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Famous LA Burger Landmark Gets New All-Vegan Life

Plus free upgrades at Van Leeuwen, and a British book signing in Pasadena

Vegan burger joint Nomoo takes over the first-ever Johnny Rockets space on Melrose at Gardner this Friday.
Vegan burger joint Nomoo takes over the first-ever Johnny Rockets space on Melrose at Gardner this Friday.
Zachary Hertzman

The site of the first-ever Johnny Rockets on Melrose at Gardner will be taken over by vegan burger joint Nomoo this Friday. After nearly three decades of operation, Johnny Rockets vacated the premise in 2015. The new tenants teamed up with Studio Unltd. to refresh the 1,500 square foot space, all while retaining some of the former occupant’s classic diner charm. The updated spot will feature an open kitchen, neon lights, 13 counter seats, and 40 patio seats.

On the menu is a cheeseburger made with Impossible meat patties, along with a Nashville hot chicken sandwich made from fermented seitan soaked in coconut milk. All burgers and sandwiches will be served on a Rockenwagner Bakery vegan brioche bun. Additional menu items include fries, salads, and cashew milk milkshakes.

Nomoo will donate 10 percent of profits each month to a local charity. Mercy For Animals, which is dedicated to ending factory farming, will be its first beneficiary. Nomoo comes by way of George Montagu Brown, who previously opened a Costa Rican luxury eco-resort called The Gardens Hotel.

In other news:

— Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream will be upgrading single scoops to doubles all day Saturday, February 29. Whisper the words “cheat day” to take advantage of this sweet deal at all LA locations.

— LA-based non-profit St. Joseph’s Center is holding a fundraiser tonight for its culinary training program that benefits homeless and low-income individuals. Tickets to the tasting event can be purchased here.

Monty’s Good Burger is giving McDonald’s Shamrock Shake a run for its money with a new collaboration with Pizzaslime. The bright green mint shake, with slime running down its sides, is sure to turn some heads starting March 6.

— As a toast to the 100th anniversary of Prohibition, the Front Yard at the Garland is serving up some modernized speakeasy favorites Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to close and Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to close. The grasshopper features crème de menthe, crème de cacao, whipped cream, and an Oreo rim.

— Woodland Hills’s breakfast and lunch restaurant Leo & Lily just launched dinner service. On the evening menu are things like cavatelli pasta with whipped ricotta and blackened salmon with olive tapenade.

Connie and Ted’s is partnering with MedMen from now until the end of the year. Receive a 10 percent discount at both businesses by presenting a same-day receipt from either establishment.

— Echo Park’s Bar Avalon is hosting a five-course dinner in support of Australian fire relief efforts on Sunday, March 1. Orchestrated by chef Tara Pivaroff with wine pairings by Jared Hooper, the fundraiser is priced at $150 per person and tickets can be purchased here. All proceeds will benefit the Australian Zoo and the County Fire Authority.

— To celebrate the release of the new cookbook The Book of St. John, chef Fergus Henderson and partner Trevor Gulliver will be chatting with LA Times Food Editor Peter Meehan at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.

The Formosa is hosting a release party for its limited-edition Formosa pagoda cocktail mug designed by Los Angeles artist Danny “Tiki Diablo” Gallardo on Sunday, March 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tiki enthusiasts can meet and chat with Gallardo and have their mug signed.

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