Los Angeles: Get your eat on

Los Angeles has a ton of spots to eat; it’s obvious every time visitors arrive with lists. But ‘LA’ to people who don’t live here (and unfortunately plenty who do) is anywhere in Southern CA within 50 miles of downtown. I’ve always treated LA like I would NYC or Philly: Keep it within 5 miles. Work, school, shopping, eating, hanging out. 5 mile radius from home. That’s where I live. I found this map over on Militant Angeleno’s blog and it works for me. My 5 straddles the Eastside/Center divide and stays mostly east of the 101.

Back to eating. Two new veg spots opened up in Los Angeles and both are definitely worth your time and money. And I don’t say that often! Before even talking about food quality, I give a head nod to creative effort, large portions and politeness. These go a long way. Both these places get major points here AND the food is very good.

Doomie’s in Chinatown (N. Spring/Ord) is mostly vegan (everything except dairy cheese option) and does sandwiches: philly cheesesteak, pulled pork, spicy breaded chicken, etc that come with your choice of fried: potatoes or onion rings. Also entrees like potroast, country fried steak, chicken parmigiana with sides and soup or salad. All of the dishes I have had are well-seasoned and prepared just right. Unlike the Vegan Express rip-offs (Truly, California Vegan, Green Leaves, Vegan House, etc) it’s not just some heated fake meat on a bun you can prepare at home. Imagine! They also have Mac & Cheese that is above average and not too ‘nutritional yeast-y’.
The restaurant is upstairs, shares space with a bar (lots of alcohol choices) and has outside seating. Open Tues-Sun, 11am-8pm. Sorry I don’t have any photos from here!

Chicken noodle soup, potato salad and chicken salad
at Taste of Life

A Taste of Life is the vegan soul food from the Hollywood Farmers Market. I’ve been raving about it for five years and now it is available 6 days a week! It’s unbelievable. It’s only two guys who own and run this spot and they know their food. An entree is $15, but check this out. You get soup (I had chicken noodle), salad (potato is def good), cornbread, greens and your choice of three mains (I did mac & cheese, BBQ tofu and battered loaf). It’s so much food and all highly-seasoned and cooked well. Battered and fried roast, wtf? And the mac & cheese is some of the best I have ever had, next to the one I make, of course. They also have a huge selection of ginger drinks and a raw menu. You know a place is good when the menu has both a ‘battered’ section and a ‘raw’ section. Yeah.

My meal at Taste of Life

They are on the SW corner of Fountain/Vermont and open 9am-2am (for real!) Tues-Sun. Located upstairs and have outside seating as well. Couple potential negatives I have to mention: Be sure to know what you are ordering and what comes with what. Definite potential for confusion here. Also, the food does not come quick. If you just want to grab some food and bounce, this is not the place for you.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think.

Death Valley (again)

Two weeks ago 5 of us piled into a (borrowed) car to head to Death Valley for the Fall double and century. Morgan, Stacy, Luz and myself were volunteering (my third time!) and Budge was going to ride his first double. Driving separately were Max and Michael who were volunteering and Jack and Megan who were riding the century on the tandem. Below Morgan hops on in Megan’s place before the start.

‘I hate the desert. This is stupid. I don’t know why anyone would want to ride out here.’
-about mile 400 of the 508 last month.

Okay, so I am not a huge fan of the desert, but after years of trips to Death Valley, I do really appreciate it. The mountain ranges are gigantic and they rise from the vast valleys in such immediate contrast. It is like nothing back East. And it helps when you have Dr. Morgan Beeby, walking Encyclopedia, with you to rattle off unknown facts and figures.

Stacy chillin the best way she could

1) I really enjoy being out on the course and helping riders who are on their first century or double or in Death Valley for the first time, finish and feel good about it. 2) I want to give back to AdventureCORPS for making all of these rides possible 3) I don’t want to forget the scale of what I have been through and 4) my experiences can help the riders who are out there. 5) I love a free trip.

Budge crushed it for his first double and the little training he did. He finished in just over 13 hours! results, photos, write-up here.

Hiking on Sunday

This is obviously awesome

After a great hike on Sunday we drove back via the 395, with great views of Mt Whitney and more stories from Dr. Morgan Beeby, I walked from Mexico to Canada through the mountains, the whole way.