Love it. Want it. Need it.from etsy
I was a pescatarian living in LA for years and years (and years) until very recently, so although it was a bit easier to cater to my diet, I still ended up going full-veggie much of the time. Here are a few of my favorite places:
They have delicious veggie chicken and beef, and deliver to my place in 20 minutes or less. I recommend the Vegetable Tom Yum Soup, Yellow Curry, Pad Thai and Orange “Chicken.” My brother went here and loved it and he is a meat lover.
I eat, breathe, and sleep the TV Dinner. Tempeh vegetable loaf, mashed potatoes, golden gravy, vegetables. Holy crap this meal is good. I also recommend the Salisbury Seitan and the Real Food Meal. For lunch I always get the Caesar Wrap.
M Cafe is Macrobiotic, meaning they prepare using fresh ingredients without any refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat or poultry. I recommend the Macro Burger for Veggies and Meat Eaters alike. Their seasonal Kabocha Squash with Quinoa is mouthwatering. When they don’t have that I love the Kale Salad with Peanut Sauce.
Also not a vegetarian restaurant, but Fresh Vietnamese Cuisine, as they call it. I only ever order their Vegetarian Pho because it is THAT good. Mushrooms, Bok Choy, Carrots, Ginger and Baked Tofu in a vegan broth infused with traditional Pho spices over rice noodles.
An oldie but a goodie, I used to live around the corner from a CV. Their food is Thai based and absolutely everything I have ever had is tasteful and delicious. The curries and orange chicken are my favorites.
A newer Veggie chain in LA, The Veggie Grill has really blown up since it’s opening. The Mac N Cheese and Grillin’ Chikn’ are my personal faves.
Not a vegetarian restaurant but obviously caters to healthy people, lots of them being veggies. Almost Raw, Real McCoy and Cast Iron Burger (veggie) Sandwiches. Actually, just get anything with a side of quinoa salad. Get anything with a side of quinoa salad. Get anything with a side of quinoa salad. Get anything with a side of quinoa salad. Did I mention the quinoa salad?
Mrs. Winston’s Green Grocery
I would like to take the opportunity to dub Mrs. Winston’s the best salad bar on earth. There is really nothing like it. It’s by weight so calm down on those hearts of palm or your salad will cost $20! They have all kinds of vegan macaroni salads, vegan chicken salads, every kind of green or vegetable you can think of and their dressings are a-mazing. I heart you, Mrs. Winston.
I’ve re-visited a few “oldies” but goodies in the past week or so, including Son of a Gun and ink. Neither of them are old, per se, but since I’ve been to both of these places before, I wanted to see if they were just as good as the first time. I’d have to say that Son of a Gun is better the second time around. It was phenomenal the first time, but still mind-blowing this time.
I tried their Moscow Mule (which comes in a copper mug, as they are supposed to) and also their old-fashioned. They are both delicious and better than the two and only drinks I had at a certain “speakeasy-esque” bar in Los Angeles that I won’t libel at this time.
Son of Gun Eats included:
oysters on the half shell – forever one of my favorite foods
Kennebec fries with malt vinegar aioliapple, caramel,burnt wood ice cream- good as a side to get you through the courses
shrimp toast sandwich (pictured above), herbs, sriracha- our server recommended this and we thanked him profusely. I dream about this toast every night. mmmm. mmm. mmm!
head on salt and pepper boston sweet shrimp (pictured above)- if you’re scared of shrimp heads don’t get this. we ate these whole! divine.
linguine and clams, uni aglio-olio, chili, breadcrumbs – not your average linguine/clam dish, this one was lemony and a little bit spicy, the sauce is so incredible I wanted to lick the bowl. To avoid embarrassment I simply dipped my fries in it.
alligator schnitzel – this scared me because I have never had alligator and just recently started eating meat again, but it was good and tasted like chicken! which is what I’ve always heard anyways. It was served fried (naturally) with hearts of palm and orange. Yum!
brownie sundae- we were full but decided to get this anyway. Simply delicious and not overwhelming!
All in all a successful time at Son of a Gun.
I also had the pleasure of dining at Michael Voltaggio’s ink. He previously worked at The Bazaar by Jose Andres and won “Top Chef” Season 6.
crab, charred avocado, whipped fish sauce, mushroom chicharron – the chicharron and the fish sauce and the avocado, oh my!
brussels sprouts, pigs ears, lardo, apple – my stomach said mmm and my brain said “poor wilbur!”
pork tenderloin, charcoal oil, young leeks, macaroni and cheese – a must have. and i don’t even really like pork. except when MV makes it for me.
sea bass, cauliflower, smoked raisin, caper, brown butter – can’t say no to anything with brown butter
apple, caramel, burnt wood ice cream – yum. the ice cream reminded me of freeze-dried astronaut ice cream.
I love MV’s cooking style. None of which I would ever be able to even attempt to make at home due to the complex recipes, though I did buy the cookbook! I will definitely be back to both of their restaurants in due time.
A new find was Robata Jinya, which ironically has been around a few months longer than both Son of a Gun and ink. Robata Jinya is part of the Jinya family of restaurants, all of which originated in Japan. The only other Robatas are in Japan and they also have a few Ramen places here in LA (plus one in Vancouver).
Robata is “A charcoal grill used to prepare Japanese food to customers seated around the cooking area. -wikipedia” so everything we ordered was pretty much grilled. I LOVED the Tsukune/chicken meatballs, asparagus, sweet potato w/butter, mixed mushrooms and chasu pork. We also tried a yellowtail belly special and it was perfect. Everything seemed so healthy (minus the butter we dipped out sweet potato in), so it’s great for everyone! I highly recommend making a reservation for dinner as we waiting upwards of 30 minutes for a table. Mmmm, Mmm, good!
All in all, the Los Angeles culinary gods have treated me well these past few weeks. Next up, a vegetarian’s guide to LA.