Note: First Looks give previews of new drinks and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots and interviews with bars and restaurants, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.
Vegan chef Tal Ronnen, who's cooked for stars like Ellen and Oprah, is now opening his first restaurant Crossroads, centrally located in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave. He met his executive chef Scot Jones years ago and went on to collaborate with him on recepies for the 21 Day Vegan Cleanse, documented by Oprah in 2008. Rumors of their new Los Angeles restaurant have circulated since 2011.
"Crossroads is a place where vegans and carnivores can dine together...and a full bar which has never been done at a vegan restaurant before," said Ronnen. The inspiration came from dishes that he ate when he became vegan and the foods he missed (ahem, oysters) when adopting this new diet. Look for creative plant-based small plates like "Artichoke Oysters" and Kite Hill Cheese, Ronnen's new line of cultured nut milks cheeses.
Complementing the vegan menu, pastry chef Serafina Magnussen has developed an assortment of plant-based desserts and over in the bar, the cocktails are all made with seasonal ingredients and small batch spirits.
8284 Melrose Ave West Hollywood, CA 90048 (map)
About the author: After nearly a decade in Brooklyn, Kelly Bone landed back in Los Angeles where she writes The Vegetarian Foodie. She spends the rest of her time designing office cubicles... you might be sitting in one right now! Follow her on Twitter at @TheVegFoodie