Lomita is known for two things -- a railroad museum and as the place where Olympian Jim Thorpe died -- and veganism isn't one of them. But thanks to Soho Thai Fusion Bar & Grill, that might change.
Soho's menu features a "Vegan Zone," which includes soy chicken, soy shrimp fish, soy crab, soy salmon and tofu steak. These items can be substituted into any of the eatery's "regular" meals, with a handy reassurance that you aren't getting animal flesh because the menu states that these dishes contain "No Meat, No Fish, No Poultry, No Eggs, No Milk, No MSG, No Fish Sauce, No Animal Products."
These substitutions mean there are many, many options for vegans, including (but not limited to) a yum moon sen salad, Siam pork, roasted duck lo mein and Soho spaghetti. That said, vegans should start with the veggie summer rolls. Made with julienned vegetables, soy fish, herbs, vermicelli and lettuce and served with peanut Hoisin sauce, the rolls are fresh and quite tasty.
Once you've finished the rolls, get the cashew chicken and shrimp tamarind plates. The dishes are large, so bring a friend to share; if spicy is your thing, you'll want to hog the tamarind plate to yourself. If you're the type of vegan who shuns faux meats because they remind you of, well, meat, the shrimp might not be for you. They look very real.
The cashew chicken, on the other hand, is fowl-esque but probably would never pass for the real thing. Which is usually how vegans prefer it. Served with cashews, carrots, green beans and onions, the chicken dish is extremely hearty.
Even the fried banana a la mode is vegan -- if you get it with coconut ice cream. You'll be stuffed after your entrees, but it's not every day that a non-veggie restaurant can serve you vegan fried banana a la mode. So get the damn thing and be glad you went to Lomita, a town that might have to change its slogan from "the friendly city" to "the vegan-friendly city."
And in other vegan news:
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