remember that resolution...

yep, i went to whole foods again.  definitely can't make it a weekly thing, since my total was $110 and i feel like i have nothing to show for it.  ok, i got two bottles of wine.  but they were only about $9 a pop.  oh yeah, i forgot about california's crv, and tax, ugh.  i also bought my husband a stainless steel water bottle. so that was like $12.  oh, and that tea i just had to have, says it will help your skin be clear and beautiful. 

am i a sucker for advertisement or what?

anyway, what i want to talk about is raw food.  there are a lot of local raw food makers and their products are in whole foods.  the only one i actually purchased was very intriguing to me: a raw cookie.  ok, i'll bite.  what is in this raw cookie, how does it hold together, how is its texture, will it taste good?  here are the answers.

it was in one of the refrigerated sections in multiple flavors, it is kookie karma, holistic carob chip.  it is vegan, hand made, gluten free, soy free.  it is made of almond meal (one of my faves to bake with), xylitol, organic coconut, psyllium, organic brown rice protein, organic brown rice, almond butter, organic agave nectar, carob chips, chia seeds, and sea salt.  it is held together thanks to the almond butter and probably some of those other things, but im not a chef, i just steal other peoples recipes.  its texture is chewy, not too crumbly, similar to any good vegan cookie i've ever tasted.  and the taste is good too.  the first taste threw me and i was a little confused, but then you have to remember that this is not a regular cookie, so once you put it in your mind that this is in a whole other category from typical white flour, butter and egg cookies, the next taste was fabulous, and i almost ate the whole thing on my ride home from whole foods.  luckily i saved just enough to take a picture.

i highly recommend checking out the kookie karma site.  i just did and the story of the creator is really cool.  makes me want to open a bakery with some of my creations, though mine are not as exciting as hers, i wish i could sell a cookie for about $3 a pop.

oh whole foods, you sure know how to find the most expensive food items that i just have to have.

health tip of the day:  stop baking with white flour and refined sugar.  in fact stop buying white flour and refined sugar.  buy at least whole wheat flour, but also try out others like buckwheat (my personal fave) and brown rice flour, just to name a few.  you just have to experiment when you are making your cookies to get the right consistency with new flours and sugars.  i have found that using canola oil or something similar and liquidy helps make a denser, chewier cookie when working with whole flours and unrefined sugars.  

happy eating.

french+japanese+modern art=coolest restaurant ever!

so what is this ambiguous place that i speak of?  royal t cafe, of course.  its website does it no justice, so allow me to blog about it.

first of all is the exterior.  it is a building covered in greenery (fake i think) with a pretty neon pink crown as it's only marking.  anyone who wouldn't know any better (i.e.: me until a few months ago) would believe this place to be a store, or an art gallery.  oh, but it is so much more.

upon entering, you see the barista behind the bar to the back left making teas and all sorts of other yummy concoctions .  walk through the "hallway" which is glass walls showing the store on the left and the current art displays on the right.  we were greeted at the hostess stand by the barista who was wearing all black and at first i was a little sad, since i knew already that the servers were supposed to wear french maid costumes.  within a few minutes though, we saw the server dressed in a cute brown french maid outfit.  they serve brunch from 10-3 everyday, and this time that is what we decided to order.  but first the tea!

The barista took our tea order, we went with a large pot of their special milk tea which is made with black tea, vanilla, rose petals and soy milk, among other things i'm sure.  my husband and i split it and afterward really wished we'd gone with the small pot.  not because it didn't taste good, au contraire!  it was soooooo good and i am particular about my "milk tea" (i usually sip on authentic chai when i go for black tea).  the reason was that the large pot is extremely large for two people to share, so we ended up getting full on just tea. 

then our food arrived.  i went with the spinach and mushroom quiche.  it was alright.  honestly, i was more impressed with the dressing they tossed the organic greens in.  but in defense of the quiche, that dressing was really really good.  my husband ordered the brioche french toast and loved it.  i tried it and yes, some of the best french toast i've ever tasted.  it was covered in berries, and not just strawberries which is pretty typical, but raspberries, blackberries and blueberries (oh my!) it was also dusted very lightly with powdered sugar and had the syrup on the side.  there is just something so much better about brioche french toast than any other style bread.

