• healthyca: hit or miss

    November 25th, 2009quarrygirlhealthyca, LA restaurants

    over the past couple weeks, i have been heading out to the valley to lunch it up at north hollywood’s hoppin’ little take-out and delivery restaurant, healthyca. the place is just a tiny hole in the wall on lankershim with short weekday only hours, but it has loads of vegan options with several salads, sandwiches and hot plates to choose from. i’ve tried a few things off the menu at healthyca, and so far the way i feel about the food there is, i either love it or i hate it…or i think it’s okay.

    vegan feast: tofu trio (teriyaki, tomato and ginger olive) on a bed of red cabbage. $9.95

    vegan feast: tofu trio (teriyaki, tomato and ginger olive) on a bed of red cabbage. $9.95

    let’s start with the dish i absolutely loved…the vegan feast. it was the first thing i ever tried at healthyca, and i was so blown away by it that i was ready to call this place my new favorite restaurant. a vegan feast it is indeed with a hearty portion of well marinated tofu, and your choice of two sides. to make things super easy, all the sides at healthyca are vegan except for the potato salad. i ordered this with red mashed potatoes and grilled white asparagus, and dude…it was all phenomenal.

    white asparagus at healthyca in los angeles

    i am such a lame foodie that this was my first time ever eating white asparagus, but i think it’s safe to say that i will now be a fan for life.

    tofu feast at healthyca in los angeles

    the best thing about this feast, though, was the mound of thick grilled tofu chunks, soaked in a most exquisite and flavorful sauce. it was super tomatoey and oily, and went great with all the cilantro and purple cabbage. there was also so much of it, i ended up stuffing myself and still taking a bunch of food home.

    now for the dish i hated: the veggie delight.

    veggie delight: vegan macrobiotic tofu-grain patty with pesto sauce. $9.95

    veggie delight: vegan macrobiotic tofu-grain patty with pesto sauce. $9.95

    the veggie delight sounds well and good from the menu description, a vegan macrobiotic tofu-grain patty served with pesto sauce with your choice of two sides. it’s the same price as the vegan feast, so i was a bit disappointed and underwhelmed when it showed up looking so small. instead of a massive pile of tofu, this hot plate comes with two thin patties that without much texture or flavoring. i was expecting them to be much more hearty made of grains and tofu like a good veggie burger, but these limp things just tasted like mashed up garden vegetables. to be fair, the sides of quinoa and asparagus i got with them were awesome, and the tofu pesto sauce was decent, but the patties were just blech.

    veggie delight at healthyca in los angeles

    lastly the dish that i thought was okay: the healthyca sausage (be sure to say “NO MAYO”!)

    healthyca sausage: homemade vegan sausage on sesame roll with tomato, lettuce, grilled onion, tofu pesto and red pepper sauces. $9.25

    healthyca sausage: homemade vegan sausage on sesame roll with tomato, lettuce, grilled onion, tofu pesto and red pepper sauces. $9.25

    to be fair, this dish didn’t belong to me….it was ordered by my lunch partner brittany from sickoflettuce.com. i did get to taste it though, so i figure i’m allowed to have an opinion on it. at $9.25, this thing really was a good deal. the sandwich was huge, and it came with a healthy-sized side of your choice (she chose quinoa). it actually arrived at our table looking a lot bigger than the veggie delight, which cost 70cents more. hmph. while it was really attractively priced and the portion was large, i thought the sandwich was just alright. it advertised itself as a vegan sausage, it was more like the same vegetable patty i had in the veggie delight! there was nothing mock-meaty about it. brittany seemed to think it was decent, but i definitely didn’t hear her raving about it or anything.

    healthyca vegan sausage

    so there you go, a quick little run down of some of the vegan offerings at healthyca. while i thought the veggie delight was gross, and the healthyca sausage was nothing to write home about, i can’t stress enough that the vegan feast was fucking amazing! i know i will be back soon to eat that again. for all you peeps who work in the valley or are jobless, this is a great place for a weekday lunch. for everyone else, unfortunately healthyca is closed evenings and weekends. oh well.

    for more pix and reviews of healthyca, you should check out this category on foodeater’s blog toliveandeatinla.com. i think she has eaten practically everything vegan there is to try on the menu! so check it.

    4724 lankershim blvd
    noho, ca 91602

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17 responses to “healthyca: hit or miss” RSS icon

  • I work in the valley and order from HealthyCa 2-3x a week. I’m not usually a huge fan of salads, but the Tofancho, Chilled Orient and Southwestern (they’ll substitute grilled tofu for chicken) are amazing. Also, many of their sandwiches are easy to veganize (try the Portobello on flatbread, no mayo/goat cheese). Just be prepared before going that there’s not much room to eat on site… most of their business is take-out, delivery, catering.

  • sorry your veggie delight patties were seriously lacking =( i agree, though, the vegan feast is by far my favorite item there… but i’ve only tried two things. there could be something better, but i doubt it, because the feast is soooo good!

    qg is the best lunch partner ever!

  • Did you eat all of that cilantro?

  • @Matt, why yes i did!

  • Thanks for the link dude. We must have very different tastes though because I LOVE their vegan sausage (which is meant to be served on their tasty bun). I crave that thing for days… which sucks if it happens on the weekends when they’re closed!

  • I used to live right around the corner from healthyca, but could never eat there because of the hours. It always made me sad. Thanks for the review!

  • Closer inspection… I guess that is the bun? Got confused by it being called a sandwich. Either way…. yum!

  • One more thing, I’m pretty sure the red potato salad isn’t vegan either.

  • I’m on vacation starting this afternoon, so maybe I’ll finally hit up HealthyCA for a meal in the next couple weeks.

  • @foodeater, no prob on the link! there is so much more that you posted about that looks amazing. dude, those salads! BTW, i called healthyca just to double check…they said the red mashed potatoes are vegan but the potato salad is not. whew.

  • the chinese chicken salad (sub grilled tofu) with the oriental dressing is amazingly good

  • Odd. I used to always get the red potatoes because they are delicious. The owner knows I’m vegan and one day he saw me eating them and told me not to get them anymore because they weren’t vegan. Maybe they changed how they make them now.

  • @foodeater – i HOPE that is the case, because i checked with the staff both times i was there, and called them to check again. they said they were vegan. if they DID change them, hugo’s should follow their fucking lead and veganize that shit!

  • holy macaroni YUM!! I wish i lived in California…man!! Damn chicago and the lack of veggie restaurants here. 🙁

  • Agreed… get with the program Hugo’s!

  • Avi and I have only been there once and we weren’t blown away but now I’m thinking maybe we just ordered the wrong thing. The vegan feast looks tasty! I LOVE TOFU! That’s too bad they’re closed evenings and weekends. 🙁 What’s up with that?

  • I love the Healthyca Vegan Sausage Sandwich. It’s delicious if you pour the red and green pesto’s on it. Try it on the ciabatta instead of the roll. The quinoa is the best ever. But no mayo!!

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