We can’t wait for the opening of Argento in Silver Lake in early 2024, the vegan Italian restaurant backed by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell. In the meantime, we’ve gathered up eight vegan restaurants in Los Angeles that you can enjoy right now. If you’ve ever yearned for a vegan hoagie or wished for a white-tablecloth joint that makes vegan pasta with the deftness of an Italian mamma, we’ve got you covered. Even if you’re a carnivore, these spots are so delicious, you won’t even miss the meat.
Judging by the modern-glam décor with murals and blond wood, you’d never guess this restaurant started as a food truck in Costa Mesa. The menu at Seabirds Kitchen in Los Feliz toggles between traditional Italian, recipes from Brazil and some Korean influences — which means sampling dishes from all styles is the way to go. Chef Liz Campora is a Brazilian married to an Italian, and you’ll find vegan adaptions of family favorites like Mama Maria’s caponata featuring eggplant, pine nuts and a stellar rendition of vegan burrata. Shareables like purple taquitos and queso birria are a good warm-up to entrees like the spicy bibimbap bowl.
The phrase “faux meat” sends shivers down the spine of many a vegetarian, but this vegan deli/butcher is driven to transform that term from a cliché into a badge of honor — and it does so very well. Located in a tiny storefront on York Blvd. in Highland Park, Maciel’s fills a huge hole in the Los Angeles vegan universe: hot and cold deli sandwiches. Reubens, chicken pesto melts, turkey wraps and Italian subs are ready to be gobbled up at the smattering of sidewalk tables. Before you leave, pick up a few plant-based meat and cheeses from the deli case, all of which are made in-house.
Ramen Hood is the only all-vegan option in Grand Central Market. The best bet is the spicy garlic ramen, which is made with an excellent Omni pork katsu in a sunflower seed broth. But for those who want a milder meal, the OG Ramen is a solid choice. Consider adding an intriguing vegan egg to any ramen for an extra $2 — just the kind of innovative twist you’d expect from Ilan Hall, a Top Chef winner and former owner of The Gorbals. Open for lunch all week, you can also grab dinner here until 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and the on-site parking garage is a steal for Downtown at $5 for 90 minutes.
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Fresh, fast and family-friendly food in a laid-back setting defines this vegan trio, with locations in Echo Park, Pasadena and a to-go-only outpost in Culver City. Executive chefs Mollie Englehart and Elias Sosa present a sprawling menu of plant-based pleasers like pizzas, burgers, bowls and standout Mexican-inspired fare. Try the jackfruit carnitas tacos or the loaded nachos with spicy pickled cabbage, cashew cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo. The “Brewery” part is a huge draw, as Sage operates the only organic hop yard in Southern California and offers many beers and kombuchas on tap, including their popular Boozy Booch. Bonus: both sit-down locations have dog-friendly patios.
A sophisticated West Hollywood cantina, Gracias Madre is as dedicated to getting the party started as it is to serving tasty vegan Mexican food. That means more than 200 additive-free mezcal and agave spirits from small-batch distillers in Mexico. This is a sister restaurant to the popular vegan chain Café Gratitude, and the chef-owners source produce from their organic local farm. An overall festive flair extends to a menu full of spice and heat, from tamales to tacos to burritos. Check out Taco Tuesdays for a flight of three tacos and an agave Margarita for $25.
Plant Food + Wine is an ambitious place that’s rooted in the artfulness of raw vegan cuisine. The stunning poolside patio on the fourth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills— one of the prettiest in all of LA — transports you to a different world, and that may be by design; chef-owner Matthew Kenney’s raw food empire stretches from Buenos Aires to Bahrain. Whether it’s date night or work lunch, you can’t go wrong with stalwart dishes like the vegan cheese platter, cacio e pepe, mushroom toast and banana cream pie.
For 10 years, devoted locals and tourists passing through Hollywood have made it a point to stop at this iconic, white tablecloth vegan restaurant, which shot to national fame thanks to its New York Times best-selling cookbook. Decked out in faux leather banquettes and wing-back chairs, at first glance, you might think you’ve walked into a swanky steakhouse. But the menu is entirely plant-based, down to the seasonal “seafood tower” that’s overflowing with “clams” casino, carrot lox and oyster mushroom shooters. On its regular menu, owner Tal Ronnen offers Mediterranean specialties, including house-made pasta and shareable plates like artichoke oysters, a crispy mushroom béarnaise topped with artichoke puree and kelp caviar. The full bar and cozy atmosphere make this a date night favorite.
There are times when you want to grab something quick and eat on the run. Au Lac is decidedly not for those times. This upscale Vietnamese vegan restaurant is as dedicated to refined presentation and ambiance as it is to serving delicious food. Located across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall Downtown, Au Lac features a full bar and is a perfect spot to pre-game before shows. Featuring both raw cuisine and cooked vegan dishes, standouts include shrimp and pork shumai, tofu báhn mì with nut pâté and extravagant seafood dishes like caramelized soy fish served in a clay pot.
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