Suggestions for a visiting vegetarian?
I am from San Francisco and will be visiting LA this weekend. I will be staying in downtown LA but will be extensively traveling on the city.
I am vegetarian so am not looking for vegetarian-only restaurant but any restaurant that has good vegetarian options.
I am looking for suggestions in these categories:
1. A nice restaurant for dinner. Can be $$-$$$
2. A good Persian lunch/dinner spot.
3. Must visit places in LA for the dining experience
4. Good, inexpensive spots that offer something different.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am open to any kind of cuisine. Prefer lunch in downtown spots and dinner in anywhere in the city.
I'm not sure which of your categories this fits into, but try to visit M Cafe de Chaya on Melrose at La Brea. It's a casual lunch place (also open for breakfast and dinner) with a great selection of macrobiotic-oriented food (also swimming with folks like Jake Gyllenhall, if you care). I like the seitan BBQ sandwich, the soups, the side salads, and just about anything else. Well, I really like the tuna burger, but that's not vegetarian.
Near downtown, the small cafe Elf on Sunset in Echo Park (search for review on board) has been getting good notices. Open for dinner only, Mediterranean-influenced.
For a good Persian spot, Glendale is probably the most convenient, search the board for Persian or Glendale.
For a nice restaurant for dinner, I would recommend Grace on Beverly which always has several creatively prepared vegetarian options.
Check out Mozza - lots of varying opinions on the board recently, but I like it, and some of veg options.
I haven't been to Melisse or Grace, but search the archives for information on those - Melisse's vegetarian tasting menu looks very good.
If you like high end vegan food, check out Madeleine Bistro up in the valley. Wasn't as good as the time before the last time I was up there, but I think our large group kind of overwhelmed them. For the most part, I've heard good things. And Real Food Daily might be worth a visit.
If you like Chinese food, there are a number of vegetarian restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. I posted a list recently in the Vegetarian Dim Sum thread.
Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana. It's a nice, sit-down, linen-napkin, completely and totally vegan restaurant -- with some impressive food, given that my experience with vegan restaurants (things like Real Food Daily and Native Foods) has been that there also seems to be some proscription against flavour or spice.
Madeleine Bistro is not afraid of flavour.
I will third Madeleine Bistro.
We've been there several times now, and are always astounded at what they come up with. As Das Ubergeek said, they're not afraid of flavor, which is often a problem with strictly veg. restaurants.
We like Real Food Daily, Luna Park (not veg, but some good options http://www.lunaparkla.com/), Vegan Glory (http://www.veganglory.com/), had a really fun experience at The Counter (burger place with a veggie burger and about a million toppings http://www.thecounterburger.com/), and we like Messob for Ethiopian, but there's a new all-veg Ethiopian place right next to it, Rahel, that we have yet to try: http://www.rahelveggiecuisine.com/.
i addition to what has already been mentioned, for category 4 i would definitely recommend busaba for thai food. all vegetarian so you can eat what you like. :)