• eat that vegan plate!

    September 9th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, vegan plate

    ah yes, it’s time for another installment of vegan-thai-restaurants-w/ the word “vegan” in their title, located in los angeles. this time we bring you vegan plate of studio city.

    grilled tofu burger served with lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and tomatoes on an organic bun. $5.25 (add avocado for $1)

    grilled tofu burger served with lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and tomatoes on an organic bun. $5.25 (add avocado for $1)

    first off, the presentation at vegan plate is great—all the food looks beautiful and appetizing. i was quite happy with my luscious tofu burger, and didn’t mind paying an extra buck for avocado, considering the dish was so cheap to start out with. two fat slices of tofu with fresh vegetables and a warm bun meant this burger tasted great, and was a hell of a deal.

    you see, vegan plate is a place i avoided forever. i guess i went through that “jaded LA vegan” phase of not wanting to indulge all the similar, thai-inspired eateries that litter my stomping ground. plus, it’s located in a strip mall and just doesn’t look too inviting from the outside. however, one lunch out with my parents at CA vegan and a post about my dad’s love of fake orange chicken inspired fellow blogger foodeater to leave me a comment, stating that the best fake orange chicken around was served up by vegan plate. i had to follow up on this, and decide for myself let my dad decide if she was right.

    orange chicken: soy chicken lightly battered and marinated with orange sauce. $10.95 (served with steamed brown rice)

    orange chicken: soy chicken lightly battered and marinated with orange sauce. $10.95 (served with steamed brown rice)

    of course i had to sample his fake orange chicken (for the sake of the blog) and decided that this was, indeed the most awesome fake orange chicken i’ve ever had. the thick, sweet, crispy battered shell wrapped perfectly around the soy-meaty insides and made each bite the perfect combination of sugary and scrumptious. my dad was a little harder to convince. at first, he missed the soft gooey texture of the orange chicken at CA vegan, but by the end of the meal, he agreed that this was better. (points off though, because vegan plate doesn’t offer it as a lunch special!)

    compare to CA vegan’s orange chicken here. as you can see, vegan plate’s orange chicken is more crunchy and thick…real restaurant quality. less slimy. i would compare this to orange chicken at a fancy chinese joint, and the stuff at CA vegan to orange chicken from panda express. both have their place. this just didn’t taste, well, microwaved.

    garlic pepper lunch special: sauteed garlic, black pepper, cilantro and garlic sauce on a bed of lettuce. with seitan. $8.95

    garlic pepper lunch special: sauteed garlic, black pepper, cilantro and garlic sauce on a bed of lettuce. with seitan. $8.95

    also at the table, mr. meaner opted for the garlic pepper lunch special with seitan. the thick wheat meat tasted more like juicy pepper steak, and was seasoned to please the extreme garlic lover. on trips to the restroom, we could see into the kitchen and witnessed the cook chopping up whole fresh cloves of garlic to be added to the dish. when a restaurant uses the right ingredients, it really shows. nothing tasted canned or stale, all the flavors were spot on. probably the tastiest and most attractively presented lunch special i’ve ever tried at one of the many thai-vegan restaurants in los angeles. highly recommended! even though this wasn’t my meal, i claimed the spring roll as my own and devoured it. also a winner…piping hot, crispy, and just oily enough to taste great but not make me feel racked with guilt.

    as i said earlier, vegan plate really doesn’t look like much from the outside. it’s in a strip mall on ventura blvd. and has a big, kind of tacky green and white sign. inside though, it’s really beautifully decorated and serves wonderful food. a diamond in the rough!

    the service is also winning—friendly, attentive, and quick. towards the end of our meal a smiling lady (presumably the owner or manager) walked in and started chatting to the regulars about picking up ingredients, and apologized for being out of sticky mango rice. she told us goodbye when we left and even posed for a picture as we were snapping away. awww.

    that suv is full of good vegan food!

    that suv is full of good vegan food!

    so of all the vegan-thai los angeles eateries, vegan plate is definitely one of the best. i’ve been known to avoid those types of restaurant in general, but the longer i keep doing the vegan thing, the harder it is to keep away. i mean they are EVERYWHERE, these vegan places…right? well this is a really good one. you should check it out.

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16 responses to “eat that vegan plate!” RSS icon

  • I’m still in my avoid LA vegan Thai restaurants phase, but the food at Vegan Plate does look delicious! It also looks more inventive than the usual Thai vegan restaurants around town that seem to share the same menu. I’ll put it on my list of restaurants to try!

    Also, thanks for the Pure Luck update. I’m happy they seem to be getting back on their feet. Maybe the smaller portions are temporary and they regular sizes will return as they make up for what they lost w/ the window repair issue.

  • Excellent! I’m so glad you guys gave Vegan Plate a try, and especially the orange chicken. Hot damn that stuff is good! Your plate actually looks smaller than the few times I’ve had it there, at which times I was impressed by how much they served. Still, looks like it was more than enough, and how great that you and dad loved it!

