• new vegetarian eats: flore cafe opened today, in what used to be the vegan spot.

    December 18th, 2008quarrygirlflore cafe (closed), LA restaurants

    yo, los angeles: a new vegan-friendly restaurant opened today in silver lake and i was eating it. welcome to the hood, flore cafe. we are pleased to have you.

    flore cafe: LA's newest vegan eats!

    flore cafe: LA's newest vegan eats!

    flore cafe is the lesser little brother of the awesome los angeles vegan eatery flore. i say “lesser” because the menu is smaller, there are fewer places to sit, and um….IT ISN’T FUCKING VEGAN. that’s right, although flore AND flore cafe are owned by a vegan, flore cafe still serves up piping hot plates of chicken menstruation (eggs) and offers a bagel topping of puss and blood (cheese). a total disappointment coming from vegan management.

    don’t get me wrong, although flore cafe sins with disgusting animal by-products in some of their dishes, the place is super vegan friendly. 90% of the menu is animal-free…they just have tons of icky eggs on their breakfast menu, a real cream cheese option for the bagels, and pastries riddled with butter and other crap. the soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps are all vegan. plus, they have an awesome selection of vegan waffles and vegan desserts. i will take what i can get.

    now before i get all into the food, lemme say…not long ago, i posted about the tragic closing of one of my favorite los angeles restaurants, the vegan spot. i posted time after time about this little sandwich shop that could(n’t), but sadly after a good run, they had to close their doors. well now it seems that just 2 weeks later, this new vegetarian coffee house has sprung up in their exact location. flore cafe is owned by a woman who is the sole owner of flore and was one of the two owners of the vegan spot. i guess she took the opportunity of the vegan spot’s failure to expand her flore empire, and add start selling eggs at the same time. eww. eww. eww. why?!?

    the upside of all this, for the vegan community, is that the super tasty breakfast items (which are only offered until 1pm at flore) are offered until 4pm at flore cafe. so that awesome tofu benediction, that tofu scramble, those cruelty-free waffles can be yours well into the afternoon. i hooked up the sweetest tofu scramble today at around 2pm. considering it was their grand-opening and all, i gotta say they cooked this up quite perfectly.

    tofu scramble: tofu, tomato, basil, mushroom, red onion & spinach. $6.95

    tofu scramble: tofu, tomato, basil, mushroom, red onion & spinach. $6.95

    while flore cafe is missing my favorite item that constantly appears on flore’s menu (KALE!!!!!!), they made up for it in tons of spinach and fresh avocado. my scramble was, to say the least, divine. i am looking forward to having it again. at $6.95, it was pretty fairly priced and came with large cuts of firm tofu, all mixed in with flavorful vegetables. they didn’t use nutritional yeast or beat the crap out of the tofu, like most scrambles i’m used to. this dish just had cubes of tofu sauteed with natural ingredients, all up in an impressive sauce.

    on top of a bloody great scramble, flore cafe eased my vegan spot separation-anxiety with the best dessert of all time: the vegan twinkie. vegan twinkies kind of put the vegan spot on the map. cooked up by no whey, a los angeles-based vegan baking company, these twinkies have gotten all kinds of press and have been known to sell out within hours of delivery. i was so stoked to see them at this new vegetarian coffee shop. i love it when good things stay the same.

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    okay, so before i pass out from my food coma, let me remind you that the opening of flore cafe is both depressing and exciting news rolled into one. the best vegan food in los angeles, by far was provided by the vegan spot. they had amazing sandwiches, melty fake cheese, and my favorite meal EVER…the chef salad. now that they are gone, i am super glad a new vegetarian cafe has taken their place, but goddammit, it isn’t the fucking same.

    this flore cafe doesn’t have all the melty fake cheese, no insane mind-blowing wheat meats, and definitely no chef salad. it’s funny, how a vegan restaurant can turn its nose up at “fake meats,” refusing to offer them, then open a cafe that sells REAL FUCKING EGGS. i just don’t get it. why any vegan would open a restaurant and sell egg dishes and dairy-filled pastries is beyond me. ah well.

    furthermore, flore cafe is only open from 7am to 4pm. ok, great…they are open like 3 hours earlier than the vegan spot was. but all of those 3 hours are hours when i am usually asleep. i used to stumble out of the bar with my husband frequently on friday night at around 9pm and order an impromptu meal from the vegan spot. i guess that avenue of pleasure is forever closed off. hmmmm, at least if i am randomly in silver lake at 7:30 am, i know where to get some good tempeh bacon! ho hum.

