Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mini Vegan Food Crawl through LA

Despite being stuffed at Eat Drink Vegan fest (read about that HERE!) a few Saturdays ago, I was ready to eat all the vegan food all over again when I awoke from my food coma that Sunday morning. Naturally, my friends and I decided to do a mini food crawl of vegan spots in Los Angeles, which was pretty much the best and most delicious idea ever! Below you'll find pics of our vegan adventure, which included stops at Donut Friend, Mohawk Bend, Little Pine, as well as the vegan shop Moo Shoes!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Restaurant Review: By Chloe in Los Angeles, CA

I finally got to try the brand new By Chloe that opened recently in the new 365 by Whole Foods market up in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. Of course, I have been drooling over the original By Chloe restaurants that opened in New York City, so you can imagine how excited I was that we got our very own version here in SoCal!! Since this version of By Chloe is attached to the Whole Foods store, it is a little small, but I think they did a great job with utilizing the space, and there is a variety of seating, from a larger communal-style table, to bistro-type seating and even a few little booths. The design itself mirrors that of the NYC By Chloe restaurant and is fresh, airy, and adorable.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Recap: Abracadaver Productions' Sixth Annual Halloween Market

This year I am thrilled to be hitting so many Halloween events ahead of autumn! I already checked out the 4th Annual Spook Show Halloween Festival at the Halloween Club in March (check out my recap of that event with photos HERE!), and there is July's Midsummer Scream and August's ScareLA Halloween festivals coming up as well! This past weekend was my first time checking out Abracadaver Productions' 6th Annual Open House and Halloween Market, located in Fullerton, California.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Restaurant Review: Zombee Donuts in Fullerton, CA

As I was in the area to attend the sixth annual Abracadaver Halloween Market (read about that HERE!), I knew I HAD to finally make a stop at Zombee Donuts in Fullerton, California. Though this bake shop isn't all vegan, it does offer up a different vegan doughnut option every week. How could I pass on a zombie-themed sweet shop with vegan doughnuts? I just can't believe I've waited this long to visit Zombee Donuts!

I stopped in on a Saturday morning around 10 AM and was immediately delighted by their spooky-chic decor. The store had a lovely gothic feel combined with fun zombie decor! Think the doughnut shop of a gothic princess who also happens to be a fierce zombie hunter! I immediately felt at home, as the vibe was very inviting, plus the service was quick and friendly.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Visual History of Horror from 1895 to 2016

Still from Satan's Rhapsody, 1917

I've already shared this stunning video on my Facebook page and Twitter, but I love it so much that I wanted to share it here as well! A friend (the lovely Mlle. Ghoul of Unquiet Things) acquainted me with the captivating A History of Horror video that highlights one horror movie per year from 1895 - 2016. The 122 horror films were chosen by creator Diego Carrera based on their striking visual aesthetics as well as the impact they had on the horror genre by the video's creator.

Carrera undoubtedly had some tough choices to make, but I think he succeeded wonderfully in his choices! I haven't seen some of the older films, and I'm hopeful I can track some of them down. With the visuals and the effects Carrera added, plus the mesmerizing music used, and I could seriously watch this reel for hours! Check it out below:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Food Review: Two Tias' Organic Tortillas

This is going to be a quickie, because I mainly picked up these lovely Two Tias' Organic Tortillas because of their packaging. I cannot resist any foodstuffs with sugar skulls on it, okay?! I mean, who could?! I found these at Sprouts grocery store, and though I was enthralled by the packaging, I was even further thrilled when I found them to be vegan! I flipped over the package to check the ingredients (as vegans do), and right smack-dab on the package it said "vegan". Plus they are organic/non-GMO and use simple ingredients (basically just flour, water, and salt). Swoon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Scare Zones and Mini Haunted Attractions Unveiled for July's Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival

At this July's Midsummer Scream - California's premier Halloween, haunt, and horror festival taking place at the Long Beach Convention Center - visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the Hall of Shadows dark zone, a haunt whose roaming monsters and mini haunted attractions will bring Halloween to life this summer!

