Last Fall I had the pleasure of finally taking a trip to California for the first time and I absolutely loved it!
My boyfriend and I stayed at the adorable Redbury Hotel in Hollywood. It was super nice to be in heart of Hollywood close to Venice Beach and other touristy attractions that are easily accessible by foot.
I was also excited to finally try out some awesome, raw, vegan restaurants (as restaurants like these are extremely uncommon in Texas). I even printed out menus for restaurants I wanted to try and packed them in my suitcase! LOL. By the way, if you didn’t know, “raw” vegan food is “cooked” in a dehydrator at temperatures usually no greater than 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The reasoning behind this is to preserve nutrients and enzymes in the food.
One of the first raw vegan restaurants my boyfriend and I tried was 118 Degrees. A few years back while I was working as a customer service representative, I spoke to a Californian who highly recommended this restaurant to me. Ever since our conversation I had been dying to try the place. So the second day my boyfriend and I were in Los Angeles we drove approximately 40 miles to 118 Degrees, and 40 miles back to our hotel just so we could eat there! And let me tell you, it was totally worth the drive!
For the appetizer we ordered Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms, which was divine; I just wish there had been more! Then for our entrees, I ordered the Dos Tacos Plate and my boyfriend ordered the Sweet Basil Pasta. I loved both dishes, but I liked the taco plate a little more. I couldn’t leave California without trying dessert at 118 Degrees so of course we splurged and got some! We got apple cobbler, and it was amazingly delicious and worth every penny. My boyfriend is not vegan, nor vegetarian and really enjoyed the food there. I definitely can’t wait to go back there when I visit California again! Sorry I don’t have any pictures. 🙁 You can view 118 Degree’s website as well as their menu here.
The second restaurant on my list that we tried is vegan with a few raw (vegan) items on the menu. On our way to Venice Beach, my boyfriend and I stopped at Real Food Daily for lunch. I ordered the “In the Raw” wrap made with a collard green wrap and got a (vegan) Caesar salad to go along with it. The wrap was delicious and the Caesar salad was AMAZING! That was the first time I had ever tried a vegan Caesar salad and it most definitely exceeded my expectations. My boyfriend decided on the enchiladas, a seasonal item, served with black beans and rice. And yes, of course I tried everything on his plate and enjoyed every bite I took! LOL. The enchiladas were covered in a creamy cashew cheese sauce that I wish I knew how to make because it was delightful, AND the best tasting vegan cheese sauce I have ever tried! Unfortunately I did not take pictures of our food here either. 🙁 You can view Real Food Daily’s website and menu here.
One morning while staying in Hollywood we left our hotel early morning and walked to the Farmer’s Market off Hollywood Blvd. OMG, I was in heaven! There were so many booths with yummy organic produce! You don’t see this kind of stuff in Houston. The Farmer’s Market was huge compared to anything I have ever seen. Since we had a small fridge in our hotel, we settled on some fresh, juicy, organic strawberries and blueberries. The strawberries were honestly the BEST tasting strawberries I have ever had in my entire life. They were so juicy and flavorful; I literally could not stop eating them.
I am really looking forward to going back to California. The beaches are beautiful, the vegan restaurants are plentiful, and produce is fresh and delicous!
The only thing I didn’t like about California is the fact that you have to pay to park everywhere! As a Native Texan I am not used to this, and it seems so absurd. I also hated driving in Los Angeles. You have to be extremely cautious while driving. The roads are hilly, the lanes are narrow, and you have to be on the look out for pedestrians at all times. In Texas the roads are generally flat, the lanes are wider, and there aren’t many pedestrians unless you visit downtown Houston, Dallas, etc.
Here are a few more pictures from our trip to California:
I really regret not taking more pics.
Thanks for stopping by. 🙂