• dear pure luck, don’t spread rumors! we love you.

    August 14th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    pure luck is without a doubt one of our favorite restaurants ever. we have written countless great reviews on them, named them one of the best vegan restaurants in LA, and even added their jackfruit menu items to our bucket list post. that’s not to say we haven’t had a few complaints in the past: we were super bummed when they removed curry from the menu, we may have called them communists at one point, and their baja tacos failed to pass our veganocity test. whatever, though! all that BS aside, we still looooooooooove pure luck.

    we eat there all the time, and they are the number one spot i recommend to friends. that’s why i was shocked to hear from three different people that when asked about the test conducted on their soy fish tacos, pure luck servers have made disparaging remarks about this blog. saying things like i “tried to put them out of business” (untrue, and insulting considering the amount of money i spend at that place), and that i have “been sued” because the tests were unscientific. i just wanna take this opportunity to say, i have never been sued. i don’t know why pure luck is telling people that, but it is completely untrue. stop it! hopefully this post will set the record straight, because i don’t want that false rumor floating around.

    as sad as i am about all of this, i am gonna keep eating the fuck out of jackfruit tortas at pure luck.

    torta: sauteed jackfruit “carnitas” plus pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, tomatillo salsa, sliced avocado and vegan mayo on a grilled rustic roll.

    seriously, this is one of my favorite sandwiches ever and i couldn’t live without it. if you haven’t been to pure luck yet, you gotta check it out. it’s has some of the tastiest food in los angeles, and a far better beer selection that any other vegan place in town. in fact, tons of omnivores love this place because the food and beer is so good.

    pure luck
    707 N Heliotrope Dr.
    Los Angeles, CA 90029
    (323) 660-5993
    open 11am to Midnight, Mon – Sat
    closed Sundays

    PS: i still don’t know if the soy fish is vegan or not. i hope it is. however, i feel unless it’s a known brand and you can read the ingredients (gardein, field roast, tofurky, etc), ALL MOCK MEAT should be eaten at your own risk. that’s not to say i don’t eat off brand mock meats at times, i’m just sayin’…caveat emptor.


53 responses to “dear pure luck, don’t spread rumors! we love you.” RSS icon

  • oh that’s so true. when i told one server that i was at pure luck becuase of this blog she said “don’t beleive everything you read there. she writes a lot of lies”. i was astounded!

  • WTF. Bite the hand that feeds in reverse logic. If I were you I wouldn’t freakin eat there. Mind if it’s that good…

  • when Pure Luck first opened quality was astounding and then I heard some rumor that they rotated jobs and cleaners would cook, cooks would serve, etc. That rumor coincided with absolute horrible food (always decent service, though). After about 5 times of bad food we just quit going all together. (so bad we’d just pay and leave our uneaten plate and walk over to Scoops) I’ll still never forget my first time there, it was like magic, the server was so awesome, the food was the best I’d ever experienced. My last 5 times there I wish I could forget. I haven’t been there in a while, but this rumor BS solidifies the logic that success went to their heads. Its astounding that Vegan restaurants like this can’t be part of the community, embrace bloggers, attend vegan events and take criticism proactively. Vegans just want to love vegan businesses it doesn’t take much effort to win back our hearts if you mess up.

  • The only reason I went there in the first place is because it got such high praise here. Fuck those assholes. Seriously – fuck them. If I were you I wouldn’t go back without a cease and desist order in my hand.

  • Ever since I started avoiding gluten-free foods, I haven’t had to be concerned about the possibility that some mock meats may contain dairy products or eggs, since I no longer eat them anyway. (Glad I’ve been able to go right on enjoying tempeh and tofu, though; whew!) As for my partner, he doesn’t mind if a mock meat isn’t vegan. We’ve never been to Pure Luck, but if we ever do visit that restaurant, I hope I will be able to find a good dish with veggies and tofu.

  • Oh my goodness. I meant to say “Ever since I started avoiding foods that contain gluten….” Sorry.

