Best Vegan Muffin: Blueberry Muffin at Golden Bridge Nite Moon Café
You have to sidestep the Golden Bridge boutique to get there, and there’s still the matter of the turbans, the beards and Sunday’s rush of toddlers and movie stars, but the moist, sweet, crumbly oat-topped blueberry muffins at the Kundalini Yoga mecca’s Nite Moon Café are well worth the obstacles and the unfamiliar.
6322 DeLongpre Ave., L.A., (323) 936-4172 or www.nitemoonvegan.blogspot.com.
Best Hot Vegan “Tuna”: Tempeh Tu-No Melt at Flore Vegan Cuisine
In the heart of Silver Lake, on the other end of the hipster spectrum from the Golden Bridge’s spiritual village, is Flore, which boasts cute, grungy, rock & roll waiters and an eclectic array of vegan dishes. My favorite: the Tempeh Tu-No Melt, a food-combining train wreck of tempeh salad and cashew cheese on toasted seeded bread. It’s hot, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s savory — it’s a perfectly orgasmic combination of texture and taste, and I’m salivating just thinking about it.
3818 Sunset Blvd., L.A., (323) 953-0611 or www.florevegan.com.
Best Vegan Cookie: Carob-Mint Cookie at Real Food Daily
Real Food Daily’s been L.A.’s go-to vegan spot for more than a decade. Its carob-mint cookie remains a rock-solid sweet-tooth-sating standby. It’s kind of dry but sweet and substantial, and it totally hits the spot when you’re on the go, having a low-blood-sugar moment, and really, really itching for something baked and bready.
414 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., (310) 289-9910.
Also at 514 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 451-7544 or www.realfood.com.
Best Vegan Breakfast: Wheat-Free Blueberry Pancakes at M Café
M Café’s wheat-free blueberry pancakes top the list, and not just because I have a blueberry fetish, but also because they’re crispy on the outside and warm and comforting on my insides, especially drenched in fake vegan butter and maple syrup. Plus, they’re served into afternoon hours on the weekends, which means I get to sleep in and eat pretend junk food. Lucky, lucky me.
7119 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 525-0588.
Also at 9343 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 838-4310 or www.mcafedechaya.com.