Eater LA just published a piece titled Essential Los Angeles Vegetarian Restaurants. As a vegetarian I read it with interest but was left a bit unsatisfied. I’ve eaten at seven of the seventeen restaurants on Eater’s list and have enjoyed the dining experience at each, but I do have a few quibbles:
- Mohawk Bend isn’t a vegetarian restaurant. They do have vegetarian options, as does every local restaurant that I’ve ever been to — with the exception of Saigon Flavor in the San Gabriel Valley.
- Speaking of the San Gabriel Valley, not a single of Eater’s picks is from that region, even though every Angeleno whose ever dined out knows that region as the place with all of the best restaurants.
By shunning the SGV, the good listiclers at Eater have served up a list which will no doubt please members of the KKKK (the Kale Kinwa Kombucha Klan), which is fine for folks who choose vegetarianism out of health concerns or because they can’t get enough of those ancient grains, raw greens, and beverages which taste like they were filtered through unwashed yoga pants. On the other hand, there’s almost nothing for vegetarians whose health concerns are more for the animals and planet, rather than themselves… vegetarians, say, who love battered, greasy, fried, chunks of salt-and-MSG-seasoned gluten, chemically flavored to taste like chicken.
I made this map for those people (and myself), and because it’s Asian Pacific Heritage Month (and because it’s what I want to eat 88% of the time) it’s specifically a map of vegetarian Asian restaurants.
食福 いただきます कृपया भोजन का आनंद लीजिये Selamat makan 맛있게 드세요 Kainan na ทานให้อร่อย 食飯 राम्ररी खानु होला تامىغىڭىز ياخشى بولسۇن ཞལ་ལག་ཉེས་པོ་གནང་རོགས། Chúc ngon miệng
BULAN (Thai — Fairfax and Silver Lake)
DAVE’S GOURMET KOREAN FOOD (Korean — various locations)
Vegetarian fans of Korean cuisine have probably experienced many a meal sadly centered around beer, pajeon, or vegetable bibimbap. All are delicious, mind you, but it’s hard not to feel marginalized dining with friends at a gogigui and picking through ban chan and trying to avoid those with shrimp paste while the rest of the group complains of not being able to eat anymore bulgogi or galbi. Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food doesn’t exactly come to the rescue as far as dining out goes because it doesn’t have a brick and mortar home (the address on the packaging is of a building in the Hollywood Studio District). The titular Dave is an elusive Korean immigrant and his operation doesn’t even seem to have a proper website. Thankfully, however, his uniformly delicious items can be easily enjoyed from many local farmers’ markets, including those of Burbank, Calabasas, Hermosa Beach, La Cienega Heights, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, South Pasadena, Torrance, and others.
FINE GARDEN (Chinese and Taiwanese — San Gabriel)
HAPPY FAMILY (Chinese — Monterey Park, Rosemead, and Rowland Heights)
INDIA SWEETS & SPICES (Indian — Atwater Village, Canoga Park, and Culver City)
NEW DELHI PALACE (Indian — Pasadena)
PARU’S (South Indian — Little Armenia)
SAMOSA HOUSE (Indian — Culver City and Silver Lake)
SHOJIN (Japanese — Del Rey and Little Tokyo)
VINH LOI (Vietnamese — Reseda)
MORE ON VEGETARIAN ASIAN RESTAURANTS
For further reading about Asian vegetarian restaurants in Los Angeles, see Kristie Hang’s 10 Vegetarian Restaurants You Need To Try In The San Gabriel Valley; Clarissa Wei’s Four great vegetarian Chinese restaurants and Where to Eat Vegetarian Chinese Food in Los Angeles; and Quyen Do’s At Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant in Little Saigon, your egg rolls are made by Vietnamese Buddhist nuns and monks. Also check out Green Menu, an Alhambra-based non-profit which promotes plant-based diets and offers members all sorts of exclusive offers at vegan, vegetarian, and vegetarian-friendly restaurants of all sorts of cuisine.
Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, essayist, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking paid writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities. He is not interested in generating advertorials, cranking out clickbait, or laboring away in a listicle mill “for exposure.”
Brightwell has written for Angels Walk LA, Amoeblog, Boom: A Journal of California, diaCRITICS, Hidden Los Angeles, and KCET Departures. His art has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft Contemporary, Form Follows Function, Los Angeles County Store, the book Sidewalking, Skid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured as subject in The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, CurbedLA, Eastsider LA, Boing Boing, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA?, at Emerson College, and the University of Southern California.
Brightwell is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on Ameba, Duolingo, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Mubi, and Twitter.
One thought on “Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vegetarian Asian Restaurants in Los Angeles”