    now that i have done a good job talking shit on the new development that is flore cafe, let me say they have done wonders with the space.

    i wish i could have gotten more pix of flore cafe’s interior, but dude, i was all self-conscious. busting out a camera and being outed as a blogger is the last thing i need. let me tell you, though, flore cafe has a new paint job, great furniture, and sweet decor. i felt so hip when i was there. rad.

    what used to be a shabby, depressing sandwich counter is now a shic little cafe with tons of sunlight, a pleasant interior and comfy seating. i would actually rather eat in at this coffee shop than at the real flore. they have huge windows, a booth, sweet little tables and chairs, barstools along the wall, and outdoor seating. the vegan spot just had a cracked-out chicken mural and some really depressing tables that looked like they were about to collapse. flore cafe, at least is trying.

    picture taken from a spacious booth. CLASSY DIGS!

    picture taken from a spacious booth. CLASSY DIGS!

    so, i’ve only been there once, but i can say i will be back to flore cafe. the food is awesome, the atmosphere is chill, and the prices are alright. HOWEVER…vegan spot, IT IS NOT!

    to break it down: a.) flore cafe has eschewed all fake meat, yet at the same time embraced NON-VEGAN shit like eggs and cheese and butter and whatever. that totally grosses me out. b.) flore cafe is not open when i want it to be. i can never get drunk at 9pm and decide i want some flore cafe…because it will have been closed for 5 hours. c.) there’s nothing new or inventive on the menu at flore cafe, almost all this shit can be found at flore itself. see for yourself:

    floremenu1 floremenu2

    tasty menu….BUT….god, did i mention HOW MUCH i will miss the vegan spot’s roast beef cheddar sandwich, philly cheesesteak sandwich, french bread pizza and chef salad?!?!??! i think that this will be a long and drawn-out break-up.

    so, vegetarians and vegans, hustle your ass over to flore cafe between 7 am and 4 pm. they have salads, bowls, twinkies and some tofu breakfast items. i’m so stoked that a vegetarian cafe filled the location of my old favorite restaurant. but let me tell ya, and i can’t make it any more clear…I STILL MISS THE VEGAN SPOT! boo hoo.

    but my tofu scramble was still mad decent.

    Tags: , , , ,

25 responses to “new vegetarian eats: flore cafe opened today, in what used to be the vegan spot.” RSS icon

  • screw this place. seriously – who is “miranda”? bring back the vegan spot NOW. keep your fucking crappy eggs and butter you whore of death.

  • We’ve got to look on the bright side, maybe some egg heads will be brave one day and try something else on the menu. They should just extract the addictive opiates from the cheese and juice it all over vegan dishes and call them “non vegan” that’ll keep the walking animal funeral homes coming back for more.

  • lex – dude, i think i am with you but i am very confused. hahahaha. i just need another twinkie.

  • seriously! this is a terrible situation. I hate to see a vegan establishment die, a greedy “owner” take over and completely mess with it. of course, “flore cafe” will fail. this economy isn’t going to be kind to places that try to be all things to all people. I’ll look forward to taking another cell ‘phone pic when it closes. only this time I’ll gloat.

  • “keep your fucking crappy eggs and butter you whore of death.”

    Best. Quote. Ever.

    Nutshell in Portland should have been a warning to places like this. When they stopped being vegan for the sake of adding a few lame cheese & egg dishes to their menu, they not long after went out of business.

    But yeah, that scramble does look way good.

  • Even vegans are willing to sell out.

  • Well, that really sucks because the main reason I wanted to eat at Vegan Spot was for those sandwiches you’d been reviewing. Now, I’ll never get a chance to try one and I’ve lost my desire to go running over to that location. 🙁

  • You have to remember, Miranda started out with Tierra Cafe in downtown. They don’t serve eggs, but they do serve dairy (cheese, cream cheese, ect.). The tofu scramble that you liked so much looks exactly like the one they serve at Tierra. This place looks to be much more similar to Tierra than Flore, kind of a mix of both places. Although I’m in agreement that having virtually the same restaurant down the street from Flore, with virtually the same name, with virtually the same menu, with limited hours doesn’t seem to be the best decision for the place. But who knows what will work in that location. That’s why I’m not a restaurant owner…

  • i ate there today and i was disappointed – although it might be because i loved vegan spot so much. i thought the food was very much like flore but i’ve never been to tierra.

    one up side that i was extremely excited about – vegan waffles (with sides like chocolate sauce and hot apple sauce)! in my neighborhood! served all day! now, if i could only get them delivered to my mouth first thing in the morning.

    also – they make a lot of juices and seem to have a broader dessert selection than vegan spot so i’m happy.

