The Four Seasons began offering plant-based options in 2012 and I've since dined there a few times. I'll admit that I usually forget about their restaurants when planning a night out or suggesting places to dine, perhaps because the vegan LA community rarely talks about them. This is why I was deeply grateful to hear that the hotel partnered with Spork Foods to create an entirely gluten-free, vegan menu at their poolside Cabana restaurant! I'm hoping that this gives the hotel the vegan love it deserves.
Last night I joined vegan and travel writers to experience the new dishes and we were collectively floored by the unique flavors and gorgeous presentation. Hear my thoughts in this video:
The new menu items include:
- red bean veggie burger sliders with a house made beet ketchup
- tomato and herb tart with an almond ricotta filling
- battered avocado tacos with house-pickled purple onions and lime crema
- smoked mushroom skewers with a sun-dried tomato cashew cheese
- maple mustard and ginger glazed tempeh skewers over brown rice couscous.
Heather and Jenny, who run an organic vegan cooking school and food company in LA, did a live demo of two of the dishes on the menu and gratiously shared the easy yet luscious recipes so that anyone can experience them no matter where they live.
California Style Brown Rice Cous Cous
- 2 cups brown rice cous cous, cooked according to directions (Lundberg)
- 1/3 cup roasted pistachio kernels, roughly chopped, plus for topping
- 6 fresh figs, quartered or ½ cup dried figs (diced)
- 12-14 leaves fresh mint, finely chopped (1 tablespoon), plus for garnish
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped (2 teaspoons)
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus to taste
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 grilled lemon, sliced into thin rounds *for garnish
- 1 persian cucumber, sliced into thin rounds *for garnish
- Transfer cooked cous cous into a large bowl and add pistachios, figs, mint, thyme, carrot, sea salt, pepper, brown rice syrup, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss together until well mixed. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Garnish cous cous with toasted pistachios and mint sprig and line plate with alternating slices of grilled lemon and cucumber.
Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew Cheese Dipping Sauce
- ¾ cups roasted or raw cashews (no salt)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon light miso paste
- 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon neutral tasting oil (safflower or grapeseed oil)
- ½ cup un-sweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 leaves basil, stemmed *Optional
- In a large food processor or high powered blender add cashews, garlic powder, sea salt, miso, brown rice syrup, oil, almond milk and lemon juice and blend. Add additional almond milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Note: Mixture firms up overnight in refrigerator.
- Finely chop sun-dried tomatoes and fold into cashew cheese mixture. Garnish with fresh thyme or basil and