OK, I know I said I was going to try my best to keep the blog posts local to New England despite my personal detour out west… but I just had to report back on my blogger meetup lunch today. It was awesome for so many reasons! For example:
- I got to meet some fellow health-minded/food-minded bloggers. Lynn’s friends are wonderful company!
- I wasn’t the only one taking pictures of my food!
- How cool is it that I just happened to be in L.A. — the opposite side of the country — at the right time??
- Lynn picked a great spot to eat: Lemonade on Beverly.
I don’t even remember how I first found Lynn’s blog, but we have a lot in common — just for starters, we share a love of healthy food, we’re both actresses (though she’s a pro and I’m not), and we both have struggled with eating disorders in the past. I’ve been reading her posts for quite some time now, so getting the chance to meet her in person was really exciting! The timing of my acting class could not have been better.
Lemonade is cafeteria-style, so I picked out my selections after looking at them (for maybe just a bit too long) behind the glass, and they were promptly scooped onto a plate and handed to me to pay for. (Most of the dishes are salads of some type, though you can get sandwiches and stuff as well on a different price scale.) Definitely the best bargain at Lemonade is the “2-portion” option, which actually affords you 4 choices, since each portion consists of 2 scoops. One portion is $4, two is $7.75, and three (eek!) is $11, so all in all it’s very reasonably priced. The scoops are HUGE, by the way; I’d guess about 3/4 cup each. So why they couldn’t just (more accurately) label it as 4 portions, we’ll forever have to wonder…
I was originally a bit worried that there wouldn’t be many vegan options to choose from, but I was definitely proven wrong on that count. Many of the choices were animal-product-free, and the server was happy to answer my questions about which were not.
After much deliberation I ended up with (clockwise from top left):
- Spaghetti Squash, Farro, Pomegranate Vinaigrette
- Snap Peas, Edamame, Sesame Vinaigrette
- Chinese Long Beans, “Pluot” Plums, Plum Scallion Vinaigrette
- Forbidden Rice, Hearts of Palm, Mushroom, Green Chili
Each dish was simply named after its ingredients. You can see what we had to choose from here (goes to PDF). I very nearly went with the sweet potatoes/pistachios dish, since (as anyone who knows me well can attest) I am a total sweet potato FIEND. But the other, more creative choices won out in the end (after I reminded myself many times over that I have sweet potatoes in the cupboard at home and can make them whenever I want for “free”). Ironically, I wound up wishing I had traded one of my green beany dishes in for the potatoes, since the vinaigrettes on those two were a bit overpowering for me and the snap peas especially had more oil than I thought. All four of my dishes were quite tasty, though, and it was a close tie between the forbidden rice and the spaghetti squash as to which was my favorite.
I was one of the few in attendance who opted not to try a signature lemonade from Lemonade, but everyone who did seemed to enjoy them. I usually don’t drink lemonade because of the tremendous amount of sugar, but ever since I was diagnosed with LPR last month I’ve been trying to stay away from acidic foods anyway. Just for kicks I asked the cashier what they used instead of sugar in their sugar-free lemonade (if it had been stevia, I would have considered it… and if it had been aspartame, I would definitely have NOT considered it). It turns out they don’t use anything! They just remove the sugar and add in some crazy stuff — cucumber, I think, and some herbs? He let me try a small sample. I wasn’t sold on it myself, but major props to them for not relying on sugar for flavor.
The lunch experience itself was great. We all paid individually, thanks to the cafeteria-style serving, sat outdoors and talked. It’s amazing how much community there can be among people who barely know each other!
Lemonade is located at 9001 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA. http://www.lemonadela.com/
[PS: Check out Lynn’s writeup and pictures of the meetup here!]