  • that scramble looks insanely good

  • Wait, what? This seems so…..strange and confusing, maybe a little tiny bit good (that there’s another place to check out), but also really sucky!


    I’m sure I will go there at least once to check it out (it’s kinda hard to resist a new(ish) eatery, ya know?), but I fear that my sadness over being at The Vegan Spot, only it NOT being The Vegan Spot might override any joy I feel from eating at a new place, especially one that could/should be vegan.

    Sorry for the ramblings. My heart and head and words have still not fully recovered from the demise of my favorite vegan spot.


  • Sorry about the loss! But I know exactly why a vegan would add eggs and dairy crap to their cafe’s menu. Money. Ugh. I don’t want to judge other people, but I would have a really hard time compromising my ethics every day in order to make an extra buck for the vegetarians who want their eggs. (Or chicken menstruations, as you so cleverly put it.)

    At least Flore Cafe is vegetarian. And at least you got a yummy tofu scramble out of your 2pm meal.

  • I’m gonna have to echo Kevin: I can’t imagine how opening a restaurant a couple blocks down the street from your other restaurant with practically the same menu can be a good idea. I’m assuming the eggs/dairy were added in order to get a bigger customer base. The Vegan Spot did close after all due to a lack of customers. But the whole thing just seems a little weird.

    I am eager to try their waffles and coffee drinks.

  • Thanks, home slice. When I’m back in town, yourself and Mr. Meaner better be ready for a seitan throwdown.

  • It’s all about the Vegan Twinkies. Fuck eggs.

  • We, the vegan community are based in love, understanding and compassion. Just as we are correct in the belief that our choices and lifestyle should be respected it is important to remember to respect all peoples. Veganism is divisive in nature in the same way that politics and religion can be. Flore communicates with its patrons in an accessible and nurturing manner and is careful to engender a good relationship with the non vegan community that makes up nearly 70% of it’s customer base. We believe that we do the most good by influencing the dietary and spiritual nature of our customers… showing them that vegan food is accessible, nutritional and delicious. We work against the stereotypes that vegan food has to be a facsimile of “real food”, doesn’t contain enough vitamins or nutrition to support proper health and is bland. We believe in providing proper nutrition for the health and longevity of all of our brothers and sisters. Our decision to sell free range, organic eggs (that have a dedicated cooking appliance) was in keeping with our decision to offer conventional organic milks in addition to oat, almond, soy and rice… to bring people to the table that usually push it away and to communicate with the people that have been made to feel uncomfortable for their non-vegan procilivities. We think that what we do is important work and a service to the community. We will not create change or further a cause with division, animosity or intollerence.

    On a side note, anyone who thinks that Flore is about profit should look at the menu pricing and realize that it sells food at the same price level or for less than conventional restaurants that do not use organic ingredients and rely on a sysco truck for their salad dressings, potato salad, etc.

  • Sorry, Miranda. You just don’t get it. Veganism is a lifestyle as much as it is a dietary choice. The hens that pump out your “free range, organic eggs” under duress only to be slaughtered for cat food when they are spent need every ounce of our love. You are a disgrace. I hope your ventures fail, and it’s clear that you’re pulling down MORE than decent dollars at Flore.

  • your opinion of us is fair even if it is not ours. please save the slights and assumptions for people or a business you know anything at all about. warmest, miranda

  • Um, I think everyone is being really hard on Miranda. Flore vegan is one of my favorite places…

    one of my big peeves as someone who is writing a book on veganism and raw food lifestyle is the notion that every resto every person must go 100% overnight. i think in order to be more persuasive we must approach those outside of our community through the idea of transitional veganism – which i think flore does well.

    not everyone can to ditch dairy and meat over night and go hardcore into the vegan lifestyle and may i add, the militant character assassinating comments like the ones here are certainly not going to entice any non vegans reading this blog.

    if you don’t like eggs – don’t go there! big whoop. but don’t tear Miranda down while raving about the limited vegan options at more mainstream restaurants that serve meat and crap.

    for me – the larger picture is, i think this restaurant provides an opportunity for non-vegans to be introduced to the vegan lifestyle yet again and that is good.

    and btw, wishing failure on someone’s business? c’mon. bad karma dudes. united we stand… and all that.

    ps. i’m not gonna read the responses fyi… not my bag. i like my sundays to be happy. 🙂

  • and yeah, there’s a shitload of typos. sorry. i’m all hopped up on a grip of raw cacao from a raw food potluck. spare me.

