Thursday, December 18, 2008

A New Home

After a long drive across our beautiful country, The Food Monster now finds himself in North Carolina. Don't worry, I will continue my culinary exploits but will take a little break while I setup my blogging station. I wanna give a big shout-out to all of my food blog friends of California, you will be missed. 

See you soon,

The Food Monster

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Review of a Vegan Favorite in Los Angeles: Doomie's

This morning, Yo Soy!, my roommate and I were faced with our usual dilemma. Where to go for lunch? We broke it down (for quite awhile) and ultimately decided on the Vegan friendly and supposedly carnivore-pleasing Doomie's Home Cookin. I even read many blogs praising the food at Doomie's, all of whom I have the utmost respect for, and usually am happy with their recommendations.

However, this time it was different. Where should I even begin. I guess I can start from the begininning. After picking the place, I remembered reading about it being dog friendly, so we brought along the pup as well. After making our way through the crowded Chinatown area we managed a parking spot close by. Then a quick walk up the flight of stairs, then nothing... No people, just an abandoned night club, with a sign informing us that Doomie's is not serving French Onion soup today. I was well aware of the fact that the interior left everything to be desired, but having no sign of life was a little bleak. After poking our head inside, we were met with a friendly waitress who was patient and happy to answer our questions. We sat at an outside booth overlooking Chinatown. .

It was nice to have the place to ourselves, and the waitress instantly brought Hayley a bowl of water, after our round of waters. She was was one of the high points of the meal.

Actually, let me go ahead and list the rest of the high points of the meal, before I start railing.

Not Crowded
Fresh Air
Comfortable Booth
Great View
Onion Rings (These things were fantastic, almost rival Home's)
Onion Rings, they were good enough to list twice
Fries, they had a seasoning on it that was similar to the Philly Steak Factory's. A non-vegan heaven.
The ability to split half fries, half onion rings, lots of restaurants are sticklers about this. It's not hard to do people, thank you Doomie's. I would also like to add, that for Quarry Girl, they were able to make the philly steak without the peppers, I myself can't stand Bell Peppers. This was a major positive.
Doomie's now accepts credit cards, which made paying much eaiser for the group.
Pet friendly
Simple things like providing the dog with water.

I started watching, and recently completed the series Arrested Development, so in that vein, I will now downgrade Doomie's from a "Don't Buy" to a "Sell".

Here's why.

Both Von Scrumptious and To Live and Eat, raved about the Mac and Cheese. We ended up splitting a bowl as an appetizer. What a mistake that was. The whole bowl was exactly as Yo Soy described it, "absolutely flavorless." This fake cheese sauce, was the consistency of sticky orange water, that miraculously coated the macaroni in a slimy bath. There were even some of the elbows in the bottom that missed the sauce bath. These tasted about the same and were a healthier alternative than the rest of the bowl.
To Live and Eat, said this about the mac and cheese, "the best way I can describe it to you is to say that it tastes exactly as if it had come right out of a blue Kraft mac & cheese box." As a non-vegan, I know what Kraft mac & cheese is out of the blue box. This wasn't even close, there is no way a vegan switcharoo could ever be pulled on anyone who has had the real thing. Let me repeat that, it was not even close to Kraft. Not that Kraft mac & cheese is something that I would go to a restaurant hoping to be served. The level of acceptability is set at what Taste of Life makes. All other mac and cheese should be as good or better, or not consumed by non-vegans.

My roommate JD, got the BLT.
The main response I got regarding it, was underwhelming. Every meat eater knows, that there is no substitute for Bacon. Tempeh Bacon, Turkey Bacon, nothing else cuts it. Having a menu based on imitating meats, is instantly considered a failure as soon as "Bacon" is added to the menu. It was also underwhelming in portion size. Come on Doomie's, throw some more "Bacon", Lettuce and Tomato on there, aside from the bread and veganayse, it only has three ingredients.

Liz ordered the Philly Steak Sandwich. Bravo for trying to recreate meat. That's all the praise this sandwich will receive. The meat didn't come close. The texture was only a few hundred yards off, and the look was within the vicinity, but this isn't an art gallery people. Try any other Philly Steak, even the bad meat ones, and they will blow this sandwich away. Why on earth would you smother it in the bland cheese sauce that accompanied the mac and cheese? At least there were onion rings and fries on the plate. If you don't know where else to turn try any of these posts.