I am really excited for these scare zones and mini haunts: they will be like a delicious candy-corn flavored appetizer to the Halloween season, which is right around the corner! And a large portion of Midsummer Scream is devoted to the haunt and mazes - the Hall of Shadows is more than 30,000 square-feet! Along with mini mazes from some rad local home and pro haunts, there is a full-blown scare zone called Toxicity created by Bone Yard Effects (who create the makeup applications and prosthetics for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios every year) and gravity-defying performances from the Decayed Brigade slider team. It'll be terrifying fun all around!

Below you'll find a little more information from the press release on these haunts that are included with admission to Midsummer Scream:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Recap: Eat Drink Vegan Festival 2016 (formerly LA Vegan Beer + Food Fest)

Eat Drink Vegan!

This past Saturday saw record temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s, but that certainly didn't stop folks from heading out in droves to Eat Drink Vegan, or the festival formerly known as the Los Angeles Vegan Beer and Food Fest! In spite of the heat, it was an incredible event filled with tons of vegan food, beverages, products, and lots of good cheer from those attending! I had a blast, and wanted to share a recap of the fest with you!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Food Review: Pure Genius Brownies and Blondies

Pure Genius Provisions kindly sent me some of their brownie and blondie bars to try, and I'm pretty much blown away by how delicious these are! They come in cute little individually wrapped squares and are made mostly with garbanzo beans, making them surprisingly healthy! Don't worry though, they don't taste like beans - just pure indulgent goodness!

These desserts are not only vegan, but they are also gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and kosher. Pure Genius is also in process of becoming non-GMO certified, so you can soon add organic ingredients to their long list of positive attributes! Additionally, they are only made with natural, good-for-you ingredients like the previously mentioned garbanzo beans, maple syrup, flax, oats, cane syrup, chocolate, and so on - no weird, unpronounceable ingredients here!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

10 Must-Try Eats at the LA Vegan Beer + Food Fest

The Los Angeles Vegan Beer and Food Festival is almost here and I cannot wait! This Saturday, June 18th hordes of vegan and veg-curious folks will descend upon the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to eat and drink all the vegan things! I have been drooling over all the photos from last weekend's Portland Vegan Beer and Food Fest (I MUST go next year), and I am so, so excited for this weekend to get here! I've been stalking a lot of the restaurants that will be serving up delicious food in just a few days, and a few have really popped out at me as being "must-try" eats! FYI - I'm in it for the food rather than the booze, so I don't have any beverage recommendations for you (though I am looking forward to kombucha and cold brew!).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Food Review: Hampton Creek Just Dressings

Hampton Creek has released so many new products lately, and some of my favorites so far are their new vegan Just dressings! These are available at Target, and I believe they are starting to reach other store shelves as well! I got my hands on three of their new dressing flavors - Just Thousand, Just Caesar, and Just Ranch!

All of their dressings are egg-free, dairy-free, and most are gluten-free and soy-free. I have been using them for a month or so now in various dishes, and still can't get enough! Besides these three flavors, there are a lot more, so check your local Target to see what flavors they carry!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Food Review: Gardein Pizza Pockets

Gardein Meatless Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

Helloooooo tasty convenience...these new Meatless Pepperoni Pizza Pockets from the lovely folks at Gardein hit stores in the last few months. I tried them at Expo West in March, and had picked up a box in a grocery store soon after that, but somehow these Pizza Pockets got buried in my freezer (behind the wall of other Gardein products, haha). I chanced upon them in the depths of my freezer a few days ago and it was quite a nice surprise, especially since it was one of those days where I was looking for something quick and easy to eat.

These beauties are shaped like buns, about 2 inches in diameter, and are stuffed full of yummy goodness, including pepperoni and mozzarella. Like all other Gardein products, they are vegan and contain non-GMO ingredients. I was curious to try them, since they seem so similar to Tofurky's Pepperoni Pizza Pockets that came out a few years ago (my review) as well as Gardein's own Pocket Meals that I had tried last year (my review). I enjoy most vegan foods that are fast, convenient, delicious, and come encased in a bun, so I hoped to add these Pizza Pockets to my arsenal of go-to on-the-go vegan products!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Restaurant Review: Burgerlords in Los Angeles, CA

A few months back I finally got a chance to check out Burgerlords in Downtown LA. Burgerlords is a no-frills burger joint in Chinatown with a simple menu, including vegan burgers. They only have a walk-up window where you order your food, but they do have a few picnic tables where you can sit. Plus, it's fun to wander around the center it is located in, which features Asian architecture and a Bruce Lee statue!

