Gracias Madre

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If you were able to catch my last post, I talked about completing a fast which basically boiled down to eating only fruits and veggies for 3 weeks.  Since I’m a foodie at heart, I love looking for new restaurants to try so I just had to incorporate finding vegan/vegetarian options during this time.  I learned that this community is huge and LA offers a ton of restaurants catered to both vegans and vegetarians.  I often opted for places that had dishes like a Tex-mex bowl with rice, beans, sautéed vegetables, pico de gallo and guac. Anything with guacamole and I’m sold 😊.  This was the simplest route to take food wise and easy to find everywhere.  However, I did venture out a few times and stumbled upon some wonderful places.  One being Gracias Madre, offering 100% organic, plant based Mexican cuisine.

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Gracias Madre is tucked away in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave.  I’ve probably passed this place a million times and never noticed it before.  It kind of resembles a nice house from the street view but when you walk in you are totally taken aback.  The décor and ambiance is just so chic.   There was a lounge area with comfy chairs and couches adjacent from the bar area.  The outside dining area had communal tables with the heated lamps for those cooler days/nights in LA along with cute little tables for smaller parties.  From the outside, the space looked so quaint but once inside it was a huge space and very accommodating for the large crowd in attendance that day.

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To stick with my go to bowls that I’d been consuming, I went with Bowl Tres as my entrée.  This bowl has quinoa, kale, roasted squash, white beans, peppers, onions and pesto cashew crème.  Okay let’s start by saying the roasted squash was the best!!! The kale was also very seasoned and added a nice taste to the overall dish. Before I ordered this, the waiter did let me try the pesto cashew crème and I went for it and decided to order this bowl.  I will say I did not know the bowl was heavily dressed with that sauce.  I think sometimes dishes are overly compensated with a sauce to make sure we get a good amount of flavor and I probably should of asked for it on the side to be safe.  That being said, the sauce did compliment the dish well and I was pleased with this entrée.  I heard the drinks are pretty good too so I will definitely be back to give those a try as well.

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More noods please!

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LA is most known for its warm weather year-round.  However, many never mention how cool it gets at night which makes for a perfect time to have ramen.  I started having ramen first in New York which makes perfect sense for the weather there.  While in LA, ramen seems to be best fitting for a late night when the temperature has dropped to the low 50s or even during lunch on those days when its low 60s.  I was on a quest to find the best ramen and so far, I would have to say Kai Ramen has taken 1st place in my books.  I ordered Kai’s Red which is salt based and made with skinny noodles, sliced pork belly, a flavored egg, scallions, stripped black mushrooms, dry seaweed and flavored sprouts; also garnished with red onions. If I’m feeling fancy, I make it a combo and have gyoza potstickers, a salad and a drink for an additional $5.  For the drink option, please try their homemade lemonade.  Just a warning its super sweet but it reminds me a bit of back home when I have it so I always order it with my meal.  The flavors they’ve accomplished with this ramen cannot be put into words.  The broth is beyond perfect with its hint of spiciness, the tenderness of the pork melts in your mouth and the combination of veggies is so complimenting with the pork and flavor from the broth.  I can go on and on about this place.  If you’re a ramen lover like me, give this place a try.  If you’ve never had ramen and are dying to try it, give this place a try.  Kai Ramen does not disappoint.  Check out the gallery below.

 

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Meet me at Mel’s

Mel’s Diner is considered a huge staple here in Los Angeles so it was only right that I made a visit to indulge in some of the diner’s favorite go to entrees.  The décor gives you an Old Hollywood vibe while staying consistent with the ambiance of a true diner.  Busy waiters going through the aisles, a semi open kitchen to see the food being made fresh to order and the infamous jukebox in the corner awaiting a customer to drop in a quarter and select an old tune to take you back to a nostalgic time.

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I decided to try the French toast and my husband went with the old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes.  You cannot go wrong with either choice.  Both entrees were great and just what we had wanted in terms of getting that real breakfast fix.  So far, I’ve seen 2 Mel’s locations; one a block from Hollywood and another in the Sherman Oaks area but I believe there’s a total of 4. The next time you visit California, I would be sure to make a stop here.  It’s open 24 hours and has a welcoming menu of pretty much any craving you may have.  Take a look at some of the snapshots I was able to get from Mel’s.

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Birthday Bae

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10/27….The best day of the year (to me 😊)  So here we are in October in LA and its peaking at above 85 degrees.  Talk about a good birthday gift.  Over the weeks leading up to my special day, I went over a number of things that I could do and just settled on the fact that I wanted to have loads of fun.  So my first trip for this fun adventure began by making it to the infamous Paul Smith “Pink Wall” on Melrose for photo ops.  I finally made it!!!  Yay.  For my day birthday fit, I decided to work with what I had in my closet.  It was such nice weather so I went with a black cropped top, my favorite ripped jeans from Zara and an all-black suede Steve Madden mule.  If you don’t know by now, I love me a nice mule.  I gave so many retro chic 90s vibes with this look.  I recently cut my hair so that added a different element to this vibe too of course. Although it is definitely fall, LA allows you to dress for the weather not season.

Afterwards, I went for margaritas at Velvet Margarita and decided to give Halloween Horror Nights a try for the evening.  I’m not one that desires to be scared but I went for it and had such a wonderful time.  Of course, a night in a theme park required a quick wardrobe change but overall this birthday was one of the best.  Doing something that was actually fun (including an impromptu photo shoot lol) First birthday in LA in the books!  Check out the great birthday shots I was able to get.

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