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what i ate in los angeles

what I ate in Los Angeles_hot for food

Oh hey, L.A.! If you’re a frequent follower of my What I Eat in a Day vlogs, you’ll be no stranger to the fact that I travel around the globe quite a bit. I was especially excited on this trip to scope out all the great vegan food in Los Angeles! Keep reading to see which places get the hot for food seal of approval and which ones didn’t quite make the cut.

Sage Bistro

I ate quite a few meals from Sage Bistro during my adventures in L.A.! In my first vlog, I ordered to-go because ya might as well take advantage of vegan restaurants that do takeout! It wasn’t super fresh because I waited a bit to eat it, but it was still a hit. You know I’m slightly crazy for buffalo cauliflower, so I got it in a wrap the size of my head! It was stuffed with pickles, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce and ranch and was the perfect combo for a wrapped up meal. For a lil’ treat, I also got a gluten free and vegan mac and cheese ball.

sage bistro 2_hot for food

sage bistro_hot for food

On another occasion, I grabbed the jackfruit nachos alongside a hot wing salad… because that’s what balanced eating is, right? Both reminded me of the recipes I have on my blog for jackfruit tacos and BBQ cauliflower wings! I also had a juice made with apple, ginger, cucumber and lemon to ensure I got some legitimate nutrients in.

sage bistro 3_hot for food

Are ya surprised that I have a third entry to write about from here?! You shouldn’t be at this point. I love Sage Bistro! For this meal, I dove into the fried artichoke hearts with ranch, eggplant arrabiata, and the broccoli pasta bowl. As you read above, I basically live and breathe buffalo cauliflower wings, but these artichokes were a close second. Once again showing that fried “meaty” goodness is totally doable and delicious… even at restaurants!

verdict: a really fun spot with multiple locations across L.A. with a ton of vegan options! Whether you grab some grub to go or opt for a sit-down meal, Sage definitely won’t disappoint.

Crossroads Kitchen

crossroads kitchen_hot for food

A fancier spot that’s included twice in my travel vlogs is Tal Ronen’s restaurant called Crossroads Kitchen. Wow-ee, do they ever have a big selection of foods to try! On my first trip, we started off with artichoke oysters with kelp calamari that proved vegan seafood to be totally doable. Following that was a grilled romaine salad, and a truffle cheese fondue that tasted eerily like real cheese! We also had grilled asparagus, grilled maitake mushrooms (my fave mushrooms), risotto del giorno, and tagliatelle bolognese. As if that wasn’t enough, we wrapped it all up with chocolate bread pudding, a lemon curd tart, and coconut ice cream for dessert! Wow, I’m full just writing all of this out again. It was a HUGE meal and basically made all of my gluttonous vegan dreams come true.

On my second trip to Crossroads, I had the fettucine carbonara, which was incredible! Tal Ronan is a friggin’ genius and somehow created an amazing egg yolk from yellow potatoes that you crack and mix in before you eat it. I’m drooling just thinking about it! This place is always changing their menu, so make sure to check out the website linked in the title if you want an idea of what to expect when you visit. Chalk up another win for vegan food in Los Angeles!

verdict: 100% a must-visit vegan restaurant in L.A. Everything I tried was scrumptious and cooked with love! Make a reso, don’t just drop in.

Shojin

shojin_hot for food

I’m half Japanese, so it goes without saying that I’m always down for some authentic cuisine if it’s available! At Shojin, I started off eating the Shojin crab cake tartar which was an amazing tofu cheese on a crab cake. Then I had a baked scallop roll that the server torched right in front of my face. It was a super cool experience to watch my food burnin’ up right in front of me, and I could definitely taste the smoky charred flavors. The last thing I tried was the mushroom fettuccine, which definitely wasn’t your average pasta! The Japanese flavors were injected into this dish, too. Chocolate banana cake tied it all together on a sweet note.

verdict: This place has incredible Japanese cuisine with a twist. A calm, relaxed atmosphere with vegan food that’s totally indulgent. What more could ya ask for?!

Sun Cafe

sun cafe_hot for food

sun cafe 2_hot for food

Listen y’all, the Sun Cafe truly deserves a round of applause. They served up the best vegan nachos I’ve ever had in a restaurant. I wish Toronto had nachos like these! We also had a pretzel with beer cheese that once again, was a home run for vegan cheese. The last thing we indulged in at this cute cafe was tofu cacciatore and a pistachio ice cream sandwich.

verdict: a super quaint and loveable place. The nachos are a must-try for vegans and non-vegans everywhere!

Mini Monster

mini monster_hot for food

Being in L.A. and jumping between events means there isn’t always a ton of time to eat! But I did find time to visit Mini Monster in the Anaheim Packing House when I was there for Vidcon. They have bubble tea that looks like a lil’ monster, which is such a cute and unique idea. I had the thai tea, which was a bit sweeter than I like it, but regardless it was a vegan friendly bubble tea so I was a happy sipper.

verdict: if you’re a bubble tea lover, this place will gladly love you back. It’s a thoughtfully created brand that’ll put a smile on your face.

