Being vegetarian is not all that difficult these days with the abundance of creative recipes, innovative recipes and quality ingredients available in nature. Even if you’re a devout carnivore there’s always something new to try and alternative ways to experience food. When in L.A., pencil in these addresses:
Dr. J’s Vibrant Café
This recently opened café has become a veggie sensation in a city whose daily religion is health and cuisine. It’s no wonder, with a menu that is rich in pure vegan, gluten-free, organically sourced food. You walk in to Dr. J’s café and already feel like you’ve done something good for yourself. Those on detox may head to the smoothie-juice bar and mix up a cocktail of their choice. On the must-have list: tofu love bowl full of quinoa, fresh seasonal vegetables and a secret ginger-sauce.
334 S Main Street. Los Angeles 90013
If you think plant-based food is not solid enough to satisfy and suffice your appetite, Crossroads Kitchen will guide you to awareness. Located in Melrose, it’s a hot-spot among locals that also offers a high-end veggie experience in the spirit of the Mediterranean with dishes that include “Crab Cakes” made of green apples, hearts of palm, beets and horseradish, or the “”Artichoke Oysters” made with “kelp caviar”. Don’t miss their chocolate tartlet dessert.
8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046
Vinh Loi Tofu
Tofu lovers will find another reason to stay committed to this resourceful ingredient, commonly used to upgrade dishes. Tofu has a stage of its own. This Vietnamese veggie café makes its own fresh tofu every day, including soymilk and creamy tofu custard. The menu features 20 tofu-based dishes and a collection of 16 marvelous soups to enliven, enrich and inspire your taste buds. Another must-have on your table is the spring roll overs and the curry dish.
18625 Sherman Way, Reseda
A bit of Mexican goes a long way, at Gracias Madre. We thank ‘mom’ and Mother Earth for her wonderful creations. Chef Chandra Gilbert crafted a menu rich in flavor that contains seasonable vegetables and GMO-free organic ingredients. Have a seat in the chic outdoor patio and order the full-kernel corn tortillas to experience a culinary siesta. The dish features organic beans and farm—grown veggies at the family’s very own Vacaville Be Love Farm. The butternut squash quesadillas are mouth-watering, and the cornmeal & potato cakes with avocado are simply unforgettable.
8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
The Japanese might roll over in their beds – or seaweed rolls – were they to hear that someone is cooking Japanese food without fish. In L.A., anything is possible. Meet Shojin Downtown, a restaurant that’s riding the waves and making a splash of its own in L.A.’s veggie scene. The macrobiotic and vegan restaurant serves an incredible “Baked ‘Crab’ Roll” and Spicy “Tuna” on crispy rice that is second to none.
333 S Alameda Street, #310, Los Angeles 90001