The final instalment of our Los Angeles Vegan Foodie Extravaganza is upon us and while I'm excited to get back to regularly scheduled TIV programming, I'm a little sad too, because it's a reminder that the trip really is indeed over in every fathomable way.

While I have been vegan for years now and haven't regretted it a single moment, our visit to L.A. really energized my enthusiasm toward the cause and our interactions with those southern Californians cheerfully serving up veganism's most creative treats rejuvenated my own spirit.

Los Angeles is the center of so much exciting vegan activity and I have faith that the the energy, commitment and enthusiasm generated there will soon make its way around the world. The people opening and managing and running and working at all of the various restaurants I've mentioned over the past week are really on the front lines, pushing vegan innovation into never-before reached territories and inspiring all sorts of change around them. 2011 Los Angeles is proof that veganism is not the restrictive "life sentence" that mainstream anecdotes would have you believe. Its vegans are working tirelessly (and effectively) to abolish the stereotypes of the waif, boring vegan while transforming the scene into something that even omnivores can get excited about. While I was sad to leave such positivity and ethical awareness behind, I was inspired to bring a little bit of it back here to southern Ontario, where we too have many vegans working hard to promote a compassionate way of life.

I also want to take a moment to thank Quarrygirl and her amazing L.A.-based blog. Instead of wandering around L.A. and eating whatever vegan goodies I stumbled upon, her blog helped form our "foodie itinerary" and ensured that we didn't miss some of the best, lesser-known places (like Doomie's!).

So, without further ado, the stunning conclusion to Vegan Adventures in Los Angeles: Native Foods in Culver City.

This restaurant was way, way out of our way on Saturday. I didn't care. After hearing about it on Quarrygirl I knew we needed to make the trek to Culver City before catching the redeye back to Toronto. It was so worth the drive!

We started with Native Chicken Wings
From the menu: Our crispy battered Native Chicken wings. Ranch dressing on the side.

And then I got the Twister Wrap, which was quite reminiscent of the Twister wraps that I lived on during university, made by that evil fast food corporation (you know the one, don't make me say it) - but so much more delicious because no animals were harmed and because they are made with fresh greens that actually taste like fresh greens because they actually ARE fresh greens and not some freeze-dried and browning lettuce-ish garbage.
From the menu: Organic greens, fresh avocado and cucumber salsa, creamy chipotle sauce and your choice of crispy or grilled Native Chicken.

Paul got the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger and my God did he ever pick well. I don't know what in the love of crap was going on with this burger but "magical" is the only word that comes to mind. "Transcendent" might work too. THE GREATEST CREATION ON THE PLANET may seem a big excessive but it is seriously THE GREATEST CREATION ON THE PLANET.
From the menu: Our thinly sliced original Seitan, melted cheddar, caramelized onions, crispy tempeh bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomato and topped with crunchy battered dill pickles chips.

And then we moved onto dessert. Because I wanted something to dream about on that five hour flight home.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
From the menu: Our cheesecake with pecan caramel and chocolate chips swirled in a chocolate cookie crust.

Chocolate Love Pie
From the menu: Thick and lustfully creamy chocolate filling in a delicious spiced almond crust.

Native Foods
9343 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-3601
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11AM - 10PM

And just for the record, we did do some L.A. things of the non-gluttonous variety. Like......

...a visit to Grauman's Chinese Theatre....

...and we saw some stars...

...took a peek at how TV is made...

...did some shopping...

...saw how the other half lives...

...took a drive up the hills...

...visited the Santa Monica Pier...

...and even rode the ferris wheel!


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