Scott and I spent the horrible L.A. heat wave this weekend in a car with no AC driving to Viva La Vegan Grocery in Rancho Cucamonga. It was worth braving the heat because I was on a mission to stock up on more soy curls and check out what new products they had in stock. We usually make 1 to 2 trips out this way a year, we can get a ton of stuff in L.A. but there are some things you just can’t find in town (AHEM SOY CURLS!!) and that’s when Viva La Vegan comes in handy. The store seems to grow and expand its selection of products each time I visit and I was happy to see some items I’d been wanting to try on the shelves.
They have a pretty great selection of dairy-free items like nearly everything follow your heart makes (including their new shreds), the full range of Daiya products, Teese and Tofutti singles. Also they carry tons of Upton’s Naturals and Tofurky products.
Also, they carry a huge assortment of mock meat products to fill almost any void a meat based product has left in your heart and nearly every Gardein product which is nice because the shops in L.A. only seem to carry a few things.
Here is our haul (from left to right):
Back Row – Soy Curls (did I mention I was getting some?), Scott’s favorite Jumbo Corn Dogs, an amazingly priced bag of Himalayan Crystal Salt, Wayfare Pig Out Bacony Bits, Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Broth, Art of Chipotle Paste, and some Kombu.
Front Row – Schmidt’s Bergamot + Lime deodorant, Crazy Rumors lip balm in Orange Creamsicle, Artisan Tofurky Andouille Style Cajun Sausage and 3 varieties of Alternative Baking Company Muffincookies (they had nearly every variety which was amazing).
I was super excited to find both of these. Once I read some Vegan Cuts Beauty Box reviews for this month, I was really intrigued by the Schmidt’s deodorant and they had a sample in the store which smelled sooooo goooood that I had to get it and try it myself. I saw Tashina’s post on Logical Harmony about her favorite products for summer and she had great things to say about Crazy Rumors lip balm and when I saw the Orange Creamsicle flavor I grabbed it without hesitation.
OK. OK. I know I said that I try not to eat fake meat stuff too much BUT the New Orleans girl in me has always looked for a cajun sausage alternative to put in Red Beans and Rice and when I saw these Tofurky Andouille style ones I had to get them, you know for scientific research! I was already planning to post my Red Beans and Rice recipe for MoFo so now I get to experiment and throw this into the mix.
One of my favorite things is the Chipotle Mayo at Veggie Grill and I was just talking about how I needed to make some at home so I was thrilled to find this chipotle paste. I’ll try to refrain myself from putting Chipotle Mayo on everything!
Finally, we get to the soy curls. These are hands down my favorite meat substitute. I love how easy they are to prepare and how they taste. I’ve used them to make Vegan Roast Beef Poboys, fajitas and more. You will definitely see my favorite recipe to use these guys in later this month!
All in all Viva La Vegan has a really great selection and they seem to do a great job of keeping up with what’s new in the vegan world and making sure they get it in the store. Rumor has it they are opening a smaller satellite location in Santa Monica soon (edit: it opened yesterday!) which makes me super excited!!