What: A weekend getaway to Southern California
Where: The OC and Los Angeles, Calif.
When: July 25-26, 2009
Why: To get a healthy dose of vitamin D and search for the elusive Daiya cheese.
San Francisco has been laying on the fog thick. Especially in the Sunset District where the VNHQ is forever shrouded in Stephen King’s The Mist. What better time then now to brave the one-hour flight to Southern California for an overdose of vitamin D, outdoor entertainment, and Daiya vegan cheese?
That’s where I headed last weekend, and after greeting friends and family, it was time for Mission Objective Number One: Locate a pizza with a ridiculous amount of Daiya on it. Through intensive research (aka receiving the occasional Google Alert for “vegan cheese”), I discovered that Daiya has taken over LA. But has its stretchy, gooey goodness trickled down to the Irvine area? The Tustin Whole Foods answered me with a resounding “yes!”
Mission Objective Number Two: Stock up on vegan snackies for an outdoor nighttime picnic at the Hollywood Bowl, the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the good ol’ US of A. The vegan pizza from Wholefoods was a pie to be reckoned with—we’re talking a vast stretch of dough and cheese. But the meal would not be complete without a Gardein Chick'n Salad with fresh bell pepper and green beans marinated in a raspberry dressing. My folks and I hauled all this grub up to Hollywood and feasted upon it in our box seats at the Bowl. The perfect accompaniment to this meal? Songstress Jewel performing her chart-topping hits with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra to back her up. This incredible night of song had a grand finale of fireworks to dazzle the senses.
The Bowl and its occupants remain intact while fireworks rage above.
What else was there to do but indulge in decadent raw food the next day at 118 Degrees? I ordered the Merry Monkey smoothie—it was a blend of nut milk, banana, almond butter, and other such tastiness—while my mom and grandma split the brunch special, which ended with an amazing cashew bar smothered in chocolate and raspberry sauce.
A tasty and stylish tidbit from the five-course raw brunch.
After packing away all this food, I did manage to waddle back to the airport to board a plane back to San Fran. Now, I sit in my swivel chair and diligently wait for sunshine and, more importantly, for Daiya cheese to takeover Northern California! In the meantime, I suppose I should get back to work!