• vegan soul food at larkin’s in eagle rock!

    January 20th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, larkin's

    UPDATE: larkin’s has discontinued their vegan menu! sad, sad.

    los angeles vegans are in for a treat! as of last week larkin’s, a popular contemporary soul food restaurant in eagle rock, has introduced a brand new green menu which is almost entirely vegan. i first found out about this from our resident QG writer brittany, who was forwarded an email about the launch of the menu by a co-worker. britt and i decided we had to check larkin’s out for ourselves, to see how good the new vegan options at this meaty soul food restaurant could be. i’m happy to report that we were not disappointed!

    entering larkin’s is like stepping back in time; vintage posters adorn the walls and drinks are served in old school jelly jars. it really feels like you’re eating in someone’s living room—in fact larkin’s looks like one big house that’s been converted into a restaurant…complete with deck/patio dining!

    as soon as we were seated, our waitress brought us a complimentary black eyed pea salad to munch on with toasted pita chips (pictured above). we confirmed that it was vegan and dug in, plopping mounds of the cold salad onto the warm little triangles. absolutely divine! in fact, this thing was so good that we demolished it before our entrees arrived, and our waitress happily replenished it.

    after reading about the new green menu in the email from larkin’s, we both came with our heart set on one entree:

    vegan chix pot pie: soy & rice based sauce with peas, onions, garlic, potatoes, and soy chicken with a vegan biscuit. $10

    apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought that sounded amazing, as our waitress informed us it was the single item on the green menu that was sold out. nooo! after we regained our composure, we set about choosing something else for dinner. the green menu is pretty enticing, and almost every item on it is vegan. it’s got vegan gluten-free mac & cheese, chile verde, and even chocolate cake…the only thing that’s off limits is the “vegetarian meatloaf” because it contains egg.

    vegan gluten-free mac & cheese: rice noodles, soybase, topped with spicy toasted walnuts. $9

    being a connoisseur of dairy-free macaroni, brittany went with the vegan gluten-free mac and cheese: a casserole dish filled with rice noodles covered in creamy soy cheese with baked spicy walnut bits on top. holy moly, this was tasty!

    the cheese itself was pretty mild in flavor, but the crunchy walnuts added the perfect spicy kick. it was rich and gooey with a crispy residue that stuck to the sides of the ramekin. although these were some kind of special “gluten-free” noodles, they tasted perfectly normal to me. i don’t go out of my way to avoid gluten, but i’d definitely go out of my way to eat this mac any day. and i think adding nuts as a topping instead of breadcrumbs is a genius move.

    after the heartbreaking news that the chix pot pie was out of the question, i couldn’t decide on anything else from the green menu. i did notice a vegan item on the normal menu that looked particularly interesting though, the bbq portobello mushroom with choice of 2 sides.

    bbq portobello mushroom smothered in homemade sweet and spicy sauce with spicy sauteed greens and red beans & rice. $10

    after double-triple checking that the bbq mushroom was safe (no honey!) and which sides were vegan, i decided to order this with spicy collard greens as well as red beans & rice. this plate may not be very photogenic, especially in the candlelit larkin’s setting, but oh man it was great!

    everything was top notch from the homemade sauce (which larkin’s menu rightfully describes as “black gold”), to the spicy collard greens sauteed with cayenne and tomatoes, to the hearty dish of beans and rice. i poured everything out onto my plate and mixed it all together for the ultimate experience.

    turbodog by abita. $5

    larkin’s also has a small but respectable menu of bottle beers and wines; i ordered a turbodog by abita brewing to wash everything down, while brittany had a stella artois (not pictured).

    overall our meal was excellent, and i’m looking forward to my next visit to larkin’s—do NOT think i’m giving up on the vegan chix potpie that easily! i think it’s great that a popular neighborhood soul food joint in eagle rock has taken the time and effort to add such nice vegan options to their menu. let’s go show them some support and prove that serving vegan items is good for business.

