Tal Ronnen's new West Hollywood restaurant, Crossroads, plays the part of swank restaurant better than many omnivorous restaurants, with a sexy vibe and a stellar wine list. Much of the menu is devoted to vegetable-intense small plates: artichoke and farro salad with arugula and Kalamata olives; spiced chickpeas with oven-dried tomatoes and parsley-garlic whip; and other creative combinations of grains and veggies. There is a section of the menu that hews more to fake meat, with “meaty lasagna” and other dishes made from soy-based protein. They're not bad, actually, not nearly as bad as other fake meat we've encountered. But the fresh veggie dishes absolutely compete with other small-plates restaurants in town. If the aim of Crossroads is to make vegan dining palatable to the rest of us, it's doing a pretty swell job. And if the aim is to give meat-free eaters something truly special to look forward to, Crossroads has hit it out of the park. 8284 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd. (323) 782-9245, crossroadskitchen.com. —Besha Rodell
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