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When you think of Los Angeles, you think of glamour, fashion and all things style. Add to that the vivacious food scene and you want to stay on forever. A paradise for those who love food, Los Angeles doesn’t disappoint the vegetarians either. Come and explore the many options for a plant based diet with our list of the 11 Top Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Los Angeles. The list below has been crafted based on personal experience or recommendations by locals. So mark these for your next trip to LA.
1. Plant Food + Wine
No better place for a unique experience that revolves around fine vegan food and organic wines! Headed by Matthew Kenny who is heralded as one of the world’s top vegan chefs, Plant Food + Wine Venice makes for a memorable dining experience, with its beautiful selection of locally sourced fare in a seasonally crafted menu. The dishes here are innovative, nutritious and minimally processed.
While all the food is amazing, there are certain dishes that you must have here. One of the most popular dishes here is the Heirloom Tomato + Zucchini Lasagna, which is thinly sliced zucchini marinated in herb oil layered with housemade macadamia ricotta, sliced heirloom tomatoes, sundried tomato marinara, and pistachio pesto. Other crowd pleasers include the Cashew Raclette (warm baked cashew cheese served with grilled bread and garnished with a radish + herb salad); and Kelp Noodle Cacio E Pepe (marinated kelp noodles served with a peppery cashew cream sauce and spicy greens; garnished with dehydrated black olives, snap peas, and pea sprouts). Indulge your sweet tooth with a Boysenberry Cheesecake or a Coconut Cream Pie. Drool drool!
Plant Food + Wine: 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291. P: +1-(310) 450 1009
2. Mohawk Bend
A cool, chic place with a great ambiance, Mohawk Bend has a wide array of vegetarian, vegan and allergy friendly dishes on offer. A dog friendly place, it has a patio where you would love to spend time over a meal. Once you take in the interiors that are blend of industrial and warm, complete with a photo booth, consider ordering the most loved dishes here.
While the Buffalo Cauliflower (with vegan bleu cheese and celery, $10) is a Mohawk favourite, the vegan Banh Mi pizza (with marinated tofu, pickled carrot and daikon, jalapeño, herb salad, cilantro, sriracha aioli, sesame seeds, $15) is as creative as it gets. Order the Mediterranean Platter to share or go for the tantalising and huge burgers. The dishes here are perfect not just for vegans and vegetarians, meat-eaters would be hard-pressed to find a fault with the food as well.
Mohawk Bend is also one of the first restaurants in LA to use Impossible Foods meat (plant-based meat) in menu items that go beyond just the burger to more varied offerings, giving diners out of the box dish options to choose from. So, if you’re missing meat, try The Impossible Burger (2 Impossible patties between a sesame seed bun, shredded lettuce, grilled onions, pickles, Russian dressing, vegan cheddar, $16) or the Impossible Sloppy (Impossible meat with spicy stewed tomatoes, crispy onions, pickled fennel and lemon/thyme focaccia, $16).
Mohawk Bend: 2141 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, Echo Park P: +1 (213) 483-2337
3. Zinc Cafe and Market
An aesthetically done up vegetarian place in the Arts District, it has big glass windows that let in ample natural light. With an outdoor sitting area, it is a wonderful place just to sit back with a delightful meal and watch the world go by. The brunch here is sumptuous and with plenty of seating, wait times shouldn’t be long.
The Zinc Waffles ($11) are recommended – fresh, fluffy and served with a refreshing array of sides such as seasonal fruit, fresh ricotta, ginger syrup and candied ginger – a must have. The crunchiest Zinc French Fries, the amazing Breakfast Burritos, delicious Huevos Rancheros and the amazing coffee, will keep you hooked and longing to come back. The spacious place is dog friendly as well.
If you’re here for lunch or dinner, try the wood-fired Cauliflower Pizza (béchamel, garlic confit, chili flakes, mozzarella, baked cauliflower, green olives, parmesan, lemon rind, bread crumbs); the Zinc Reubenesque on Pumpernickel ($12) sandwich with baked beets, sauerkraut, gruyère, russian dressing, coriander seed and sea salt; or the Pappardelle ($16) with blanched bitter greens, assorted mushrooms, poached egg, black pepper, bread crumbs, parmesan and broth.
