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Atkins and the Vegan Diet???

Well the title kinda says it all. I have a friend, my BEST friend coming into town for a week. I used to be vegan, obviously I am not anymore. I actually started the atkins diet 3 days ago and plan to stick to it for a few more weeks. So you see the predicament is my friend is vegan. I retained some parts of my old vegan ways since I dropped them 2 years ago, but don't eat cheese, or dairy intentionally anymore. So that leaves me with meat and light veggies. He won't touch meat, or dairy.

Where do we eat!?!?!?!?!?!!!

If I was going out by myself i'd get sashimi at my fav sushi place or a big juicy steak. I don't want to offend him though by dragging him to steakhouse after steakhouse or sushi place after sushi place unless they have a good number of vegan/veggie things on the menu.

I have a feeling this is gonna be a tough one but you all are up for the challenge.......... right?????


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  1. What about Italian or Indian? I try to limit my carbs and have found that you can actually do OK in both (although I am always tempted...) I'd imagine that a Vegan could as well. But then again, I've never had to cook for a Vegan so I'll be the first to admit that I don't know all the limitations.

    2 Replies
    1. re: soccerandlost

      I'm in the induction phase of atkins, no more then 20 carbs a day. This would be impossible at an indian place. I may be able to pull it off with a steak at an italian place. But veggie's are severely limited in this phase.

      1. re: Ben7643

        At an Indian place, you can always stick with tandoori chicken/shrimp or lamb kebabs and be fine. It would be harder for your friend since a lot of Indian food is made with ghee.

    2. How about Korean BBQ?

      Grilled veggies and banchan for your friend and grilled meats for you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I'd never take a vegan to a place that smells of meat and we all know all Korean BBQ places do. It's one thing to have a steak delivered to your table cooked, it's another to present them with raw meat and smoke as you cook it. Not ditching Korean BBQ I LOVE the stuff it's just not right with a vegan.


        1. re: Ben7643

          Yeah, you're probably right re: Korean BBQ.

          How about Chichin Itza? I was just there the other day and noticed that they had a good selection of vegetarian specialties as well as selected "vegan" items.

          You can stick with the cochinita pibil and your friend can dine on the vegetarian tamale (which the menu lists as "vegan").


          1. re: ipsedixit

            We will def hit up Chichin Itza as well.


      2. Try Inaka macrobiotic on La Brea. You can order fish which comes with whatever sides you want. You can chose low carb vegetables like kale. Everything but the fish is vegan, so your friend should be happy.

        1. a few different thoughts...

          mao's chinese kitchen can do vegan and healthy chinese (i.e. steamed, sauces on the side, just veggies, no rice, etc.)

          a votre sante or its sister place sante la brea

          newsroom cafe

          26 beach has salads (and will do tofu on anything), and a great veggie burger, though I don't know if it's vegan

          if you want to do a nice night out, i'd consider calling up grace or la cachette

          hugo's could also be ideal, as they accommodate healthy very well, and certainly have and can modify for vegan

          eat well... just had lunch here the other day... the buddha bowl (personally I subbed egg whites for tofu)... for your atkins, have them leave off the rice, beans and tortillas, double veggies, and it remains vegan for your buddy... it was sooo good, with whatever curry seasoning they added. you might also enjoy the trio salad. there are certainly great accommodations for vegans as well

          hope that helps somewhat!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            I was thinking that a chinese vegetarian place should work. You can just eat veggies and beans/beancurd, and your friend can have anything on the menu.

            1. re: Emme

              I like 26 beach but what do they have that's low carb?

              1. re: Ben7643

                for a start you can get one of their burgers that comes with a salad and tell them to omit the bun
                also, almost all of their salads can be ordered low carb, or, alternatively, they can be ordered with grilled tofu as a substitute for the meat.

            2. This is such an LA predicament... I think you're resigned to taking out from separate restaurants and eating at home together. Though, I suppose you could go to a deli with a huge menu or to a place like Joan's on Third, where there are a million salads and you can eat plain grilled chicken breasts until the sun comes up.

              1. I vote for middle eastern at Caroussel, Marouch, Carnvial or anywhere with a similar menu. You can have kebabs without the rice and a cabbage salad; he can choose from hummus, tabbouli, mutabal and plenty of other vegan side dishes.

                9 Replies
                1. re: Chowpatty

                  I like the Mediterranean idea. But would also suggest Papa Cristos. Not much atmosphere (but then, there's not much at Carousel either and I've never been to the others suggestions), great Greek food, and an interesting part of town.

