The Undercover Vegetarian

The Undercover Vegetarian: Allumette

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Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM
click to enlarge Carrot salad, sunchokes, radishes, pickled turnips, black carrot syrup; chef Miles Thompson at Allumette. - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Carrot salad, sunchokes, radishes, pickled turnips, black carrot syrup; chef Miles Thompson at Allumette.

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.

Read also: The Undercover Vegetarian archives.

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