Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vegan Pizza Day.......and I look like a Pizza!

For those of you who don't know, yesterday, June 30th was Vegan Pizza Day! My good friend Arik (pronounced "Are-ick") and I celebrated by spending the day at Venice beach and then going to Flore Vegan (one of my all-time favorite veg restaurants) for dinner!

We totally pulled a double celebration because not only did we order pizza for dinner but we also look like pizza sauce due to our horrific sunburns. More on this joyous accident at the end of this post.

Venice Beach
The BEACH: I love going to venice beach, it is so laid back and never too crowded by the ocean. We had a really sweet spot right by the water with a lot of space around us.
The Boardwalk: After hanging out in the sun for millions of hours (as evidenced by our gorgeous, tomato-colored skin) we walked along the boardwalk at the Venice Beach. If you have never done this, I highly recommend it! The people are very interesting, and there are tons of awesome vendors selling their art, statues, jewelry, and many other items. There are lots of palm readers/psychics too if that's what you're into. There were actually a couple of artists whose art I really liked, and if I had more cash on me I would have made some purchases. 
Highlights include:
- awesome art
- interesting street performers
- "Muscle Beach" which is a famous outdoor gym by the beach where super-juiced and muscular people work out while getting a tan. Anyone can go for the day for like 25 cents
- Famous Venice Basketball Courts right by muscle beach that are often used for movies
- lots of unique and some not-so unique clothing stores
- a "Freak Show" that includes things such as the "snake lady," the "Smallest Lady in LA," the "Man covered in hair," lots of two-headed live animals, and many many other freaky things that I don't remember. Just so you all know I didn't go into this, I just read the poster outside, things like this make me sad and I just feel bad for the people and the animals being put on display
- an entertainingly massive amount of Medical Marijuana clinics
- last but not least TONS of Fresh Fruit Stands that sell Mangos. Somehow they always manage to get them at the perfect level of ripeness........I want to learn their ways

Celebrating Vegan Pizza Day at Flore Vegan
We were pretty hungry, and our giant bag of mangos could only hold us over for so long, so we headed over to Flore Vegan for dinner!

The Lowdown: Flore is an awesome Vegan restaurant in Silverlake that serves up delicious vegan foods ranging from a variety of vegan sliders, to a delicious tempeh reuben, to bomb burritos, and of-course fantastic pizzas. Flore has the perfect mixture of comfort food type dishes (like their nachos or their biscuits with gravy and tempeh bacon), and very healthy foods (like all of their salads, rice bowls, and sandwiches). Everything they serve (including their 5, COUNT THEM, FIVE types of burger patties are made in house and are super delicious). They also have out of this world desserts that I often have dreams about. No, I'm serious.

The FOOD: I've been here a couple of times before, so I know my way around their generous and delicious menu pretty well. I ordered the raw carrot-ginger soup to start, and it was delicious as always. It is very light, and does not have any of that nut cream added that restaurants sometimes add to raw soups, which I greatly appreciated because it allows the soup to taste clean & refreshing without being heavy.

I then ordered a side of the Tempeh Tu-No deli-salad, which is something they are known for. It was my first time having this and it was delicious! It definitely has a lot of vegan mayo, and I wouldn't have minded if it had a little less mayo and a little more of the herbs/seasoning, but it was still delicious. 

I also ordered the Mushroom & Tempeh Bacon pizza that I shared with Arik. All of their pizzas come on a delicious spelt and cornmeal crust that is to die for! I loved that they bake it in a pan with walls so that you are guaranteed a nice amount of crunchy crust on each piece! The pizza had the perfect ratios of mushrooms to tempeh bacon to cheese; and the pizza sauce itself was DELICIOUS! The soy cheese they use was super yummy, much better than Daiya in my opinion!

Arik also ordered their Tempeh Reuben with a side of potato salad. He has had this dish before and absolutely loves it! I have had their  potato salad before, and I must say it is quite delicious, and I'm not even a potato salad person! I forgot to snap a photo of his food, but it was delicious and it looked

Last, but most definitely not least was dessert! I was super-stuffed from dinner, but I knew I would kick myself the next day if I didn't get a couple of desserts to-go. I ordered the Gluten Free Carrot Cake and the Lemon-Berry Cake. OH MY GOODNESS I cannot even describe in words how delicious these two were. I am a diehard carrot cake fan, and am super-picky about carrot cakes, and this is by far one of the BEST I have ever had in my life. The cake was perfectly flavored and definitely did not lack the moisture that some vegan cakes do. The Lemon-Berry Cake was another superstar. The cake portions themselves were super-moist and lemony and also had poppy-seeds which I loved. My pet peeve is when sponge cake portions of layered cakes are bland and dry, and this cake was the exact OPPOSITE of that: Moist and Flavorful! The Layer of berries & cream in the middle was also delicious and fresh tasting, and the berry frosting was super light and fresh tasting; not at all too sweet or heavy which is often a problem with frosting. I seriously could have eaten another slice of that cake; no joke. 

BONUS: While we were eating dinner a well-known and super-skilled NBA Basketball Player turned Sports News Commentator named Juan Sally came in for dinner. I didn't recognize him, but my friend who is a super-intense NBA/Basketball fan recognized him immediately, so that was kinda cool.

We ended out perfect day with perfect dinner at Flore, and woke up the next day with a super-fun surprise. SUNBURNS!! I honestly am a huge sunscreen person, and somehow it just totally slipped my mind to put on the sunscreen, I even brought it with me but for some reason once we got to the beach I didn't even think about it. LESSON LEARNED! 

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