    I really have to agree that Vegan Plate is a cut above the rest as far as the many vegan Thai places go. The ingredients are always super fresh (organic when possible), and while the menu is similar to all the others, they make each dish their own and you can just tell these people really know how to cook… and cook well. And they deliver!

    One of these days I’m gonna drag Vegyogini over there with me and blow her mind with some of that there orange chicken 😉

  • The Vegan Thai epidemic is a good epidemic to have! Its awesome to see that they can financially exist in almost every neighborhood. Fun post! Its great to know that some do somethings better than others and they all aren’t just more of the same.

  • Cool…Bec. of your post , we’re gonna try and go to the VEGAN PLATE for dinner tonight.
    Can’t wait.
    Thanks so much.

  • vegyogini – i know that phase all to well. and please, consider me your pure luck vegan update source! i go there enough, trust me.

    foodeater – thanks for hooking it up! my dad and i both loved it. yeah, this is a cut above the rest.

    lex – thanks! yeah i am warming to the whole vegan-thai thing!

    vegantickles – YAY! let me know how you like it! that’s awesome. 😀

  • Resisting the vegan Thai thing is futile. Eventually you will all be assimilated… and you will be glad.

  • You have. THE BEST. food courts. Ever!
    I want to sink my teeth into this perfect soy chicken, oh my goodness, and also everything else. yummmm! :O~~

    This was actually our second time eating at VEGAN PLATE. First time, we didn’t like it so much, but we gave it a second chance bec. of your review and all 3 of us LOVED. We can’t wait to go back. The orange sauce was to DIE for for.
    Thanks so much for the recommendation.

  • vegantickles – that’s great! i am so glad you liked it. places like this make me feel lucky to live in LA!

  • vegan plate has the hands down best cowboy burger and fries on the planet; i highly suggest trying the burger with avocado.

    vegan plate is my personal favorite thai vegan in la.

  • Went to Vegan Plate again tonight and had the Orange chicken. So freaking good!!1
    Saw Ed Anser eating there.
    Thanks again for the recommendation.

  • went to vegan plate on your recommendation. its too expensive. the lunch special is…9.95?!! what kind of special is that? i can get a way better one for 5.25 in hollywood. they are charging fancy prices when they really have no right. i had the garlic pepper seitan pictured above, and while it was tasty, not worth the money AT ALL. small-ass portion. I got that and a thai iced tea. i was by myself and i left there 16 dollars poorer. thats fine for dinner but for lunch.. i dont think so. i won’t be going back.

  • I wasn’t aware that VP was considered so exceptional among vegan Thai restaurants! I find it very inconsistent. When a friend demanded I order the orange chicken, I did, and silently questioned her judgement. I suppose I should try it again.

    When it’s good, some dishes are crave-worthy, like the “PET” (pumpkin, eggplant, and tofu), and the occasional noodle dish. Most Thai dishes I find overly sweet or bland, and non-Thai dishes are a bit too fast-food for my liking.

    Service is friendly and efficient.

    Two major thumbs down: First, they do not serve soy sauce/tamari, just Bragg’s in little spray bottles.(Spray bottles!) Since most of their food is too sweet or too bland, it badly needs soy sauce. I considered borrowing some from the sushi bar next door, but figured that would be tacky. I have never, ever been to a restaurant that is BYO soy sauce.

    Second, they don’t take American Express, which is a major inconvenience to me and almost everyone who uses a company credit card. I’m not sure why a restaurant in this day and age would want to inconvenience their customers, but this policy means I can’t take any business associates there.

  • I had one hour between meetings yesterday around 6pm so I tried to stop by Vegan Plate. I couldn’t find parking after circling a while, so I ended up not being able to check it out. (I think 6pm on a weekday is also a bad time on Ventura Blvd in general, due to traffic.)
    I’ll try again to go to this place maybe during a less busy time.

  • So I recently moved from Los Angeles to New Mexico and have been suffering from the lack of vegan restaurants after being spoiled for years. In any case, I was recently craving pad thai and thought that, surely, I could find at least a thai restaurant who could make me a vegan version. No such luck – even the one place that offered other vegan versions of dishes claimed they couldn’t omit the fish sauce.

    I gave up for a little while, but the other day I traveled down to Albuquerque (about two hours away) for some errands. While I was there, I found a restaurant called, luckily enough, Thai Vegan. Upon perusing the menu, I had a wicked case of deja vu upon noticing things like the cowboy wrap and pumpkin, eggplant, and tofu dish. When I got there, I asked them if they are affiliated with the vegan thai restaurants in Los Angeles and they said yes. I had no idea that their world domination attempt had extended to other states, but, in fact, it was probably much like the experience of someone who eats at a chain restaurant in another country — the standardization makes for the same culinary experience. The pad thai with pepper steak was exactly as I would have expected it to be.

    So, it’s not worth the drive just to eat, but it’s good to know that the option at least exists.

  • I had the tofu burger the other day. It was soooo good.

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