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Vegan on Westside

ancohen Mar 5, 2013 03:35 PM

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. Servorg RE: ancohen Mar 5, 2013 04:33 PM

    Check out Cafe Gratitude http://cafegratitudevenice.com/

    1. aching RE: ancohen Mar 5, 2013 04:52 PM

      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
        cheesecake17 RE: aching Mar 5, 2013 06:42 PM

        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
          westsidegal RE: cheesecake17 Mar 5, 2013 08:01 PM

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

          1. re: westsidegal
            Dirtywextraolives RE: westsidegal Mar 5, 2013 09:17 PM

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

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives
              westsidegal RE: Dirtywextraolives Mar 5, 2013 09:45 PM

              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
                aching RE: westsidegal Mar 6, 2013 07:19 AM

                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
                  VenusCafe RE: westsidegal Apr 16, 2013 10:50 AM

                  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. westsidegal RE: ancohen Mar 5, 2013 04:58 PM

          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
            bulavinaka RE: westsidegal Mar 5, 2013 05:54 PM

            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
              westsidegal RE: bulavinaka Mar 5, 2013 06:27 PM

              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
              FoodObsessive RE: westsidegal Mar 8, 2013 09:12 AM

              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. i
              ilysla RE: ancohen Mar 5, 2013 10:28 PM

              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. a
                archer RE: ancohen Mar 6, 2013 01:10 AM

                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?

                1. a
                  ancohen RE: ancohen Mar 14, 2013 10:38 AM

                  Thanks everyone!! We went to Cafe Gratitude last night. Vegan guest was happy and so were the omnivores. Everyone cleaned their plate! I'll definitely go back.

                  1. TonyC RE: ancohen Mar 14, 2013 10:56 AM

                    Shojin just opened a Culver City Branch:

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TonyC
                      westsidegal RE: TonyC Mar 14, 2013 01:26 PM

                      shojin in culver city.
                      i'm swooning.

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