I grew up eating meat and seafood. Culturally, that has always been part of my food pyramid along with rice and noodles. I wouldn’t consider myself as a diehard meat fanatic, but I am someone who does not want to entirely sacrifice meat or seafood. Some would call me an animal killer, but I rather call myself a holistic eater.
Before my mom passed, she would reserve two days of the month to eat veggie meals- the first and fifteenth of the month based on the lunar calendar. This is a Chinese custom and if I’m being honest, I don’t know much about the lunar calendar or Chinese traditions simply because I’m more “American” than Chinese. I hate to admit that I drifted away from my Chinese counterparts; it is just something that happened overtime after attending American schools. My mom was the glue that kept me in line with these Chinese customs, which is one major reason why she’s so important to me. With or without her here, she is still the “glue.” Because the first and fifteenth was so important to my mom, I’ve made it part of my ritual to only eat veggie food on those two days. It is a way to honor her and it has not been difficult since I’ve been open to vegetarian meals since college (about a decade ago).
I’ve been trying to find more vegetarian/vegan restaurants lately so that I know what my options are when the first and the fifteenth arrives (on the lunar calendar). One place that I tried out for breakfast was Kitchen Mouse in Highland Park (Northeast Los Angeles). I went here with my brother and we both enjoyed the food and ambiance very much. He ordered the Jackfruit Crabby Cake Benedict and I got the Avocado TLT.
The Avocado TLT is an open-faced sandwich that has cherry tomatoes, tempeh, avocado, and capped with a fried egg. This item also came with a side salad. I’ve never had salad for breakfast before, but hey- there’s a first for everything. The only thing that I didn’t like was the tempeh since it had a weird, woody texture. Overall,this dish was nutritious, fresh, light, but filling.
To be frank, I enjoyed my brother’s dish more and I wish I had better photos of it. The “crab cakes” were exceptional. The textures of the Jackfruit mimicked crab cakes to the tee. This dish was also so fresh and full of flavors. I highly recommend this one!
The climate in Kitchen Mouse is casual, relaxing, cute, and cozy. I love places that have ambiance that is as great as the food. This eatery definitely made it to my list of places to eat on the first or fifteenth of the month (based on the lunar calendar).