    1496 colorado blvd.
    eagle rock CA 90041
    wednesday – sunday 11:30am – 10pm
    saturday and sunday brunch 11am – 3pm

    PS: the “green menu” is not posted on larkin’s website yet. so here are the vegan options if you are curious:

    vegan gluten free mac and cheese: rice noodles, soybase, topped with spicy toasted walnuts. $9

    vegan chix pot pie: soy and rice based sauce with peas, onions, garlic, potatoes, and soy chicken with vegan biscuit. $10

    vegan chile verde: green chiles, soy ground, onions, garlic, cilantro served in a tomato broth. $9

    vegan chocolate cake: moist and delicious chocolate cake with chocolate chips. $7

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17 responses to “vegan soul food at larkin’s in eagle rock!” RSS icon

  • What a beautiful-looking place! And oh my goodness, the gluten-free vegan mac & cheese looks and sounds fantastic! What a wonderful idea to use spicy toasted walnuts for the topping instead of bread crumbs! And those COLLARD GREENS!! Oh, my I bet they are delicious! Applause for Larkin’s for adding the ‘green menu’!

  • i want that pot pie SO BAD

  • Why is Mac and cheese nine dollars?

  • Thanks for the post. I have driven by there so many times and did not know what was being served. Now I am definitely stopping in, and in this case I am pre-ordering the pot pie!

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    That looks so good!!

  • Oh my word… that mac and cheese looks SO yummy!!!

  • the larkin’s boys also own mac & cheeza downtown, so i’m sure that the vegan GF mac & cheese is the same as what they offer downtown and it’s only $5 for the baby mac size at mac & cheeza!

  • Yuuum, that all looks soooo amazing. I especially love me a good portabello! wish I had heard about this a few days sooner, before I had left Eagle Rock for the next 2 months. 🙁

  • One time I went to Larkin’s and asked if they had any vegetarian food. They said “no” so we left. They chased after me in the parking lot to tell me about My Vegan nearby. I’d like to take (at least some) credit for their realization that vegetarian good is good business;-)

  • Oh, eff you freakin’ vegetarians

  • I went to Mac and Cheeza downtown when they were doing the soft opening and met the owner who said he also had a soul food place in Eagle Rock called Larkin’s. He was super nice and friendly but I don’t think they had any vegan options then.

  • We went to Larkin’s the other day. I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t very good. 🙁 The mac and cheese was really terrible, not cheesy at all and strange tasting (almost had a fishy taste). The pot pie wasn’t very good either, the pie part (dough) was raw when we got it and the inside was cold. However, our wait person was super nice and gave us chocolate cake on the house b/c our meal wasn’t good. The chocolate cake was outstanding so that helped redeem the meal. They just need someone to help them get the vegan thing right. Hopefully, they will improve with time.

  • We ate at Larkin’s tonight, because of your review, and we loved it!

    Our servers were happy to tell us about all the vegan options, and they said they’d received a lot of vegan guests after your review of them (yay!).

    We ordered the vegan pot pie and chili verde. Both were really tasty. Unlike the reader above, our pot pie was heated and the biscuit crust was just right.

    Best news is they plan to expand the vegan menu. Our server said the owner (mr larkin?) was moving toward being vegan himself, and that he’s excited about adding more vegan offerings on the menu.

  • We ate at Larkin’s for lunch yesterday and it was amazing. We were served by the owner’s mother and she was really sweet. Also vegan, but on the regular menu are the portobello fries- to die for! We had the pot pie and the chili verde, both were delicious.

  • Silverlakerunner

    I need to eat here pronto. I sometimes run past here when I do my long runs from Silverlake.

  • 🙁 just called right now and only their sides are vegan.. They said they no longer had most of their vegan dishes. What a shame..

  • **update**
    I actually called Larkin back, and spoke to Larkin! He said he would make sure they would have the pot pie and even chocolate cake for my reservation tomorrow 🙂

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