Veggie Grill in LALA Land, Part Two


Read Part One here.


After lunch at Veggie Grill in Santa Monica and a view of the kale machine (perhaps it’s not so revolutionary as we thought, Karla. But it was still cool!) we headed out with Lonny to the Getty Museum. Fun side note: Just as we left, Alyson Hannigan (Lily from How I Met Your Mother, one of my favorite sitcoms) came in. I didn’t get to see her, but I’m content with an almost celebrity sighting.

Onwards to the Getty!




I had been to the Getty Museum years ago with my friend Jordan, but that was back in the day when I had a disposable camera and the only pictures that turned out were a few off-center self portraits and a foggy picture of LA. This day was sunny and the museum was crowded and the exhibits I saw were striking.

Look, a bug in the museum.



I really dug the exhibition called Narrative Interventions in Photography. <– No pictures allowed, but this link will take you to pictures on the Getty’s website. I encourage you to click through—there’s great photos of words/narrative interacting with nature in the most peculiar and striking ways.



Anyway, since I couldn’t take pictures inside, I focused on being outside in the gardens as much as possible.









Such a gorgeous day for photos. Lots of pretty flowers, too.

And I can’t help but take pictures of pretty flowers. It’s a ratio; the prettier a flower or more striking a sunset, the more photos I am required to snap—and share with everyone I know (including you guys).







Remember when I traveled through Turkey just over two years ago and drank fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice on the streets of Istanbul? That was so awesome.


See the bee??





My favorite picture:


My second favorite picture:


The most adorable flower in the flower garden:






And LA was sort of smoggy—go figure—but still looked cool.





Jess and I tried for a few cute shots together. I tried on her glasses for fun, but I just looked like her dorky little sister.




As the sun started to set, I wandered back to to tram. We had walked the 1/2 mile up from the parking garage, but I was certainly feeling the tram ride down would be warmer.






Once we made it back to the car—and Lonny—and regrouped, we drove back into the city, through Rodeo Drive and to the hotel.


So much bling to make this city go round.

We made it back to the hotel just in time for cocktails at Bazaar with Greg Dollarhyde, CEO of Veggie Grill, and Heather, director at Blaze PR. No time for changing, straight to drinks. Such is the life.

I was woefully unprepared to order and settled on two of my current favorite go-to’s both times I ordered: Gin (Hendricks for me) Martini straight up with a twist and a classic Negroni (not pictured, but served on the rocks at Bazaar).


Jess branched out to try a crazy deconstructed olive foam martini thingy (Whoa.)


Michele and Webly tried crazy nitrogen-y drinks.



The magic!


A few requisite group shots:



(You can spy my beloved Our Hen House bag under the table.)

Note: the couple in these group photos also came down from Portland for the weekend. They jointly write a food blog and spent parts of the weekend with us.

After cocktails, we took a brief respite in our rooms to, you know, breathe. And because with fancy rooms with turndown service, we had to spend a little time in there, using up the q-tips, fantasizing about the martini bar and doodling on the stationary. Well, that’s what I did.

We met in the lobby and waited for the BMW (value: One hundred thousand dollars. I would write that in numerical form, but I don’t even know how. It’s too big.) to pick us up and drive us to dinner. While waiting, Jess and I had a glass of expensive bubbly in the lobby. As we do. Michele and and Webly stuck with water.




Once our driver picked us up, he regaled us with more stories than I thought possible on a 1.8 mile drive. He had been at Hyde the night before (to my knowledge, Hyde is an uber-Hollywood club with celebrities and expensive people drinks). I sat shotgun, so he showed me a picture on his phone of him downing a bottle of Dom Perignon at the club.

Whoa. LA life is crazy. I love hearing stories, but I think it’d be a bit much for me to actually live. Not the Dom Perignon part though. I could easily chug bottles of champagne at clubs every weekend. Vegan Thug For Life.

I just looked up what kind of BMW SLS Hotel has. Here’s the info:

At SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, guests can experience BMW’s new ActiveHybrid 750Li – the world’s fastest, street-legal hybrid – providing a chic and exhilarating ride underscored by a custom musical playlist curated by SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.


We got to our destination, Mao’s. Cheap Chinese food? Nothing sounded better. Michele used to walk here for dinner back when she lived in LA (I know, she’s glamorous!!).


We started with a freshmade Ginger Lemonade and complimentary fried wonton chips with dipping sauce.




Next up: round of appetizers: spring rolls ($1 each. Food for the people, friends, food for the people), green onion pancake thingy and little mushroom veggie pot stickers.




Fried Rice. Michele knows how to order.



Green beans and tofu. Webly knows how to order too.



Chow Mein with soft and chewy noodles. Jess and I shared this and liked it, but still had a lot of leftovers after eating so much all day. This ended up on the inside of my bag after my flight home. Now we know why it’s a bad idea to place an unwrapped takeout container of Chinese food on the plane in your new orange bag. I should have left it with Lonny.


After dinner my new friend Denny came back in the BMW to pick us up. It was after 10pm by this point and though we had tossed out the ideas of going to a comedy show or back to Bazaar for crazy deconstructed drinks, we were wiped. We all just kind of looked at each other and our eyes said to one another, “Yeah, I’m fine just tucking in for the night.”

One elevator ride up with our fancy and attractive 1-dimensional friends (they didn’t talk much, and never seemed to leave the elevator), I ended up back in my room.


See, they won’t even make eye contact with us.





Anyway, I dorked out over actually having a tv to watch Saturday Night Live on. I climbed into bed, turned on the mirror and fell asleep before the opening monologue was over.

This is how the tv worked—I swear, it felt just like turning the mirror on. Also, I swear I’m wearing pajamas. It’s a weird angle.



And that sums up Day One! I’ll post the third and final post this week, before I head to Chicago this weekend. Jess, Michele and I are headed there to do location scouting for Vida Vegan Con 2.0 in May 2013. From sundresses to snow shoes, this is a travel-heavy month, and I’m loving it!

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About Janessa

I'm a travelin' vegan gal, event planner & writer who loves eating, drinking, hiking, biking, reading, writing, loving, scheming, learning, laughing, champagne-ing and gerunds.
  • I’m loving your travels! Can’t wait to hear how Chicago goes!

    • Janessa

      Thanks JL! I’m having such a fun 2012 already!!