Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Maddy's Sweet & Savory

Los Angeles has long been awaiting the opening of Maddy's Sweet & Savory on Pico Blvd. in Century City.  Years ago, Chef David Anderson and his incredible business partner wife Molly drastically scaled back the hours of their fine dining restaurant, Madeleine Bistro, to the point that it's essentially closed in order to create this new gelateria.  I have been especially excited because Maddy's is right down the street from my office, making it the closest vegan restaurant option during work days. 

Maddy's has been intermittently open for special tasting days since Mother's Day, but today marked the beginning of their first full week being officially open.  The early tasting days offered take-away items and Chef David's dreamy gelato in a multitude of classic and innovative flavors including mint chocolate chip, cheesecake, bananas foster, vanilla bean, amaretto, and almond brownie fudge.  Chef David creates the gelato using several different bases: soy, almond, and soon-to-be coconut, all of which are creamy and rich.

On my first tasting day visit, I chose scoops of peanut butter chunk and pistachio. 

I stayed several hours past closing, catching up with Chef David and Molly, whom I've known for about 8 years since they first opened Madeleine Bistro.  They generously sent me home with a take-away Eggless Tofu Salad Sandwich (mayo, lettuce, and tomato), crudite with house-made ranch dressing, and cranberry almond scones.  These are great options for a quick lunch on the go and afternoon snacks, each perfectly delicious in their comfort food simplicity. 

On my second visit, Maddy's was open on a Friday, testing their fresh-pressed panini sandwiches.  I popped in on my lunch break to order this warm, slightly spicy, sauce-dripping Cajun Caesar Panini (blackened seitan, caesar dressing, lettuce, and tomato), which I ate at one of the reclaimed wood tables.  Chef David chatted with those of us in the cafe while he made our panini to order.  The intimate, mom-and-pop way that Chef David and Molly run their restaurants is what has always brought me in again and again.  I feel like we're family when I'm there.   

Of course, I couldn't pass up a small cup of gelato.  This time, I ordered peanut butter chunk (again because it's so good!) and chocolate-cream cheese walnut.  The latter being a deep chocolate gelato with profound hints of caramel that made this creation an instant favorite.  (The book in the background is the beautifully-written, intelligent, and fun On Celestial Music by Rick Moody.)

Now that Maddy's is truly open for business, their hours are noon to 8 daily (closed Mondays).  They will have a constantly changing, rotating menu of made-to-order panini, tossed salads, take-away sandwiches, salads, artisanal cheeses, sides, pastries, made-to-order organic juices, iced coffee, kids' beverages, and a myriad of heavenly gelato flavors.  It's a wonderful place to grab lunch in the middle of the work day or to have dinner before or after seeing a movie at the Landmark theatre directly across the street.  Century City has been in desperate need of a vegan restaurant and I'm thrilled to have delicious, lovingly-prepared food right down the street.

Maddy's Sweet & Savory
10893 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 446-1965

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Vegan Hawaiian Fried Rice

One of the items on my to-do list this weekend was choosing a new RSS reader since Google Reader will be permanently disabled as of July 1.  Quick research revealed this article and I chose Feedly.  The best part of Feedly that I've noticed so far is that I simply logged on with my Google account info and all of my subscriptions showed up; I didn't have to transfer my subscriptions one-by-one as I'd feared.  I'm seeing one downside, which is that the reader is an app and I doubt I'll be able to download the app on my work computer.  [ETA:  I had no trouble with Feedly at work.]  Otherwise, I'm very happy with Feedly's features and layout.

Do any of you remember Veggie Life magazine?  It was a vegetarian quarterly that ceased publication many years ago, which leads me to believe it's acceptable to publish this Hawaiian Fried Rice recipe from the Summer 2002 issue.  I used to make this recipe very often, but I haven't made it in years.  It's the only recipe I tore out when I donated all of my back issues.

Original recipe:

2/3 cup sliced mushrooms
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup vegetarian soy ham, finely diced
6 cups cooked white or brown rice
3 to 4 green onions, sliced
5 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetarian chicken-flavored seasoning

1.  In a large skillet or wok over high heat, stir-fry mushrooms, celery, carrot, and onion in oil (or vegetable broth) until tender, about 3 minutes.
2.  Add veggie ham and stir-fry 1 minute.  Add green onions, soy sauce, and seasoning.  Stir-fry until hot, about 4 minutes.  [My note:  Fold in the rice until thoroughly combined.]

My version:

2 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup shredded carrot
2 small zucchini, shredded [I don't normally include zucchini, but I had a ton in the fridge]
1 package Lightlife Smart Deli Baked Ham Style, cut in a small dice
6 cups cooked brown rice
2-3 T soy sauce (to taste)
2 T vegan chicken-flavored broth powder [mine is from the Whole Foods bulk bin]

1.  In a dutch oven or wok over medium heat, stir-fry celery, carrot, and zucchini until tender, about 5 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, in a separate non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook the vegan ham until slightly crispy.
3.  Add the rice to the veggies and stir to combine.  Then, add the soy sauce and broth powder and stir, making sure the seasonings are evenly distributed.  Finally, add the vegan ham and stir once more to combine.  Heat through and serve.