Big Problems for LA Vegans

If you have special dietary requirements or restrictions it’s important that you can trust restaurant menus and marketing. This is important for health reasons because many people have allergies that can be life threatening. As you can imagine it would be problematic for someone with a nut allergy to be assured that a restaurant was nut-free only to find that the main course had a little peanut butter thrown in “for flavor.” For people who have made dietary choices based on ethics or religion, such as veganism, being able to trust what a restaurant tells you is also extremely important.

Green Leaves Vegan is not veganIt’s not entirely news that some places in LA that claim to be or offer vegan menu items are not being completely honest. 3 years ago I mentioned a run in with Vegan Express where an employee told me some of the fake meat sold as vegan contained whey, a milk product. I also had a less than pleasant experience at Green Leaves Vegan where I was asked to leave the place after asking why there would be non-vegan items on a menu at a restaurant with “vegan” in it’s name with nothing to differentiate them on the menu.

While my research started and stopped with asking a handful of questions, the folks over at LA’s Quarry Girl took things a step further. Actually many many steps further – they actually did laboratory tests on menu items from 17 different eateries that claim to be vegan. Seriously. This is the most in depth trial and investigation on this kind of thing I’ve ever seen. Of those 17, 10 passed the test, one was suspect, 5 failed, and 1 failed in major major ways. The big failure was Green Leaves Vegan which I can’t say I’m surprised to hear. I was extremely surprised that one of my favorite places Pure Luck came back suspect. Most of the other failures were of the “vegan thai” variety and it’s entirely possible the problem is due to faulty product labeling.

The Quarry Girl posse looked into that as well and found some shocking information about requirements on ingredients lists for import foods that should be of concern to anyone who cares what they put in their bodies. Really you should just go read the article.

[Thanks LaLaWag]

8 Replies to “Big Problems for LA Vegans”

  1. thanks so much for writing this post, and linking to me! i hope the word gets out and restaurants start being more honest about the food they are serving.

    regarding pure luck, i really think they made an honest mistake. they don’t make the soy fish in house, so it’s probably something sketchy going on with the manufacturer. i am hoping they see the post and look into it.

    now vegan thai on the other hand, they are shady as can be!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this! What an amazing piece of “amateur” journalism they’ve performed! As cynical as I am about so many things, it never occurred to me that (some) vegan restaurants in town wouldn’t be! :-O

  3. Thanks! Good to know. I go out all the time with a friend, who is Vegan, and just recently we ran into an issue at Scoops off Melrose. I love the place but my friend ditched out on eating there due to the fact that they scoop with the same scoopers as the regular ice cream. Not too kosher in the Vegan world. I’ll go there, but unfortunately my food buddy cant.

  4. Yourfriend, your friend is probably being extra picky because they never scoop two ice creams in a row, they wash the scoops off after ever flavor in a running water bath which is more than kosher for every vegan I know, including myself.

  5. Sean, You are right, when I was there with the my Vegan gal, they did place it in the “bath”. But that “bath”, from what we saw, is filled with every ice cream they make. I dont remember them spraying it down either, another concern she commented on, which means if you have a row of customers, there still could be a decent amount in the scoop. So essentially you aren’t having a true Vegan, nor Kosher scoop if you’re Vegan.

    It’s no biggie to me, but I saw the topic and it reminded me about that visit. I’ll still go there, like I said, but Vegan friendless.

    On the note of this article, it would be interesting to see if they pass the Vegan test, through their “science”.

    Only helps them really.

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