Yesterday marked my one year anniversary in Los Angeles and when I thought about how I spent it, I realized I spent the majority of my spare time in restaurants. I think a great way to get to know a city as large as Los Angeles is to seek out great food and boy did I do that!
I’m vegetarian and my dude Sean is vegan so we probably do a lot more scouring than omnivores do. Vegan does not equal rabbit food as so many like to joke, in fact, I believe that vegans have a much more refined palate than non-vegans. And when vegans get together, 99.9% of the time they will talk about food and where to get the good stuff.
Here is a list of my favorite restaurants that we frequent and that serve vegan food (in alphabetical order):
BabyCakes: Desserts: Downtown: Cupcakes Cupcakes Cupcakes. Oh they also serve donuts and cookies and brownies. Vegan and gluten free options. The gals who work there are adorable.
Bawarchi Indian Kitchen: Indian: Culver City: I recommend getting the $8 dinner. Your taste buds, stomach, and wallet will thank you.
Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen: Thai: West Hollywood and Silver Lake: I could eat their chicken satay all the day long. Mmm, I want some just thinking about it.
M Cafe: Macrobiotics: Culver City and West Hollywood: The Tofu Benedict and French Toast are a great way to start the day. Their tempeh bacon is my favorite. I took a class on how to make it but haven’t actually attempted it yet…
The Meet Market...Sandwiches: Silverlake: Their vegan brunch on Sunday for $10 is not to be missed. The sausages, bacon and pancakes are my favorite. I also recommend their sandwiches, especially the Roast Beef and Cheese.
Native Foods Cafe: Organic/Vegan/Vegetarian: Westwood: You can’t go wrong with the chicken wings.
Pure Luck Restaurant: Veggie/Pub: Wilshire Center: Right across from Scoops so don’t get too full! I love their potato pals. I’ve eaten them as a meal before. I think it’s their sauce that rocks the most.
Renovo: Smoothies and Fresh Squeezed Juice: Santa Monica: It’s within walking distance of my office so I go here a lot. They are seriously the best smoothies in the universe. The ones with Almond Milk in particular are amazing.
Scoops: Ice Cream: Wilshire Center: They serve vegetarian and vegan ice cream. Homemade, the flavors constantly change, and the best ice cream I have ever had.
Seed: Vegan/Macrobiotic:Venice: Amazing burgers. Really can’t go wrong grabbing a couple of these and heading over to the beach.
Shima: Japanese: Venice: They serve vegetarian and fish options and use brown rice. Their vegan salmon rolls taste like the real thing. Their dessert menu is entirely vegan and OMG delish!
Samosa House: Indian: Culver City: I’ve been to India a couple of times and their samosas and chutney taste just like the ones I bought off the street from vendors. They have two locations in Culver City, both amazing!
Swingers: American Diner: Santa Monica: Lots of veggie/vegan options. My favorite is the Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes served on the weekend.
The Veggie Grill: Burgers: Hollywood and El Sugundo: Best Effin’ burgers I have ever had in my life!!! Sean served some at CrashSpace and the meat eaters did not believe that it wasn’t real meat. The nachos are also dynamite.
Z Pizza: Pizza: El Segundo and Larchmont: The first time I had Daiya cheese was on a delicious veggie pizza sitting at an outside table with twinkly lights all around me. I was enamored.
What’s really missing for us is a great vegan brunch place and an ice cream shop on the Westside. M Cafe and Swinger’s are great for breakfast, but I think we would be pretty happy to have a Meet Market and a Scoops over here. Can someone make that happen?
If you have any suggestions that I have missed here that we should definitely try out, please comment! Also if you try any of these restaurants and love ’em or hate ’em, let me know why. I know a lot of omnivores think that vegetarian food is tasteless, but I challenge you to try these options out and see if you can be convinced otherwise.