Who: VN Managing Editor Aurelia d’Andrea + Senior Editor Jennifer Pickens
What: Restaurant soft opening for media
Where: The Veggie Grill, El Segundo, Calif.
When: January 18, 2008
The Scoop: Our fun- and food-filled weekend excursion to Los Angeles began at Veggie Grill which is not technically in LA, but in El Segundo, of all places. It’s a little tricky to find if you don’t know this area, but after accidentally driving into a local air force base, we finally discovered the restaurant tucked away in a mini-mall behind the largest Whole Foods either if us had ever seen. Gregarious owners Kevin and TK met us at the door and gave us the VIP treatment. Choosing which amazingly yummy dish to order off the all-vegan menu proved challenging. Jen opted for the Chop-Chop Chef salad, sprinkled with quinoa and served with a creamy, chipotle-infused dressing. Jen swears it’s the best salad she’s ever eaten. Ever. For reals. Aurelia’s Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ Sandwich came with the crispiest, most heavenly sweet potato fries, and left her feeling full and happy for hours. After an afternoon of shopping for vintage clothes on Melrose, we drove to Venice to meet up with friends and dine at Real Food Daily in Santa Monica—where we immediately spoiled our appetites with the best starter in the world: vegan nachos. They were perfect, right down to the cheesy sauce drizzled all over them. We both wished that we’d ordered individual platters. Not that dinner wasn’t great, mind you. But come on. Vegan nachos?! Yes, please.
Here's a close-up on the awesome grub at Veggie Grill: