California Vegan - PK's Review w/Pics
For zee photos, visit mah blog: http://omgfood.blogspot.com
7300 Sunset Blvd. Unit A
Los Angeles, CA
11.7.06 - Thursday, 12:30 PM
Me, myself, I, and our imaginary friends
RESTAURANT REPORT CARD - Visit 3
Ambiance - D-
Service - D+
Food (Taste) - D
Food (Presentation) - D
Wine/Drinks - N/A (just had non-alchies
)Value - B-
Vibe/Energy/Scene - D
Overall Experience - D+
I had an actual paid assignment to rush out and sample some vegetarian restaurants *hand on forehead*, and having hit up California Vegan previously, I decided to give it a gander again. My first two trips went well-ish, but I keep having the same experience here: great menu, nice web site . . .blah food. Would the third trip serve me well?
California Vegan is a strip mall hideway, which as we LA-ers know, can actually be the mark of greatness. It's a truly vegan restaurant - no meat goods to be found. There are lost of substitutes, however - they don't just limit you to good old tofu. Service is slow and disinterested, and the decor sucks. It actually feels dirty in there, which makes me a tad fearful for the food. The kitchen is open, and that's a saving grace, but I hate the feeling that grime is lurking, well, everywhere.
I'll admit that this time, I ordered wrong. Let it be known that previously, I did a better job. The raw wrap I had months ago was actually close to awesome. The stir fry is - eh - healthy, but bland. But oy vey did I hit a strikeout on swing three.
Water. Though they have smoothies and the like, so in retrospect . . .
-- With lettuce, onion, tomato
Um, where to begin. First, it looked atrocious, but lentils aren't pretty, so whatever. The burger was MASSIVE - the bun had a thickness that could double as armor, and the burger itself was the size of a flying saucer. But it lacked density, so trying to pick this sucker up was a losing battle. Then, there's this pesky little "taste" issue. The texture was mushy and gross, and the lentil mixture damn near flavorless. Well, pooey.
Vegan French Fries
I'm not sure why I thought vegan fries would be healthy. Perhaps I am just missing the air fries at Nature's Pantry in the valley - sooooo fantastic. These were so crazy greasy, I'll admit the girl who misses fast food, who I taunt and yell out occassionally, found a little glee. But they had zero seasoning and were just too fatty to really enjoy. Vegan or no, I just couldn't go there.
Damage for 1 soda, 1 burger, and a side of fries: $11 before tip. At least the price was right. Too bad it wasn't edible.
Parking: Easy schmeezy - little lot, and loads of street options.
Attire: Super casual
Pros: Cheap, 100% vegan
Cons: Not exactly flavorful, awful decor, slow service
Final word - for a vegetarian fast food experience, this will do.
Come on by - http://www.poetkitty.com
Well, you admit that you ordered wrong, so that takes some of the sting out of the review. But - California Vegan is a Thai vegan place, so judging them by their burgers and sort of generic AmeriChinese stir-fry doesn't really do them justice.
NB: I have never eaten at the Sunset location, but occassionally eat at or order delivery from the West LA location.
There seem to be three main caveats for this place:
-avoid all non-Thai sounding items, especially things like egg rolls and Western salads/burgers
-one must be at least tolerant of fake meats
-they only serve brown rice, so either deal with that, go without rice or have takeout/delivery and use your own rice
They have a few decent dishes, and if fake meat doesn't do it for you, they have tofu (although not fried tofu for some reason).
I actively like the Coconut on Paradise, which is basically a gaeng kheo waan with fake chicken served in a coconut. OTOH, I have found their noodle dishes to be underwhelming.
Not a great place, but not bad for its ilk.
imho, not only is it not a great place,
it is not even a good place.
it is fairish.
there are lots of thai restaurants that serve brown rice that will happily prepare your food w/ vegan ingredients that will serve really good thai vegan food (to order) even if the restaurant isn't vegan. (thai boom and anyara come to mind)