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Mar 21, 2007 06:48 PM

Vegan Friendly Restaurants that won't make me hate my female vegan friend...

I'm just starting to see this woman and she happens to be vegan. Now i hate vegan restaurants; so i need some upscale non vegan spots that wont reveal my contempt for her dietary life choice. Any help would be greatly appreciated...

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  1. Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana. It's amazingly good, especially given the mortification-of-the-flesh-for-the-good-of-the-spirit vibe that many other vegan places go.

    Rahel Ethiopian on Fairfax is another great spot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Madeline Bistro is fantastic. I've even taken some die-hard meat eaters here and they kept forgetting that they weren't eating meat. The Bananas Foster Split also send their heads into a spin...they thought they were eating ice cream.

      I also love Madeline's fresh-squeezed juices, beet tartare and their flourless chocolate cake.

      1. re: esculent

        Those risotto-crusted mushrooms stand out in my head, as did the vegan Thai curry.

        I liked the "creme" they used, but readers should know it's made from cashews, so be aware about allergens.

    2. All of these aren't really upscale upscale, but they should help you w/ your diverging palates... I dated a vegetarian for a while, and I found it only inconvenient when I wanted to cook dinner for us both...

      Try Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana.

      Inn of the Seventh Ray has vegan options. (this is nice and upscale)

      You might call Grace to see if they'll do a vegan tasting menu--I know they do a vegetarian one.

      Rahel on Fairfax is vegan ethiopian.

      Mao's Kitchen in Venice for both options.

      Ambala Dhala for Indian in Westwood has vegan options as does Shamshiri Grill for Persian. Paru on Sunset is a good option too.

      Newsroom Cafe can satisfy you both.

      Take her to Scoops for vegan gelato :-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Emme

        Yes! Vegans love desserts. Well I do at least. You could take her to Manis for pastries and coffee too.

      2. Upscale Non-Vegan restaurant with Vegan options for your friend. You won't feel any contempt if you go to La Cachette (5 minutes west of Century City); under the apps and salads you find 3 choices with "Vegan upon request":

        4 Replies
        1. re: JBC

          re: La Cachette: You could try Mélisse too.

          I went to La Cachette once for a business lunch, and I didn't have a good experience, though maybe it was just bad luck.

          I haven't been there for a while, but Water Grill, like most upscale places, has done good things for me in the past. Second the suggestion of calling in advance with nice places - it usually makes things go a little more smoothly.

          Aside from the other excellent suggestions in this thread, Italian is often a good bet. You could also try Mozza - opinions vary widely on this forum... I like it personally. I think the pizzas should be vegan w/o cheese (I like the broccoli rabe / olive pizza w/o the anchovies and cheese), and the white bean spread bruschetta is great. We also like Angeli Caffe.

          Ethnic foods like Thai (watch out for fish sauce, shrimp paste, oyster sauce, though), Vietnamese (fish sauce), Chinese (watch for meat stock), and Ethiopian can be good bets too.

          I'm vegan and my gf isn't, and we manage to go out to eat together fairly frequently (we've been together for a year and change). That's not to say that it's not without frustrations, but it is possible.

          Maybe you're joking, but the original post seems a little harsh - even if you don't want to become vegan, or don't thing it's a good choice, I think it's going to be hard for your "contempt" for her choice not to come across. And I bet it'll win you a lot of brownie points if you take her to a vegetarian restaurant or eat vegetarian food yourself --- and lose you some if you eat a big steak in front of her.

          1. re: will47

            ps - The gf's advice - "Dump her and find another girl."

            1. re: will47

              But you can take comfort in the fact that she will probably always be skinny and heart attack and stroke free.

              1. re: Snackish

                I'll take a heart attack, to go please, if it tastes right. Just kidding. :)

                I sympathize with the original poster though.

                When I hear "vegan," I think of places like Au Lac, in OC, or places in SF that serve "fakin' bacon" (no, thank you). It appears from this list that there are a variety of tastier options.

        2. Also Messob and Merkato on Fairfar for Ethiopian. Elf Cafe per recent post. ("contempt for dietary life choice"? - sounds like a slippery slope)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Local

            there is a place called happy family out in alhambra some where. i am a carnivor, but my v egan buddies take me there, and i forget its a vegan restaraunt. you MUST be in the mood for chinese to go, though.

          2. Many Middle-Eastern dishes are vegan in preparation, such as hummus, tabbouli, babaghanoush, falafel, fattoush, stuffed vine leaves, muhammara, moujadara etc. Any Middle-Eastern or Greek place should have lots of great vegan mezze for her while still having lots of meaty things for you!

            3 Replies
            1. re: hrhboo

              along this line,
              shamshiri grill has a whole vegetarian portion of their menu.
              i'd bet that the majority of these items are, in fact, vegan.
              certainly their soups would be vegan, as would their mezze.

              1. re: westsidegal

                And you can and should get the lamb fesenjan. You'll love it and she'll need to be comfortable with your eating choice. (It's a lamb shank, perfectly tender, in the most amazing warm walnut/pomegranate puree. It's hard to explain how this combination becomes the most delicious thing, but it does.)

                1. re: Cinnamon

                  Love Shamshiri in Westwood. I'm a meateater and my sister and her hubby are vegan, and we all found delicious food.