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best veggie burger? astro?

does astro have the best veggie burger in LA? hows fat burger's veggie burger?

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  1. dunno about those two, but i like the veggie burger that is served at the counter in santa monica. their burger is not an 'imitation meat' burger, rather it is a patty of beans and vegetables that forms an excellent platform for the addtions they offer-in particular the great blue cheese.

    4 Replies
    1. re: westsidegal

      I think you either love the Counter's veggie burger or hate it....it tastes really, really odd to me.

      1. re: running pig

        probably tastes odd to you because it is not meat-like. it is not imitation meat, rather is is a vegetable patty.

        1. re: westsidegal

          So you've said. Twice :)

          Mr Taster
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      2. re: westsidegal

        as a lifelong vegetarian i have had many burgers all over town.don't like the gardenburgers/boca at restaurants. my #1 favorite is at lucky devil.it is so good!

      3. I had this sandwich, that kind of looked like a burger, at Porto's in Glendale today that was called the Glendale Veggie. Okay, it's not a veggie burger, by any means, but it was really good, and when I read your post, I had to tell you. I had resolved never to go to Porto's again after the last time I went (it was too crowded and crazy), but I was really happy with the Glendale Veggie sandwich today. It looks like an oversized burger, but it has thin layers of grilled vegetables, a little bit of hummus, lettuce, tomato and cheese, and homemade round bread. You can order it from the less crowded side of the restaurant, near the coffee and juice bar.

        1. The Big Macro at M Chaya is my personal favorite..


          1 Reply
          1. re: Suebee

            I second the Big Macro at M Chaya (tho' I would recommend it without the soy cheese, which is totally unnecessary and not very good because it's, uh, soy cheese). It's got a fantastic texture --perhaps because it's made with brown rice and actual veggies instead of some super processed soy protein? I don't even like veggie burgers, except for this one, which I love.

          2. depends what kind you're looking for...

            newsroom cafe had a good one last time i was there.

            i may get flogged for saying this, but johnny rockets does a pretty decent veggie burger (the streamliner) and best w/ tillamook. completely unlike newsroom, this is a patty, not a burger of discernable healthful ingredients.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Emme

              they use boca burgers. damn delicious and satisfies the fastfood craving, but just chain food!

              1. re: kazhound

                I don't eat veggie burgers that often, so thanks for the info... In fact, I never eat a "burger" per se because I hate sandwiches, but it's nice to know what I'm eating in my deconstruction :-)

            2. I actually had a fantastic veggie burger at Houston's.

              6 Replies
              1. re: OCGirl

                It seems as if Houston's is another veggie burger you either love or hate, probably because it is unusual. It seems to have beets in it, making it red. It is also difficult to eat with one's hands. I happen to really love this burger; my GF just doesn't.

                Too many places use food service packs of frozen Gardenburgers or Boca Burgers. While sometimes the toppings can make these burgers worth eating while eating out, for the most part - what's the point??? I can eat those at home.

                1. re: igj

                  Yes, I don't like those boxed frozen gardenburgers. They are horrible. I'd rather eat a salad or something where I know what I'm eating. I find the frozen gardenburgers taste too processed.

                  1. re: katkoupai

                    Mmm I like that processed pretend meat taste. :)

                2. re: OCGirl

                  i just have to second the houston's recommendation. the veggie burger is great! it definitely has beets and maybe some oats. it's a fork-and-knife kind of burger, but i love it.

                  1. re: OCGirl

                    Agree w/OCGirl re: Houston's. It is made with beets, brown rice and black beans and has a delicious grill taste. Love it.

                    LA Food Show in Manhattan Beach (and opening soon in BH) has a good house-made veggie burger as well...it also comes on a whole wheat bun.

                    1. re: highendhats

                      another vote for houston's.

                      oats, black beans, brown rice, molasses...great recipe. a hands-down favorite that i'd gladly eat every day. [no cheese on mine, thanks...but i'll take a side of hickory bbq sauce.]

                      arifa was right, though...it's definitely a fork-and-knife deal. the bun is superfluous.

                  2. real food daily has a really good veggie burger. its red-colored (red peppers?) and tempeh-based and has a strong mushroom taste.

