Meat and dairy is so passé in LA, where a vegan diet complements the healthy lifestyle of its socially-aware inhabitants. But where are the best places for vegan food in town? Kaila Yu reports…
If you think vegan food is boring, then you obviously haven’t been to Los Angeles – the city where fancy restaurants specialise in vegan meals tasty enough to convert the most ardent of carnivores.
Los Angeles, that huge sprawling Southern California city, is world famous for being the nerve centre of the film and television industry in the United States of America. It is where you will find the iconic Hollywood sign on a hilltop, and is the home of mega movie studios like Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studio and others.
But aside from being a Mecca for film, this fast paced metropolis has also made a name for itself globally as a pioneering centre of healthy living, frequently leading the world in new health trends. Healthy food is of course the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, and Los Angeles has an incredibly wide array of vegan restaurants that serve healthy and mouth-watering dishes like faux spicy chorizo, Bolognese sauce, ramen, vegan cro-nuts, biscuits and gravy, fluffy frittata and sushi. All of these meals are prepared with no meat products and can be enjoyed by even meat-eaters.
With many top notch vegan restaurants tantalizing customers’ taste buds in Los Angeles, it might be a bit difficult to narrow down the best among them. But not to worry, based on quality of service and customer reviews, we have compiled a list of some amazing restaurants in Los Angeles where you can enjoy vegan food and drinks to your heart’s content.
Plant Food and Wine
This is where you need to be if you want to get a taste of pure vegan cuisine. Here you get to enjoy both cooked and raw dishes (with ingredients harvested from their edible garden) in an all new vegan dining experience. Some of the delicacies on their tasty menu include (but not restricted to) the following: fingerling potato poutine with smoked almond curds, cauliflower bisque loaded with hazelnuts and porcini, mushroom gravy, cacao e pepe with black pepper sunflower cream, mustard greens, spaghetti squash and spicy greens. This sleek restaurant which is located in Venice, Los Angeles, is a 65-seat dining haven shaded by a canopy of fig trees on the patio, intricate stone detailing and oak wood floors. Plant Food and Wine is open on weekdays and weekends.
1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Although not strictly vegan, located in West Hollywood, Crossroads runs a 5-days-a-week vegan brunch menu. This upscale healthy food restaurant prides itself as fine dining, small-plates and Mediterranean. The meals here are of course, plant-based and quite affordable. This where you can comfortably enjoy pasta in porcini cream, red onion slivers, bagels with almond-based cream cheese, scaloppini moutarde, lasagna, artichoke oysters and carrot lox – plus of course their “Impossible Burger” made with meat substitutes and so called because it’s impossible to believe it’s not meat. The restaurant is headed by the famous chef and cookbook author, Tal Ronnen, who is best known for catering the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Give yourself a celebrity treatment and dine here.
8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles CA 90046
If you want to dine the Ethiopian way, ie. you also don’t mind eating with your bare hands, then you should give Rahel Ethiopian a visit. This restaurant is a true vegan paradise in Los Angeles. Meals are served on a large palette tray. Enjoy a vegan feast combo platter with chopped greens with colourful veggies, chickpea stews and mixed vegetable stews. You can also have a taste of injera (a teff bread resembling the inside of a fluffy pita). Other delicacies you can try out on their menu include; tomato salad, split lentil stew, string beans mixed with carrots, yebagela siljo (broad beans paste), yeatkilt stew (steamed carrots and potatoes seasoned with assorted spices), stuffed green peppers and split-pea stew.
1047 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Treat yourself to tasty vegan meals in this Pan-Asian restaurant with its sleek, bright interior. They serve a variety of fried rice dishes, yellow, green and red curries, Massaman and meal-sized salads like zaru soba (which contains scallions, julienne kimchi, sunflower seeds, lime sesame dressing and chickpeas mixed greens). They also have superfood salads filled with curry almonds, kale and pomegranate-sunflower pesto dressing. You can also enjoy soups, pad thai noodles and curries with Asian flavours. Don’t forget to get a taste of the Japanese gyoza, coconut curry and papaya salad. They also have a well-stocked bar that sells beer, wine and juice. You also have the take-out option if you would rather enjoy your vegan meals and cool drinks at home. VeStation is located not too far from Disney Concert Hall, and offers an upscale lounge atmosphere at an affordable price.
14435 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
To enjoy freshly cooked gourmet Indian vegan menu at an affordable price, step into Samosa House for a delicious experience. Located in different parts of Los Angeles, Samosa House West (formerly known as Bharat Bazaar) is a family-owned restaurant/market in Culver City. It was first opened in 1979, and is one of the biggest Indian markets in the south of California that sells frozen and dried goods, fresh produce, religious items, cookware and popular Indian snacks. The restaurant itself serves different Indian meals including beverages, appetizers, combination plates and desserts. You can either eat at the venue or buy a takeout. The vegan/vegetarian market sells flavourings (pastes, curries and chutneys), flours, rice, teas, sugars and incense. The frozen foods section offers commercially prepared dishes, frozen produce and desserts. The produce section offers a limited selection of flavourings, roots and Indian herbs. Aside from selling Indian stocks, Samosa House also sells British household goods, snacks and sweets. So if you are looking for a place to eat and shop, you should totally try out this snazzy spot.
11510 W Washington Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90066
Now you know where to eat, be sure to check our Long Weekend guide to Los Angeles for travel tips on everything from the city’s main attractions to its secret hipster hangouts. (Hint: we’ve also published a weekend guide to Chicago, these San Francisco travel tips and a guide to New York city breaks!).