustling and somewhat industrial-yet-well-lit (great for us food photographers) atmosphere of Akasha was not.

We finished off with dessert. It was perfectly tangy and sweet – I would come back to Akasha for this pie alone. The crust was perfectly buttery – and Ludo and I joked that we could replace the crumbs on top of the pie with chicken breadding! And as always, the Ludo event had food bloggers and others in the scene crawling out of the woodwork – with out-of-town visitors and @thejgold himself to boot. Foursquare check-ins (“with 19 other people”) were at an all-time high. Krissy and Ludo made their warm, welcoming rounds. It’s always a party – and I’m lucky to be a wallflower. Did I mention Ludo ran the LA Marathon the day before?! How is that for star power?

If you don’t have your LudoBites 4.0 reservation, be sure to stay tuned for the wait list queue – which begins March 28.

Further reading:

Ludo Lefebvre Reveals International Location, Gram & Papa’s Menu and More – Eater LA

Akasha Restaurant
9543 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA‎ 90232
310.845.1700
@akashacc

LudoBites

@chefludo
@frenchchefwife‎

Vegan Desserts A Delight Around LA

Vegan Red Velvet - Kiss My Bundt

Los Angeles is a perfect city in which to eat – whether it entails having access to the cuisines of countless ethnicities or healthful options that honor our moral obligations. There’s a tricky thing, however, about desserts for vegans – most of which incorporate butters, understandably, into their recipes. LA vegans have reason to rejoice, though, with ever more plentiful options to get their sweet tooth on around town:

Kiss My Bundt (Mid-Town)

Kiss My Bundt offers vegan red velvet on Fridays and Saturdays as well as vegan chocolate on Saturdays. They may be vegan, but they certainly don’t look nor taste like they’re in shortage of any sort of ingredient. Incredibly moist and delicious, the red velvet will never let on what you’re missing…it’ll be a secret between you and your bundt. And if you’d like a sizeable order (6 mini-bundts or more), the vegan bundts are available any time of the week. What are you waiting for?

Mini Bundt – $2.50
Baby Bundt – $4.50

Also please read about Kiss My Bundt on ShopEatSleep. Try a full-sized bundt and help keep the most delicious cakes in town around!

Kiss My Bundt Bakery
8104 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323.655.0559

The Bakery at Akasha Restaurant (Culver City)

The Bakery at Akasha has a few options available for vegans at their storefront. Pick from chocolate cupcakes, tarts and cookies – or go for their meyer lemon scone. If you’re seeing a movie across the street, best come early and buy a few treats to sneak into the theatre – it sure beats the $8 popcorn at the concession stand!

Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Ganache Glaze & Vanilla Icing – $3.25 ea
Salty Chocolate Pecan Tart and Rustic Apple Tart – $4.75 ea
Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle Cookies – $1.50 ea
Meyer Lemon Scones – $2.50 ea

Bakery at Akasha
9543 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2618
310.845.1700

Babycakes (Downtown Los Angeles)

Los Angeles vegans rejoiced when Babycakes came to us from New York – to set up shop in the historic Pacific Electric lofts downtown. Not only could you get a french dip at Cole’s and a cocktail at The Varnish – you could also get dessert nearby. There are a lot of vegan options here (loaf? cookie sandwich? macaroon?) with a variety of flavors:

Vanilla Cupcake with Zesty Lemon Frosting – $4.25
Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf – $3.65/slice (Check the recipe from Glutenfreebird.com)
Cinnamon Raisin Cookie Sandwich with Vanilla Filling – $5.00
Cinnamon & Sugar Toasties – $3.75/slice
Vanilla Macaroons – $1.50 each

Babycakes
130 E. 6th St.
(between Main & Los Angeles)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
213.623.5555

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Akasha Offers November Tastes

It’s never too early for Thanksgiving. That’s what I always say. No, not really – but seeing as from Sunday’s Great Chefs of LA event (post coming soon), there were plenty of autumn bites to be had despite the seventy-something temps in Southern California … in November. Fortunately, Akasha is previewing some Thanksgiving bites – indoors. For only $10, you’ll be able to sample tastes of Akasha’s Thanksgiving menu to get an idea of what you might like to order for the big day. In addition to the tastings, you’ll be treated to complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. They have two Saturdays lined up for your sampling pleasure:

Saturday, November 14th

Thanksgiving Desserts & H’ors d’ouerves

  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Texas Style Pecan Pie
  • Pear and Cranberry Tart with Cinnamon Crumble
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Bacon-Cheddar Biscuits
  • Curried Chicken & Fuyu Persimmon Salad
  • Dilled Egg Salad
  • Wild Planet Tuna with Housemade Bread & Butter Pickles

Also try Akasha’s housemade:

  • Cranberry Chutney
  • Betty Kennedy’s Plum Chutney
  • Fig-Balsamic Jam
  • Zinfandel & Pinot Plum Jam
  • Pomegranate-Jalapeno Jelly

Saturday, November 21st

Thanksgiving Sides & More

  • Finley Farms Lettuce & Flora Bella Arugula, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Goat Cheese
  • Niman Ranch Ham with Pomegranate Jalapeño Glaze
  • Cornbread & Creminelli Sausage dressing
  • Candied Yams with Ceylon Cinnamon and Brown Palm Sugar
  • Rutiz Farms Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Pearl Onions & Niman Ranch Bacon
  • Blue Lake Green Bean Casserole with Housemade Skinny Fried Onions
  • Organic Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese with Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • Artisan Cheese with Crostini & Akasha’s Housemade Quince Paste

What a great way to try many different things all at once! I can attest that their housemade chutneys and jam are truly fresh and delicious, too – looove that Betty Kennedy’s Plum Chutney (which I used to top the braised shortribs above at Great Chefs of LA). I’ll see you one of these Saturdays!

Saturdays, November 14 & 21

12 – 3 PM

$10

The Bakery at AKASHA
9543 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
310.845.1700

@akashaCC