There will be several posts about Los Angeles to come. There are two types of people in the world, those who love LA and those who don't, and I happen to love LA. THAT and my sister Torey just moved there to start medical school (woo!) at USC. This most recent trip was to attend her white coat ceremony. I'm not vegan, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy vegan fare. My mom is vegan! One summer we tried it together and she's stuck with it ever since.
LA is the vegans homeland. There were so many restaurants to decide from I had to use some careful planning to fit the best vegan snacks in with the best sites in one and a half days. I did this using a custom google map along with strategic searches on google, Pinterest, and Instagram. Simply googling "vegan food LA" did bring up some good hits, but many of the top ones were out of date, from two or more years ago.
I love yelp, I think it's hilarious. I would never choose a place to eat from yelp alone. Some of my favorite places have lower ratings simply because they are unwilling to pay off yelpers who give them a low rating (YUP that's how we do it in the restaurant biz). Honestly I only looked up one restaurant we went to on yelp, after making the reservation. It had an average of 3.5 stars and was by far the best place I've eaten this year.
LA Vegan Map
My map of possible vegan options while we were out and about. The red ones are the ones we went to. Again, this was a day and a half! So we have plenty more to try next time. I would especially like to try Cafe Gratitude and The Butcher's Daughter.
I do this kind of map for most trips, just in case things aren't super planned out, or if plans change, I can find what I wanted to see in each area.
Located in Silver Lake and attached to a Whole foods 365 store, from the outside it didn't seem super exciting, but the inside made me want to live here. I found by CHLOE on Instagram and deemed it the most adorable food. We went there, and by far, still the most adorable food. The place was a little crowded, no line, but not much seating left. Nothing compared to the NY location though. The beet ketchup was incredible, and pink! I ordered meatball slider with pesto, mom and sister got burgers, and we shared the macaroni and cheese with shiitake mushroom bacon! It was a magical place!
It was a tough decision as to whether we should go to Crossroads for Brunch or Dinner on Saturday. In the end I chose brunch, because they were close by and opened at 10 am, where most didn't open until 11 am. I had also heard amazing things about their "chicken" and waffles. We made reservations for 10 am, but they ended up not being necessary, people like to sleep in here on the weekends. I at this bagel super fast, I can't remember the last time I had one and it was amazing, especially with the carrot lox. Admittedly I was slightly concerned the almond cream cheese would not measure up to my expectations, but it did!
Located in West Hollywood I recommend walking over to the Paul Smith building with the famous pink walls for a few choice selfies afterwards.
Sometimes after eating brunch you think omg I'm so full I'll be full forever. But then it's 2:30, and dinner reservations aren't for 4 hours, and you're hungry. We were downtown when that happened, after seeing/photographing the Bradbury building, grand central market, the Last Bookstore, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall we needed a snack. We headed to the Art district to find Acai bowls!
The location is stunning and pristine, especially after spending a couple hours wandering around downtown in 90 degree weather. They had 3 options for acai bowls: Amazebowl (the original), Fresh Prince of Bowl Air, and Dragon Bowl Z.
Plant Food + Wine
Winner winner, raw vegan dinner! So this was my favorite, in case you couldn't tell. The carrots are cooked , but the cheesecake and kelp noodles are both raw. They have an amazing outside patio area, if you make reservations I recommend requesting to be seated outside. The upstairs is a school for raw vegan cooking with a wall with a shelf of dehydrators in place of an oven. All of the food was incredible. Not for being vegan, just in general, amazing, even if you're a devoted meat eater. I will definitely be coming back sometime soon.
Located in Venice, the Butchers Daughter is located just down the street, another spot we had hoped to try. We walked to venice from Santa Monica so we got to get in some beach time.
My favorite was definitely Plant Food + Wine, but I would go to all these places again. Can't wait to go back and eat more! Seattle has good food, but after 7 years here and watching the same places come and go so fast, the LA food scene was refreshing.