Burgerlords only serves burgers and fries, plus a few bottled sodas and water. Their simple burger menu and walk-up window are two reasons they've been compared to In-N-Out. The main draw for me, of course, was the promise of a vegan In-N-Out style burger! I used to love In-N-Out back in my college days before I went vegan, so I was stoked to have the same experience again at Burgerlords.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Food Review: Little Secrets Salted Peanut Dark Chocolate Candies

These little candies eluded me at Expo West, but I finally found them at Sprouts grocery stores! The brand, Little Secrets, has several other varieties of candies that are vegan (the Raspberry and Dark Chocolate), but my heart belongs to these Salted Peanut Dark Chocolate Candies, which are pretty much an exact vegan dupe for Peanut M&Ms, which I loved in my pre-vegan days!

As many other bloggers confirmed directly with the company at Expo West, the confectioner's glaze used in this particular product is vegan as it is derived from coconuts rather than bugs (which is where confectioner's glaze usually comes from, yuck)! I hope more and more companies start using coconuts rather than bugs for confectioner's glaze (Trader Joe's is already doing it in some of their products). In addition to being vegan, I also adore that these candies are Fair Trade Certified and most contain 55% Fair Trade cocoa! Plus, they don't contain any artificial colors, flavors, additives, corn syrup. Just simple, yummy ingredients.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Food Review: Trader Joe's Vegan Marshmallows

Trader Joe's Vegan and Gluten-Free Marshmallows!

Just in time for summer, Trader Joe's has released vegan and gluten-free marshmallows!! I am so happy about these marshmallows and practically ran to my nearest Trader Joe's store to pick some up when I first heard about them. I initially bought two bags and practically ate the first bag in one sitting!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mummies by Candlelight: The Marvelous Dead and Darkness Tour with Dr. Koudounaris

The Mummies of the World exhibition is the largest collection of real mummies and artifacts assembled, providing a glimpse into the lives of ancient people from South America to Europe to Africa to the South Pacific and beyond. The exhibition has been experienced by over 1.4 million visitors across the world, and its limited engagement at the Bowers Museum is the first time the exhibit has been to Orange County! The exhibition teaches visitors about the world of mummies and mummification and shows how modern science helps us understand how and why mummies were created, where they came from, and who they were. 

Ok, as if that awesome description didn't get me hyped enough, I was even more excited to hear that a special nighttime lantern-lit tour of the exhibit would be led by none other than Dr. Paul Koudounaris, author of The Empire of Death,  Memento Mori, and Heavenly Bodies, who delighted so many (including me) at Death Salon in LA last year (read about that here). Tickets included a prix fix dinner at the museum's restaurant, Tangata, plus live entertainment by DJ Decadanse spinning gothic tunes and puppet shows by Rasputin's Marionettes. I was so in (and yes, I made sure Tangata had vegan options before buying tickets)! 

The Marvelous Dead and Darkness Tour was a really memorable event, and I'll walk you through my evening and share my photos below, which includes my overall thoughts on the organization of the event, a short review of the prix fix meal at Tangata (because of course!), as well as sharing photos of the mummies we saw by lantern-light!

Please note: below you will see photographs of real bodies, including some children and animals, so continue at your own discretion.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Watch Now on Netflix: Extraordinary Tales (2015)

I haven't been posting as many "Watch Now on Netflix" articles as I would like and have a lot of (fairly) new Netflix titles to recommend to you that I need to catch up on (hopefully soon, maybe in one big post)! However, when I saw this animated tribute to Edgar Allan Poe's work, I knew I had to write something about it immediately. You see, I have been wanting and waiting to check out Extraordinary Tales for quite some time now, and was ecstatic when it was recently added to stream on Netflix Instant!

This animated horror anthology features horror greats like Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Guillermo del Toro, Roger Corman, and Julian Sands narrating five Edgar Allan Poe tales and one wraparound story. Each animated short is narrated in a different style, with one having a stark graphic novel look, another one looking like a soft watercolor painting, another featuring bold colors in old comic book style, and so on.
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