10 Great Reasons to Eat Vegan Food in Los Angeles
Artichoke oyster at Crossroads
In this week's review, I take on the state of vegan food in Los Angeles and the issues with the vegan cooking at Little Pine in Silver Lake. As I expected, much of the blowback from readers involves the fact that I'm a meat eater and therefore have no place judging vegan food. But as I've now responded to many readers, we here at L.A. Weekly love vegan and vegetarian food — we love all food, as long as it's delicious. (And as I stated in the review, I don't think the problems at Little Pine have anything to do with veganism.) So here now are 10 things — restaurants, dishes, cupcakes — that are vegan in Los Angeles, and that we adore.
Vegan cupcakes at Lark
There are plenty of vegan cupcakes in Los Angeles, and they have come a long way in the past few years. But the best I've tasted are the chocolate orange cupcakes at Lark Bakery, which has stores in Silver Lake and Pasadena. There's something about the stickiness of the orange cake topped with dark chocolate icing that is just beautifully balanced and decadent. It's a cliche to say, "You'd never know it's vegan!" But seriously, you'd never know it's vegan. larkcakeshop.com.
Bowl of Soul at Sage Vegan Bistro
Bowls at Sage Vegan Bistro
Sage Vegan Bistro has three locations and a food truck, and its menu spans the spectrum, from salads to imitation chicken. But my favorite part of the menu is the bowls, and in particular the bowls that pair hearty grains with fresh veggies and tangy sauces. sageveganbistro.com
Chocolate pie at Little Pine
I know this is a bit ironic, given that this post is in part a response to the backlash received from our less-than-positive review of Little Pine. But the chocolate pie really is fantastic. From the review: "... this pie was masterful, silky and chocolaty and delicious, a treat for me and likely a true thrill for a vegan craving the kind of decadence that's hard to find while trying to eat morally." littlepinerestaurant.com
The owners of Kitchen Mouse in Highland Park want people to understand that this isn't a vegan restaurant (and they aren't claiming it is). You can get an egg on your grain bowl and milk in your coffee. But the offerings aside from that are almost 100 percent vegan, and it's some of the tastiest vegan food around. The Buffalo Bowl in particular, which combines black beans, brown rice, sticky yams, garlicky collards and a dill cashew sauce, is hearty and balanced and cravable. kitchenmousela.com
Jason Neroni's cauliflower T-bone
This has been one of L.A.'s must-eat vegan dishes since Jason Neroni first served it at Superba Snack Bar back when it opened back in 2012. Superba, sadly, is no more, but Neroni is again serving the dish up the street at the Rose, where it is as hearty and full-flavored as ever. rosecafevenice.com
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