Vegan LA Eateries and Instagram Art
Why You Need to be Following Artsy Agnes on Instagram
Photo credit: Anthony Evans
Social media celebrity Agnes Muljadi, best known as @artsyagnes from Instagram (with over half a million followers on the platform), has been dubbed the ‘vegan ballerina’, a nickname that has stuck with her active and engaged audience. Agnes has made a name for herself through her body positive posts and stunning ballet skills combined with her health, wellness and vegan stance on life. With a very poignant voice and style, Agnes has worked with dozens of health-inspired, sustainable and/or eco-friendly aligned companies since her account took off in 2015, including partnering with TOMS, Suja Juice, Reebok, Amazon, Cooking Light, the NFL, and more. Here she shares her favorite, much-frequented food vendors in her hometown of Los Angeles.
Au Lac—Downtown LA
This is my home away from home, with its plant-based, Vietnamese fusion cuisine. It’s a place where patrons can enjoy the creative vision of owner Mai Nguyen and head chef, Chef Ito (a.k.a. The Silent Chef). They established their dual menu of raw and cooked items in 2001, using only pure and natural ingredients that meet their standards in both taste and nutrition. What I love about this menu is that it seems so simple, yet so complicated in its preparation, offering a range of avant-garde and classic, from comforting noodle and living rice dishes, hot and raw soups, to wraps and rolls featuring dehydrated and blended ingredients, palate-opening small plates to order an assortment of appetizers, and uniquely raw desserts with low-glycemic sweeteners.
Chef Ito takes plant-based cuisine to a new level and his dishes are unparalleled to any other Vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. Stylish and sophisticated in decor, Au Lac also offers live music and is the perfect downtown hotspot for a plant-based food lover like me.
The kale-sea salad is one of my favorites, offering a variety in textures and flavors with a crunchy mix of kale and cabbage dressed in tangy, nectar-sweetened teriyaki dressing. The fresh greens are tossed with sea veggies and seasoned, then add dehydrated almonds and pecans. This dish is topped with raw kimchi for a fresh kick and tangy bite with cooling cucumber. Pictured here is a substitution in dressing for a soy-free version, using an umeboshi plum vinegar dressing that provides a similar tang as the teriyaki, but with another herbaceous element from the fresh lemongrass. aulac.com
Spork Foods—West Hollywood
This gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Bell. They offer the best cooking class in town by far and their easy-to-follow plant-based recipes are a staple in my daily life. I love how they use the healthiest ingredients possible to make their dishes, and their space is so cozy you feel like you're having a meal in your own living room. It’s a must.
In addition to the live vegan organic cooking classes, they host cooking parties and team-building events, train chefs, cater, and offer cooking demonstrations to large groups. They are published authors of Spork-Fed cookbook as well as Vegan 101 and teach plant-based cooking all over the country and the world reaching over 10,000 people a year.
These Rainbow Sushi Rolls were infused with blue spirulina for protein, beets for iron, and turmeric as an anti-inflammatory because we believe in using natural ingredients to help support our health. sporkfoods.com
Baby Love Sweetery—Studio City
Baby Love Sweetery is by far my dessert obsession. I first discovered Baby Love Sweetery through Instagram and have since ordered a variety of cakes and cupcakes from Chef Krysten. I love that the cakes there are 100% vegan and soy-free, with gluten-free and low-glycemic options. Both the presentation and taste of Chef Krysten's creations are simply to die for.
After getting to know Chef Krysten through my many cake orders, I’ve found that Baby Love Sweetery is a sweet dream come true for her. It’s her goal to wow taste buds with healthier, organic, and cruelty-free ingredients. In the day of food allergies, she is committed to making sweets that cater to all dietary sensitivities. Baby Love Sweetery offers vegan, soy-free, organic, refined-sugar free, and/or gluten-free sweets that are still light, fluffy, and darn tasty.
She created this stunning mermaid inspired cake for one of her good friends who loves mermaids and is a Pisces. Clearly, she can do anything. She had the vision to make it look like a mermaid was diving into the cake and we are seeing all the mystical elements in her hair; I’d say she succeeded! The cake is a strawberry milkshake flavor and it's 100% vegan and soy-free. Yum, right? babylovesweetery.com