• hy-mart deli, i love you!

    August 21st, 2008quarrygirlhy-mart deli, LA restaurants

    when i feel like wasting time at work, i often like to scan laist.com. it’s a great site that keeps me abreast of all the vital happenings in my city—pertinent information, like how the dodgers are doing, when/where sobriety check points are scheduled, and which indie bands i’ve never heard of are playing near me. sometimes i get really lucky, though, and they review restaurants with vegan options that drive me out of my mind. this was the case with their review of hy-mart deli. when i read it, i knew i HAD to go. i went with the highest of hopes, and even then, hy-mart still managed to exceed my expectations.

    mediterranean madness!

    mediterranean madness!

    the modest sandwich shop is small inside, with only 4 tables, a fridge full of beer & soft drinks, and an ordering counter. i went with my husband who decided to grab a seat and while i picked out two wraps for us to share. this is when i made a huge mistake.

    i placed my order making sure to ask for no tzatziki, yogurt, or dairy of any kind…but in my lameness, i picked out one sandwich that was called “gyro gone wild”. it looked great—full of avocado, hummus, cucumbers and other treats…little did i know it would would also be full of MEAT. imagine my horror when i realized back at my table i was holding a wrap full of flesh. the worst thing is, my husband had already started eating it! ugh, what have i done? i called out before he could take another bite and told him to check his meal for animal bits, and sure enough, they were in there. he assured me it must be a mistake, and asked me what i had ordered. when i told him it was a gyro, he shot me an annoyed glance that made me know i’d fucked up. “but meat wasn’t listed as an ingredient!” i exclaimed, defending myself. “no shit, a gyro IS meat,” he explained, “it’s like ordering a hot dog…they aren’t going to list ‘meat’ again as an ingredient.” ugh.

    i reluctantly brought the sandwich up to the counter and explained my stupidity to the friendly owner who’d made my sandwich and rung me up in the first place. i told him i was happy to buy another sandwich, a vegetarian one, as this was my mistake. but he wouldn’t have it, and insisted on making me a replacement. he omitted all dairy sauces and even threw in extra hummus in their place. he was so nice and cool about the whole situation, i couldn’t believe it. i was impressed.

    i was even MORE impressed though, when i bit into what turned out to be the best falafel sandwich i’ve ever eaten in the valley, and the valley is full of falafel. it was called mediterranean madness and boy, was it mad! it wasn’t really a sandwich, but more like a huge burrito wrapped in lavash, filled to the brim with goodness. the version i got was stuffed with falafel, hummus, grapeleaves, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, tabooleh, lettuce, avocado and hot sauce. god, was it sooooOOOOoooOOOOo good! and the thing was freaking huge! i don’t think i’ve ever had so many foods i love all together in one wrap. the second sandwich (the one that replaced the meaty gyro) was filled with similar ingredients. i don’t remember the exact name, but it was scrumptious!

    while we were chowing down our amazing lunch, the owner came by and tried to give me a dollar. there was a price difference, he explained, between the sandwich i returned and the new one. i couldn’t believe it! how could i take a dollar when it was my mistake all along, and he’d basically given me a FREE sandwich…what a sweet gesture. of course, we insisted he keep it.

    as i rode away, completely replete and full of falafel, i thought about what i’d learned. 1.) gyro is another word for dead animal, and 2.) i CANNOT WAIT to return to the hy-mart deli to eat another perfect sandwich and to support such kind & friendly ownership.

    Tags: , , , , ,

9 responses to “hy-mart deli, i love you!” RSS icon

  • Dude, I soooo reviewed them before LAist!

    But it’s all good because Hy Mart totally rules and deserves all the review love they can get. Those folks are the nicest family in the world, I am in no way surprised that he didn’t charge you for the mistake. Go in on a Sunday and their groovy & cute son will make your wraps for you. I think the one you got is the “Shahkloot Special”, it’s what I get every time because it’s so forking delicious! One of the Valley’s best kept vegetarian secrets…

  • foodeater- so you did!!! who knows what i am missing in your archives! i will have to delve in. yeah, i really loved that place. i can’t wait to go back.

  • That looks great!

  • That is like a bad dream I had recently where I had forgotten I was a vegetarian and I bit into a hot pocket and found that it had all this gross bacon inside! I spit it out in my dream but not before I had swallowed a bite – it was a nightmare!

  • Oh, I’m glad the owner didn’t give you a hard time. That totally sucks when you’ve been a veg*n for so long, you assume a lot of things don’t have meat in them. I almost ordered kofta at the falafel cart, then read that it was made from lamb. That would have been horrid!

    I am drooling at your photos! They make me feel like I’m just about to take a bite of falafel goodness…

  • Great story! You are not alone! It’s tough going from LA’s plentiful vegan 2.0 restaurants, where vegan is clearly labled on the menu and then reverting to Vegan 1.0 (personally veganizing options at regular restaurants) I hate being that annoying person asking what all the ingredients are in something! You got super lucky with that owner! I hope you gave your wasted wrap to a homeless person or something!

  • Madeleine Bistro made me an amazing birthday cake 2 years ago for my 30th. I’d give them a call to see what options they have available. You could try Leda’s, too, as they sell some dedicated vegan baked goods. I’d be happy to bake you a cake, but it would never be as pretty as a professional bakery’s; I’m not a skilled decorator! 😉 Happy early birthday!!

  • Vegyogini, Madeleine made my Bday cake last year and my stomach/intestines nearly exploded because they put in way too much baking soda/powder, ruined my entire night and everyone elses! I haven’t been back there in a year, but went the other day for Brunch. Leda’s is the jam! I love their mini vegan cupcakes!!!! There are many vegan Bday Cake options in LA google it!

  • I’ve become a fan of the vegan grape leaves and hummus sandwich, that thing is so good!

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

Leave a reply