Dream life

My dream life would consist of waking up, cooking and baking to my heart’s content, hanging out with my family and friends all day, exploring new and familiar neighborhoods in LA, eating at my favorite spots while trying new places, and having big family style meals a few nights a week at our new place.

This is basically what I did these past few days.  I wish it didn’t have to end.

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I woke up Monday morning and immediately began baking Kyle’s birthday treat.  He requested chocolate brownies, so that’s what I made.

After that I had a few work related things to do, but eventually a few of us headed off to Venice Beach.

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Every time my sister visits she brings rainy weather with her, so I was pretty worried she’d never get to see Los Angeles in all it’s sunny glory. 

Thankfully the curse is broken.


We hit up Seed Bistro for lunch, and I got the Asian Kale salad with seitan added.


It has steamed kale, jicama, carrots, cucumber, roasted almonds, and a miso-sesame dressing.  How awesome does that sound?!?!  The extra oomph of protein from the deliciously juicy seitan put it over the edge. 


Sorry about the crazy overexposed iPhone pics (but I’m not going to complain about the excess sun after the nasty, stormy weekend we just had).

I could seriously eat this for lunch every day of the week and be content.  It’s basically all my favorite things minus quinoa.

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Laura and Vandria both got the southwest burger which had a bean and grain patty with lettuce, vegan soy cheese, guacamole, and an ancho chili spread.

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Kyle got the seitan sirloin burger with caramelized onions, a seitan “steak”, soy “bleu cheese”, greens, and a dijon spread.  On the side he got sweet potato fries.

To say he was extremely pleased with this meal would be an understatement.  He is still raving about it. 


We walked around a bit afterwards, exploring the canals and such and eventually made our way to Abbot Kinney.

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Laura stopped in at N’ice Cream for a chocolate sorbet (dairy free and delicious).


N’ice Cream makes fresh organic gelato and sorbet every morning.

I, too, was jonesing for an afternoon fix…in the form of caffeine.


Enter Intelligentsia.

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Drip drip drip…ahhhh…


Soy cafe au lait.  They chose the best bean for the soy milk and I just went with it.  If there’s one thing I know about this company, it’s that they know coffee. 

Did you know you can get Intelligentsia delivered to your doorstep

I’m really tempted to get bulk chai tea too. 


This is the actual blend I had and it was yum. 

Kyle got an iced coffee with soy milk.


Eventually we were all ready to head home.  And not long after, Ethel came over with a birthday dinner for Kyle.


Kyle has been a fan of Ethel’s Filipino dishes since our college days.  He used to hoard lumpia like it was his last supper.  And when Ethel made me vegan pancit for my birthday, he didn’t even tell me it was vegan (or that it was intended for me) and ate the entire thing himself.  How rude!


So this time around I got to try it.  Plus I laid claims on ALL the leftovers.  That’s only fair right? 


Mmmm.  Vegan pancit.

The next day Laura and I ventured over to Hollywood, then Glendale, then Larchmont Village for more sister bonding and vegan eats. 


Stay tuned…so many delicious meals!

How does your dream life compare to mine?  Hard to top good food and good company, huh?

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Comments (21)

  1. Amanda

    Add in yoga every day and it too is my dream life!

  2. Cassandra @ She Don't Eat No Meat

    Oh my gosh, I had forgotten my love of lumpia. I’m going to have to try veganizing Filipino dishes ASAP!

  3. Tiffany

    You can find the coffee in bulk at the whole foods in Venice too 🙂

  4. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    All of your food looks so good! I really wish I wasn’t gluten and soy intolerant, vegetarian restaurants have such good food, and so much healthier and more creative!

  5. Lou

    Dude, that is my dream life too… but really my “job” is pretty sweet (me and Misty just lazed in the bath for 1/2 an hour at 11am, yeah sweet job)

    I want that coffee poured over that chocolate sorbet…. mocha affogato anyone?

    I need to come to LA…. the vegan eats just sound incredible 🙂

  6. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

    Your dream life is my summer! Teacher perks!

  7. Elise (Post author)

    gah! jealous.

  8. Elise (Post author)

    ps so smart on the mocha affogato idea!

  9. Elise (Post author)

    seriously? awesome.

  10. Elise (Post author)

    do it!!! and then send them my way.

  11. Samantha

    Wow there are so many great vegan options in your area! I’m super jealous. I wouldn’t even have a CLUE as to where to eat that serves seitan around me!

  12. Nan

    My dream life overlaps with your real life – I live in cold Boston and I have been dreaming nonstop for years about living in Santa Monica, walking along the Venice canals, walking along the beaches, driving through the canyons, eating in wonderful vegan restaurants and taking yoga at all those amazing studios, having coffee at Intelligensia…. wow, I wonder if any of the school systems out there need a teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired???? I’d better start checking the job listings…. 🙂

  13. Catherine @ Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth

    Yummm I love Intelligentsia, their coffee is so strong. I have a question about seitan. I see that you use it in a lot of your dishes and I was wondering what the best way to prepare it is? I have never cooked it before but am definitely interested 🙂

    P.s. that last photo of the wrap looks amazing! Is it some sort of quinoa?

  14. Izabela (yoginiselfportrayal.wordpress.com)

    wow, I wish I have so many vegan restaurants around. Your brownie looks delicious, can’t wait to see the recipe.

  15. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats

    My dream life is definitely very similar to what you mentioned. I would also love to add in daily personal training sessions and some pampering in the form of facials, mani/pedis, and massages. 🙂

  16. Elise (Post author)

    nope. soyrizo wrap from mendocino farms…its in the post i just published today.

    i have a few seitan recipes on the site, but the one i mostly use is the log seitan recipe.

  17. parker

    reading your blog makes me realize that san francisco has a SERIOUS lack of delicious vegan restaurants/options compared to LA. need to come down for a visit!

  18. Catherine @ Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth

    Seriously drooling over that wrap from Mendocino Farms! I walk by the location in downtown LA all the time, I will have to try it out!

    I’m going to try out one of your seitan dishes soon 🙂

  19. Elise (Post author)

    SF has some gems, but yes! come visit LA.

  20. Lolita

    Your dream life sounds pretty awesome 🙂 I’d have to include yoga and beach time in mine!

    Great eats… I wish there were places in Australia that served kale salads. Alas, most people do not even know what kale is here and I have to go out of my way to track it down. Worth every bite though!

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