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Mar 5, 2013 03:35 PM

Vegan on Westside

Have a colleague coming in from East Coast who is strict Vegan who I'll be taking out to dinner. Don't need fancy but not casual (Veggie Grill). Want table service, for example. Was thinking Raw, Leaf, and Real Food Daily. Have not been to any of these. Comments about those or better recommendations?? Thanks. Amy

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    1. I was surprised at how good True Food Kitchen (at Santa Monica Place) was. It may be too casual for your dinner, but it's worth a look.

      6 Replies
      1. re: aching

        I'm pretty sure this place isn't vegan.

        We ate at real food daily, and it was delicious. Their Mexican style dishes are some of my favorites

        1. re: cheesecake17

          i'm 100% sure it isn't vegan at all!
          cheesecake17 is absolutely correct.

          1. re: westsidegal

            They most certainly have vegan items on their menu, but they are not a solely vegan restaurant.

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              i agree that there is a way for a vegan to navigate the menu, but most of their entrees are far from vegan.
              (it seemed to me that only 2 out of the 11 entrees are set up so that they can be vegan and still be sort of intact)
              since we don't know if they are using vegan bread, all of their sandwiches might be out. even if they do use vegan bread only one of their sandwiches might be vegan.

              pretty sparse pickin's for a vegan if you ask me: mostly trying to make a meal out of starters, and even most of those are not vegan.

              if picking through a menu is ok, i'd recommend Shamshiri Grill instead which, at least, has a whole menu portion devoted to vegan entrees. also, the majority of their starters are vegan.

              but truly, if it were me going out to eat with a "strict vegan," (someone who may well be put off watching variations on dead animal carcasses being served to the surrounding patrons) i wouldn't pass go, i'd be parking my car in the Cafe Gratitude structure. . . .

              1. re: westsidegal

                I didn't read the OP to mean that it needed to be a solely vegan restaurant, but maybe that is what she's looking for. I went to True Food with a vegan and a vegetarian and everybody was happy, which is why I thought of it. However, it sounds like there are better options.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Hi WSGal,
                  Consider when saying "pretty sparse pickin's for a vegan" that choosing vegan itself yields rather slim pickins!
                  So maybe we should be a bit more generous about limited fare!
                  That's the point of vegan. Hard to expect great variety within the mainstream. What do you think?
                  I'm not yet a strict vegan, and I now eat fish (maybe not for long, ya?), but stopped eating all beef pork &foul 37 years ago.

        2. cafe gratitude
          i've only been to the one in venice on rose.
          there is parking in the bldg.
          they will take reservations.
          pretty restaurant.
          imho, tied with Shojin (not in your geographical area, and somewhat ethnic) for best vegan food in LA.
          they have a pretty extensive menu.
          everything i've ever tried there has been good.

          3 Replies
          1. re: westsidegal

            I'm with westsidegal and Servorg. I eat an unrestricted diet and found the food to be great. Once you get past the whole self-affirmation routine, it's worth the visit.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              in all the times i've been there, i have been able to totally circumvent the "routine."
              i just order the dish by a regular name (i.e. "i'll have the veggie burger, or "i'll have the curry" or i'll have the squash tacos with beans")
              also, i interrupt any self affirmation talk before they can get the sentence out of their mouths.
              maybe it's my imagination, but i think that secretly the servers are relieved.. . . .

            2. re: westsidegal

              Second the motion on Cafe Gratitude - I'm an omnivore and have enjoyed several meals there. It's a pleasant environment with very good food - a business meeting or date-worthy vegan restaurant.

            3. Skip Real Food Daily. The setting is appropriate, but the food, while tasty, doesn't quite justify the price. I think Cafe Gratitude is far better for the same price....

              1. If your colleague is a little adventurous and you can go a little east of the westside, how about Rahel (delicious vegan Ethiopian) on Fairfax?