Dear Mr. Gold:
Where can I find a decent plate of the feta, mushroom and grain–laden treat known as Neatloaf? I don’t just want it by itself either. I want it with piping-hot veggie-gravy-smothered mashed potatoes! I went to art school in San Francisco, and I’ve yet to find L.A.’s definitive version. Help a girl out!
—Jackie, Los Angeles
In the dark days of my past, before I learned that interspecies relationships between vegetarians and omnivores were doomed never to last, I ate my share of loaves — dense, musky things composed of nuts, fungus and soy leavings, almost always drowned in enough 30-weight mushroom gravy to lubricate a biodiesel battleship. Neatloaf, a creation of the Sri Chinmoy–affiliated San Francisco restaurant Ananda Fuara, is a state-of-the-art loaf, a vegetarian meatloaf composed of, among other things, grains, eggs, ricotta and tofu in a dense gravy. I’ve seen recipes that include things like Special K and Lipton’s onion soup mix. Vegan versions, of course, are legion. You might try Native Foods near UCLA, where the tofu-intensive, almost certainly vegan Neatloaf comes with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. Neat! 1110½ Gayley Ave., Westwood, (310) 209-1055.
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