Lauren from Harb Knock Life, a frequent patron of the popular vegan eatery on La Cienega Blvd. in West Hollywood, couldn’t stop raving about them, and even Sook of Yutjangsah, a happy ingester of sausage and bacon insisted that we would be ordering them.
Their loud pontifications did nothing to overturn my skepticism of the not-chos with melted cashew cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, tofu sour cream, and optional taco mix ($14.50). It sounded dreadful. Especially to a girl who is not really a nachos kind of person – vegan or otherwise.
I know (and am known to frequently associate with) many people who are happy to clean out a bag of Cheetos or Kettle Chips, but I’ve always considered chips to be my least desirable form of snack food. I’d much rather have a chocolate chip cookie or piece of fruit or a handful (or two) of salted cashews when I need an afternoon fix.
So when Wednesday night finally arrived, I only begrudgingly acquiesced to splitting an order of Real Food Daily’s not-chos, thinking that I’d take a bite (it’s what I do), and then focus my attention on my entrée. I thought I’d be perfectly content to watch my dining companions massacre the stack of salty chips while I sipped my glass of organic Sauvignon Blanc ($9).
But as is often the case when I think I’m going to hate something (Exhibit A: The chicken livers bruschetta at Pizzeria Mozza), I was instantly smitten with the not-chos. My “one bite” turned into at least twenty. And my intentions to focus my energies on my main course, the monthly special “Hunk of Burning Love” with Kung Pao Tempeh and vegetables, pineapple fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, toasted cashews ($15.95) were immediately foiled when I discovered that it contained more than just a “little kick” like our server suggested. (Unless she meant Goliath’s version of a “little kick.”)
But it didn’t matter. That evening I only had teeth for the not-chos with their liberal application of cashew cheese and fixings. They were messy, over-the-top and the complete antithesis of what I would normally find appealing. Which is why it’s a good thing I have friends who love me enough to force me into trying things outside of my usual food vocabulary.
Even if it does mean eating my weight in tortilla chips.
Real Food Daily
414 N. La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048