Veggie Grill

veggie grill_hot for food

A VEGAN. FAST. FOOD. MENU. Need I say more? I eat here every time I’m scoping out vegan food in Los Angeles. This time I had the santa fe chicken sandwich, lentil soup, and the mac and cheese. Boy oh boy, it was exactly what I needed to inhale after a long day. Plus they have $1 delivery if you live in the area, so this place is officially a must-visit.

On a separate trip when I brought along my friend Timmy (aka MississippiVegan), he could hardly believe that this place is 100% veg friendly! He’s right, it’s a dream come true. We got the mondo nachos, buffalo chicken snack wrap, fish tacos, and fries with tempeh bacon and cheese sauce.

Veggie Grill made a third appearance in my vlogs as a to-go order, because that’s what ya do when you’re in the area! I dove into the caesar salad with buffalo chicken, mac and cheese, and carrot cake.

verdict: you should consider relocating your life to be within the delivery area of this place. If you already live in the area, know that I envy you. This fully vegan fast food menu will have you pinching yourself to make sure you’re not in a dream.

Cafe Gratitude

cafe gratitude_hot for food

cafe gratitude 2_hot for food

This is the spot that inspired my recipe for coconut ceviche tostadas! Their own coconut squash ceviche tostadas are a must-order here, ‘cause they’ll make your tastebuds SING. I also had the jalapeño cheddar biscuit which was hella flaky and delicious, plus I just had to try the savory french toast too!

cafe gratitude 3_hot for food

On another search for vegan food in Los Angeles, I had the healthful green juice that was chock-full of pear, cucumber, ginger, lime, spinach, and celery. Healthy, to say the least! On top of that, I noshed the buffalo cauliflower and the tempeh caesar wrap.

verdict: if I were to go again, I’d skip on the french toast because it wasn’t exactly amazing. But the tostadas, biscuit, green juice, and wraps are hella good.  I can see why people in L.A. are grateful to have this place around!

Tatsu Ramen

tatsu ramen_what I ate in los angeles_hot for food

Umami, umami, umami! I just HAD to get my fix of noods… so Tatsu Ramen was our ramen restaurant of choice. They have the “hippie ramen” which is vegan (yay!), and I added corn to make it even tastier. I could have bathed in this delicious bowl o’ noodles.

verdict: in case you were wondering, yes –  the yellow noodles are vegan! The hippie bowl is everything you need to get that umami fix you crave. This is honestly my favorite ramen restaurant which says a LOT, cause I’ve been to quite a few!

MCafe

Being a vegan on the go means I don’t always have time to sit down at a restaurant! Especially right after you’ve been on a long flight, ya feel? So Jeffrey and I got MCafe delivered, and ohhh baby was it ever the right choice. I got the udon noodle coconut curry bowl, which if you watch the vlog you’ll see had a totally food porn-worthy sauce pour. This is one of my go-to orders from here when I’m in L.A.! I also had a probiotic macromaki roll filled with mushrooms and rice! On a separate trip I got to try their french fries, macro yaki soba, an inari pocket with burdock root, and the breakfast enchilada.

verdict: MCafe knows what’s up! It’s all yummy.

CoYo Yogurt

coyo yogurt_hot for food

As much as I love a good restaurant, I also pop into a lot of grocery stores during my travels to grab veg-friendly foods. I get especially pumped when there’s options I can’t get back home! The star of my grocery haul this time was CoYo natural coconut yogurt. Ahem, PSA: this is the BEST vegan yogurt I’ve had! It was thick and creamy, and ughhhh it was just totally incredible. I can’t believe it was dairy free!

verdict: if it’s available where you live, you better leave the house like NOW and buy it. Vegan yogurt is doable and it’s delicious, thanks to this miracle brand!

Earth Bar & IV Solutions

At one point while living my best life in L.A., I had a bump in the road and didn’t feel too great for a couple of days. So I decided to get some natural immunity shots at IV Solutions, which you can read more about in the linked title above! I also revved my health up by getting a smoothie with pineapple, mango, ginger, camu camu, sea buckthorn, and hemp milk. They were exactly what I needed to start feeling like myself again!

Seabirds Kitchen

Then Timothy came through like the angel he is and brought me a doughnut from Seabirds Kitchen! It was a crueller-type doughnut (not sure if that’s a thing outside of Canada! But it was delicious). Definitely not the best thing to be eating when I’m sick, but I just couldn’t resist.

verdict: note that this place is in Long Beach! If you’re in the area, it’s totally worth stopping by for some sugary fried goodness. I’ve also eaten at this restaurant for dinner (wasn’t vlogged) and it’s out of this world.

