West Coast Eating Extravaganza, Day 3

West Coast Eating Extravaganza, Day 3

Follow Your Heart, a natural foods market and brand of dairy substitutes, has a cafe offering traditional vegetarian fare in Canoga Park. The natural food store has been around since the 70’s. The shelves are thoroughly stocked with a ton of great products but is welcoming and accessible. The cafe opens bright and early for breakfast so we started our first day in Los Angeles with a hearty one before hitting the beach in record heat.

The Tofu Benedict is much like the Tempeh Reuben, I can’t really resist ordering it if it is on the menu. Their version was a poached tofu and tomato on a homemade English muffin smothered with a Hollandaise sauce and served with a side of potatoes. Though the dish was very substancial, the flavor was a bit lacking.

Behold the entire stock of Follow Your Heart products!

After reading Sage Organic Vegan Bistro‘s menu a while back, I knew it would easily be a prominent highlight of a trip to Los Angeles. It was time. We strolled in during the busy lunch rush to experience their drool-inspiring for reals.

First, something from the fryer. Sage’s mozzarella sticks made from heart of palm with ranch and marinara dipping sauce. Hearts. Of. Palm. Deep-fried. These “mozzarella sticks” are not made with packaged, processed vegan cheese, no. They are tubes of fibrous hearts of palm, batter-dipped and fried to perfection. Let’s look closer.

These were fantastic. Mind-blowing even. Place four of these wonders on a bed or arugula, even better!

The vegan ranch dipping sauce was a great addition. I want to eat more of these.

Sage had already blown my mind before we were even seated, the perfect appetizer sealed the deal. But the main course was yet to come: The Bistro Po’Boy… breaded seitan, organic tomatoes, deep fried cabbage, homemade dill pickles and lettuce on grilled olive rosemary bread with caramelized onion barbecue sauce. Eating this ridiculously delicious sandwich was a sloppy ordeal. And though it was knocking my socks off, perhaps with one too many flavorful additions, I needed to leave room… drumroll…

The beautiful banana split from KindKreme was spectacular. KindKreme, a gourmet/vegan/raw/organic ice creamery has multiple locations in the Los Angeles area, one being inside Sage Vegan Bistro. I love me a fancied up banana split, although I am strictly vanilla when it comes to my ice cream choice. I like vanilla. After hearing my wishes for a traditional split with the standard vanilla, the charming Sage employee allowed me to sample several flavors, helping to construct what would be an amazing ice cream treat.

Banana and ice cream are great together. My scoops–almond butter, Mexican chocolate, and strawberry–were so flavorful. They were topped with salted caramel sauce and chopped almonds. Heaven.