On Day Two of Veggie Grill weekend, I woke up bright and early (830am) due to my early retiring the night before. I took a picture of the apple that magically appeared on the mirror shelf (right before I ate it for breakfast) and said goodbye to my room.
Goodbye, snack kit that was too expensive and too adorable for me to snack out of.
Goodbye, fancy bottle of Evian and fancy red glasses.
Goodbye, in-room Martini bar. *tear* I wish I could have known you better.
After I said my goodbyes, I introduced myself to the coffee bar downstairs in the lobby.
Hellooo, coffee bar.
Then the girls and I made it upstairs to the rooftop pool to see what all the fuss was about.
I could kick back here for a few hours for sure. Waiter, where’s my bottle of Dom Perignon?
We met this handsome fella, but had to say goodbye too quickly to him and to the SLS Hotel so we could make the Hollywood Farmers Market.
We met with Ray White, chef and co-founder of Veggie Grill and Therese, Manager of Administration for Veggie Grill, to walk through the Farmers Market before heading to lunch with the two of them.
Valet parking for the Farmers Market, naturally.
Webly, Ray and Therese:
We hightailed it over to lunch, as Michele had to make an earlier flight than the rest of us and we wanted to get her some good food first.
Here are the nachos again. Guys, these are SO GOOD. I can’t even get over it. I ate all of my share plus Jess’ too, I’m pretty sure.
Just look at the cheese. *Swoon*
The chili cheese fries made with sweet potato fries. They’re similar to the nachos, but without the guacamole and jalapenos. I don’t love chili cheese fries (I know, I know), but these were popular at the table.
One more peak at the soon-to-be-famous-in-Portland cheese sauce:
Next up, the Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap. I asked specifically to try this item. For someone who’s never eaten a classic anchoveyed-up Caesar salad, I sure do love my vegan Caesars. This wrap is one of my favorite items on the menu. The chicken is blackened, lending a smoky taste throughout the wrap that really complements the lemony Caesar salad.
The chicken fingers with a side of sweet potato fries and two dipping sauces—ranch and sweet and sour.
I am a sucker for fake chicken. Look at the insides: it’s chewy and flavorful and completely plant-based. The only thing that would make these better were if they were bite-sized little nuggets.
Oh, what have we here? Chicken nuggets. YES. They are so friggin’ adorable. These came with chipotle ranch (YUM) and bbq sauce.
Next up in our Chickenstravaganza lunch, the buffalo chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun. Simple, spicy, perfect.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Jess ever ever.
Next up, the new knife-and-fork (or fork-and-knife? I dunno. How do YOU say it?) entrees Veggie Grill will be rolling out soon.
Chicken fried steak with caulipots (mashed potatoes and cauliflower) and steamed kale, topped with mushroom gravy and miso dressing.
I was so full at this point (probably from stealing everyone’s nachos and chicken nuggets) that I only had a bite. That bite was worth it though.
Next—and final entrée of the weekend, let me dry my tears—is the Portobello steak on top of tempeh with kale, miso dressing and a fresh tomato caprese salad.
Again, I could only get down a bite, but the tomatoes were exquisite. I love that they’re working on more gluten-free options.
New-ish dessert. The chocolate pudding with a sweet sour cream topping and oreos.
This was really good. The tanginess of the sauce mixed really well with the sweetness of the pudding.
We had fun talking about childhood pets, rooftop gardens and local and seasonal produce among a host of other things.
After a long and delightfully funny lunch,we said our goodbyes and on the way to airport, Lonny stopped at Venice Beach for us to get out, feel the sand between our toes, and say goodbye to Southern California.
Oh, you should know, I have the same ratio of beaches with palm trees to amount of photos taken as I do to flowers and sunsets.
I like this guy.
And this guy.
After a tearful goodbye with Lonny (ees joke, I make joke. No tears shed.) we had a remarkably easy check-in to LAX. Well, Webly and I did. Jess had a problem with her huge book looking like water in the scanner. Hilarious. Back home to Portland and the long work week and starting to plan the weekend in Chicago.
I had a great quick weekend in LA. I admire Veggie Grill for their authentic and personable business style and am excited to see them grow. I plan on devouring the nachos, kale salad, chicken Caesar wrap and chicken nuggets as often as possible once they land in Portland.