SoCal Vegans, Help Me Out!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My next wedding adventure takes me to Southern California. Having been a resident of this state for 4+ years, it's a little tragic that I've never ventured further south than Santa Barbara. But starting Friday, my husband and I will be in San Diego for two nights and Los Angeles for three (one of which is our own 2 year anniversary).

Naturally, I'm trying to plan this trip a bit around where we want to eat just as much as the places we want to see. Here's what I've got planned so far, but knowing little about these restaurants, I welcome suggestions for better places to go...

Aug. 7 - We fly into San Diego mid-afternoon and will probably just explore Balboa Park. Dinner at Spread.
Aug. 8 - Spending the morning/afternoon at Mission Beach. Lunch at Vegan Zone. That night: Ali and Quinn's wedding! Yay!
Aug. 9 - Lunch at Rancho's Vegan Deli. I think we may go to the Zoo* that afternoon before driving to Los Angeles. Dinner in LA at Real Food Daily in West Hollywood.
Aug. 10 - Tourist day! Hollywood Walk of Fame, etc. Lunch at one of these somewhat-generic vegan restaurants. Dinner at Pure Luck and then maybe check out Silver Lake. Is there good nightlife there?
Aug. 11 - Our Anniversary! Santa Monica for the day, lunch at Euphoria Loves RAWvolution. (Their website is ludicrous.) Dinner at Michael Minna's XIV, which apparently has a semi-secret vegan tasting menu.
Aug. 12 - Lunch at Cafe Flourish and if we have time, the La Brea tar pits. Then we head back to San Francisco that evening.

So, my SoCal readers, are there any glaring omissions in our restaurant choices? I'm a little disappointed we can't go to Fatty's in Eagle Rock, but they're closed Monday and Tuesday and a bit far to drive on Sunday. I guess there's always next time. Are any of our other restaurant choices bad ideas?

Also, is the tourist stuff we've chosen totally lame? I mean I'm sure city residents always hate their touristy areas. (God knows I avoid Fisherman's Wharf if I can.) But there is something to be said about cultural landmarks. (I still marvel everytime I drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.)

What about night life? Havng to drive every where will put a little bit of a damper on how much we can drink, but where are some good neighborhoods to hang out? (Maybe reminiscent of SF's Mission District?)

Much obliged for any help. Looking forward to some much needed sunshine!

*I know, it's questionable when it comes to animal rights. Feel free to try persuade me otherwise (seriously I may change my mind). But I love animals! I'd hang out with monkeys and penguins every day if I could, and my love of animals and zoos while growing up, I have no doubt, made me more inclined to become vegan. And San Diego Zoo is reputable and huge, not like some sad zoos where the gorillas look depressed, right? Right?? (Yes, I carry some guilt, can you tell?)