Zinc Cafe and Market – 580 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013. P: +1 (323) 825-5381
A chic Asian eatery, Shojin is all about Japanese vegan and macrobiotic dining. A perfect medley of taste and flavours, the presentation is also avant-garde. The food is mostly organic, all vegan and offers gluten free options as well. While all food is awesome, the Sushi Rolls here are the real star. With interesting names like Kiss of the Spider Woman, Crunchy Tiger, Pumpkin Castle, Dynamite Roll 2.1 and Pirates of the Crunchy, each one is a delight. The Spicy Baked Scallop Roll ($17) is a stunning mouthful for the earthy smoky flavour that the dish imbues, with the roll torched right at the table. Other popular dishes include Shojin Shiso Gyoza 2.0 ($11) and Spicy Ramen Revolution. Note: Shojin has 2 outlets and the menu varies a bit depending on outlet.
Shojin @ Downtown LA: 333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310, Los Angeles, CA 90013, (Little Tokyo Shopping Center 3F). P: +1 (213) 617-0305.
Shojin @ Culver City – 12406 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066. P: +1 (310) 390-0033
5. Cafe Gratitude
With branches in Beverly Hills, Arts District, Venice and Larchmont, Cafe Gratitude is an excellent vegan choice. It is a place that is known for generous helpings, superfine quality and super friendly staff. It has some amazing dishes that will blow away the most ardent meat lovers. Their Magical / CG Double Double ($16) burger with two house-made black bean patties, tomato, red onion, chipotle ketchup and cashew macadamia cheddar, in a gluten-free amaranth & millet bun is something that you will not get enough of and are bound to order again.
Also popular are the scrumptious Original / SF Mission Burritos, and the cheerful, colourful, flavourful Whole / Macrobiotic Bowl (braised garnet yams, adzuki beans, sea vegetables, sautéed greens, kim chee, garlic tahini, teriyaki almonds, with choice of sprouted probiotic brown rice, quinoa or a mix $16). If you’re looking for something really creative, try their twist on the Indian samosa – Dynamic / Samosa Chaat ($15). The samosas are made of baked garnet yam and cauliflower and dressed with chana masala, coconut mint chutney and spicy tomato jam. Yumm!
Multiple locations, check here.
6. Little Pine
If you are a breakfast and brunch person, Little Pine is definitely the place to head to for the weekend brunch. Owned by a legendary DJ, the place offers, fancy, delicious and creative vegan dishes that will have you coming back for more. Choose from their delightful Avocado Toast ($9), Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes, the heavenly Sausage Sliders ($14) and the highly recommended Biscuits & Gravy ($11). For mains, King Trumpet Scallops ($14) and Spring Risotto are good choices. Go with the light Kombucha Peach Tea and wind it up with S’mores Ganache or a gluten-free Brownie Sundae ($10). With all proceeds going to an animal welfare organisation, it is good food with a heart. The service here is very good and nothing tastes like it is not the real deal.
Little Pine Restaurant: 2870 Rowena Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039, Silver Lake P: (323) 741-8148
7. Elf Café
One of the finest all vegetarian places in LA, Elf Café is a meatless restaurant that easily accommodates vegan requests. The catch is, it opens only for dinner. The courteous staff serves some of the best vegetarian dishes – clean food, clean water and natural wine. Their unusual and interesting combination of flavours and textures sets them apart and makes plant food a delight. Whether it is the Flatbreads, Fregola Sarda in Parmesan Broth, the Pan Seared Halloumi with Shishito Salsa, the Flakey Puff Pastry, the King Oyster mushroom Kebobs or the Spanakorizo (Greek Style Risotto), each is an upscale dish with an equally arresting presentation.
Elf Café: 2135 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, Echo Park P: (213) 484-6829
Crossroads is a high end vegan restaurant by celebrity chef Tal Ronnen. The round booth sitting is quite charming as is the whole classic vibe of the place. It has four menu options – Weekday Lunch, Weekday Brunch, Fall Dinner and Late Night Bar Menu. Although the menu mentions names of meats and cheeses, it is all vegan.
Try the Artichoke Oysters (artichoke purée, crispy oyster mushroom, yellow tomato béarnaise, kelp caviar, $15) or the Crab Cakes (hearts of palm, granny smith apples, heirloom beets, horseradish aioli, $15), both of which are also gluten free. The Charred Ricotta with apricot thyme glaze and crostini is a moreish appetiser to try here. Popular salads here include the Watermelon Salad, Baby Beet Salad and Radicchio Cherryand Peach.
