Best Veggie-Friendly Restaurant in Town (money no object)?
Looking to get a gift certificate to an excellent restaurant as a wedding gift for friends. The bride is vegetarian so I would obviously like to get a gift to a vegetarian-friendly restaurant. Given that it is a wedding gift, money is not really an object.
Friends have suggested Osteria Mozza, and I was also considering Drago Centro. Which of those is better for this occasion? (I've never been to either.) Are there any other really special restaurants they could enjoy together?
525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071
6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Melisse has a vegetarian tasting menu and usually several other additional veggie items on its menu that can be used to substitute. Citrin does excellent work with truffles and other mushrooms (last night, we had several dishes with morels, since it is not truffle season), and does very good work with eggs. There also is a fabulous cheese cart.
I went last night and, on our regular menu, we had a few items that were very veggie friendly. 3/4 of the amuse bouches were veggie, including two different preparations of concord grapes and a couple with three layers -- blood orange, fennel flan, and chestnut foam. (The other amuse was a spoon on the side with a little ahi tartare, but I'm sure they could do a different item for a vegetarian.)
For the first course, we had a white asparagus with morels. (Another dish was green asparagus two ways -- one was a few stalks with a santa barbara prawn and the other was slice under a soft-boiled egg. As good as the prawn was, the dish could have been down without it.) This course's options also had a sweet pea soup, beet salad, and vegetable salad.
When they have truffles, they do a fantastic truffle egg and truffle tagliatelle (both of which I've loved). They also have a truffle risotto.
I also think Osteria Mozza is a great option assuming your friend is a cheese lover. The dishes from the mozarella bar are incredible tastes (served bruschetta-style) and are very veggie friendly. I particularly loved the burricotta with braised artichokes, pine nuts, currants & mint pesto. I don't know if any of the secondi are vegetarian, but the primi pastas have some good vegetarian options such as the ricotta and egg ravioli.
1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
My vegetarian wife picks Mozza for her birthday and "we have a baby sitter, let's go out" dinners every time. Loved the food at Drago the one time we tried it but Mozza feels a bit more special.
Based on experience I'd go with that one but some other suggestions if you're looking for more options: Providence, Gjelina, any of the Suzanne Goin places (AOC, Tavern, Lucques, Hungry Cat), Akasha, Ammo.
Also, a perfect choice if it's still happening though you may have missed it is the special vegetarian menu at Animal.
The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069
9543 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA
Sona, but they're now closed for a while. I had a fantastic vegan meal there recently; sad I didn't try it sooner.
I think Mélisse would be a pretty popular suggestion; my own experience there was mixed, but I've only been there once. They have a vegetarian tasting menu.
401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048