  • Went there once. It was weird and awkward. Also, there were some filthy-ass gutterpunk kids at a nearby table who totally descended on whatever food we didn’t eat when we got up and ate it. Nasty.

  • Jack Bee Garland

    i’ve been there a few times and the service sux. 90% of the waitstaff are snotty and lazy and the food has always been just OK. i wouldn’t waste the gas from LB to be served by stuck up snobs.

  • I’ve been here plenty of times and have mostly had good service and good food.

    But I’m bummed that the staff thinks a vegan restaurant blogger is trying to push vegan restaurants out of business.

    In fact, the claim is laughable.

    If this is their attitude, I might not be so willing to go there in the future, no matter how good the torta is 🙂

  • Between taking my employees there for lunch practically every Friday since the place opened (ok, there are only 4 of us!) to many evenings there with just the lady and I, mint.com says I have spent $1,876 at Pure Luck. And all because I heard about it on this blog.

    Ben – don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  • Two words: Dirty Bathrooms.

  • Oh that’s real mature of them. Turn it around on you instead of admitting a fuck up With the “fish” and moving on.
    I used to drive from Downey to pure luck sometimes just for takeout. I adore the torta. But with so many other superior vegan eateries out there, I only go now as a last resort.the staff often seems annoyed to even take your order, and other than the tacos & torta, the rest is crap. I’d rather hit up shojin or cinnamon for boneriffic food if I’m heading toeards LA.
    I say fuck em. You can survive without their jackfruit.

  • I’m typing this from Pure Luck. I go a lot (I am the 4sq mayor after all) — the food is pretty good, the beers are awesome, and it’s close. I’ve talked to Ben the owner a few times; he seems like a good guy, and very smart. I’ve inquired about the fish too, and got the same angry attitude (not from Ben, from a server).

    Despite all this, it’s obvious that food quality isn’t a main concern. Without a head chef, it’s not possible. Their entrees could be a lot better, but as is they are just “good enough”. I don’t know why Ben has it set up this way, but either you accept it or you don’t.

  • Bahh! Ignore my typo’s please. Haha!

  • I’ve been to Scoops on Heliotrope many times, never been to PL though. (If there’s only time for one place between meetings, then the place with vegan ice-cream will win every time for me!)
    I’ll stop by and try the torta sandwich next time though, it looks quite good 😀

  • OKOKOKOKOK. I’ve been a loyal PL customer since it opened and I can tell you the place has gone downhill ever since the truck slammed into it. HEre’s a chronology:

    – Patty left (or was fired)
    – They changed the size of the portions
    – They took stuff off the menu, and added stuff back
    – They started serving the salads in bowls rather than on plates
    – They discontinued counter service
    – The prices went up. A Lot.
    – They randomly raised a bunch of tables by 24″ – WTF WTF WTF?
    – They stopped you going in the door that opens on to the street
    – They opened the patio up so LA’s bikers could accumulate
    – They put stupid artowrk on the walls
    – They removed the nice sound system and iPod dock
    – They REMOVED the urinal in the men’s restroom

    Seriously. Did they do ANYTHING good since the day they opened?

  • Uuuugggg. I ate there earlier this summer and while I was there I mentioned that I was there because of your recommendation and the server rolled her eyes at me and then our service declined rapidly and the food. was. awful. /ramble

    Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut and we could have enjoyed it!

  • i had the same experience. showed up, the tattooed female server said “how did you hear about us?” I replied “quarrygirl.com !!!!” – she said “ah, they are trying to put is out of business”. I Was …. like wtf? wtf fucking fuck.

  • Interesting. Their website says its Pam A’s fave place in LA. Maybe if that’s not true she should sue them.


    And no, not sayin QG is PA! But I hear she is rather “hot”. No fat fingers ok. So a nice man called her husband says. 😉

  • I’d never even heard of Pure Luck until coming across this blog. After reading the comments, I’m not so sure I want to bother trying it!

