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Tag Archives: Canoga Park

Follow Your Heart, Canoga Park

I’m very lucky to live near one of the best vegetarian health food markets in LA.  Follow Your Heart is a vegetarian market with a restaurant as well as a yoga studio.  The company is responsible for the many popular Follow Your Heart products including as Vegenaise, Vegan Gourmet Shreds, and various vegan salad dressings.

FYH Exterior | A Vegan in Progress

The first time I visited Follow Your Heart, I wasn’t vegan.  I went with my younger, longtime vegan sister and I had a hard time finding anything I wanted to order.  I was a little less than willing to try new things.  I don’t know if I ordered something that just wasn’t all that good (I don’t remember what it was) or if it was because I went in with a bit of a closed mind, but I was not a fan.

However, my sister very graciously invited me to dinner after staying over at our place and she loves Follow Your Heart, but doesn’t live close enough to dine there regularly.  So, I was looking forward to trying it again, this time with an open, vegan mind.

Be warned if you happen to visit, when you walk in to Follow Your Heart, you will feel confused and lost.  You enter in the market, near the registers… just walk past them and all the way to the back.  In the back corner is the entrance to the restaurant.  It is even tinier than the market.  Don’t let that discourage you, it’s perfectly fine that way.  In fact, this just means that you will be in closer proximity to the celebrities who dine there.  Seriously, one time Allison and I saw Travis Barker and his son there.  We were led to the patio out front, which was nice.

I ordered the Nutburger, vegan.  It’s described as “A Nut and Vegetable Patty on a Toasted Whole Wheat Bun, Baked with Raw Rennetless Cheddar Cheese, and Topped with Sprouts, Tomato, Pickles, Vegenaise, and our Special Sauce.”  It tasted great, especially with the Wizard Sauce (request it – that stuff is tasty).  The nut and vegetable patty was not very firm.  It wasn’t sloppy, but it did fall apart just a little bit.  I’m not usually a fan of big piles of sprouts, but they went really well with the burger.

Allison always wants us to look like we are insane diners for blog photos.  Don’t mind our insanity.

Allison ordered the Organic Tempeh Tacos, vegan.  They are decribed as “Two Organically Grown, Stone Ground Corn Tortilla Shells, Filled with Seasoned, Grilled Organic Tempeh, Jack and Raw Rennetless Cheddar Cheese, Tomatoes and Fresh Cilantro. Served with Organic Spanish Rice, Organic Black Beans Guacamole, Sour Cream and Lime Wedges.”  She loved it, especially with some added Wizard Sauce.

We both ordered the vegan chocolate shake, after confirming that it doesn’t contain bananas (I’m allergic); Allison ordered extra chocolate.  I found them really bland, not all that creamy.  I’ve made better vegan chocolate shakes myself (check out the post on that), so I don’t think I’ll order that again.

Vegan chocolate shake, Follow Your Heart | A Vegan in Progress

I’m will definitely be dining at Follow Your Heart again if Allison has anything to say about it!  I’m also likely to stop by to pick up hard to find vegan products since the market is on my way home from work.  Definitely worth stopping in if you’re in the area!

Hana Grill, Canoga Park

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Eric and I had to stop at the mall last week.  Since we went straight after work, we were quickly hungry.  We decided to make a lap around the food court and see what we could find.  Literally the second place that we passed had a small, printed sign saying “vegan bowl.”  We stopped and I asked what was in the vegan bowl.  “Soy chicken,” he replied.  My search ended there.  I had to try it.

I ordered the vegan bowl from Hana Grill for $9.77 including tax.  They offered free, chilled cucumber water with your meal, which was really nice.  When I got my bowl, I was initially very wary, because it looked so much like chicken!  I was concerned that maybe they had accidentally given me actual chicken or that maybe their little “vegan bowl” sign was just a ploy to get customers without intending to actually provide what people ordered.  I had Eric taste it and he wasn’t sure, because it tasted so much like chicken!  I resorted to stabbing a piece with my fork and holding it up to look at the texture.  I noticed that, instead of fibrous lines (as grilled chicken usually has), it had what looked like minuscule bubble marks.

Hana Grill Vegan Bowl | A Vegan in Progress

Hana Grill Vegan Bowl with soy chicken

I was confident enough to try it at this point and it was delicious!  I swear it tasted almost exactly like the real thing!  When I went back for a take-out box (it was a pretty large serving and I couldn’t finish more than half), I asked if they make it themselves or buy the soy chicken.  The cashier said that they buy it.  I’m still really curious and would like to order some myself if possible.  Next time I’m there I’ll see if I can get a brand name out of them.  From what I gather from a quick search online, they are a small chain in the LA area.  It you’re near one, try it yourself!