Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Aug 18, 2008 01:38 PM

Chinese vegetarian, but no fake meat

Any suggestions for Chinese vegetarian restaurants without the fake meat?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You can go to any Chinese restaurant and have a vegetarian meal by ordering only the vegetable dishes, e.g. gai-lan, bamboo shoots, tofu, bean curd, mushrooms, asparagus, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, etc.

    Are you looking for something in particular?

    5 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Or OP can go to a vegetarian restaurant and not order the faked meat dishes.

      Just make sure the vegetable dishes from a regular restaurants are truly vegetarian, e.g. no chicken stock.

      Have someone in the party dress up as a buddhist monk or nun. The restuarants will understand the request.

      1. re: PeterL

        "Have someone in the party dress up as a buddhist monk or nun. The restuarants will understand the request."

        ... and actually RESPECT the request.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I'm going to assume that the OP would rather not visit a costume shop before going out to eat.

          Mei Wah has a <a href=" on ordering vegetarian in Chinese restaurants</a> that you may want to check out. Try copying down the characters for "vegetarian" and "Buddha" and showing them to the waiter.

          Sorry that I can't recommend specific restaurants, but any decent restaurant should be able to accomodate you provided they understand what you want.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        I guess I was hoping for more creative Chinese vegetarian dishes that bring out the flavors of vegetables, as opposed to just substituting fake meat in standard non-veg dishes. I thought Bean Sprouts in Arcadia does this quite well, even though they do have some fake meat.

        Also, the problem with any Chinese restaurant is many times the base of the sauce is a meat broth, like chicken broth or pork broth, etc.

        1. re: miriya52

          the good vegetarian places like happy family will have both dishes with gluten and will have dishes made with all kinds mushrooms, vegetables like fa-tsai, narcissus bulb, soups with monkey head mushrooms etc.

          if you don't want gluten or soy products don't order it. I don't understand the need for the restaurant not to offer that choice. If someone doesn't like the taste of meat, rather than having an ethical issue, one doesn't have to order it.

          If the question is - what is a good chinese pure vegetarian restaurant that avoids meat fish alcohol eggs onion and garlic AS WELL as avoiding all gluten and soy processed products - then i'm sorry i don't know of any.

          Happy family will have dishes that will have a variety of vegetables. they aren't any more creative than those which use gluten etc to create mock meats. Nor are they more traditional.

          If you've tried happy family and are unhappy with the selection, then I don't know if there is a wider one around.

          Consider the vietnamese au lac as well.

      3. Your subject line made me chuckle. Damn fake meats! I never fashioned a leek
        out of chorizo, why does it go the other way? ;)