My Meatless Life: LA Vegan Food Scene


I have been in my new city for about 5 months now, but it only feels like two because I’ve been traveling so much. But when I get home, I don’t always feel like cooking, and when it comes to dating, I may not want to cook for a woman on the first date– I mean after all I have to have something to build up to. So this is a list of places in LA I like. I don’t use the other L word a lot, and when it comes to vegan food, I am a snob. However, here are the places I don’t hate.

I had their BBQ burger which I liked, and it didn’t give me a tummy ache like most fake meats. A very fast talking man who is the opening “guy” told me that the owner took time to find and develop a quality product, and I can appreciate that. This is a punk-vegan style spot best for lunch and not good for dates unless you know the date is into slightly divy places. They also have great clam chowder and a secret menu but I don’t know the handshake or password. Sorry! *shrugs*

I’m near this spot, and I go there when I want an 8 dollar drink.  Recently I was told about their Reuben and I had it a few weeks ago. The bread is crispy and delicious, but the “meat” that the lady described as tofu like was not at all; it was processed and made my tummy hurt. Also, the store is filled with vegan goodies you can’t find around the Hollywood hills.

Mohawk Bend
I went to their brunch and had the French toast and I must say it was pretty darn good. They have a large vegan selection, but this Eco park Gastro pub also serves meat and has more of a hipster feel.  Also the host was a cute rapper chick, so it was fun to flirt with her.

Cafe Gratitude
I am in need of salt. I am still hungry. I am liking this Sangria! I am having the quinoa bowl. Etc. Gratitude is of course an affirmation, and the menu reads as such. The I Am Brave shot it pretty awesome. I really get this place, not only because the food is clean, they put pride into it, and it’s a good date spot. This is a vegan family-owned chain, taken over by the kids. They moved it from the bay area to LA and, and while one of the brothers owns one, the sister broke off and started Kind Kream, and Sage Bistro. Sounds a little like my family…

Veggie Grill
The great civilizer of the vegan culture, the McDonald’s of plant based food, there is one of these a few blocks from me and I go in ever so often. They just make it easy. It looks familiar, the staff is all bright eyed and bushy tailed, and I was once waiting for an ex friend (long story) at the movie theater it’s adjacent to and noticed how all kinds of people went in because it was convenient and they could lay off the meat for a night. I had the grilled cookie dessert last time I was there and it was great.

If you want to be all fancy def go here, the atmosphere is great, the booze flows, and it seems everyone knows everyone. I saw a lot of glad handing and lot of vegan celebs (read: B-lister). The food was okay although the portions are very small like many upscale places. I think they suffer from not being bold enough with the flavors; I guess Tal Ronin is not know for boldness of flavor and more for familiarity of texture. If you have it to splurge, go for it. The crab cakes are their specialty and the meaty lasagna was pretty tasty. Wallet not feeling too fat? Just hit em up for dessert; at 5 bucks apiece they are worth it. Good date spot!

In terms of fast food, I was pleasantly surprised by Chipotle and their vegan Sofritas offering which will move up the west coast and then hopefully the country. I also discovered a Two Boots Pizza downtown, awesome! Oh and one more: Pressed Juicery. If you can swing a 9 dollar juice the almond milk is like suckling from a vegan Goddess’ .. well. It’s really good.

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8 Responses to My Meatless Life: LA Vegan Food Scene

  1. Nadia says:

    Thank you so much, Ayinde. This helps me navigate the L.A. veg scene.

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  4. Jameka says:

    I guess I know where I’m going when I visit. Looks like a great list.

  5. Great list. I’m from la and haven’t heard of any of these. you may want to try The Green Temple in redondo Beach. They have amazing food and the variety is pretty awesome.

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