after our meal we had to look around the store.  it. was. awesome.  i love japanese culture and tea cups and books about art and architecture.  guess what?  the store in royal t has all of that.  plus a little plastic toy dinosaur that was the only thing my husband was remotely interested in which was marked at $100.  not everything was that expensive though, so i look forward to going back soon to make some gift purchases for a few friends!

all in all, royal t cafe is a great modern space that is incredibly eclectic, so it fits my personality and style to a t.  :)  i will go back here, and it is definitely a place i will bring friends when they come to visit!


drunk'n goat in paris

drunk'n goat in paris...that was the name of the delicious artisan sandwich that i consumed friday during my lunch break.  it was perhaps the best sandwich i ever had, which is why i am blogging about it.  buckwheat was my bread of choice, though the sandwich is recommended on sourdough wheat, i couldn't pass on the rarity of a slice of buckwheaty deliciousness.  first they slathered on a generous helping of chevre goat cheese infused with herbes de provence.  next came the granny smith apple slices, sliced ever so thin, ever so perfect.  then was the layer of onions with a balsamic reduction.

stop there, please!  no way this sandwich could get better?!...

well my friends, it did.

next was an extremely generous layer of cranberry chutney.  this is what makes the sandwich.  i have never had anything like it before (a sandwich with cranberry chutney that is, not the cranberry chutney.  i actually have a jar in my fridge, i eat it with naan, both from trader joes.)
but, we are still not finished.  the last part is what truely makes the goat drunk in paris: the brie.  i like brie.  ok, i love brie.  it was a few large slices of brie too.  no skimping here.

all in all, like i already said, best sandwich ever. better than the turkey apple and brie's i used to eat at the artisan in college before i became a veggie. i think this made up for the fact that i walked 8 blocks (city blocks mind you) 3 of them where up a very steep hill, which i didn't know existed in downtown l.a. (guess i need to get away from the office a bit more.)  only to discover when i got back that there was a new location only 3 blocks from my office, no hills.  at least i know that i will be frequenting medicino farms in the future.

did i mention that mendocino farms is a green certified restaurant and that their menus change seasonally to utilize fresh, local ingredients?   green tip of the day: support businesses that take the initiative to go green.  also, buy organic and locally whenever you can.  going to your local farmers market is the easiest and most fun way to do this.


virgin no more

to whole foods that is.

again, i can't believe i have lived in west los angeles for 5 months now and today was my first time at whole foods.  in my defense, i fully intended on going on day one, but i ended up finding everything i needed (and more) at trader joes (which is much closer to my house).  talking to people at work i was ensured that there was no need for me to ever step foot into a whole foods since they are "hella expensive."  up until today i took that advice.  i'm sorry that i did, but my wallet is not.

bulgur wheat is what brought me to whole foods today.  i shopped at pavilion yesterday for my weekly menu (new years resolution #1: cook 3 meals on sunday for the week, check) and was upset that they didn't have bulgur wheat.  this morning i called trader joes, hoping, praying that it would be a new trader joes item, knowing that i'd never seen it there previously.  alas, traders had failed me. 

guess i'll call whole foods (just to make sure before i load up and drive the 3 miles to get there...even though i knew they'd have it.)  

yes, it can be found in the bulk aisle.  score.

as i am google mapping it to find the best route (no thanks, i will stay off the 405 and take the side roads instead), i see on yelp that this particular whole foods nearest to me has pretty awful ratings.  i go anyway.  i think it is amazing and totally don't understand those negative reviews, but i guess i won't try out any other whole foods for good measure.

ok, so i went there for bulgur wheat, raisins, and ginger.  i left with those aforementioned items and an array of flours that i can never find anywhere (take note traders), and udon noodles.  i did good.  no really, i did.  because there is sooooo much in whole foods that i must try.  and i will.

new resolution: go to whole foods once a week and try something new.

i heart you whole foods, but i could really use a salary soon now that i know you.