We all know I’m a creature of habit. As a foodie, that gets me into trouble. I love love love trying new restaurants, but I also easily become obsessed with really good restaurants when I find them. Because I’m so content with my fave spots, I don’t always feel the urge to try anywhere new. Just in case it’s not as good, ya know? Anyways, I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a restaurant rut recently. I revisit my go-to’s over and over again, and even though I love them, I needed a change. I have an excessively long restaurant to-do list, and I need to cross some more things off.
It was my friend Alison‘s birthday a few weeks ago, so I suggested Crossroads Kitchen as a potential birthday dinner destination. Alison is my go-to foodie friend, and she’s always down to try out a new place. I was extremely excited to finally try their food – Crossroads has been at the top of my list for about a year. The chefs, Tal Ronnen and Scot Jones, having amazing reputations. I needed to taste their creations.
I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Crossroads Kitchen, and stalking the menu online just made me even more desperate to go. Don’t get me started on the Yelp photos. Crossroads is a plant-based restaurant, and most of their options are gluten-free as well. The restaurant is located in West Hollywood off of Sunset, so you already know it’s trendy. They have valet, so parking wasn’t a problem, thankfully.
Definitely very chic. I loved the vibes. I usually don’t like dimly lit restaurants because they make me sleepy and make everything feel very slow, but it totally worked with the sophisticated atmosphere. It wasn’t sleepy-dark… It was romantic-dark. The moody lighting, gorgeous chandeliers, stunning flowers, high ceilings, and elegant bar created the perfect ambiance. Very birthday appropriate.
I also always worry that the hosts and servers are going to be a little rude at nice restaurants. Do you ever notice that sometimes they make you feel like you shouldn’t be there? Maybe just me when I try to be fancy in L.A. Anyways, all of the hosts and servers were extremely gracious, welcoming, and upbeat. I was thoroughly impressed, and I felt very attended to.
Speaking of fanciness levels, definitely dress nicely. This isn’t a place for sweats. Who doesn’t love a reason to dress up, anyways? Crossroads is also an excellent location for people-watching. Upscale vibes, delicious food, fascinating people. We had a great time watching the couple across from us have a very awkward-looking date. In all seriousness, though, this is the perfect restaurant for a date. It will definitely set the mood. In general, this restaurant is ideal for bringing anyone you want to impress or have a nice night out with. It’s on the fancier side of things without making you feel like you’re too casual or shouldn’t be there.
We started off with the Kite Hill cheese plate, and we opted for the gluten-free option (the birthday girl is gluten intolerant, too). It came with an assortment of dairy-free cheeses, some nuts, house-made jam, and gluten-free bread. Half of the girls at the table didn’t even realize it wasn’t regular cheese until about 20 minutes later. It was a definite winner.
Our waitress explained to us that the restaurant serves smaller portions, so most people order 2-3 things each in order to fill up. I don’t usually like small portions, but I love multiple courses! It ended up being a lot of fun because the smaller portions allow you to try different things on the menu. No big commitments to one main entree. YAAAS. The first salad shown above was the Bloomsdale Spinach Salad. It’s gluten-free and had smoked crispy mushrooms, almond ricotta, crispy shallots, and a black garlic vinaigrette. Our friend said it was the best salad she’s ever had in her life. I got the gluten-free Kale Caesar, which was beyond amazing. One of the best Caesars I’ve ever had. Definitely get it!
The birthday girl got this gluten-free pizza with alllll the goods. She was completely obsessed and said it was the best thing she ate all night (that’s a big statement). It was their Fall Squash Puree pizza, which featured crispy brussels sprout leaves, caramelized onions, mustard greens, almond ricotta, and spicy toasted pumpkin seeds. They had me at “fall.”
Next up was their lasagna, which everyone and their mother raved about on Yelp. Hard to believe it’s plant-based, right? The lasagna is made with almond ricotta, basil, and marinara. It’s not gluten-free so I couldn’t taste it, but the smell killed me. So homey and warm.
The birthday queen also tried out this fettuccine carbonara, which is gluten-free. We were fascinated by the egg-looking food on top. That’s not an egg. It’s actually a yellow tomato! Crazy, right? The waitress explained to us how they make the tomato look like that, but I honestly don’t remember what the process was. Very fancy, though.
I also ordered the Porcini Crusted Eggplant, which came with caramelized onions, celery salad, and rossini sauce. This was unreal. It did not taste like vegetables – it tasted like meat. Kind of looks like it too, right? This dish was warm and hearty without being heavy or making me feel gross. I was obsessed with the rossini sauce and literally wanted to lick my plate clean.
The desserts were divine. I started with the Pumpkin Mascarpone Semifreddo. I honestly had no idea what it was, but it was gluten-free and had pumpkin in it, so I had to order it. This was INCREDIBLE. Little blocks of pumpkin ice cream paired with spiced creme anglaise, pistachio, and pomegranate. The flavor combo was complete perfection, and I loved the pairing of the ice cream with a thick and creamy texture. I think this is a seasonal dessert, so definitely order it if you visit this restaurant in the fall!
We also ordered their hot fudge sundae, which was made with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, toasted hazelnuts, and banana. When you have food intolerances like gluten and dairy, a lot of times you have to miss out on the classics. This was the perfect substitute, and it honestly tasted better than what I remember regular ole’ dairy-filled hot fudge sundaes tasting like. Who doesn’t love a classic sundae?
I also got the Apple Pie Sundae, which had me weak at the knees. This was made with vanilla bean ice cream, brown sugar roasted apples, and mulled wine reduction. If you get the non-GF version, it also comes with an apple oat streusel. This was extremely unique, and I was obsessed. It’s like a deconstructed apple pie, and the vegan ice cream was amazing. Not icy or coconutty. A true, rich vanilla. And caramelized apples? They make my heart skip a beat.
If you’re looking for the perfect restaurant to eat incredible food and have a classy night out, this is it. Any food restrictions can be accommodated here, and you will not be disappointed. Your not-so-healthy friends will adore this place, too! I would absolutely eat here again – I actually can’t wait to! New obsession? I think yes.
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