Let me just start out by saying I am the opposite of a vegan (do you capitalize the word vegan? I'm not going to. Sorry). I love meat so much that every time I visit my family or they visit me, I make them take me to a steakhouse because I can't afford to go by myself (BOA is really good as is The Palm, but that's kind of a given). The only other food I love as much as meat is CHEESE. I am pretty certain I am completely lactose intolerant, but I will take down a wheel of brie with a speed that is truly frightening. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, I do not recommend eating half a brick of goat cheese at one of those screenings they do at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (however, I really recommend those screenings. www.cinespia.org, you will NOT be sorry) and then attempting to sit through High Noon; I had to drop my friends Daniel, Danny, and Brad off basically on the side of the road afterwards so I could speed home and die (you're welcome for this story, by the way). Anyway, my old roommate and super-agent extraordinaire Jessica IS a vegetarian that enjoys the occasional vegan meal. Jess agreed to meet me for brunch in my neck of the woods, but suggested we try Cru, a meatless, dairy-free restaurant. Here's the site:
It's pretty cute in there, right? Also, there was this little flea market going on right outside that they do on Saturdays (I also think they do a farmer's market on Wednesdays, which I have yet to explore). There was no AC inside Cru, but there was a nice breeze coming through the open door so I think they were going for the natural effect. Our very nice waitress brought us some fresh basil limeade which was DELICIOUS. Then I ordered a Caesar salad and Jess got this tostada thing. Okay so this is what I learned about eating vegan food: DO NOT order something that imitates non-vegan food. Like, try to just work with what's available. For example, Caesar dressing is made of MAYO, MILK, and CHEESE. It is not made of nuts and herbs or whatever. And while the Romaine in my salad was beautiful and crisp, the avocado perfectly ripe and melty, the dressing was decidedly NOT Caesar. Jess also told me a terrifying story about a vegan Reuben she ate somewhere, which just sounded WRONG. But Jessica's tostada looked GREAT. No fake meat, no nut cheese, just delicious veggies and avocado and grilled bread (fried? I don't know...a tostada pancake) with some lovely-looking sauce. So while going vegan isn't ultimately for me, I learned a great lesson, Cru was sweet and mostly yummy, and I'll know how to order next time.