Vegetarian Suggestions, anyone?
I'm a big fan of great food and restaurants, but I'd like to try some places that offer more than just the standard pasta or risotto vegetarian options. Dairy and eggs are ok; any type of cuisine that doesn't include meat, chicken, fish, or components thereof is also a--ok. I live in Los Feliz, work in Pasadena, but will happily travel to your recommendations. Thanks!
for persian food, i like SHAMSHIRI GRILL on westwood blvd.
they have an extensive vegetarian section of their menu that is really good.
for ethiopian, i like rahel, which is located on fairfax south of olympic. all of rahel's food is vegan and delicious. be sure to ask for awazay (spicy red pepper paste) as a condiment.
for fantastic lunches (they serve breakfast too but i haven't tried breakfast yet), in boyle heights (north of downtown), go to HOMEGIRL CAFE. they serve fantastic, innovative, fresh-tasting, food that is inspired by mexican cuisine but is not greasy.
There's a vegetarian noodle restaurant called Bean Sprout Cafe on Huntington and First in Arcadia that's pretty good. There are also several good vegetarian Chinese places in the SGV like Vegetarian Wok, Fine Garden, and the Happy Family chain. This thread should help http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367304
India's Flavor (between Glendale and Montrose) has a variety of yummy vegie options. And their garlic naan is TO DIE FOR. Love using it to scoop saag paneer and any of the lentil things on the menu. There are a ton of things I'm not mentioning because I don't remember the names, but you can't go wrong here. The food is incredible. And the couple that own and run it are so sweet. The wife does most of the cooking and I swear the food tastes like it was prepared with love. I'm not even kidding, it does.
You'll find this little iddy biddy gem of a place in a strip mall on Verdugo: 3303 N. Verdugo. 818-957-5500.
I liked this place the first time I went, but the second time around everything that came to the table was overly sweet; if I went again, I would definitely ask them to hold back on the sugar.
There's a good all-vegetarian Indian place on Sunset in Silverlake/Hollywood called Paru's, and there are several in the Cerritos area if you're up to the drive. Less good but worth noting is the India Sweets and Spices vegetarian restaurant adjacent to the grocery store of the same name on Los Feliz Blvd in Atwater Village. Again (I mentioned this in another recent thread), that place is at its best if you skip the stuff in the steam trays and get cooked-to-order things off the menu.
Also, there's a vegan Thai place in Silverlake on Sunset Blvd by the Comfort Inn. I've been there a couple times. It's not the best Thai food in town, but there's something to be said for knowing for sure that you're not eating any fish-sauce or shrimp paste, which are ubiquitous, even in "vegetarian dishes," at most other restaurants.
Zen Zoo both in Bev Hills and Hollywood have great choices. I recommend the Tofu Delight, which is a medley of sauteed veggies and mushrooms and tofu over sticky white or brown steamed rice. I also recommend all of their dumplings which are clean and simple in flavor and texture.
Another great Veggie choice in Silverlake/Echo park is The Elf Cafe. I've never been there, but it got great reviews on Chowhound.
Aroma Cafe in Sherman Oaks serves up an amazing array of Israeli favorites, and is completely vegetarian. It's truly an awsome restaurant, and you won't find many Americans dining there. The waiters barely speak English. The hummus is to die for, and try the bourekas!
Jade Cafe is now called Cru --- http://www.crusilverlake.com/ I think it's the same ownership, but I never ate there before the switch, so I don't know what's changed.
I am not even a vegetarian --- I love me my double-doubles animal style with a strawberry shake --- but I have eaten at Cru several times and found it delicious. I actually like it better than other vegetarian/vegan restaurants that fall into the trap of meat replacement dishes that just fall short of the original. But no gluten stroganoffed wannabes here. The food is super fresh and filled with crazy tastes that you just don't find elsewhere --- shaved rutebegas, yam chips, a variety of nut pastes and tapenades, that are combined to great effect to create really delicate, subtle flavors. The appetizers are great -- all these tasty tapenades and nut pastes that I've actually tried to emulate at home. We've had great luck with their pastas (shitake ravioli in a white miso-coconut dressing that tasted like some wonderful aromatic butter that had my wife cleaning the plate with her fingers). The pizzas were not a favorite --- the toppings were good, but the crusts are strange and stray into the wannabe baked-goods category. I've also had a mushroom wrap which shocked me when it came out wrapped in two giant leaves of kale, but was fantastic (some sort of nut paste again, and a tasty assortment of vegetables). Deserts are also really, really good -- one of the best being the crepes with raspberry sorbet. Chocolate sauce and overtones of coconut. Yum! Good service, and reasonable prices --- appetizers & salads in the $7-10 range, the wraps are $10, and the entrees are $15-16.
Michelia Nouvelle Vietnamese Restaurant
Has a whole menu dedicated to vegetarian food. I personally ate from their non-veggie menu, but the food was so good and wholesome, I can not imagine the veggie options to be anything but the same. I also have a friend that is a strict vegetarian and he lists this as one of his favorite restaurant for gourmet vegetarian food. Definitely worth the drive.
8738 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048-3814
You are in a great neighborhood for vegetarians. You are probably already familiar with Fred 62. My friend likes to get their Asian chicken salad with tofu instead of chicken, as well as the bang bang noodles.
Zankou chicken on Sunset has the best falafel.
Safari Sam's nightclub has a spicy Southwestern veggie "meatloaf".
If you want to leave your area, the Spot in Hermosa has some old-school hippie vegetarian. They used to cook for Paul and Linda McCartney when they were in LA. Good enchilada sauce.
Vegetable Delight in the valley has trippy fake Chinese meat dishes. They have taken it to a whole new level.