The Noochy Noodle

a world beyond the blue box

Los Angeles Tour de Macaroni

After finals were over my boyfriend and I took a trip to LA. It seemed like every restaurant had macaroni and cheese on the menu! You would think I would be in heaven and never want to leave, but you would actually be wrong because quite a few of the macaroni and cheese I encountered was made with Daiya (or even Follow Your Heart once!) and/or quinoa pasta. I hate quinoa pasta (brown rice pasta is where it’s at!) and I hate Daiya (and FYH cheeses!). So my excitement tends to immediately turn into extreme disappointment if I see either of those words. But you know what? I’m a dedicated blogger so I order it anyway. I suffer for you people.

When we arrived in LA we headed over to Madeleine Bistro for dinner. It was their final weekend in business so we wanted to make the most of our meal. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a macaroni and cashew cheese with quinoa pasta , so I ordered that as a side dish. At $6 for about half a cup of macaroni I had high expectations.

While I thought the cashew cheese sauce was really good, even getting up there with my favorites like Homegrown Smoker and Homeroom, the flavor of the quinoa pasta really overpowered the rest of the dish. I totally understand and support wanting to provide options for gluten free patrons, but I know that there are gluten free pastas out there that don’t taste weird! Use those instead please!

The next morning we went for brunch at Sage Organic Vegan Bistro in Echo Park. I just about had a total psychotic break when I saw you could order mac n’ cheese for brunch. And smoked macaroni and cheese with a biscuit and walnut sausage at that! It’s like my childhood dream had finally come true! I’m an adult! I can have whatever I want for brunch! Hooray!

It was as amazing as it looks. The flavor was unique; the smokiness, while subtle, really helped the dish stand out against the dozens of of other vegan mac and cheese dishes you can get in LA. Highly recommended!

I would have ordered the Daiya based mac n’ cheese at Native Foods when we went for lunch, but it was on the kids menu and they have a strict (I’m not really sure how strict, actually) 10 and under policy. So, I got to dodge that bullet! Phew.

For first dinner Saturday evening we went to Stuff I Eat, a soul food restaurant in Inglewood. Alex and I shared a Soul Food Platter.

Now, I say first dinner because neither of us were very into it. The macaroni and cheese is just made with melted Follow Your Heart. Do with that information what you will, but I could not eat it. If melted FYH is your thing then go for it! Ignore everything I’ve said! The rest of the food was a bit underwhelming, and we both already don’t like yams, so we just decided to have second dinner.

Second dinner was at Veggie Grill! And hey, what do you know? they have gluten free macaroni n’ cheese made Daiya! I ordered a Santa Fe Chickin’ Sandwich with a side of the Mac-n-Cheese.

As I expected, it tasted like Daiya! I will say some nice things. The texture here was much better than other Daiya based mac n’ cheeses I’ve tried; It didn’t stick to the inside of my mouth or coat my tongue as much! And this time the pasta tasted better since it was brown rice instead of quinoa. That being said, I only took a few bites.

So in review that brings us to 3 macaroni and cheese dishes ordered on Saturday with two being kind of gross and one being really awesome! You can’t win them all, I suppose.

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9 responses to “Los Angeles Tour de Macaroni

  1. Megan May 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    That MB mac n cheese is fucking HUXpensive. Jeez!

  2. Christopher May 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    That smoked mac and cheese sounds awesome. I’m not a big fan of quinoa pasta either. Tried it once, and I like quinoa, but it’s not a flavor I’m looking for from pasta. And daiya is something to use sparingly. I know what you mean about being slimed.

  3. veganhomemade May 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Say whaaa? Quinoa pasta is the best! Okay, I guess it’s subjective. Thanks for tasting all of these in the name of science!

  4. Tree Kisser June 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Two things-
    1) I’m confused, I work at Madeleine’s and we’ve always used rice pasta! I wonder if you were misinformed, or if there was some random change the night you were there! Also, next time you go (when we eventually reopen), demand portabello bacon crisps on top! They come with the entree, not the side, but if you’d mentioned you were running an incredibly necessary (I say that in all seriousness) vegan mac n cheese blog, I’m sure they would’ve provided some! They pull the entire dish together for me.
    2) Holy. Crap. That Sage mac n cheese looks insane. I am scheduling a dinner there immediately.

    • Kristen June 4, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Damn! Now I’m doubting myself, but I’m 99.8% sure it was quinoa. It certainly tasted like quinoa and not brown rice pasta. I am willing to admit I may have been confused, but I guess we’ll never know the truth. Portobello bacon crisps sound absolutely amazing, I’m sad I missed out!

  5. quarrygirl June 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    sage started making their mac and cheese as FRIED BALLS. it’s insane.

  6. seb August 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    the veggie grill mac and cheeze looks exactly like Amy’s brand frozen vegan mac.

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