5 Vegan Restaurants in Los Angeles To Try Or To Avoid?

As a French girl, I was raised in a culture where food is sacred. I ate many kinds, from snails to the smelliest cheese and developed my sense of taste over the years.As a result, I have become a self-taught food critic. Trust me—if you have me over for diner, won’t hold my tongue. If I don’t like it, I will let you know.

Since becoming a vegetarian and living in Los Angeles,  I have wondered where the best place vegetarian place where. At least to my knowledge, there isn’t any official “vegetarian” restaurant in LA, but “there are many “vegan” ones. I decided to pick five of them and taste some of their dishes. Here are my thoughts on them.

 

The Vegan Joint

Grade: 2.9/5     Price: $     Nutrition: 3/5      Atmosphere: 2.5/5   Food: 3/5    Service: 3/5   

Alcohol: No

Type: Thai, American

Locations: Culver City, Woodland Hills and Downtown Los Angeles

  Overall view of the Vegan joint

The Vegan Joint

  Overall view of the Vegan joint

This small vegan restaurant chain was established in 2006 by a Rattana P. They serve a variety of vegan soups, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and other breakfast foods. However, most of the dishes are clearly Thai influenced. Among their 100 options, you should be able to find something pleasing. ATTENTION: We only know that their tofu and wholewheat buns are organic, there was no other information listed about the other dishes.

I tried 3 different dishes: Seitan burger, Seitan wrap, and the Soy Chicken wrap.

To be honest, I was really excited about the Seitan since there is almost no place in Los Angeles serving it. Unfortunately, there weren’t many veggies in the burger dish and it was a little small, so it was only okay overall. The Seitan wrap, however, was a surprisingly generous portion of deliciousness that included a tahini sauce and a touch of cilantro. It was full of refreshing salad, tomatoes, and mungo beans.

Overall, I would recommend this place for a quick bite, but watch out on any soy derived products—they are certainly not organic.

What I Liked: The Seitan!

 

Sage restaurant

Grade: 3.9/5      Price: $$    Nutrition: 3.5/5    Atmosphere: 4.5/5   Food: 3.5/5     Service: 4/5   Alcohol: Yes

Type: American

Location: Echo Park, Culver City

Sage organic bistrot

Sage restaurant and his colorful plates

Sage is an organic plant based restaurant with a unique atmosphere. They serve a variety of vegan dishes with different origins. All of their products are organic and directly imported from local farmers. I really liked the restaurant’s décor and style.

The menu is appealing and there are many choices, including healthy bowls. I tried the “New Bowl of Soul” but wasn’t completely sold—to its defense, it was full of color and taste. The Mac and Cheese ball was a bit fatty and doughy, with an equally dense buffalo sauce. Their jackfruit tacos are great, if you are a jackfruit fan (I am not).

Next time, I will definitely try other plates because they all look so delectable, yum!

What I Like: The restaurant atmosphere, the farmer market concept, and the quality of their foods.

 

Govinda’s

Grade: 3.1/5      Price: $    Nutrition: 4/5       Atmosphere: 3.5/5   Food: 3/5     Service: 2/5 Alcohol: No

Location: Culver City

Type: Indian Buffet

govindas-veg-o-rama

Govinda’s buffet Mash up 

Govinda’s restaurant is unique in its cuisine and dining experience. Located next to the Krishna temple, you can definitely feel the cultural vibes of India here. The restaurant is fairly big, with two floors and a terrace. Their lunch offer is unbeatable with an unlimited buffet for $8. That’s right—all you can eat from the salad bar, appetizers, entrees, and dessert. All of the vegetables and even the tofu are fresh, non-GMO, which is great. The menu changes daily but most of their entrees are lightly based on Thai or Indian influences.

What I Like: The variety of vegetables, the price, and the option to create your own healthy plate! The buffet option is also available for lunch and dinner.

 

Bulan Thai

Grade:  2.7/5      Price: $$  Nutrition: 2/5      Atmosphere: 2.5/5   Food: 3/5     Service: 3.5/5   

Alcohol: No

Type: 100% Thai

Location: Silver lake

Bulan Thai

The special inferno chicken and myself

Bulan Thai is a small Thai vegetarian restaurant. They serve a variety of dishes that you surely can’t find anywhere else. I tried their special “inferno” dish: a crispy soy chicken tossed with special Thai herbs, Thai chili, onions, carrots, young green peppers, topped with crispy bay leaves and basil. You can order it extremely spicy or mild, depending on your preference. I requested it mild, but in my opinion, it was too fat and too tasty. The same kind of feeling where you want to eat more but it doesn’t seem like a natural craving.

What I Like: To be honest, I wasn’t in love with this place but if I could find one good thing, it would be the variety of fake meat dishes they are offering. But that’s another reason why I’m not sold as well.

 

Gracia Madre

Grade: 4.1/5      Price: $$$    Nutrition: 2.5/5       Atmosphere: 5/5   Food: 4/5     Service: 5/5   Alcohol: Yes

Type: Mexican

Location: West Hollywood

Gracia Madre

Fideua, flauta de camotes, mezcal margarita cocktail, lava cake and chocolate ice cream

When you come here, you automatically know that you are going to have a good time. Everything is nice and orderly; the waiters are always welcoming and attentive. It is like dining at an upscale restaurant, but at a relatively affordable price. However, it wasn’t as satisfying as I would have expected, but I still liked it. My vegan Fideua was tasty, although there wasn’t enough soyrizo and the flautas de camotes were a bit heavy, but savory. On the other hand, the alcoholic drinks—particularly the mezcal—and the desserts just takes the cake. Their vegan ice cream was creamy but not too sweet and their chocolate cake was really delicious and soft.

What I Like: The exceptional service and quality drinks.

 

Vegan Restaurant Final  Ranking

Restaurant                Rank                  Price             Grade

Gracia Madre              1                      $$$              4.1/5

Sage Restaurant           2                        $$              3.9/5 

Govinda’s                      3                         $                3.1/5

The vegan joint           4                         $                 2.9/5

Bukan Thai                  5                       $$                 2.7/5

A special thanks to Eunice Kim who helps me editing and reviewing my articles ❤️

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