Onto, the Chili Cheese Burger. This was a terrible burger. The burger itself, was an unpleasant consistancy, complete with tough edges that often comes with microwaving foods. There was less flavor than in a fast food burger. I opted for Provelone cheese. I was horrified to read that the only two options of cheese were Vegan, and American. Neither of which is cheese. Luckily, I saw that Provelone was an option on another plate. The Chili, was to die for and not in a good way. I have tasted some very great vegetarian chilis. This was an imitation of meat chili. Why would you try to imitate a meat chili, when a vegetarian chili is perfectly acceptable and expected from a meat eater at a vegan joint? Grade F on this plate. The lonely slice of tomato covered almost half of the burger. This item needs some real work, or should be taken off the menu immediately.

Finally, we get to the twinkie. I was in utter amazement at this piece of work. First of all, this picture was taken close up, but I think that the plate was close to the size of a saucer, which gives you an idea that this twinkie was no bigger than a cell phone from 2002.
As you can see, the cream that Yo Soy mentioned, is harldy present. Some has sunk down to the bottom, but this Twinkie was drier than my burger. It also tasted like an oddly made cornbread roll. This item, which cost an arm and a leg at $3, was so far away from mimicking an actual twinkie. Again, like the mac and cheese, not something you would want to duplicate anyway, but this item was simply terrible. I don't know how else to describe it. I couldn't wait to get the check and get the hell out of there. Hoping to spot a Pork Bao cart on the way to my car, to feed my hunger that never threatened to leave. Even after a split appetizer, small plate of food and a piece of twinkie.
As one of my last meals in Los Angeles, I was dissapointed and hope this is a warning to all of the meat-eater friends of Vegans out there. Quarry Girl said "i think any meat-lovin’ carnivore could dine out a[t] doomie’s and completely forget they are eating a vegan meal." This couldn't be further from the truth. Please don't be dragged to Doomie's. Go to Flore, Pure Luck, Taste of Life, anywhere else but here. I love the vegans for building such a supportive and friendly blogging environment, but they seemed to have strayed a little from the truth at times. I hope this serves as a wake up call and people can be a little more honest in their assesment of Vegan establishments.

Restaurant rating: D--

686 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(714) 883-7657

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Finally, I am out of my Thanksgiving food coma enough to type on the keyboard. Wow, what a holiday, 5 days devoted to Food, Sports, and Family/Friends.
Here in Los Angeles, the three roomates, Yo Soy and her mother, a couple of friends, and I all gathered for a spectacular feast of gluttony. I will try and talk about some of the dishes in the next couple of posts including this one about Crab Stuffed Mushrooms.
I originally used the recipe for Christmas last year, and it was such a hit. A simple recipe which can be expensive if your crab isn't on sale, but it is worth using real meat. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Banner: Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey day is coming up, and with it comes a new banner at the food monster. I borrowed this .jpg from Amber, whoever that is. So, thank you Amber, and enjoy the new banner. If you would like to make a Christmas Banner, I will be happy to display it. Enjoy all the traditional and non-traditional recipes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Panko-Crusted Turkey Breasts with Pomegranate-Pear Sauce

On Tuesday this week, The University of North Carolina Tar Heels faced off against they Wildcats of Kentucky in a good old fashioned game of Basketball. The place to watch Carolina games is down at Von Scrumptious' apartment, and luckily for the food monster, she decided to whip up her entry into the Pom Wonderful brand Pomegranate contest. Thanksgiving it seems came early when she decided to create what she calls, Panko-Crusted Turkey Breasts with Pomegranate-Sauce. She details how to make the Sauce, which combines pears, pomegranate seeds and a pomegranate juice and cranberry reduction. The Turkey Breasts were moist, juicy, and covered in Panko (or as I like to call it, Plinko, a la The Price is Right), which gave it a lighter healthier flavor than breadcrumbs.

