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Jul 1, 2007 04:45 PM

He's a vegetarian . . . I'm a steak and potatoes

This new guy I'm dating is a vegetarian, but he will eat eggs and dairy. I, however, hate most vegetables and find nothing better than filet mignon or carnitas.

Any suggestions for places will will both enjoy?

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  1. I think Mexican food is the way to go. Taco Mesa is a place that my friends and I enjoy.

    Mother's Market in Costa Mesa and Irvine is another decent choice.

    There's a place called Native Foods that my vegetarian friends enjoy. I've never been there, though.

    16 Replies
    1. re: katkoupai

      Native Foods is all VEGAN. It's probably the best vegan place around; I've been there, and it was okay. But if he's ovolactovegetarian, why suffer? She certainly will.

      1. re: Woolsey

        Good point. I noticed that on the Native Foods website. I personally am not a fan of "Fakin' Bacon" and similar wannabe meat products, but I just thought I'd throw Native Foods out there.

        Both Mother's and Taco Mesa would probably fit the bill better, as they have vegetarian and meat options. :)

        1. re: katkoupai

          But if you gotta go vegan, Native Foods is the place to go. A meat-lover wouldn't suffer too much with the nachos there.

      2. re: katkoupai

        Mothers is good, I was in the same situation and it worked for both of us. Unfortunately, we weren't in OC very often!

        The problem with Mexican for us was he ALWAYS had to ask if there was lard in the beans and if they used chicken broth in the rice. Oftentimes, they wouldn't know (or would pretend not to know) and it was a HUGE hassle getting a straight answer. So choose your Mexican place wisely, to avoid hassles.

        Indian would have been an excellent choice, but I can't stand it!

        He could usually make a pretty satisfying meal out of sides and such if I had a real steakhouse craving.

        Bottom line, I tried to let him choose where to eat, since he was the one with the restrictions. If I wanted a meat orgy, I would go with other friends.

        1. re: annalulu

          Good point about the lard at Mexican restaurants. I was thinking the same thing. Taco Mesa's website says "No lard." I think I've seen a similar sign at Baja Fresh.

          1. re: katkoupai

            I don't think many Mexican places use lard these days. I just don't taste it often. (I grew up in Texas, where the Tex-Mex places are far more manteca-friendly.) There's been a big anti-lard movement for years, both in restaurants and in a lot of Latino homes. Any place that has a lot of gringo traffic almost certainly wouldn't use it - although I could definitely taste lard in the beans on the clayuda at Guelaguetza on Eighth.

            1. re: Woolsey

              Dare I say it? I actually like the taste of lard in beans. At least I think that's what makes them taste so good. At Rosarito #2 in Pasadena, I think they use lard, and that's why the beans are so much tastier.


              1. re: katkoupai

                Are you kidding? Lard is what makes great beans, and it's one reason (of many) I miss Tex-Mex so much. I'm totally with you. ¡Viva manteca!

                  1. re: katkoupai

                    Yeah, it's also half the cholesterol and one-third less saturated fat of butter.

                    1. re: roasted138

                      obviously, anyone really concerned about cholesterol or saturated fat would not opt for EITHER butter or lard since BOTH are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

                        1. re: Diana

                          still, anyone trying to eat in a heart-healthy manner would try to avoid lard, butter, AND hydrogenated fats.

                            1. re: Diana

                              True if we can ignore 'the French paradox', since the French have the second lowest rate of heart disease in the world and they swim in butter, cream, goose fat, etc. Research has still yet to explain why half of people with high cholesterol don't get heart disease while half of the people with low cholesterol do.

                1. re: katkoupai

                  lard does make things taste better.
                  after the first family member starts having angina, though, it loses it's appeal.

                  for 30 somethings living on their own, this may take years to happen. . . .

        2. any neighborhood preferences? westside? sfv?

          1. Helpful Hints - What part of the greater L.A. Uber-opolus, and how big of a Filet Mignon makes you happy (how many ounces)?

            Mako - Asian/French - Beverly Hills

            Him - Coice of 4 salads, and a Vegan Pad Thai (other options available).
            You - A starter, and Filet Mignon (oz. ?), Wasbai Potato Puree, in a cognac garlic suace $23.


            1. 1)shamshiri grill on westwood blvd (persian)
              has an extensive vegetarian portion of their menu.
              their soups are delicious and vegetarian.
              they ALSO serve a great (or so my meat-eating friends say) shish kabob made of filet minon, and a great lamb kebab.

              2) if you can stand ethnic food, in particular ethiopian food, there are two terrific ethiopian restartants that serve meat AND also offer terrific vegetarian platters:
              awash (on pico) and meals by genet (on fairfax--closed for lunch and closed on mondays and tuesdays)

              3) the chain Houston's offers a very wide array of meat dishes for you and also offers an excellent veggie burger for him. their couscous with almonds and raisons is also delicious as is their asparagus in vinegrette.

              4) for casual burgers go to the Counter in santa monica which also offers an excellent veggie burger

              5) 26 beach cafe (california fresh food) will have plenty of good choices for both of you
              they will substitute grilled tofu for any of the meats in their salads.

              6) for thai food, go to thai boom on venice near midvale. they will sustitute tofu (your choice steamed or sauteed) for any of the meats in their dishes-- you will need to enquire, though, about their use of fish sauce in their sauces.

              1 Reply
              1. re: westsidegal

                I second 26 Beach. One of my favorite spots. I was just there last weke with the bf - he had a great big goat cheese salad that he loved, and I had the special Kobe beef burger which was really yummy (and I think it's a special most ngihts). The menu is huge and everything is really good, except the pizzas which I found to be too cardboard-like and the cheese was weird.

                Bossa Nova is also good for big salads, sandwiches, and other yummy things. And I LOVE the pizza there.

                Another thought is that most Italian restaurants will work great. They'll have great risottos, gnocchi, dishes like eggplant parmesan, as well as good steaks or at least a nice rack of lamb for you. Tanino, La Dolce Vita, Enoteca Drago, and Ago immediately come to mind and all are great.

              2. Lucky Devil's has a great veggie burger.
                Newsroom Cafe (not everyone likes it but I do!)
                For veggie tasting menus, you can do 'em at Grace and La Cachette
                Fritto Misto
                A Votre Sante
                Border Grill
                Eat Well
                Ed's Coffee Shop
                The Firehouse
                Kate Mantilini
                Second the recs for Ethiopian

                1 Reply
                1. re: Emme

                  A few others...

                  Almost forgot, if you want to indulge his veggieness and not feel left out of meaty tastes, try Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana and Elf Cafe in Los Feliz.

                  Mao's Chinese Kitchen has meat substitutes.

                  Home in Los Feliz as well has veggie and meaty options.