                  And you can do Indian on a low-carb diet. I do it all the time. Most Indian restaurants have a Tandoori Grill platter. It's basically tandoori BBQ.

                  Finally, I wouldn't worry too much about the effect of veggies on a low-carb diet. If you cut out breads, pastas, potatoes, and other straight carbs, you will do just fine... And eating some veggies is much more healthy.

                  1. re: soccerandlost

                    not much at papa cristos for a vegan. what protein choices would they have?

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Octopus, lamb, beef, chicken beans, lentils and such.

                      1. re: Diana

                        I don't think that most of those (besides lentils and beans) would be considered vegan.

                        1. re: mollyomormon

                          Oh, duh, I forgot the OP was going on vegan. for a friend..but the OP eats meat...

                          1. re: Diana

                            Sure, I think that westsidegal was just saying it would be difficult for OP's vegan friend to find protein for a balanced meal at Papa Christos. Having formerly been vegetarian, I think that's definitely the case. I like the M Cafe rec.

                    2. re: soccerandlost

                      Marouch is great, and mediterranean is really the best possible option. Hummus, tabbouli, babaghanoush, stuffed vine leaves, fattoush, lentil soup, muhammara, mujaddara, zaatar etc are all vegan friendly. You can load up on grilled meats and salad.

                      Alternatively, you could go for Iranian. Shamshiri has lots of great veggie/vegan dishes and plenty of meat for you.

                      1. re: hrhboo

                        i believe that the rice at shamshiri may be prepared with butter.
                        i've asked about this a number of times and have been given conflicting answers.

                    3. re: Chowpatty

                      Marouch looks cozy, looks like i could have a nice meal there and so could he so it's first on my hit list ;).


                    4. Oooh, atkins is soooooBAD for you!

                      But, if you insist, see if Steve's Low Carb Cafe is still around!

                      17553 Chatsworth St
                      Granada Hills, CA 91344
                      Phone: (818) 832-0950

                      There is a vegetarian Sushi (I know, it doesn't make sense to me, either) place in Burbank

                      Tomo Sushi
                      144 N. San Fernando Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502
                      Phone: 818-729-0808
                      FAX: 818-729-0308
                      Hours: Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
                      Friday 11:00 a.m. to Midnight
                      Saturday Noon to Midnight
                      Sunday Noon to 11:00 p.m.

                      Here, go to this site for reviews of other possibilities

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Diana

                        It's just 2 weeks i'm not doing it for longer no worries ;). I need my pasta in the long run :). So after this i'm going back to my old way of eating which was very japanese with the occasional pasta.

                        Still reading down the board and cackling as I go yes this is a VERY LA predicament.


                      2. probably far from you, but BIG WOK mongolian barbeque in manhattan beach would be almost perfect from the dietary-limitation standpoint.

                        they offer tofu as one of their protein choices, so your friend could get vegetables and tofu.
                        you, could just pig out on the meat and poultry.

                        1. if you eat fish, you could get by at m cafe de chaya, and there would be a ton of options for your friend.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: westsidegal

                            I like their menu, when i'm off this diet i'll try it. But I don't see one thing that is low carb on their menu. Sushi has rice so can't do that, burgers have bread so they are a no go, I don't see any fish by itself. MOngolian BBQ in manhattan beach might work but i doubt we will get down there.


                          2. Second the recommendation for middle eastern -- places like Marouch and Carousel are good for both the meat-eater and the vegan.

                            Other options in the Japanese vein that I'd suggest would include Mako in Beverly Hills, Mishima on 3rd and Ita Cho on Beverly. In addition to sushi, all three have a variety of vegan items. At Mako, you can even get your steak!



                            Itacho Japanese Restaurant
                            7311 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                            1 Reply
                            1. Although this is a very LA predicament, I don't think it's all that unusual, especially when families get together. I am mainly vegetarian and my dad is always on and off of Atkins....It's hard enough and I'm not even vegan! In any case, Marouch is an excellent rec and I would definitely urge you to go there. The food is great and there are plenty of options for both of you. Not expensive. You won't be sorry.

                              Another idea might be the Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. I can't think of any specific recs, but there are enough choices that you could each find something suitable and then be able to eat together at the outdoor tables. Not a bad place to bring a visitor from out-of-town... Good people watching.

                              1. What about Ethiopian? Culver City has some nice places.