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Restaurant where a vegetarian will enjoy her birthday?

Planning a celebration for my vegetarian goddaughter's birthday in the area from Mid-City west. Someplace special where she'll enjoy the food and that will be celebratory for a group of six (mostly in their late 20s). Chowhounds, please help.

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  1. I like Akasha in Culver City. There is something for everyone on their menu and some very good vegetarian dishes. A very nice place for a party.

    9543 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I am not sure if you meant Wilshre Blvd or that restaurant link. That restaurant isn't ideal for a vegetarian. There are items you can order--but it seems more like I will order this entree because its the only vegetarian entree. I am guessing on your birthday, most people would like to be able to be a bit picky.

      2. I'm sure you've been there, but RFD always pleases the palette. Depending on how casual you want your birthday to be, this place could be an excellent choice.


        1. Don't know how far west you want to travel but Fig at The Farimont Hotel in Santa Monica has some wonderful vegetarian dishes.

          101 Wilshire Boulevard
          Santa Monica, CA 90401-1106

          4 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile

            that place looks good with an excellent selection of choices, a bit pricy. Can you describe what some of the vegetarian options are like?

            1. re: apple7blue

              The Chef Garcia of Fig describes it best "We serve simple, bistro-inspired dishes that bring out the best of what nature has already put in – nothing experimental or overworked; just pure, flavorful ingredients delivered to your table." I like the Pastaless Lasagna with Bloomsdale Spinach, Sweet Potato, San Marzano Tomatoes, Mozzarella. You can taste every ingredient. Fresh flavors. I also recommend their Red Beet Risotto with Carnaroli, Asparagus, Creme Fraiche, Dill.

              1. re: wienermobile

                that sounds great but funny to describe it as pastaless lasagna instead of a vegetable bake--it does make it sound experimental. a lot of places are doing squash spaghetti, which instead of pasta has shredded squash--but the connotations bring such preconceptions to my mind that my palate is always confused. I will definitely try it next time I am in Santa Monica.

                1. re: apple7blue

                  Unlike a vegetable bake where everything is mixed together, in this dish each ingredient is layered.

          2. Gjelina in Venice.

            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

            1 Reply
            1. re: hrhboo

              +2 on Gjelena. The produce is amazing and pair that with their wood-fired oven... You don't have to be a vegetarian to appreciate how good the vegetable dishes are.

            2. Maybe slightly east of where you are looking, but my I've taken a few vegetarian friends to Hatfield's for their veg prix fixe menu and all were floored. Quinn Hatfield consistently turns out seasonal menu where there is no need for meat/fish. It's also a steal at $49 for four courses.

              6703 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

              1. I took a couple people to Providence. Didn't know one of them was a vegetarian (thank god she wasn't a vegan!). And they put together a phenomenal tasting menu for her!)

                In fact, she had one thing that was so good - she had it twice (it might have been the truffled egg)

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                  dunno that i'd consider tasting menus of any sort at providence as my first choice for a group of six 20 somethings. . . .

                  if it were me, i'd select almost any good Italian restaurant.

                  i'd use providence tasting menu for the 25th birthday party

                2. How about one of the many ethiopian restaurants off of Fairfax in Little Ethiopia?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: DrBruin

                    when i tried that, i found that many young meat-eaters can't stomach food that is so far out of their 'norm.'

                    1. re: DrBruin

                      Little Ethiopian restaurants are the everyday dine-out spots for my goddaughter and her friends.

                      1. re: Discerning1

                        Thanks for this thread, I am in your goddaughter's demographic . . . I was actually familiar with some places (for one, ie. I haven't yet had Ethiopian like Rahel's--and I was familiar with them since a little kid) and haven't tried them yet--but there are a lot of new leads here.

                    2. Indian is also a good option for vegetarians, although I'd of course check with your goddaughter if she's into it.

                      If you want to go really upscale (e.g., Providence), most of those places either already have a serious vegetarian tasting menu or will put one together. But unless you want to go $100+ per person (I think Providence is $85, so $110 with tax and tip and that's tap water only), I'd stick to something more casual and fun. But I didn't know about the $49 veggie option at Hatfield's, if she and her friends want to go more upscale, that would be a good option.

                      Italian is also good for veggies. Some place like Angelini, where the pastas are really outstanding, might be good.

                      And although it's not Mid-city, people above mentioned Gjelina, whcih would be a hip, fun choice.