If you think being vegan is difficult, imagine being vegan in the 50s. It was rare and the word "vegan" was even more alien than it is now (it's slowly becoming mainstream). Back then, there was no such thing as a vegan restaurant (let alone a fine-dining restaurant) in the way we have them now and companies dedicated to solely making vegan products were, for the most part, non-existent. Today's vegan - on the other hand - is completely spoiled, especially in Southern California. You can't throw a rock these days in Los Angeles without hitting a vegan, vegetarian, or completely vegan-friendly restaurant. I must admit - it's the hardest part of relocating to San Clemente (South Orange County). Vegan restaurants are far and few between here compared to LA so we eat at home 99.8% of the time.
Vegan Fine Dining in West Hollywood
That's why it's a treat to retreat to the Mecca of vegan deliciousness - Los Angeles - every month or so to enjoy a favorite restaurant. Crossroads Kitchen is one such favorite. It's on Melrose Ave. and was created by Chef Tal Ronnen. VegNews awarded Crossroads the 2013 Vegan Restaurant of the Year and it's been showered in accolades ever since. Crossroads is fancy fine-dining, fit for the fanciest of patrons (we've seen a handful of celebs there), and features food that's guaranteed to delight vegans and non-vegans alike (or pre-vegans, as I refer to them).
In fact, it was Pete's pre-vegan brother, Matt, that told us about Crossroads when it opened a couple of years ago, so take his word for it if you don't trust a vegan's word. Matt's vegan friend took him there and then Matt raved to us about the food. We recently visited for brunch (they're now open 7 days a week for brunch!) and we were lucky enough to go again for dinner a couple of weeks later.
Dinner at Crossroads Kitchen
Let's start with dinner! Our dinner favorites from Crossroads Kitchen...
Baby Beet & Citrus Salad
Spicy Meatball Pizza - too much yum without the feeling over being too full.
Artichoke Oysters - I've never been a fan of seafood, even before being vegan, and this dish makes sure I can enjoy some cruelty-free Oyster fun! I love this dish!
Tortelloni - very comforting and classic.
Tagliatelle Bolognese - a dish that will leave you so satisfied... you'll swear it the "real" thing, grapefruit & orange & a balsamic gastrique. This is probably our favorite dish on the menu and we have even ordered it twice in one sitting before.
New York Style Cheesecake - Don't forget about dessert! This dessert satisfied my sweet-tooth without being over the top, and without leaving me with a stomach ache. Thumbs up!
Look My Way - Yummy mezcal at its finest! I'm a sucker for mescals and tequila. Smoky and spot on.This was my favorite!
Cause For Alarm - more tequila coming up... this time with a sweeter side. They've done it again!
We met Pete's parents at Crossroads Kitchen for brunch and got to try a nice array of items! Unfortunately, I always get the weird looks for taking photos of everyone's food so I only snapped a few, but trust me when I say, the photos don't do the food justice anyway! You have to go to understand the Crossroads experience.
Crossroads Benedict - A vegan version of the classic with shitake bacon, tomato hollandaise, and we got the fingerling potatoes on the side. Super savory and fulfilling, I love the addition of the shitake bacon which adds a nice smokiness to the dish.
Chicken & Waffles - I couldn't resist! No animals harmed for me to get my gluttony on. This version comes with a warm maple sauce that has a kick to it - they added chili. This was the perfect touch for this dish. I personally don't prefer the fake meats but the chicken was tender and flavorful, and the portion size was perfect. I slathered their cashew butter all over and ate every last bite.
- Kite Hill Cheese Plate - yum.
Meatball Sub - Classier, healthier, and without the cruelty, this vegan version of the classic features vegan meatballs made in house, almond ricotta, and a baguette that is, in and of itself, an experience.
Tomato Bisque - velvety & creamy. Once of my favorite soups and they've done it perfectly.
New York Style Cheesecake - The perfect consistency of sweet almond ricotta, topped with caramel pecan praline.
and a Cappuccino with almond milk to finish it off.
8284 MELROSE AVENUE,
Los Angeles, CA 90046