                    1. I like the Spicy Southwest Bean Burger at Barney's Beanery in WeHo.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: PaulF

                        FYI, I believe this is the following Morningstar veggie burger:


                        I get these at Whole Foods.

                        1. re: jhulla

                          You might be right and I don't know for sure ... but I always thought the whole thing seemed so homemade ... sort of misshapen and all. The premade ones look more perfect and uniform.

                          But ... I'm not sure ...

                      2. I prefer when a place offers black bean patties, but I'll settle for the vegetable type. The last thing I want when I order a veggie burger is a boca patty. Oddly enough, I had a pretty good black bean burger at Barney's Beanery. That might be because I was recovering the morning after a night of drinking. (Just noticed the person above feeling similarly).

                        1. I like the veggie burger at Colony Cafe on Pico. I think it's a sort of bean, cheese mixture and is a bit spicy/southwestern. I don't care for the veggie burger at Houstons, if that gives you any reference for the taste on this.

                          1. Another option is that at Native Foods, a more healthful, ingredient conscious burger.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Emme

                              I like two of Native Foods's burgers:

                              1) Bali Surf Burger. I like mine blackened, with caramelized onions and native "cheese" (a soft, cashew based cheese substitute, which is good but not really very cheesey), sub fries for slaw. That ends up a little expensive with all the add-ons, but sooo good. I'm kind of sick of it now, but it used to be my favorite. You can also get this with chili on top I think. The burger itself is a (homemade) tempeh patty.

                              2) Jerk Burger - a big seitan patty w/ a jerk sauce type marinade. I really like this one too.

                              I've heard good things about their portabella / sausage burger too.

                              Over all, for veggie burgers in LA, I think Native is a good bet, as long as you don't mind the lack of (real) cheese.

                              I'm personally not a fan of the newer, vegetable based one which is kind of mushy and tastes too much of bbq sauce or something for my taste.

                              Orean Health Express - I don't like their veg burgers much but the fake "chicken" burger is pretty tasty.

                            2. Great thread. Lots of good recommendations.

                              Three veggie burgers that I eat regularly and like:

                              1. Babalu (9th & Montana in Santa Monica): The veggie burger appears to be made inhouse and contains whole chickpeas. It doesn't always hold together, leading to a sloppy eating experience. But it is very tasty. I think it is only served during lunch.

                              2. The Counter (on Ocean Park in Santa Monica): Unclear what the substrate is. But tasty enough when topped with all the options available.

                              3. Swingers (on Broadway in Santa Monica): Anyone know what this is? Is it a Bocaburger or some other mass-product? I eat this because Swingers is open til 3am. Pretty good when loaded down with Tapatio.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jhulla

                                The Swingers veggie burger is good...I think it's housemade.

                              2. In Pasadena, on Lake, there's a very health-food-ish take out place that I can't remember the name of (help here?) I picked up a burger for a friend there, whose patty was mostly made of brown rice and lentils, I believe. Being pretty skeptical about anything replacing meat, but still curious, I had a bite. It was actually quite good. Quite delicious if you were expecting not to have meat, but still not a meat replacement.

                                3 Replies
                                  1. re: katkoupai

                                    No, it was on Lake, north of Colorado; a tiny, mostly drive-thru or eat outdoors place.

                                    1. re: SoCalMuncher

                                      I think you mean Orean's Health Express (which I mentioned above) - drive
                                      through fast food place on Lake, across from Roscoe's, and near like 5 other
                                      fast food places. There's one other "health food" take out place on Lake, but
                                      it's way up on Altadena and I don't think they have burgers. Not too bad. I
                                      think their regular rice etc. veggie burger is a little on the mushy side - I
                                      like it Ok for myself, but wouldn't recommend it to a non-vegetarian one.

                                      Vegan visitors to Orean's - be warned that while the owner is very nice and will
                                      claim that everything is vegan (and that the pancake mix having casein is the
                                      lone exception), there's a pretty long history of them lying about stuff like
                                      this. So I wouldn't guarantee that the chicken burgers, soy cheese, etc. are
                                      totally vegan.

                                      For packaged veggie burgers from the store, I really like the Amy's "California"
                                      burger (the "All American" one isn't too bad either). The first is a good
                                      balance between not too mushy and not too "fake meaty", and neither are entirely
                                      soy protein.

