Los Angeles always has great eats and sights, but what brought me to LA last week was Seed Food & Wine Week. One of the main events was Seed Grand Tasting, which I’ve described to my Portland non-vegan foodie friends as “the all vegan version of Feast“. I always knew that something like that had to exist, and I’ve finally found it.
Located at the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Seed Grand Tasting bringing together an incredible lineup of plant-based chefs, national brands, and vegan beverages. Unlike its more indulgent and over the top sibling, Eat Drink Vegan, Seed Grand Tasting is a more intimate evening affair with a few hundred attendees and curated small bites and sips. After two rewarding days at Seed Summit, it was time to change gears and switch to eating and drinking mode!
First things first, I kicked off Seed Grand Tasting with a sparkling rose from Vinovore, a wine collective featuring lady winemakers. To pair with the bubbly, I enjoyed Follow Your Heart’s grilled cheese and tomato soup shooter before moving on to Daiya cheese quesadillas, Kite Hill cream cheese crisps, and Miyoko’s cheese cubes (that smoked mozz!). Many people are reluctant to give up cheese, but it’s easy when there are so many dairy-free options on the market. Plus, it’s not that hard to make your own!
Next, I stopped by Miami Cocktail for a blood orange mimosa before wandering over to the chef booths to see what vegan goodness they were cooking up. Citizen Mustard was offering lemon cheesecakes and mushroom croquettes, while Vegatinos had cauliflower ceviche tostadas. Of course, Sun Cafe brought out their award winning kale smoothie, and Ms. Chi Cafe had fabulous dumplings with the right dose of chili oil. Angela Lowe was offering six different bites, including caprese pops, parmesan polenta squares, and mushroom dumplings.
What were my favorites at Seed Grand Tasting? I loved Pura Vita’s Black Magic Lasagna, a magical combination of cashew ricotta, spinach, crimini mushrooms, black truffle cream sauce, and basil oil. Tiny Tiki’s okinawa sweet potato mini pies were the prettiest bites of the evening. I’m a fan of desserts that are sweet, but not too sweet. Everyone went wild for Wild Sunflower’s vegan fried chicken sandwiches and mac and cheese with truffle shiitake bacon. The line was long, but it was worth the wait.
Next thing you know, I lost track of how many glasses of wine I had, the sun decided to call it a day, and the Sweet Beats truck was bringing out its neon lights. And that’s a wrap for Seed Grand Tasting!