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Dec 7, 2007 07:01 PM

Visiting Vegetarians

I have two vegetarian friends coming to visit at the end of the month and I'm trying to decide where to take them. I'm a pescatarian veggie so I tend to not notice the lack/abundance of pure veggie options if there is seafood. I don't know the full extent of their vegetarianism but I believe that eggs and dairy are ok. I think fish sauce being used to cook something won't throw them off but beef broth won't cut it.

I'm interested in three specific cuisines. Korean, in Korea Town (for the atmosphere) or elsewhere. Japanese - maybe a soup place or Mishima market on Centinela since I find veggie sushi to be dull. Indian in Artesia or an Indian all-veggie place anywhere. I'm open to hearing about non-Westside choices or all-vegetarian restaurants which are in the under $10 an entree category. I might also take them to Govinda's (the Krishna place on Venice) because I know that nothing of the kind exists in their hometown. And I was also considering a Thai Temple visit. Any suggestions or experiences to share?

Last time, I took them to Ruen Pair (which is my fave place ever) and we had papaya salad, the morning glory and the pad see ewe with tofu - they loved all three, so I think great food overall is important. And they will try things they have never seen before.

Of course, an LA vibe doesn't hurt so places like Newsroom Cafe are also in the running.

And finally, is there anything in proximity to Joshua Tree/Palm Springs that they might enjoy? Thanks.

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  1. I was in Joshua Tree a few weeks ago and dined at Enchada Mexican Restaurant near Twentynine Palms. The food was decent for the area, and inexpensive. I'm sure you can ordre veggie burritos, fajitas, and quesadillas. I wouldn't order seafood in a dessert area though.

    1. You don't mention if the presence of meat at the restaurant is unacceptable. If not, I try to get visiting vegetarians to try Ethiopian food. This usually means Fairfax -- my personal preference is Merkato for the good food, laid-back atmosphere, and cheap prices. This also means a communal plate and eating with their fingers (though they could probably scrounge up some forks if your guests would prefer that). Their vegetarian combination will get you a hefty helping of four or five different meatless dishes. They do have butter in them, though.

      About a year ago I stumbled into Paru's (5140 Sunset, in Hollywood) by accident, and was quite pleasantly surprised. Paru's is an all-vegetarian South Indian place which provides a nice break from the standard tandoori/vindaloo/naan fare. It's got a pleasant atmosphere, not too fancy, and although entrees are under $10 a plate, you'll probably want to order some sides which will up the price a little over the $10 mark. Still, it's not an expensive place, and is worth a visit.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Bjartmarr

        for vegetarian eithiopian food, imho, the best place is rahel which ONLY makes vegan ethiopian food. be sure to request some awazay with your meal as a condiment.

        a place that has many wonderful, reasonably priced, innovative vegetarian options go to Homegirl Cafe. (they were in boyle heights, but i've heard rumors that they were trying to change locations, so be sure to phone first.)

        very good healthy vegetarian food (i.e. whole grain tortillas, etc.) THE SPOT which is practically on the boardwalk at 2nd street in hermosa beach. you can take a lovely ocean-view stroll before or after the meal.

        for vegetarian persian food, go to shamshiri grill which has an entire section of their menu devoted to their excellent vegetarian options. note that they also serve many other vegetarian dishes which are scattered in the other sections of the menu.

        for vegetarian indian food, very inexpensive, but served on styrofoam plates, my vote goes to SAMOSA HOUSE on washinton and berryman (just west of the 405)

        1. re: westsidegal

          Funny, I was at Samosa House last night and thought that my friends might enjoy it especially since they serve unique items like jack fruit and lotus and the set-up is much nice than the India Sweet & Spices on Venice.

          I hadn't considered Ethiopean but I will look into Rahel since most Ethiopean places only have one veg option (plus appetizers). I think Merkato is where we usually go - love their fish.

          Just looked up Homegirl Cafe and it definitely seems worth a visit.

          Thanks for all the suggestions!

          1. re: SusieGirl7

            when you go to SAMOSA HOUSE be sure to ask them if they are serving their phenomenal mango/banana/pistachio soup.

          2. re: westsidegal

            I second Rahel. It is FABULOUS! The food is great and Rahel herself is a really great lady.

          3. re: Bjartmarr

            Another excellent place for vegetarian Indian food is Annapurna in the West LA / Culver City area:


          4. For good Veggie Indian, go to Woodlands pure in Artesia or in Chatsworth.

            UN fing believeable. The Friday night Buffet and Dosa Frenzy in Chatsworth is an amazingly yummy and affordable feast!

            1. Also note that the Thai temple is currently closed.

              1. There are some good Chinese vegetarian places in the San Gabriel Valley. Here's a list:

                Vegetarian Wok ( In Sunny Plaza)
                529 E Valley Blvd
                San Gabriel, CA

                Bean Sprout Cafe
                103 E Huntington Dr
                Arcadia, CA

                Happy Family Restaurant
                140 W. Valley Blvd. Ste 213
                San Gabriel, CA 91776-3787
                Phone: (626) 280-8589

                1 Reply
                1. re: crystaw

                  I definitely will put in my vote for Bean Sprout Cafe. They serve vegan/vegetarian Taiwanese dishes that are just absolutely delicious.