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Where in LA to find veg/vegan fake "meat?"

I used to make my occasional trek out to Monterey Park, to buy packages of fake meats. They came in various sizes and shapes. Made by (1) vegeUSA and (2) Homemark (imported from Taiwan.

No problems for years . . . they went perfectly into spaghetti sauces, stews, curries, etc. Yum. But yesterday, my usual market (99 Ranch) had stopped carrying all similar products! Same with the second market I tried.

Any suggestions on where to go? Google was not my friend in this search, alas. A market in or around the Westside of LA would be ideal, but going out as far as MP, Monrovia, etc would be no problem . . . I'll just buy 6 months' worth at a time, to make such a long trip worthwhile.

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  1. Have you checked with Erewhon? http://www.erewhonmarket.com/our-story/ or Follow Your Heart http://followyourheart.com/ out in the SFV?

    1. Whole Foods as lots of Yves brand and Lite Life as well as others. Field Roast, ai think, and Tfurkey come to mind. Is that what you're looking for? I mean, like Veg groubd beef, veg cold cuts, veggie dogs etc?

      I saw Erewhon mentioned... But they don't have the selection they once had.

      Don't forget, lots of markets carry Morningstar which s pretty good, albeit a bit pricey.

      1. Check out Vinh Loi on Sherman way & Reseda. Vegan Vietnamese cafe with homemade tofu etc.

        1. Trader Joe's carries some pretty good fake chicken and beef. Its in the produce section along with tofu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ebethsdad

            far better than the Trader Joe's stuff is the Gardein stuff sold at regular grocery stores in the frozen food section and at whole foods.

            i believe that both the TJ and Gardein stuff is probably made by the same company but one tastes MUCH better than the other.

            also, costco was selling some Gardein stuff, but even though the PACKAGING looked the same as the Gardein sold in other places, the PRODUCT in the package was very different (go figure). SKIP the costco product entirely..

          2. Thanks, all, for the quick responses. I guess I did not do a good job in my OP describing the type of product I'm looking for.

            What I am looking for is a dried product. I looks (very roughly) like smaller pieces of beef jerky. Therefore, it needs to be rehydrated in liquid to be edible. It comes in larger bags (about 12 inches high, by 8-9 inches wide). I still have my last 3 bags, and I'll attach a photo . . . I should have done this for my OP.

            I am not looking at all for 'ready to eat' products . . . there are many places here in/around Santa Monica where I can get excellent fake hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. (Morningstar is probably my favorite, btw)

            1 Reply
            1. If you're willing to make a trek, I'd steer you to a Vietnamese market in Little Saigon called Green Farm Market. It's right off the 405 at Magnolia.

              They have maybe the biggest selection of fake soy-meat products I've seen anywhere. There's an entire aisle of dry goods sorta like what you're looking for. Behind you will be a row of refrigerator cases with vacuum packed soy cold cuts. Around the corner from that, a freezer case with more TVP-based "meat."

              Caveat: Not being a vegetarian myself, I don't pay close attention to vegan food, so they may not have the exact product or brand you seek.

              While you're in the area, stop by one of two excellent vegan Viet restaurants: Au Lac (on Brookhurst) or Bo De Tinh Tam Chay (on Beach Blvd). Of the two, Au Lac is more adventurous, diping into the raw-vegan menu. There's more emphasis on live vegetables, rather than a reliance on processed TVP fake meat.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Professor Salt

                Thanks. This is exactly what I've been looking for. It's a long trek from Santa Monica, but I'll combine grocery shopping with a lunch at Au Luc...thanks for that recommendation as well.

                1. re: santamonica811

                  Update: I went to the market, and--as advertised by Prof Salt--it did indeed have an ample assortment of the products I was looking for. Not as many choices as I used to find in Monterey Park, and about 10-20% more expensive. But so what...it was still relatively cheap. (About $2.25 per bag).

                  Prof Salt undersold the freezer. Wow, a *huge* selection here. The next time I come back here, I'll bring a cooler packed with ice, and really load up on the frozen items as well.

                  Au Luc restaurant was very nice. Not an inexpensive place, (a bit above $30 for 2 dishes), but the veg sushi was both lovely and delicious. And the hot pot was great--the veg 'fish' was incredibly tasty.

                  1. re: santamonica811

                    Glad you liked it. I drove past Green Farm Market yesterday and was thinking about this thread. Thanks for reporting back.

                    Perhaps I should have warned you that the menu at Au Lac is on the more expensive end for Little Saigon. It'd be twice as much if it were in West LA, so hope that eased the sting for you a bit.

                    On a side note, I was in the neighborhood because I went to Au Coeur de Paris for baguettes, macarons and their killer almond croissant. Do stop in next time you make the schelp.

              2. Try Bodhi Vegetarian Supply store. Google says 8450 Valley Blvd in Rosemead, but it's on Vachon Blvd next to Hakata Ramen. They sell Asian supplies but is vegetarian.

                1. There are a couple of veg supply stores. I would check out Bodhi Vegetarian Supply, mentioned in some other comments; there's at least one or two others also, e.g., http://www.yelp.com/biz/da-cheng-vege...

                  I think SG Superstore (Shun Fat) carries some of those brands.

                  Don't forget to check out dried, refrigerated, and canned products well as the frozen ones.

                  You may also just want to call VegeUSA, who's in Monrovia anyway - if they won't sell to you directly, they'll surely know where you can buy it.

                  One issue to keep in mind with TVP type products, as well as a lot of the processed frozen stuff, is that a lot of soy protein is the byproduct of industrial soybean oil production, where the oil is extracted using solvents like hexane.

                  1. Hi,

                    Go to VegeUSA in Monrovia. The ground floor is a retail store and a little cafe. The store is open Monday-Saturday. The cafe is only open for lunch M-F.