As an avid UFC fan I frequently watch the YouTube original “Dana White – Lookin for a Fight” and typically on the show Dana and his co-star Matt Serra poke fun at Nick “The Tooth” for being a “vegan weirdo”. While Nick is actually a vegetarian and not a vegan Travis Barker (Blink 182 singer and friend of Dana) got wind of this and asked the crew to try out his restaurant in LA to see if they would change their minds. I won’t spoil the episode for those of you who would like to watch it, but after I saw them try the food I knew that I would want to try this place for myself next time I was in Los Angeles.
Opened in 2013 and located at 8284 Melrose Ave Crossroads Kitchen is led by its founder and head chef Tal Ronnen; who became known nationwide as the chef who prepared the meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day cleanse. The restaurant serves a brunch menu everyday from 10am-2pm and a dinner menu from 5pm-12am Fri-Sat and 5-10pm Sunday through Thursday. Neither my friend nor I are vegans but we made a reservation for 6:30 on a Monday night and were blown away by the experience.
Crossroads is a small plate concept (think Tapas) and the wait staff generally recommends 2-3 plates per person given their portion sizes. There were several specials on the menu the night I went, but my friend and I chose to only order off the regular menu. We ultimately ended up ordering 5 plates total plus dessert with a few drinks sprinkled in for good measure.
You quickly forget that you’re eating at an all vegan restaurant (no meat, no dairy) because each dish is packed with incredible flavor. The Mostacholi specifically had bits of “sausage” that would’ve fooled even the most hardened carnivore.
Sweet Corn Chowder
Mostacholi – I have no idea how they make vegan sausage that tastes better than real sausage, but chef Tal made it happen!
Not pictured but also consumed were the “crab cakes” and spiced chickpeas.
To top off the night I purchased the Crossroads Kitchen cookbook by Tal Ronnen, Scot Jones, and Serafina Magnussen. While the book would’ve been enough Chef Tal was kind enough to sign it for me before I left for the ultimate cherry on top.
Vegan or not, if you’re ever in LA be sure to checkout Crossroads, and let me know what you think on Twitter or the comments below!