    NOTE TO PL: It’s not this blog that made me feel that way, it’s the comments about snobby service, bad food, etc., from OTHER people who’ve eaten there. So don’t bitch about the blog owner.

  • You have to try de vesuvio truck, they have a vegan eggplant parmasan…..so good it is amazing.

    I love your site..it is the most helpful site for vegan people, THANKS

  • “I’d never even heard of Pure Luck until coming across this blog. After reading the comments, I’m not so sure I want to bother trying it!”

    With Pure Luck, Scoops, and the bicycle place (I’m sorry, bicycle placeS; there’s a shop AND a cafe), there’s definitely something about that block that oozes snobby stuck-up hippy hipster. Did I mention the clientele ate off our plates the second we got up? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I covered that.

  • baseball_rules: Putting salads in a bowl rather than a plate is an awesome move!! You can eat the salad much more easily and the portion is bigger than when its piled precariously on a plate!

  • Just by writing this blog entry you ARE trying to put them out of business. No matter to me since I don’t like the place, but don’t be such a hypocrite.

  • @Leyla – looks to me like they’re trying to put themselves out of business! All these comments are perfectly valid – perhaps the owner will see them and do something, perhaps he won’t.

  • @leyla: that doesn’t make any sense. i raved about their food and told people not to believe rumors, but to still eat at pure luck. how the hell is that “trying to put them out of business.” i find the claim ridiculous.

  • Never been to PL and don’t plan on ever going. Stop eating there, QG. They are immature, irresponsible liars and are trying to blame you for their mistakes. How can you support this? Don’t give your money to a shady business, make Tortas at home!

  • hey quarrygrrrl, do they know who you are, by face when you go in there? just curious. I would say also, either stop supporting them or only support them very very minimally. how rude and immature!

  • Anything made at a restaurant can be made at home. There are recipes for bbq jackfruit online.

  • Seriously, you can buy jackfruit in a can at Indian grocery stores. They don’t exactly have the lock on it.

  • You ARE trying to put them out of business – just look at all of the comments vowing to never again frequent the restaurant. Was that your plan when you wrote this piece? If not, then you really messed up.

  • @leyla: no, i am NOT trying to put them out of business. at all. if I was, i certainly wouldn’t continue to eat there. please take my post at face value, which is all it is ever meant to be, and don’t blame me for reactions in the comments.

    sometimes I write a post trashing a place, and people jump in to defend it. sometimes, I bring up a place, and people use the comments section as a place to vent. that doesn’t mean I’m trying to “put it out of business.”

  • PL has gotten better the last few times I’ve gone. For a long while it was my favorite vegan vegan restaurant in all of LA, and then the quality went really downhill really fast. For months and months my bf and I had resolved never to go there again. Eventually we caved and tried it again, and it’s been better for a while now. I’d say it’s back to being my #1 favorite spot. I still recommend it to everyone. I’m a pretty diehard fan of the food but definitely not of the general attitude of the place.

    And haters, shut the fuck up. Why would she say this:

    “seriously, this is one of my favorite sandwiches ever and i couldn’t live without it. if you haven’t been to pure luck yet, you gotta check it out. it’s has some of the tastiest food in los angeles, and a far better beer selection that any other vegan place in town.”

    if she wanted them to go out of business? She’s just trying to stop the rumors. So take your shit-stirring elsewhere.

    Oh, and WTF happened to all the awesome beer selections? They’re REALLY pared down that menu. 🙁

  • ha, “vegan vegan restaurant.” oops.

  • I love Pure Luck. I love the food, I love sitting outside, I love the beer, and I love the stuff around it (Scoops, Orange 20, etc)

    I drive all the way from Santa Monica to eat lunch here, and every time I do, I want to order 10 pounds of dill pickle chips with BBQ sauce to bring home. During the week, I make Jackfuit “carnitas” at home.

