I had one night to have dinner in Los Angeles and while I had intended to go to a place I had never been before, in the end, I couldn't pass up a chance to dine at Crossroads again. Crossroads is one of the top vegan upscale restaurants in the country. Founded by Chef Tal Ronnen who is known for his bestseller, The Conscious Cook, as well as having catered many high-profile events for Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Huffington, and Oprah Winfrey. The restaurant is surprisingly easy to get reservations and on this Sunday night, we reserved the private room.
I will preface this by stating that this is not a typical dining experience because not only were we a large party in the private dining room, we also ordered just about everything and it was all brought out pretty much at the same time so by the time I got to try some things, they were not so warm. Regardless, here is what we had.
I think my favorite dish was the Tortelloni filled with almond cheese and served with oven-dried tomatoes, parsley frisee salad, and spinach cream. Fresh made noodles wrapped around creamy goodness. I wanted to take this one home.
The Spicy Meatball is a flatbread that is topped with housemade meatballs, calabrese peppers, almond ricotta, and micro basil. It just melted in my mouth.
The Artichoke Oysters was a favorite I had from last year. Artichoke leaves are topped with artichoke puree, crispy oyster mushroom, yellow tomato bearnaise, and kelp caviar. So many flavors at once -- fantastic!
The Crab Cakes made of hearts of palm, granny smith apples and heirloom beets were show stoppers as was the horseradish aioli that was served with them.
The Spiced Chickpeas was a simple dish of chickpeas with oven-dried tomatoes and parsley. If you could only order a couple dishes, this may not be the stand-out dish you might hope for. In other words, order something else.
A table favorite was the Hearts of Palm Calamari served with house cocktail and tartar sauce. Crunchy on the outside and tasty on the inside, this dish did not disappoint.
I absolutely loved the Pappardelle Bolognese as fresh housemade vegan pappardelle noodles are hard to find and these were particularly excellent.
The Wood-Fired Bolognese Lasagna is fantastic and a meal in and of itself.
My least favorite was probably the Scallopini Parmesan, which is a deep-fried Gardein scallopini patty with a red sauce.
I also love their cocktails and enjoyed the Sazerac made with Old Overholt rye, Peychaud's biters, pastis, sugar, and lemon twist.
For dessert, I tried the Bananas Foster Trifle made with muscavado caramel and almond cream. It was pretty good.
The Lemon Cake was my favorite dessert though as this crusty little cake was made with Meyer lemon curd and topped with whipped cream and a hazelnut praline. Scrumptious!
What an experience! The service was great, the food fantastic, and the prices very high. All small dishes ranged anywhere from $12 to $20 each and you typically order several. Although I still haven't eaten at all of the vegan restaurants in Los Angeles, I think this is one of the top vegan restaurants if not the top vegan restaurant in the area. If you can treat yourself to just one meal, go to Crossroads.
July 16, 2014
8284 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046