Sage Vegan Bistro And Brewery In Los Angeles Offers Great Food For All Palates

Monday, August 27, 2018 - by Scott S. Smith

As an editor at Vegetarian Times and Vegetarian World, I’ve reviewed hundreds of meatless dishes at restaurants that were vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian (dairy and eggs used), and mainstream diners. Many of the meals were in the 70s and 80s when plant-based diets were less popular, but the figure of hardcore vegetarians (including vegans) hasn’t risen above the 3% of the U..S. population it was then. However, another 10% of Americans have significantly reduced the amount of meat they eat in large part because the evidence of the health benefits (not to mention lower impact on the environment) have become better known (there is still a lot of anti-vegetarian misinformation out there and I recommend my friend John Mackey’s recent The Whole Foods Diet, written with the two doctors form the recent documentary “Forks Over Knives,” as the best compilation of the global scientific consensus on nutrition).

Today, natural food stores offer every kind of knock-off of foods Americans are used to, making the transition easier. Restaurants are also serving a more health-conscious population, changing the stereotype represented by Woody Allen’s quip in “Annie Hall,” after looking at a “health food“ menu at an L.A. restaurant where I just to work: “Just bring me a plate of yeast.”

For my 68th birthday (healthier and more energetic than when I started this diet when I was 22), my wife, Sandra Wells, and I went to Sage Vegan Bistro in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles near downtown. They serve alcohol, but since I don’t drink and she rarely does, we simply wanted to find out if this place lived up to the hype we had heard.  Even with our limited sampling, we can confirm that its cooks and recipes are some of the best anywhere.

First, we had no idea that there was truly such a thing as fast food when using natural ingredients—you can’t just fry up stuff ready to scoop--and many whole foods eateries only bring the food out after a long wait. Somehow, the waitress brought our dishes out within a few minutes on a busy Saturday at noon, the quickest service we’ve ever had.

Second, both the main dishes were both innovative and delicious to our sometimes jaded palates. From the brunch menu she chose the Dill Cheese Tostada, with a raw nut cheese with dill flavor, plus a cashew cheese with nacho flavoring. Moderately spicy, it also comes with black beans, picked cabbage, avocado, romaine lettuce, and salsa verde.  Very reasonable at $14.

I had only recently seen a pile of jackfruit at the Sprouts Westwood store where I do nutritional consulting. I was surprised and skeptical to see Jackfruit Nachos listed on the menu at $15: how can you make nachos with fruit? But it worked, along with the cashew nachos cheese, black beans, jalapenos, guacamole, picked cabbage, pico de gallo and garlic aioli served on organic tortilla chips (I did not opt for the new breakfast style with tofu scramble and hash browns). This was even spicier than the tostado, which I preferred, though Sandra found it too hot.

For dessert we had a cashew white chocolate cheesecake sweetened with agave that was nicely tart.  We should add that the bottled house water was excellent.

Sage also has locations in Culver City and Pasadena, as well as a food truck and catering service. Check out its menus and easy reservation service www.sageveganbistro.com.

Sage cake
Sage cake
- photo by Scott Smith

Chattanooga Choo Choo Has Santa, Ice Skating And Holiday Shopping

Tennessee Aquarium Holiday Celebration To Coincide With Arrival Of 25 Millionth Guest

This Week's Tennessee Tourism Round Up


The holiday season is upon us, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo is bringing back all the classics. In addition to the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in Chattanooga, Santa will make his ... (click for more)

As host to millions of guests, the Tennessee Aquarium and its many animal ambassadors have created millions of photo opportunities and forged millions of cherished memories over the years. ... (click for more)

Cities and attractions will offer special deals and ceremonies for Veterans Day in honor of their service. Get in the holiday spirit at holiday markets and seasonal musts like Elvis Presley’s ... (click for more)


Travel

Chattanooga Choo Choo Has Santa, Ice Skating And Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is upon us, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo is bringing back all the classics. In addition to the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in Chattanooga, Santa will make his first appearance on Terminal Station for pictures and to take gift requests this Friday. Stepping away from the Choo Choo lobby and into the Glenn Miller Gardens, the Lookout Farmers’ Market ... (click for more)

Tennessee Aquarium Holiday Celebration To Coincide With Arrival Of 25 Millionth Guest

As host to millions of guests, the Tennessee Aquarium and its many animal ambassadors have created millions of photo opportunities and forged millions of cherished memories over the years. With the imminent arrival of the holidays, the Aquarium is thankful for the opportunity to have touched — and to continue to touch — so many lives. In the coming weeks, however, several guests’ ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Jon Hembree Of Bradley County Charged In August Church Fire In Polk County

Jon Hembree, 32, of Bradley County, has been arrested on an arson charge in relation to a church fire that happened in Polk County on Aug. 15. A joint investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and several other agencies resulted in the indictment and arrest. At the request of 10 th District Attorney General Stephen Crump, on Aug. 16, ... (click for more)

Teen On GPS Warrants For Prior Arrests Located At Howard School With Gun In His Locker

/A teen who was on GPS monitoring for prior juvenile arrests was taken into custody on Monday morning at Howard School with a handgun in his locker. Desmond Orando McKevie, who just turned 18 last month, is charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, vandalism, possessing a firearm with the intent to go armed, and carrying weapons on school property At 10 ... (click for more)

Opinion

HES Can't Be Matched, Replicated Or Cheaply Duplicated

As a volunteer at the Humane Educational Society for four years, I have first-hand knowledge of the work this organization does and the conditions it has to overcome to do it. The 118-year-old facility in which the administration, staff and volunteers work every day is at the end of its road. A new shelter space is more than warranted. The good news is that there are county funds ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Thanksgiving Request

Just what if … this Thursday you could say "Thank you" to someone who, chances are, you never met nor even heard the other’s name? There is also no way you’ll ever get a thank-you note, nor have your Sunday School class friends at church whisper how much they richly appreciated your kind thoughtfulness, secretly aquiver that you will not tell them what it was that earned such praise ... (click for more)