Over the past few years, the Downtown culinary scene has seen a pretty dramatic shift — and it may as well be measured by its vegan-friendly options, something we often associate more with the west side of town. Making its grand debut at the Medallion mixed-use complex on 4th and Main this past Monday, July 22, Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe joins nearby Shojin and Localita & The Badasserie in expanding the range of vegan options.

Dr. J is Juliet Tien, a holistic health practitioner and published author who specializes in traditional Chinese herbs and stress management. The menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, bowls and sweets is based on her recipes. They're part of her approach to nutrition, at once vegan, organic and free of such dietary elements as gluten, sugar, yeast, dairy, alcohol and chemicals.

This can come in the form of a quinoa spring salad with slices of Fuji apple and Persian cucumbers, an alfafa melt composed of a seasoned veggie patty and rice cheese, or an edamame mountain bowl with baked tofu. Her Supersnack, made with rolled oats, dates and sunflower seeds, headlines a sweets and bakery section that also includes carob brownies, brown rice pudding and pure bread — the latter is a vegan, gluten-free bread that's baked in-house.

Along with the main dining room where the menu is available, there's a tea and smoothie bar, a small market section and outdoor patio. The restaurant is currently open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Credit: Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe

Credit: Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe

And in related news:

Adventures in Veganism: Fatty's & Co.

Meatless Mondays: Vegan Cooking at Mohawk Bend + A Recipe for Mole Pizza

New Grand Central Market Additions: Gelato, Breakfast Burgers + Wood-Fired Pizza

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LA Weekly