  • well, what a “tizzle” we’re all in. my bf and I are longstanding vegans (3 years and counting). we frequent flore, and used to frequent vegan spot before its demise. I’m sad that miranda and her supporters are defending egg, milk and cheese offerings at cafe flore. her brash opening “we the vegan community”, which leads to an emotional, confused and guilt-ridden dissertation of anything BUT veganism is, frankly, embarrassing. I love this blog becuase it’s not afraid to call BS on something that really is. I, and the rest of the silverlake gay vegan community (there are a surprising amount of us, actually) will start to go further east for our vegan delights thank you very much.

    and, tizzle, we’re not united if we’re not real vegans. AND don’t quote Austin Powers – that’s lame, baby.

  • This is a sad day for us. We are happy that you are all out there and it is clear that we have no clear way to communicate our thoughts without misleadings and misgivings. We were wrong to suppose that we were communicating for all vegans. We all have different reasons for making this choice and different ways of promoting it. It is a beautiful way to live and we support each and every person that makes the commitment and those who try and fail. We only care about being of service. Please accept our apologies if we have offended any sensibilities. We know how it feels. We won’t be back but we offer our love to everyone.

  • Anne of Seattle

    As a vegan Seattle-ite who frequents LA, I just want to say a quick word in Miranda’s defense. I was exactly the non-vegan, non-vegetarian customer she writes about in her post. Here in Seattle there’s a vegetarian restaurant called, of all things, Cafe Flora. I went to eat with there with friends one time, and was really bothered when I realized that we were at a vegetarian restaurant. Sighing to myself, I ordered a meal which I belatedly realized was not just vegetarian, but was actually vegan. Eee gads! Of course, as you can imagine, the meal was fabulous (some sort of portabello fritter, with all sorts of awesome side dishes), and I happily went back to Flora several times over the next few years. I continued my disgusting meat-and-dairy-eating habits until one day while lunching there, something struck me. Perhaps it was just looking at the wealth of vegan recipes that exist when I had previously thought that vegans must live on bland, unsatisfying food. I don’t know why it took me three years to get to that place, but it did. I decided to read up on veganism, and four days and several books later, I became an overnight vegan.

    That was 8 years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I’m appalled to consider how many animals I’ve eaten in my life, but even more appalled to consider that if it hadn’t been for Cafe Flora, I’d still happily be chowing cheeseburgers and milk shakes.

    My only point here is that very few vegan restaurants can pull in enough customers to stay in business. If it weren’t for Cafe Flora, a restaurant that serves cheese and eggs, I’d never have considered veganism. It literally changed my life. And I’d bet I’m not the only person who’s had this sort of experience.

  • I eat there a bunch, loved it after the Vegan Spot, which to be quite honest I found to be a bit bland… just like the “vegan twinkies” floating around LA. Sorry guys I know you love them and all but when trying them at Doomie’s a while back I had to stop they were dry and there was just nothing going on there in terms of flavor.

    I really enjoy Flore cafe and don’t quite understand why people are down on Miranda so much for her decision. I saw the promotion for Akasha (which openly embraces steak as a dinner option) so regardless of how old the post is…. Let’s have a heart loves and cut the girl a break.

  • My wife and I recently visited Flore Cafe. We’ve been to Flore as well, and love their tuno-melt.
    No doubt, the food is delicious.
    My question is, why are both locations so dumpy??
    We paid $28 bucks for two sandwiches with two iced teas. Not a cheap lunch, but it’s so good I don’t care.
    What I do care about is the “B” rating in the window, and the unappealing atmosphere.
    I’ve noticed a trend in many LA vegan restaurants, the atmosphere leaves something to be desired. Why is this? Are compassionate business owners not smart business people?
    A great atmosphere and vibe in a restaurant goes a long way, at least in my book.
    Why do I have to go to a carnivore’s restaurant for a romantic date?
    (Yes i’ve been to Madeline Bistro and other fine dining vegan spots)
    Or, what if I want to turn a carnivore to vegan?
    Presentation goes a long way.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

Leave a reply