For mains, try the Spicy Meatball Pizza with housemade meatballs ($15), Lasagne (almond ricotta, basil, marinara, $22), Fettuccine Carbonara or Tagliatelle Bolognese. The Brunch menu offers a delicious Meatball Sub ($12) and a Crispy Milanese with breaded “chicken”, tomato, romaine, pickles and vegenaise. Wind up the meal with Chicken & Waffles (fried “chicken”, waffles, warm maple hot sauce, $14). *Note – Menu items available may change as they have seasonal menus.
Crossroads: 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, California 90046 P:(323) 782-9245
9. Gracias Madre
Gracias Madre is a chic Mexican restaurant that serves organic, farm fresh and locally sourced, flavour rich food. Food inspired by Mexican family recipes, coupled with the delightful interiors – casual with festive touches and a trendy bar – make Gracias Madre a wonderful place to dine. You can choose the Chef’s Tasting Menus for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner ($30, 20 & 40 respectively) which offer ample dishes that you may not be able to otherwise try.
If you go a-la-carte, they have huge and varied menus for Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Cocktails and Desserts. From the Dinner Menu, order the Quesadillas de Calabaza (butternut squash, caramelized onion, cashew nacho cheese, pumpkin seed salsa, $12) and the Young Coconut Ceviche (housemade chips, lime, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, $15). Recommended Entrees include Sopes Con Mango (potato-masa cakes, mango habanero salsa, guacamole, black beans, cashew crema, escabeche, $16) and Tacos (barbecue jackfruit carnitas, cashew crema, pickled cabbage, crispy onion, black beans, $16). From the Lunch menu give the BTLA Wrap (coconut bacon, avocado, chipotle aioli, mango salsa, black beans, greens) a try. The Fudge Brownie and Mexican Wedding Cookies both make for excellent desserts.
Gracias Madre: 8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069 P: 323-978-2170
The first thing you notice as you enter Paru’s is the heady aroma of the spices that hits you rather pleasantly. One of the best ways to experience a variety of dishes is to order a Dinner or Thali. There is the Indian Thali (rice, 2 pooris, 2 curries, sambar, rasam which is a lentil & yoghurt soup, papad, yoghurt, pickle, dessert, $14.95), Yogi’s Delight (indo-american combination bringing you chickpeas curry on a bed of beans and sprouts, topped with onions, tomatoes, cucumber, and other vegetables, plus paratha, $12.95) and the Queen Paru (ghee roast dosa, 2 idlis, sambar, coconut chutney, raitha, $13.95). If you don’t feel like a full fledged Thali Dinner, try their Masala Dosa ($8.95).
Sweeten the treat with an Almond Halwa (dessert made of almond meal, $5.50) or Rice Pudding ($4.50), both of which are sinfully indulgent. You can ask which items are vegan and they will cheerfully guide you.
Paru’s: 5140 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, East Hollywood P: (323) 661-7600
11. Samosa House
Starting out humbly at Bharat Bazaar, Samosa House has grown from the one small room restaurant in 1979 to being at five locations. Each of these has their own specialties apart from the favourites. Samosa House offers a range of vegetarian and vegan options, freshly prepared, that will tempt you into coming back again.
At the Bharat Bazaar location, on weekends you can try the delightful Rajasthani Thali which comes with Daal Baati Choorma (crushed fried spiced wheat dough balls, topped with lentil curry), Rice, Gatte ki Sabzi (chickpea flour dumpling gravy), weekend special sabzi, Chaas (savoury smoothie) and Dessert; and Gujarati Thali which comes with Gujarati Daal (lentil gravy) and Weekend Gujarati Sabzi Specials served with Rice, Chaas, Dessert and your choice of Bread.
Also give the quintessential Indian snacks a try – Samosa which is a pastry filled with mashed potatoes and peas, served with tamarind and mint sauces, and the Spinach Pakora (Breaded Spinach and Onion Fritters. Served with Tamarind and Mint Sauces, $3.49). Team the spicy food with a refreshing Mango Lassi ($2.99).
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