    This place is the bomb.

  • The food from pure luck is either good/decent, but the service sucks which prevents me from coming here often.

  • It’s pretty gutsy of you still going to that place. For all you know they could be messing with your food. Not saying that they are, but accusing of you being a liar and what not.

  • Leyla, you are so dumb.

  • The service is fine. The food is a crappy version of hippie food that tastes like it was scraped off a Grateful Dead parking lot, circa 1995.

  • @sunshine girl

    What’s your recipe on making jackfruit “carnitas”?

  • @trekster This one’s always been my favorite:


    Won a cooking competition (against four other carnivorous teams!) with this one 😀 Thanks, Urban Housewife!

  • did they ever even fucking respond to the fish issue!?

    I still am very careful when picking and choosing things there, because if they were using the same asian sourced ingredients (as greenleaves, vegan XXX, etc…) then no one should be eating there. they never resolved this issue to my satisfaction, and as others have said sometimes the food is awesome, and sometimes completely wrong. You can’t run a restaurant like this – the food has to be consistent.

    i go only when friends want to now. just because of this type of nonsense. i’ve always been treated well there, but the inconsistent food and unclear veganocity of the place make me think twice.

  • Matt, so is yo mama.

  • Trekster makes a very good point. How DO you know that they are not messing with your food quarrygirl? If they weren’t before then they certainly might be now…… HA HA HA

  • Leyla, I hope Pure Luck goes out of business. I seriously do. People who run a business like that deserve to go under. Have you ever been in the kitchen? It’s so tiny, so full of flies sitting on the food that it would make you vomit.

  • It’s so sad reading all these comments. Knowing most of the people working at Pure luck and many of you.

  • I think it’s funny how fast Leyla changed the subject once she lost an argument! “HA HA HA”

  • i just wanna chime in and say, i haven’t had bad service at pure luck in over a year. i think the staff is great. haha, i haven’t brought up operation pancake to them though. 🙂

    like i said in the post, i love pure luck and will continue to eat there on a regular basis.

  • It’s sad to read the bad experiences here, because The Boyfriend and I go to Pure Luck pretty regularly, as we are both addicted to the Tofu Pesto sandwich, he’s addicted to Potato Pals and I have an unholy love for the pickle chips. We’ve never had bad service (a server who’s leaving soon even invited us to stop by on her last day since we’re regulars and partake in vegan cupcakes that she’s bringing) and we love stopping by Scoops afterwards. I’ve introduced omnivore friends to PL and they’ve all loved it. One of my friends wrote a glowing review.

    I don’t know which servers are badmouthing QG, but I hope that, if any of them are reading this, please don’t. She’s stated that she loves y’all and praises PL every time it’s mentioned on the blog.

    If other people have had bad experiences or don’t like the food, I completely understand wanting to share that – I’ve done so myself with other restaurants. But saying someone tried to put you out of business when they’ve praised you and and stated that they plan to continue giving you money? That’s very much not the truth.

  • @Fritz: the only mock “meat” they have at Pure Luck is the fish. The only other meat substitutes they have are BBQ jackfruit and plain ol’ tofu, so you should be fine. Several items are straight-up veggies and whatnot, no vegan protein.

    I’ve never had a bad experience there, for the record, and their cesar dressing is one of the best things I’ve ever had. I usually get Kristen’s carnitas wrap. Jackfruit, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce, cesar dressing, avocado? OMG yum.

  • msmerymac, thanks for the helpful information! Sounds like there would be dishes I could have there, should my partner and I ever decide to visit Pure Luck. Neither he nor I have ever tasted jackfruit, and I would like to sometime. Glad to hear that their cesar dressing is so good!

  • We finally ate at Pure Luck Wednesday, and it was FANTASTIC! It appears to be one of L.A.’s very best vegetarian restaurants. (See my review on Happy Cow.net 😉 ) Again, thank you, msmerrymac, for the recommendation; you were so right!

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