Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining a group of very hungry people for my very first food crawl. I did not have much of an idea of what to expect on a food crawl other than eating a lot of food and I was pleasantly not disappointed when it came to the food. I first found out about this event on a blog that I read regularly, and after checking out urban food crawl's website, I knew that this was something I definitely needed in my life. lol
Okay, so basically Urban Food Crawl is a walking tour of some vegan restaurants in downtown LA. We visited six different locations in the area, grubbed until our bellies were full beyond capacity, and burned off some calories with a good walk. We even got a little history about the downtown area and a few of the buildings. The tour lasted a little over three hours and at the end of it we got a huge goodie bag. ï Š Jen and Shari, were our amazing tour guides and they did such a great job at making everyone feel comfortable, explaining the food, giving a little downtown LA history, and answering questions to the best of their ability.
Our first stop was Two Bits Market. They serve fresh, local, and organic produce along with deli sandwiches and snacks. The owner was really cool and very enthusiastic about the food they served us. We had a Rupee Sandwich with a bean puree, artichoke, black olives, squash, and arugula puree on a baguette. I'm not a big fan of olives but this sandwich was very delicious. Next up was the Nickel Diner. This place is far from vegan but their stuff avocado is amazing. It's a stuffed avocado with a quinoa salad of black beans, red peppers, squash, corn, and cilantro. If I had room I would have had two servings of this dish. The third stop was Pitfire Pizza. They have amazing pizza packed full of vegan cheesy goodness. We started with a selectable roasted peach salad and some bread. Then we were served two different pizzas. The first pizza was an heirloom tomato pizza with basil and daiya cheese. This one was definitely my favorite. The tomatoes were fresh and had a nice crunch to them. Our second pizza was a field mushroom pizza with crimini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms with daiya cheese.
Mas Malo was next on the list. It's a vegan menudo restaurant with a range of classic and unique dishes. We tried their traditional style Mexican menudo made with tempeh, tofu, chiles, and hominy. A veggie ground beef and pickle taco was served on the side. The taco was crunchy, a little greasy, and messy, I loved it. Casa Cocina y Cantina was our second to last stop. It's a very modern Mexican restaurant with a cool vide and fabulous outdoor seating. Their vegan option is the enchilada de espinacas y papas. It's sautéed spinach, pan-crisped potatoes, and soy chorizo wrapped in flour tortillas with red tomatilla enchilada sauce, served on a bed of cilantro rice. And last but certainly not least we have Babycakes, an awesome vegan bakery that serves cupcakes, cookies, donuts, and so much more. We enjoyed their blondie sandwich which included two chocolate chip blondie cookies with frozen vanilla frosting in the middle.
I was so stuffed I could barely walk back to my car. There were also some non-vegans on the tour and they seemed to really enjoy themselves. They asked questions and took a real interest in the food they were eating. There were a lot of "yum" and "mmm" sounds going on in each place. Overall, I believe we all had a splendid time.