During my last visit to Allumette, the Echo Park restaurant featured in this week's restaurant review, there were exactly two meat-free items on the menu. Chef Miles Thompson serves a short, ever-changing menu, and there are times when I've seen perhaps one other salad on offer as well, but the brief version is: This is not a great restaurant for vegetarians.
Both those items -- a vinegar-roasted turnip dish with brown rice, and a carrot salad -- were interesting and cerebral, and if I were vegetarian I'd appreciate them as a welcome change from the regular wood-grilled vegetables and pasta plates offered around town. But in combination they wouldn't fill me up or constitute a full, satisfying meal.
I'd bet, that with all that talent, Thompson could come up with a full tasting menu of meat-free dishes, and my guess is that one day, in this restaurant or another, he'll offer that option. But for right now, Allumette is a spot that a vegetarian may want to stop by for a drink at the bar and a taste of those turnips (they really are astonishing) before heading elsewhere for a full meal.
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Read also: The Undercover Vegetarian archives.
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