                                      Astro Burger's wasn't too bad. FWIW, they emailed me and claim that their buns
                                      are vegan. However no veganaise (I think they used to carry it), and I'm pretty
                                      sure they grill the veg burgers with all the meat.

                                      I had one at Brite Spot, and it was the only not totally horrible thing I've
                                      gotten from there.

                                1. M Chaya and Native Foods do yummy burgers. and i've always loved the ones at Astro's for some reason. although they are total Boca Burgers pretty much

                                  1. I am curious: do most people who look for a veggie burger want something that tastes like beef or just for something tasty, in the midlle of the sandwich?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: SoCalMuncher

                                      I think it depends on the person. Folks who became veg b/c they don't like meat don't tend to like the fake meat stuff as much. People who just want a healthier or less fattening burger, or who are vegetarian for ethical reasons but miss the meat probably tend to like the meaty ones more.

                                      I mostly just look for something tasty. However, a lot of the veggie burgers that don't try to be meat-like are a little too mushy for my taste. But sometimes, a nice brown rice type patty can be just the thing I'm craving.

                                    2. I almost forgot, Hugo's has a black bean quinoa burger that's really delicious. I'm a serious carnivore, but I always crave this veggie burger.


                                      1. i enjoy the nut burger at follow your heart.

                                        1. All the burgers at Native Foods blow any of the mushburgers I've had anywhere else.

                                          1. there is a health food store/restaurant on Slauson between Crenshaw and La Brea. they make THE BEST veggie burger in Los Angeles. it wipes M Cafe, Astor and Nativ off the table. you get the deluxe with avocado and BBQ sauce. it's heaven. i used to have it 4xs a week when i lived there. damn. i'm going there today just because you reminded me of it...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: at4

                                              please be sure to report back with the name please!

                                                1. re: will47

                                                  I think you're referring to:
                                                  Simply Wholesome
                                                  4508 West Slauson Avenue

                                              1. Lucky Devil in Hollywood has a veggie burger on the menu that blew me away. It has something like 22 different ingredients....beets to nuts...it was so good!!!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: yummyinmytummy

                                                  I second that! The Lucky Devil's burger won't win any votes for price ($14 or $15 even at lunch), but it's the BEST veggie burger in this town! Don't forget the toasted brioche bun... and the fact that they make them fresh each morning!

                                                2. Whole Foods sells "Sunshine Burgers" in their frozen aisle. It's made with sunflower seeds, veggies, brown rice, and herbs. Yummmmmmmmmmy

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sweetnsalty

                                                    I'm a big fan of the Oinkster's veggie burger. I'm not vegan so I order
                                                    gruyere cheese on it and wash it down with an Oinksterade. Yum.

                                                  2. Fat Burger has the Boca soy patty and Astro Burger has both the original Gardenburger and Gardenburger flame grilled soy patty. I prefer the flame-grilled Gardenburger and Boca soy burger to the original Gardenburger because you're getting the taste of the burger without the meat. Some people would rather not have the taste of meat and prefer the original Gardenburger. In my opinion the flame grilled Gardenburger has the edge over the Boca, but both are good. Another good place in LA that gives you the choice of the original or flame-grilled Gardenburger is Carney's on Ventura in Studio City and on Sunset in W. Hollywood.

                                                    1. as a long time veg.
                                                      Houstons in century city has an amazing veg burger.
                                                      as someone said the Maui burger at the Newsroom is brilliant.
                                                      and the counter's veg. burger is great also.
                                                      25 degrees in hollywood also has an excellent one. as does BLD

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: skinnydave

                                                        Has anyone tried the vegetable burger at Barney's Gourmet Burgers?

                                                      2. I don't see any mention of my absolute favorite Big Macro whole grain brown rice & veggie burger served on wholewheat bun with lettuce, tofu, sauce and I can never resist the sweet potatoes fries at Chaya M at 7119 Melrose in Hollywood. It doesn't taste like an imitation meat burger - but even non-veg people like it.

                                                        1. Aroma Cafe in Studio City has a really tasty veggie burger, made there. They serve it with grilled onions on a really good brioche roll.