Unfortunately, her Rosemary Red Potato dish that accompanied dish is only briefly mentioned. They were fantastic in their own right, and even better with a little sauce over top as well. To top it all off, she served homemade pumpkin bread to make sure we were all in the holiday spirit. The heels looked like they hadn't eaten in awhile, playing with a hunger to win that Kentucky obviously lacked. The bad news, the freshman seven footer, Tyler Zeller, will be out with a wrist injury for most if not all of the season. Well, at least I have delicious comfort food in Panko-Crusted Turkey Breasts with Pomegranate-Sauce. Seriously, get over to Von Scrumptious' page and try the recipe, you will not be let down.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Frozen Iced Peach

Apparently I love smoothies. This was an attempt at the Frozen Iced Peach, as served at Home Restaurant in Los Feliz, Los Angeles.
Coconut Milk
Agave drizzled on top
Strawberry slice

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Morning Beach Breakfast Biscuits, Los Angeles Style

Remember the Good Morning Beach Breakfast Biscuits? Well, here I was on another vacation, this time in Los Angeles. My girlfriend flew out for 4 days, and we went to the Getty and hosted a brunch among other things. Our teamwork paved the way for some Beach inspired Ham Steak, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Biscuits. For the fruit salad, we added, Blackberries, Raspberries, 2 Oranges, and a large Apple, a little lemon juice and a generous drizzle of Vanilla Yogurt. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Quote About Vegans

"Talking to a Vegan about Food, is like, talking to a Prisoner about Freedom"

The Food Monster

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Banner: Happy Halloween

The Food Monster got a Halloween face lift. I was over at Von Scrumptious' apt the other day enjoying some killer Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta, whole wheat bread, Italian Salad, Champagne and Vegan Horchata Cupcakes (compliments of Yo Soy), and I decided to break out the old Microsoft Paint. As you can tell from the past two banners, I'm no banner expert. If you think you can make a better The Food Monster banner than I can, I will happily put it up and give credit where credit is due. Email submissions to

Until then, get out those pumpkins, carve them up, put out the candy, and feliz dia de los muertos.

-The Food Monster

Friday, October 24, 2008

On The Beat: Smoothie

Momma Fran got me two cookbooks for my birthday. One is Smoothies and Juices: Delicious and luxurious recipes for indulgent drinks. It turns out, the smoothie that I couldn't recognize in my last post about Chili, was in fact an On the Beat Smoothie, straight from the book.

Serves 2
1 cup cooked beet, chopped
1/2 cup Orange Juice, Chilled (I refrigerated oranges and fresh squeezed the juice/pulp)
5 TBSP Plain Yogurt, Chilled
2/3 Cup Still Mineral Water, Chilled

Slices of Orange

Basically blend and serve. I usually have to double or triple any recipe that serves two. The smoothies on a whole tasted healthy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Foodbuzz 24: 24 meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs

Foodbuzz recently launched as we all know. And to get the festivities going, they held the first annual Foodbuzz 24, where 24 blogs, made a meal, supported by Foodbuzz.

Watch the video for inspiration or head on over to

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chili, Red Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Dill, Salad, and Smoothies!

I was talking to my girlfriend one evening. She mentioned that for dinner, she was planning on making Turkey Chili. That sounded good to me, so I got her recipe, went to the store, got some ingredients, then whipped up some Red Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Dill (per Joe's request), made some fruit smoothies, and toasted some lavash bread.

Turkey Chili, Lauren style:
Ground Turkey,
Tomato Paste
Tomato Sauce (I used one can, and one can of Indian Curry Simmer Sauce from Trader Joe's)
GarlicRed Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Dill. Turned out to be one of the best parts of the meal. It truly complemented the overly cayenned chili.
I believe that I used a bunch of Strawberries. I don't remember the other ingredients.
Our friend, Derrick, threw together some Lettuce, Tomato and a light drizzle of some type of dressing for the salad.
The meal was fantastic, lots of food, balanced, soothing and comforting. Make up some Chili and enjoy in the fall or winter!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Foodbuzz Publisher Community Launches:

The Food Monster's Publisher, Foodbuzz has made its official launch today. They have been super supportive over the past three months, and even sent me an apron and spatula. Which I recently used to create Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream. I will have that post up as soon as I get my food photographer's photos uploaded. Until then, wanderer over to and enjoy all of the wonderful blogs, photos, and the foodie community! Press release below:



San Francisco – October 13, 2008: Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.

“Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc. “Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”

Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews. Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions. Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.

“Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.

The Foodbuzz blogger community is growing at a rate of 40 percent per month driven by strong growth in existing partner blogs and the addition of over 100 new blogs per month. “The Web site is like the stock of a great soup. The Web site provides the base or backbone for bloggers to interact as a community, contribute content, and have that content buzzed by their peers,” said Mr. Dehan.

Global Blogging Event

Demonstrating the talent and scope of the Foodbuzz community, 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs offered online food enthusiasts an international, virtual street festival of food and diversity. The new feature showcased blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz partner bloggers chronicling events occurring around the globe during a 24 hour period and included:

· Mid-Autumn Festival Banquest (New York, NY)

· The "Found on Foodbuzz" 24-Item Tasting Menu (San Francisco, CA)

· Aussie BBQ Bonanza – Celebrating Diversity (Sydney, Australia)

· The Four Corners of Carolina BBQ Road Trip (Charleston, SC)

· Criminal Tastes – An Illegal Supper (Crested Butte, CO)

· From Matambre to Empanadas: An Argentine Dinner (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

· A Sweet Trompe l’oeil (Seattle, WA)

24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” captures the quality and unique local perspective of our food bloggers and shared it with the world,” said Ryan Stern, Director of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community. “It illustrates exactly what the future of food publishing is all about – real food, experienced by real people, shared real-time.”

About Foodbuzz, Inc.

Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz, Inc., launched its beta Web site,, in 2007. In less than a year, and its community of over 1,000 exclusive partner food blogs have grown into an extended online property that reaches more than three million users.

# # #

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photo Essay: Sweet Fr î tes! Part 2

You can find Sweet Fr î tes! Part 1 here.
This will be a photo essay of photos John David took on a beautiful afternoon when flowers were in bloom outside, making the famous Sweet Potato Fries. Enjoy his food photography skills.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

5,000 Hits at The Food Monster

Hi Everybody,

During my brief Food Blogging hiatus, The Food Monster Blog reached another benchmark, 5,000 hits! (hits from the former address, don't count). In order to celebrate, I will leave you with some photos of our best looking posts.

-The Food Monster


Dark Chocolate Almonds
Asian Themed Night Part 3: Sushi, Crab and Crunchy Shrimp Roll
Good Morning Beach Breakfast Biscuits
Mango Smoothies

Sweet Fr î tes! (Sweet Potato Fries Part 2, Still to come)
What were your favorite posts/photos?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Food Break

Don't worry, The Food Monster hasn't been taking a food break He is still eating, cooking, and reviewing places. He has just been a little busy. He spent about a week on the East Coast helping to celebrate and attend the wedding of his new sister-in-law Lauren, and his brother Adam. Congratulations to them!
There will be lots to come as soon as The Food Monster gets back into his work schedule and finds some free time.

-The staff at The Food Monster

Monday, September 15, 2008

Homemade pickles

Pickles are easy to make. At least, they were once my girlfriend had taught me. You just need some sort of vinegary solution and some cucumbers. For added flavor, slice a few onions and throw them in too.

Cucumbers, sliced
Onion slices
Apple Cider Vinegar (although, I didn't have any and used 90% rice vinegar and 10% balsamic)
Water (equal parts to vinegar)
Salt and Pepper

Put them all in a tupperware or a bowl with a seal, and throw in the fridge overnight. The serve as a side to anything from burgers to brauts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Guester Blog: Yo Soy!, Rosalind's a review

Here is a post from Liz, the author over at Yo Soy! the vegan blog of choice for Los Angeles. Well, at least the east side. She helped ring in The Food Monster's birthday.

When we asked The Food Monster what he wanted to do to celebrate his 24th year on the planet, he said all he wanted was to find an All-You-Can-Eat mecca. We all did a bit of research but didn't find anything that looked too appetizing (to my disbelief, I couldn't even find a decent looking all you can eat Indian buffet!!! Anyone know of a good one in town?! Preferably on the east side?). Further brainstorming brought us to the idea of Ethiopian Food. What better place to try Ethiopian for the first time than in Little Ethiopia?! With a little more research, we decided to make a rez for ten at Rosalind's.

