Category Archives: Restaurants

COVID-19 Safe Local Vegan Options

Veganism has always been popular in Los Angeles. Indeed, it was one of the original Impossible Burger debutant cities and has, over the years, earned a reputation as being a world leader in the cuisine.

So as to continue this trend and at the same time, not conflict with COVID-19, Vegan Exchange has rebranded itself to become the Vegan Exchange Drive Thru.  The popular vegan market that was available to shoppers every Sunday will now be accessible every Sunday in North Hollywood between 11am and 5pm. 

Ten vendors will be selling their wares each week.  This includes: Veggietize Me, Voodoo Vegan and Inomoni Vegan.  In addition, pre-orders can be made through the website.

Re-Opening of Local Eateries

One by one, region by region, industry by industry, counties in the US are re-opening.  Los Angeles County now has a variety of eateries to choose from where diners can even eat in. the re-launch has not been without its challenges – especially with the riots and local curfews – and thus some restaurants  have opted to remain closed.  Still others need to work out how to re-open as they had laid off staff, have to get used to the new rules and thus are not quite yet ready.

Time will tell how successful it will be.  There is still much economic uncertainty as well as cumbersome protective clothing which could make going out to eat a less attractive option.

The other issue restaurant owners are talking about is the fear that the guidelines are not clear/strict enough for their comfort levels.  Still, even with all of this it is nice to see some kind of return to normalcy.

Helping Out in Times of the COVID-19 Crisis

We are seeing good things from a lot of people and Eric Garcetti is working hard in the COVID-19 crisis in an attempt to help locals get through financially.  There is now a Mayor’s Fund which is offering support for those many families affected, especially in the realms of childcare, food, etc. 

Also worth taking a look at is the alliance – Philanthropy California – of over 600 foundations, charitable entities, philanthropists etc. helping during this time. 

And let’s  not forget José Andrés a chef at World Central Kitchen which is often at the forefront of feeding those in need.  Individually packaged fresh meals are being carefully prepared withing the Health Ministry’s guidelines around various areas including Los Angeles.

For those to scared to leave the house, volunteers are offering to pick up essentials, especially for seniors and those at greater risk.  Organizations that provide this include: Chef for Seniors, The Rotary Club and Recreation & Parks Department Senior Outreach Program, CalFresh Restaurant Meal Programs and Meals on Wheels

Cannabis Cafe

America is getting its first legal cannabis restaurant – Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe – right here in Los Angeles.   This means it is the first business in America that has received a license to serve meals containing food ingredients and marijuana.

Rather than bartenders the budtenders greet customers and sit with them to help guide them through the menu which features: joints, dab rings, bong service and more, together with locally-produced food items.

Those engaged in the cannabis industry in California believe this is a huge step for America’s marijuana legalization for social, recreational and more widespread medical use. According to chef Andrea Drummer:

“Cannabis consumers have had to kind of be closeted.  To be able to engage in and consume in a space with like-minded people and not have it be secret and not feel judged, I think it’s an exceptional concept.”

Some menu items at the La Brea Avenue, West Hollywood location include: mascarpone-filled crepe with peaches, white bean hummus and buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.  It is important to note that the food itself is not cannabis infused but vaping and smoking is allowed.

According to co-founder Sean Black:

“Being the first, we want to make sure we set the benchmark very high. We want it to have the same respect as fine wine … Cannabis can be a fun recreational part of society, like alcohol, without being dangerous.”

Ablaze with the Love of Pizza

pizza-973060_640If you’ve written at Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza in Los Angeles, then you know how delicious it is. And clearly many agree. They are now bringing their ovens to Canada, opening two locations in Calgary in January. Last month they opened a location in Toronto, which was Blaze’s first location outside the US.

With the additional locations, Blaze will have 95 stores including almost a dozen in LA. They first opened in 2012, and are today on the Business Journal’s list of 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies.

Look for other store locations coming in the future as well. These will include at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida.

The co-founder Rick Wetzel also created Wetzel’s Pretzels. As Wetzel told the Business Journal, “It was going to have to shift from getting it figured out, to going very fast.”

Blaze generated more than $32 million in revenues last year.