Does anyone know of any vegetarian restaurants or restaurants that have vegetarian food that is inventive, and tastes really good? I'm looking for more than salads and pasta primavera type options. Live in Studio City, but will travel to other LA areas to try a great new restaurant.
The café at Follow Your Heart natural food store in Canoga Park is a bit of the trek from studio city, but i live in studio city and trust me the trek is definately worth it. A great selection of vegetarian/vegan foods, moderately priced, with great daily specials. One of my favourite vegetarian restaurants anywhere. Also, happycow.net has a good directory of vegetarian restaurants and natural food stores with reviews. I usually find that site very helpful when new to an area and trying to find some good veg restaurants.
We love Vegan Glory, Madeleine Bistro, Real Food Daily (when we're in the mood - it's very "healthy"), Messob Ethiopian (haven't yet made it to Rahel, but looking forward to it!), Luna Park (not veg, but has good options), Bharat Bazar (Indian grocery with veg Indian hot food case - same chef as Gaylord apparently), Papa Cristo's (again, not veg, but Greek cuisine has many veg options), M Cafe de Chaya (it's okay - kinda boring), the Spot, Inn of the Seventh Ray (fabulous!).
I hear Kay 'n' Dave's Mexican in Santa Monica has veggie stuff, and that Melisse has a very expensive veggie tasting menu!
Agree with Madeleine Bistro rec.
Mao's Kitchen http://maoskitchen.com/
Eat Well and The Flowering Tree in W. Hollywood on Santa Monica both have good options
Inn of the Seventh Ray for fancier of course
Leaf Cuisine at beverly glen and ventura
HealthyCa on Lankershim
Vegan Express on Cahuenga
Vegan Glory on Beverly Blvd and Orlando near the Beverly Center is delicious. It is Vegan Thai with a decent variety of wraps and sandwiches. The freshy rolls, spring rolls, and soy chicken wrap are all delicious.
M cafe was also mentioned and offers really delicious fresh foods. Try the big macro burger, madras tempeh wrap, or one of the many rice bowls. They also have a delicious variety of deli salads, and an assortment of inari. Avocado Shiitake rolls are also great.
And if you like M Cafe, try the restaurant it stemmed from, Chaya, for a nice night out. They have several gourmet vegetarian dishes...and if you eat dairy, the goat cheese salad is superb. They have locations in Venice, West Hollywood, and San Francisco.
I tried Vegan Glory today and I loved it! Their papaya salad was really tasty although I thought it was drowned in a little bit too much dressing. I also ordered their lunch special - seitan with stir fried vegetables, and it came with a spring roll, soup, brown rice, and a salad all for $7.95! So much yummy high-quality food for such killer prices. I'm hooked now :)
I noticed there's a California Vegan on Sunset with the same menu. Are they owned by the same people? Why the different name?
Real Food Daily (vegan)- West Hollywood and Santa Monica
Newsroom (omnivore, huge menu w/ many veg options) - West Hollywood and Santa Monica
Le Pain Quotidien (omnivore, cafe, vegan soups) - multiple locations around town...try the black bean hummus sandwich!! http://www.lepainquotidien.com/storelocator.htm
Moun of Tunis (omnivore, they can make the vegetarian special vegan if you ask) - it's in Hollywood, great place to go when you're really hungry! http://mounoftunisrestaurant.com/clie...
Inaka (vegan +fish) - La Brea & 1st...basically healthy (but tasty) Japanese
M Cafe de Chaya (vegan +fish) - Melrose just west of La Brea...I recently discovered this place and I love the variety!
Native Foods is great too!
and Urth Caffe always has vegan soups, cookies, and lots of veg options, but it's still just a cafe and a little pricey relative to what you get
What about South Indian -its almost invariably vegetarian. In Hollywood/Los feliz, (sort of near you) is an outpost of the Indian Sweets and Spices empire and there is a place called Paru's on Sunset that also is pretty decent.
For really spectacular SOuth Indian, I recommend Woodlands in either Chatsworth or Artesia.
The the other thing I usually do with vegetarian friends is Middle Eastern meze, which has plenty of vegetarian variety. I nparticular I like Carousel in Glendale. 4 meze for 2-3 people works just fine and winds up being somewhere like $25-$30 total.
I've posted this before, but I am trying to start a Flickr group on this ongoing topic. You can find reviews and pictures of vegetarian food in LA here:
I also endorse Happy Family, tons of selection, and more of an authentic feel than your typcial all vegetarian restaurant.
I'm vegan, and there are lots of options in the Valley.
First, check out vegparadise.com and read the restaurant reviews for restaurants in L.A. and Orange Counties.
In Studio City:
11943 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604
Excellent Thai/Asian food.
Also in Studio City: Hugo's and Hugo's Tacos. For omnivores, vegetarians, vegans -- broad menu, something for everyone.
Kung Pao Bistro in Sherman Oaks has many vegan/vegetarian options, and they deliver (we former New Yorkers like delivery!).
Madeleine Bistro, Tarzana
Been there a few times. Some things excellent -- beet tartare app, "cheese" log. Some things VERY heavy -- fried "chicken" and the like. I want to love it because I like the presentation and the concept, but not my fave.
Carnival in Sherman Oaks (Woodland, north of Ventura)
Excellent Lebanese! Lots of veggy options.
OK -- Now I'm HUNGRY!
As a vegetarian myself who lived in Studio City...here are my recs:
1) Leonor's Veg Mexican (Studio City) - Cheap and good
2) Vegan Express (Studio City/Universal Studios)
3) Kung Pao Bistro (Everything in their menu can be made with fake meats)
5) California Vegan (Hollywood) - Thai!
THere are SOOO Many more. Check out vegparadise.com for the complete list. Its a great resource and, like you, I was always in serach for more than boiled veggies, salad and pasta.
the best food, but the worst dining room, is native foods in westwood.
i also like The Spot in Hermosa beach.
there is some great Thai vegetarian food available at Ayara Thai in westchester (order from the 'wok' portion of the menue and ask that they use tofu as the protein)
Happy Family in Monterey park is not to be missed for vegetarian chinese.
similar to Happy Family, toward the south of Torrance, is House of Vege on PCH near crenshaw.
for ethiopian, Rahel, on fairfax south of olympic, is completely vegan AND they have the BEST injera. be sure to order the shiro, and get some awazay on the side.
the only sort of decent vegetarian food i've had in your neck of the woods has been caribbian at Ginja Lions on ventura near vineland.
i'm told that Madeline's in Tarzana is amazing, but haven't tried it yet.
Native Foods has very tasty food, but i agree that the seating and parking situation is pretty awful. they do a good take-out business though (something i used a lot when i was in the area).
Madeline Bistro in Tarzana is awesome. The food is very high-end and the space is nice and comfortable (except for those occasions when the owners kids run around the restaurant...literally).
I can't recommend Hugo's as I had a very bad experience there recently. Too bad, because I did like the place and went often, but now I will never go back.
Still meaning to try leaf and vegan plate, but the parking situation for vegan plate is a REAL turnoff.
M Cafe De Chaya on Melrose near La Brea - it's macrobiotic but plenty of interesting and very tasty veggie options
Two raw places I've liked: leaf in culver city (very casual) and jade cafe in silver lake (a bit more expensive). both have a number of creative things. try the indian wrap at leaf. A lot of people also like Juliano's raw
Then of course there are the great indian veggie places like India Sweets and Spices (on Venice blvd and also in Los Feliz)