Category Archives: Vietnamese

Vinh Loi Tofu

Phew!  It was a super busy holiday season for me but I made it through alive.  Now it’s time to catch up on the bazillion blog posts I’ve been meaning to write.  Back before Christmas, I took a break in the insanity to meet up with the lovely Vegyogini of Hugger Food fame for lunch at Vinh Loi Tofu in Reseda.  Vinh Loi has long been on the list of vegan joints I want to check out and I was excited to finally get a chance to go there.

Vegyogini is a regular and knew exactly what she wanted, but it took me a while to browse through the extensive menu.  I finally decided on the Curry Chicken with Rice Noodles, but asked to sub tofu for the “chicken.”  Yes, those are quotes because awesomely, Vinh Loi is a totally veg establishment.  Even more awesomely, their tofu is made from scratch right there in the restaurant!  I couldn’t decide which flavor of tofu to get so they just gave me a melange.

The tofu was silky and delicious.  Mixed up with the curry sauce, peanuts, noodles, and greens it was an awesome lunch and so big that I had to bring some home.  I also had a bottle of kombucha to wash it all down.  It was my first ever kombucha experience and I was very worried after opening it and smelling the strong odor of straight-up apple cider vinegar…but it was great!

I had a wonderful meal at Vinh Loi with the only drawback being that its quite far from my house.  But it’s worth the trip to support such a friendly business that makes their own tofu and soy milk.

Vinh Loi Tofu
18625 Sherman Way #101
Reseda, CA  91335


Crafty: How crewmembers can be overweight even after running around like maniacs 16 hours a day.

Here is Mark, the Craft Service Key on our show, prepping a tray of agave-sweetened iced Yerba Mate teas to pass around as we shot at a ranch in the valley where it was hot hot HOT. Ah Crafty. You are simultaneously my worst nightmare and my biggest joy in life.

For those of you unfamiliar with the art that is craft services, allow me to fill you in. Craft services refers to the food and drink that is constantly provided on set for the crew. It differs from catering, which, according to union guidelines, must provide a full sit-down meal every six hours. On most shows, there is usually a crafty truck, which is like headquarters, with big refrigerators and amenities like a popcorn machine, espresso machine, etc. Then there is the crafty set-up which is usually right on the set where your friendly Crafty team sets up a smorgasbord of tasty treats and drinks which you can spend all day perpetually stuffing into your face. In addition to this constant flow of foodstuffs, crafty provides a “snack” three hours after every catering meal.

Now this snack isn’t like the celery and peanut butter you might give a kid when he comes home from school, the “snack” is basically a full-on meal just like lunch, the main difference being you eat it while you work, you don’t get a break. One day they might have a buffet of thai dishes, another day there might be an array of gourmet sandwiches. Lucky for me, the crafty guys on our show happen to be awesome and they always make sure that every snack has a good vegan option. And I don’t just mean that when they order sandwiches they give me a caprese and tell me to remove the cheese. There is always a substantial, delicious vegan option. This is really impressive considering they go out of their way to do that just for moi, the only vegan on the crew.

Today, for our second snack, crafty had these amazing mango summer rolls. Fresh mango, cucumber, carrots, lettuce, cilantro, and mint were all wrapped up in sesame-studded rice paper. They were huge–actually more like a sandwich wrap than a roll–and I totally had more than I should have. And therein lies the problem with crafty–it’s a daily struggle to resist stuffing my face full of treats all day long. Click here for a very funny and accurate description of craft services from KCRW’s “Martini Shot” series. So if you have a weight problem, you better not work in show biz because it’s a dieter’s worst fear realized.

In other news, if you are in the L.A. area I highly recommend you try to catch the show at Largo at the Coronet tonight. It’s Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen doing one-acts written by Paul Thomas Anderson. Kirby Von Scrumptious and I went last night (tonight is the only other night) and it was delightful! Technically they are sold out but they save some tickets to sell at the door. It was also a starfest–I haven’t been in a room with so many famous people since going to the Grammys. We sat right behind Jack Black amongst others. So if celeb sighting is something you’re into, Largo is the place to be tonight.

Pho du Fafa

Working on A Popular Television Show has its perks. Sometimes a little namedropping is all you need to do to gain access to exclusive events; which is exactly how our little art department got to see the completely sold out Flight of the Conchords show at the Orpheum on Friday.
Before we headed downtown for the show, we grabbed dinner at my new favorite neighborhood joint: Pho Cafe.

Now I’ve never been to Vietnam, but I have been to Thailand and my tailor is from Hanoi, so that pretty much makes me an expert in all things Asian. So trust me when I tell you that the food at Pho Cafe tastes exactly like Vietnamese food should taste. I had the tofu spring rolls and tofu bun (rice noodles), both of which were wunderbar. It’s nothing new, per se–just classic Vietnamese–but its served fresh, cheap, and in a fun place.

One thing that does stand out at Pho Cafe is their vegan pho!!! This is very good news for we vegans who love Vietnamese food but usually can’t go near the meat fest that is pho.

As for the show: our seats were great, the cocktails were insanely strong, and the duo was delightful. I have developed a huge crush on Jemaine who is now sporting a sexy hipster haircut. I know Bret lives in Silver Lake but does anyone know where Jemaine lives? Please advise so I may promptly begin stalking. Thanks!

Pho Cafe
2841 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026