The 3rd Annual California Vegetarian Food Fest in Hollywood

Tacos by Cena Vegan. Photo by Isabel Maya.

The California Vegetarian Food Festival at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood last weekend was small but fun, with plenty of kombucha, tea and juice to help with the upper-80s heat. A CicLAvia event was peddling by just around the corner, as we took our time checking out the booths. We had delicious tacos from Cena Vegan, pupusas with spicy salsa from Los Colorines, rich fried ice cream from Fried Out, and samples of Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, among other yummy treats. My favorite was the huge apple fritter from The Donuttery! Time to start visiting Huntington Beach (where they’re located).

The speakers were wisely set up in a shaded area with seats and a bar, as well as upstairs in a small auditorium. There were a few sound issues with the microphone in the covered patio, but Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram of FullyRaw was a very interesting speaker with a sweet demeanor and the kind of healthy glow you might expect from someone who eats a whole lot of fruits and vegetables. She answered questions about the raw vegan diet such as how to be patient if your family feels insulted when your diet conflicts with cultural foods, about the importance of keeping your calorie intake up—a common mistake is to not eat enough and then blame the ensuing fatigue on a lack of protein—and how to deal with the emotional eating of junk food.

(Photo gallery after the jump)

Upstairs, Jovanka Ciares introduced us to herbal tinctures as a way to reduce sugar cravings. On her website, she offers many other tips for this common issue, especially for those trying to lose weight. We also tried on some doTERRA essential oils and Bare Naked Botanicals lotion (I only wish someone had sold sunblock. Maybe next year?), admired the stunning silver jewelry from Untamed Hearts, collected various coupons & magnets and chatted with vendors. Los Angeles Animal Services were at the entrance with a few dogs available for adoption; they were taken on walks wearing vests that said “Adopt Me!”

Over all, it seemed like a still-growing event with more grazing bites than full-size meal options, but also plenty of stuff to try. Be sure to check it out next year!

All images by Isabel Maya Photography

Simone Snaith

About Simone Snaith

Simone Snaith writes young adult and fantasy novels, and sings in the band Turning Violet. A fan of scifi, fantasy, the supernatural and most things from the '80s, she enjoys reviewing music, books and movies. You can read about her own books at
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