• Top 5 Omnivorous Restaurants for Vegans in Los Angeles 2010


    Okay, so we’ve already posted about the best vegan and best vegetarian restaurants in Los Angeles, but sometimes we vegans HAVE to eat in omnivorous restaurants. That’s a part of life. What’s interesting, though, is when we find meat-serving restaurants that we WANT to eat in. That’s a whole different story, and LA has a few outstanding omnivorous establishments that go out of their way to cater to vegans. Here are our favorites, updated from last year’s list.

    Tony’s Darts Away

    The first time I heard about Tony’s Darts Away, I thought somebody was messing with me. I mean, a craft beer bar with an over 50% vegan menu? C’mon, people, who are you kidding? When I stepped into Tony’s on the night it opened I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I was awake and not dreaming. First off there was a HUGE selection of California craft beers, including many of my favorites and some that I’m very glad to have discovered. Next up, there’s a menu with a ton of awesome vegan offerings including a build-your-own vegan dog with three different sausage flavors.

    Vegan Italian Sausage with slow-grilled onions, sauerkraut, Vegenaise, and aoili at Tony's Darts Away

    Seriously, what better way to wash down some awesome vegan food than with an equally awesome craft beer? Tony’s Darts Away is one of the best places to open in Los Angeles in years. Vegans, omnivores and everything in between should not hesitate to check it out.


    Chili Addiction

    Although firmly omnivorous with its menu items, Chili Addiction is a vegan’s delight in every way. At any given time there will be at least two vegan chili dishes available, and the selection of vegan dogs, burgers, sorbets, fries and plain ol’ chili is to die for. This is one of those places where everything on the menu is so good that you have real trouble deciding what to order. I usually go for an order of Chili Mac, and a dog or burger sometimes with a side of chili fries to share, and everything I’ve ever had has been top notch.

    Chili Mac at Chili Addiction

    In fact, I think Chef Johnny, co-owner and genius behind the award-winning dishes at Chili Addiction, could be one of the most talented and under-rated chefs working in LA right now. If he’s in the counter-service restaurant when you visit, he’ll happily give you a taste of anything on the menu as well as run you through the ingredients and even explain the concept behind the dish. On a recent visit I enjoyed some amazing hominy chili while Chef Johnny explained how he had come up with the recipe and how he was challenged to get the hominy texture “just right”. On another occasion, I enjoyed the best vegan sorbet of my life, and Chef Johnny took delight in telling me about a special machine he had obtained to make it!

    Chili Addiction has parking out back, and is only steps from the Beverly Center in West Hollywood so there’s really no excuse to go there and eat. Just do it, you won’t be sorry.

    Pizza Cookery

    it’s no secret that we love pizza here on this blog. I mean, who doesn’t? There would have to be something wrong with anybody that didn’t love a perfect crust, tangy sauce, fresh toppings and a yummy vegan cheese, right? Well, assuming that you’re on the same page as the above, you need to get over to Pizza Cookery in Woodland Hills ASAP. Unceremoniously accessed through a side entrance of a somewhat decrepit 70s-era shopping mall awaits some of the best vegan pizza you can get, as well as an environment and ambiance that feels more like Old Chicago or New York than deep in the 818. A combination of funky retro styling (old cast iron soda vending machines) and sawdust on the floor along with faux-gas lamps everywhere really evoke an intimate atmosphere that’s as suitable for a first date as it is an office party.

    Vegan Pizza with Daiya at Pizza Cookery

    The menu is hugely vegan-friendly with a selection of salads and breads most of which can be made vegan. Everything is stunningly fresh and very well prepared, from the vegan caesar salad to the amazingly tasty and filling cheesy rolls. The pizza crust is soft and chewy, while the brick oven takes care of nicely charring the bottom. All the toppings were bright and colorful and the sauce and Daiya cheese mixed perfectly together.

    Pizza cookery is the best pizza place in LA that serves vegan pizza and is dine-in. You’ll feel like you’re in a real pizza parlor of yesteryear, and leave very full and very satisfied.