Not all of the minions in our party were new to Ethiopian cuisine, but we still couldn't really figure out how the hell to order in a way that would satisfy everyone at the table. We ended up just having the waitress bring us three big sampler platters. While we waited, we ordered a couple bottles of vino, including a traditional Ethiopian honey wine which was crazy tasting. It was as if someone had emptied the entire contents of a plastic honey bear into the bottle and mixed in three or four drops of white wine. T'was definitely too sweet for me, but everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. As the food arrived, the vegetarians positioned themselves far from the carnivorous Food Monster and got to work chowing down on the veggie platter.

Ah but first there were the yam balls. This little app was basic but good enough--just balls of yam, lightly fried. Nothing to write home, or even blog, about. So on to the main digs...The platters each had a big huge crepe with dollops of various mushes which one eats with the bread that is provided. That's right baby--no utensils in Ethiopia--you have to tear off chunks of the bread, called enjera, to use as a scooper. Basically, this is a dieter's worst nightmare as it means you have to have a big load of white carbs every time you take a bite of anything. How do those Ethiopians stay so svelte?! The enjera is spongy and sour and has a texture that is strikingly similar to neoprene. So much so, that by the end of the meal we were saying "Hey Food Monster, quit hogging the wet suit!"

The dishes that came on the veggie sampler were collard greens, lentils in red pepper sauce, split peas with onions, steamed carrots, and a sort of pickled slaw. Basically everything tasted good but it was all just different variations on a mush theme. By the end of the meal I felt like I had eaten about twelve times as much bread as anything else. The more experienced Ethiopian diner's among us seemed to conclude that this wasn't the best example of the cuisine, but I think Ethiopian food may just not be for me. It's just a blander version of Indian. At the end of the day, there wasn't really enough substance to satiate all the people we had--just a whoooole lotta bread. Good thing The Food Monster had planned for our next stop on the b-day tour to be at Mashti Malone's!

Guest Blogger: John David, Sweet Frite!

A photo essay of Sweet Fr îtes Part 2 can be seen here.

Sweet Fr î tes!

So now that everyone’s closeted away all their white and come to terms with the dwindling days of summer, I thought I’d finally write my guest blog post on our labor day cookout…now only ten days too late J

The Labor Day weekend up at our little hill-top hideaway was eventful. On Sunday, the whole gang participated in an annual Echo Park Scavenger Hunt—legs were shaven, tattoos were inked, and certain teammates wound up making out in a dumpster. L.A. fun at its finest.

Needless to say, we were all a tad tuckered come Monday. And so the idea of a cookout met only half-hearted enthusiasm and ill-attempts at actually putting together an official mayview barbeque. But of course, the evening rolled around, the food monster and his goons got hungry, and we decided to throw together a late-night, labor day cookout.

One trip to Von’s and one disgruntled phone call to the Von’s manager later—don’t ever solicit a food monster on an empty stomach—and we were back in the compound kitchen, cooking up a spread of Labor Day deliciousness. Uncle Cray made his carnivorous burger bliss; the food monster stirred up some sweet sangria, per my request J; and I tried my hand at hamburger sans viande…a.k.a homemade veggie burgers.

But my pride and joy was beside the soy on my plate: the homemade side sweet potato fries. And so I’ll keep my first guest blog post short and sweet. I know you’re all on the edge of your seats, mouths-watering and patience-waning. Without further ado, the recipe for the perfect post scavenger-hunt, oh golly I have to go to work tomorrow with no eyebrows, late-night, bittersweet, labor day’s almost over and we’re not gonna get another long weekend ‘till thanksgiving, Sweet Fr î tes Sweet Potato Fries:


· 4 or 5 Large Sweet Potatoes

· Olive Oil

· Honey

· Cinnamon

· Sea Salt


· Slice the Sweet Potatoes into hefty slices, based on the particular size fry you fancy.

· Scatter the slices across a greased baking sheet.

· Generously shower the wedges in olive oil.

· Bake at around 375-400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

· 5-10 minutes before removing from the oven, swizzle honey over your wedges and powder them with cinnamon and sea salt.

· Remove, let cool, and enjoy.

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