Locali

locali_hot for food

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I love hankering down with some seriously good eats first thing in the morning! I’m pretty sure I deserve a gold star because I got a kale salad as part of my breakfast. But of course, it was also paired with a breakfast sandwich (or 2) because you know me, I’m more than just a salad gal. The cali sandwich had tempeh, avocado, and what I think was Daiya cheese. Pretty darn good for a vegan breakfast sandwich if you ask me!  

verdict: an excellent choice for a veg-friendly breakfast, plus it’s got a huge variety of vegan grocery products and to-go health bevvies! Ya, you’re in!

Kitchen Mouse (Eaglerock)

I didn’t include a ton of details about Kitchen Mouse in this vlog, where I ate an assortment of gluten-free and vegan desserts, but since that trip I’ve visited again so I have more deets to share than I did in the video. The atmosphere of this place is really cute and makes you feel at home. Basically everything they have on the menu can be made vegan and subbed with tofu scramble. They’ve got really tasty options, especially for breakfast! Side note: on my recent trip to L.A. to search for my new digs, the Airbnb I stayed at was managed by the owner of Kitchen Mouse, and she’s a doll.

verdict: a cute atmosphere, tasty eats, and you’ll be fairly easily accommodated for if you’re vegan!

Cena Vegan

cena vegan_hot for food

I was genuinely pumped that I had the chance to experience this spot in Eagle Rock. Holy moly is this neighbourhood ever cool! First of all, the nachos and tacos we ordered were the epitome of amazing street food. That’s the kind of thing us vegans might think we’ll miss out on, but nuh uh! We had heaps and heaps of delicious, meaty-looking (but plant-based!) goodness.

verdict: this block party was super cute and welcoming! The vibe was infectious and we had a blast. Cena Vegan was the perfect little spot for us to grab some unreal street food while we mingled and hung out with fellow vegans.

Erewhon (Venice)

Have ya ever been to a fancy shmancy specialty grocery store? If not, Erewhon will definitely impress you! They have a really great juice selection, which is always nice to see when you need to give your body some TLC. This is a good spot to grab specialty items, such as CoYo, my one true love.

verdict: you might just spot some celebs at this swanky grocery spot! They have a good selection of luxury vegan products if that’s what you’re on the hunt for.

Ramen Hood

I jumped at the idea of visiting Ramen Hood for some more noodle lovin’. Although this bowl was really good, I still recommend Tatsu as my #1. Ramen Hood has a vegan option with an egg which is neat, but it isn’t exactly packed with flavor so I don’t order it in my ramen anymore. If you want an IG-worthy pic though, then by all means get the damn egg!

verdict: their stuff is good, but I’d choose Tatsu ahead of it. You likely won’t be spending a ton of time in downtown while looking for vegan food in Los Angeles, but checking out Grand Central Market is worth it if you’re in the area. They get bonus points for having vegan options AND a punny name.

True Food Kitchen

true food kitchen_hot for food

True Food was truly DELICIOUS, and I was really blown away with some of the amazing flavors here. I  had the kale aid juice because I wanted to amp up my health game before Eat Drink Vegan! We also ordered the charred cauliflower, shitake lettuce cups, ancient grain bowl with tofu, grilled artichoke pesto, and strawberry rhubarb crisp. Wow, a mouthful to recite! But I definitely had more than a mouthful out of all of them, and they were super tasty.

verdict: 10/10! Definitely drop by this spot if you’re in the area.

A big part of my L.A. adventures was going to Eat Drink Vegan. An entirely vegan food festival? Are you kidding me?! I basically died and went to heaven. There were sooo many amazing vendors I got to try out I could barely keep track. We legitimately spent 8 hours there hanging out with fellow vegans and chowing down on some drool-worthy food.  The highlights included Vegatinos, Wild Sunflower, Pura Vita, Avocadamama, Donna Jean, Picky Wops, Nada Moo, Arlos, and Chickpea & Olive.

verdict: this festival is so much fun! There’s nothing better than being able to try out a ton of different vegan food in Los Angeles in one central place. I highly recommend checking this festival out, especially if you’re looking for a reason to visit the city!

Butchers Daughter

This spot had just opened when I visited! I had the cauliflower banh mi which was a big, beautiful sandwich worth falling in love with… it was delish! I also grabbed a vegan croissant and a cucumber kale green apple juice to have for breakfast in the morning. The croissant was flaky, had a perfect crisp bottom. It was an ideal lil’ treat to get me going for a busy day.

It’s official, there’s a total overflow of amazing vegan food in Los Angeles! From cute cafes to all-out luxurious dinners, I sure ate my heart out on this trip. But don’t worry, since I’m moving to La La Land there will be plenty more where this came from… so stay tuned! Oh, and don’t forget to pin my hot for food approved list below! Add it to your travel boards or vegan restaurant inspiration for whenever you end up in Los Angeles.

noted, not notable

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