    M Cafe

    With a totally vegan menu except for fish, M Cafe has a chic urban appeal, backed up with an A-list of ingredients (and clientele) all layered over an efficient kitchen and fair pricing, considering how great the food is. While the last year or two M Cafe’s items have been prepared by kitchen staff rather than chefs, their menu items are still some of the best in town.

    Vegan Benedict at M Cafe

    The Big Macro is arguably LA’s best vegan burger. The broccolini pepporochini is without a doubt LA’s premier broccolini, and the Vegan Benedict is constantly voted one of the “best” breakfast items on any local menu. There are plenty of vegan options at all times of the day, and the rotating menu constantly keeps one coming back for more. The deserts are out of this world, along with some of the best vegan tiramisu known to humanity. Check it out!!

    Hugo’s Restaurant

    With two locations (West Hollywood and Studio City), and a full-on meat-oriented menu, one might be surprised to find that the Hugo’s chefs have created some seriously innovative vegan cuisine. Not only do they have loads of options, but the menu has several clearly marked animal-free alternatives, as well as dishes that can be optionally veganized. If you can get past the trendy atmosphere, long waits and constant celebrity sightings you’re in for a vegan treat.

    Although I’ve long been a fan of the tofu scramble, I also love the Very Green Casserole (one of the best vegan burgers I’ve ever tasted atop stewed vegetables and sauce in a pot) as well as the salads, tikka masala veggie patties, stir-frys and wraps. Make sure you specify “VEGAN” clearly when you order, while the restaurant is extremely vegan-friendly, there may be butter hiding in unsuspecting dishes.

    Vegan Pasta Carbonara Special at Hugo's Restaurant

    Since the last time we voted Hugo’s onto this list, they’ve introduced some astounding vegan specials that rotate in and out, and usually stay on the menu for a week or two before being replaced with something new. This is a very welcome addition, and the specials have been some of the best vegan dishes we’ve eaten anywhere.

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12 responses to “Top 5 Omnivorous Restaurants for Vegans in Los Angeles 2010” RSS icon

  • Sadly, I’ve only been to Hugo’s so far, and that was a long time ago. I might have to hit Chili Addiction before the Troubadour tonight…

  • Great list. M, Hugos, and Chili Addiction are regular visits for me…I haven’t been to Tony’s (I don’t drink), and I just went to Pizza Cookery for the first time last week! It was very good, I’ll definitely go again.

    As for Hugo’s long waits- at least at the Studio City location, they always overestimate the wait time. If they tell me 20 minutes, I’m in there in 5 or 10. So, it’s not that bad, IMO.

  • @nick: you haven’t been to m cafe?!? Take care of that ASAP!

  • Been to all except Chili Addiction. Parents are taking the wife and I to Pizza Cookery this Saturday for our birthdays. My dad cannot eat a meal without meat and I dig Pizza Cookery…so everyone will be happy.

    Can’t wait for my Dad to toss his favorite saying…”Dave, wouldn’t that taste better fried in some bacon fat?”

  • I take EVERYONE to Chili Addiction.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    Haven’t been to any of these somehow!!
    I will go soon though.

  • i love tony’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fatty’s is a vegetarian restaurant. This is a list of omnivorous restaurants.

  • this looks so delicious!

    have a nice time!

  • Ok…went to Pizza Cookery last night and was blown away. I had the Cheese Steak sandwich and split a salad with the wife. The rolls were like god nuggets….damn!

    So I have been going here since I was a kid….Omni, Vegetarian and now Vegan. Identical experience as when I was Omni. You don’t loose a thing eating Vegan there. I can’t stress this enough….It feels like you are cheating.

    Another thing. I work next to PC but have avoided trying the new vegan menu because I try to eat light lunches. But the Cheese Steak was surprisingly light and huge. Easily a two day meal….which btw will be doing next week.

  • I think you must have completely forgotten what bacon tastest like bbecause that faux bacon at hugos tastes like dog food. So disgusting and foul

  • Swingers is a great omnivorous restaurant for vegans!

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