The New York Times columnist Jeff Gordinier investigated the acceptance of veganism as a mainstay in Southern California-area dining destinations in his September 24 column, noting that chefs and restaurateurs in the area are keen to draw in big-name vegans including Kathy Freston, who was joined by Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at Craig’s—now offering vegan options including grilled-eggplant caponata. As vegan celebrities meet with industry professionals at veggie establishments such as Café Gratitude (where paparazzi now hang out) and Sun Café, Craig’s and other meat-based restaurants such as N/Naka, Hatfield’s, and Golden Road Brewing are eager to keep up. “I’m willing to do anything. I want them here, and I want them happy,” said Craig Susser, whose namesake restaurant added vegan chicken parmigiana made with Gardein at the request of DeGeneres.
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