Saturday evening, while visiting my friend Jack in Los Angeles, I was really excited to have dinner at Crossroads Kitchen because it had been listed as one of the top five vegan restaurants in the area. Upon arrival, Jack and I bumped into Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman + their guests. That’s LA for you! However, they were not the stars that I was hoping to bump into at Crossroads. No offense, they are two amazing actors and I was happy to see them in person, but the star that I was really hoping to bump into was Tal Ronnen, Crossroads Kitchen’s famous chef and also the author of one of the first vegan cookbooks that I purchased when I first went vegan. Tal’s book is called, “The Conscious Cook“. This is vegan gourmet cooking at its best and let me tell you that the dining experience at Crossroads was out of this world!
Crossroads Kitchen is a beautiful restaurant with a dim lit section and a lighter area. The place was packed. The computer system had lost our reservation, but fortunately my friend had their confirmation calls to show on his phone or they would have turned us away! They were very kind to us and found us a place in the lighted area where we sat under a perfectly breezed area of an open skylight window, which was perfect for me to snap a few shots of the food as well. I am not sure if my camera did the food justice.
Our first appetizer: Artichoke Oysters made with artichoke puree, crispy oyster mushroom, yellow tomato béarnaise and kelp caviar. We also indulged in the Crab Cakes, which were gone before I could snap a photo…so delicious, plus the Watermelon Salad and the Farinata. The Farinata seen below to the left is made with a roasted wild mushroom chickpea flour pancake at the bottom and topped with scallion greens, baby arugula, toasted pine nuts and sundried tomato pesto. These were both fantastic!
After these vegalicious appetizers, we ordered the Wood-Fired Meaty Lasagna, listed under the “Comforting Classics”. This was one of the best veggie lasagnas I’ve ever tasted! We also tried the Kale Spanakopita as well as the Wood Roasted Okra. Savoring each and every bite!
Despite the restaurant being absolutely packed, Tal made time to come out to say hello and take a photo with me. I was thrilled and honored that he took the time, because the guy was working hard in the kitchen!
I’d like to mention that the staff at Crossroads was extremely kind and courteous to us, plus our server was very knowledgeable about the food. For dessert we had the Ginger Peach Tea Ice Cream, which was amazing! Bravo Tal and staff!
The final part of this little story is that I’d been given a menu to take, but had left it behind, so while Jack was getting the car I went back in to fetch it. On my return, I ran into Danny Devito who was standing alone at this time. He looked up at me and smiled. I was towering above him on my heels. Devito asked me, “Hello! How are you?” I smiled back and answered, “Fantastic! How are you?” He said, “Great!” I then asked him, as if I was part of Tal’s staff, “How did you enjoy your meal?” He said, “It was wonderful!” I said, “I thought it was out of this world!” And from there we went our separate ways!
Tal Ronnen, by the way, has his own website! Check it out by going to: