• fresh east: casual vegan-friendly dining in weho

    February 9th, 2011quarrygirlfresh east, LA restaurants

    over the past couple years, we’ve seen west hollywood grow into quite the little vegan mecca. santa monica boulevard, west of la cienega specifically, has been just blowing up with options lately—from zpizza, to tender greens, to millions of milkshakes, to o!burger—everyone is serving up cruelty-free cuisine. the latest addition to the list is fresh east, a quick casual asian eatery that specializes in healthy fare with loads of meatless options.

    after scoping out the menu online, we decided to check out fresh east for a fast weeknight dinner. when we walked in, i was immediately smitten by the bright, clean interior—colorful yet simple with lots of comfy seating.

    we approached the counter to place our order, and i noticed that fresh east’s menu was even more vegan-friendly than i thought. there’s a little V symbol next to each item that can be veganized, including several dishes where tofu can be subbed for the meat. unfortunately the vegan symbol isn’t shown on the online menu right now, but trust me, there are loads of options.

    after much deliberation, we decided to share a noodle and a curry dish, both of which were exceptional…

    spicy garlic noodles: wheat noodles, seasonal vegetables, garlic, cilantro, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce. $8.25

    first up, the spicy garlic noodles. a hearty portion of wheat noodles in a blend of sesame oil and chili garlic sauce, tossed up with seasonal vegetables, garlic, and cilantro. amazing! the flavors in this dish really popped and it wasn’t overly greasy. usually noodle dishes like this feel like a total gut bomb, but this thing was refreshingly light. the vegetables were top notch as well—a nice mixture of crisp carrots, scallions, pea pods and mushrooms. fresh east sources their produce from local farms and uses organic when possible…and you can taste the difference. don’t you just hate it when you get a meal full of obviously frozen/reheated or second-rate vegetables? no danger of that at fresh east.

    indian vegetable curry: tofu, fresh seasonal vegetables, onion, tomato, red lentil dal. $9.45 (+ $1 to sub brown rice)

    next up, the indian vegetable curry bowl—a bed of rice served with tofu and vegetables with a side of lentil dal. i loved this dish. in fact, i can’t imagine going to fresh east and ordering something else. the tofu and vegetables were mixed together in a slightly sweet and extremely flavorful homemade sauce, and the lentil dal was creamy and comforting. mix it all up with brown rice, and this meal is perfect. well ALMOST perfect. i did need to ask for some sriracha from behind the counter to spice it up a bit.

    fresh east also serves bottled beer and wine, and on weekdays they have a happy hour from 4-7pm when booze is 50% with a food purchase. i am totally keeping that in mind for my next visit.

    on top of serving up great food, fresh east offers a lovely dining experience as well. as i said earlier, the interior is beautiful. spacious with nice shiny tables, and even one big circular booth that looks out on santa monica boulevard. they’ve also got ample patio seating, if dining alfresco is your thing. oh, not to mention little outlets at the bar, so you can dine while you you compute…or charge your cell phone…or whatever else you’d use an outlet for.

    i have really high hopes for fresh east, and i honestly can’t wait to return. if you are into flavorful food with a healthy twist, you are going to love this place. now get over there and check out the vegan menu!

    BTW, i am hereby naming weho the vegan hot spot of LA. silverlake, you have been made redundant.

    fresh east in the pavillions center, where there’s FREE PARKING (a huge deal for this area!)
    8951 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite G-1, West Hollywood, CA
    (310) 859-9989 ‎
    Mon-Sun 11 am – 10 pm

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11 responses to “fresh east: casual vegan-friendly dining in weho” RSS icon

  • The Indian Vegetable Curry looks and sounds fantastic!

  • Yum I love trying new vegan foods and i’m sure i’ll love this <3

  • hey – i’m going there tonight!!!

  • HELL yes- welcome to the gayborhood!

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    Those noodles look so good!!!

  • whoa, whoa, whoa. Silver Lake–redundant? Let’s not get carried away 🙂

  • Today’s Groupon is for half off at Fresh East! I know where I’m eating tomorrow. http://gr.pn/eVbmud


    I went there last Saturday. I was specifically told by management that the wheat noodles you show in that picture contain egg. The girl at the counter had no clue when I asked, so she asked her boss.

    I asked her why items labeled on the menu as vegan were not, and she was not conciliatory, just clueless.

    My food also tasted like a cross-contaminated mess. You could see black spots all over the tofu that were probably the remains of some poor creature.

    I went straight to Carvel and M Cafe in Beverly Hills afterward (combining blueberry crumb cake from Babycakes with vanilla ice cream ala mode) specifically to put something else in my stomach and mitigate the disgusting post-lunch round of belching.

    I can tell you, I never use the word AWFUL to describe a place. I am very easy to please. This was downright the most awful experience I have had at a place that claims to be vegan in a long, long time.

    Perhaps the indian curry dish would have been a better choice.

    I actually took pics and planned to write you about this, but have been too busy.

  • Jason, I could not agree with you more! I was in there yesterday and realized that Fresh East is not really Vegan friendly. I ordered the garlic noodle dish and had them replace the wheat noodles with rice noodles because I don’t like to eat much gluten, and the dish was awful, bland, uninspiring.. I can go on forever. I let them know and looked for a replacement dish. I asked them about the Indian curry and they told me they put a little bit of yogurt in the dish, which is can not be removed. So beware…

    The Indian curry is NOT Vegan!

    So I ordered the Green coconut water curry and axed the Chicken and was presented with veggies and tofu with brown rice in zero sauce… was not a curry at all. I’m not sure If they messed up my order again but I didn’t say anything and tried to eat it but once again it was bland, boring and I only took 2 bites of it and as I was throwing away my full plate of food they chef asked me if it was better and I gave him a side-eye and said it was not! He asked me where my favorite Vegan spot was and I told him Sunpower Cafe in Studio City. I feel like he understood what I was coming from and I told him how he could make a bomb sauce to give flavor to the bland food if he made a sauce consisting of soy, agave syrup, crushed garlic and ginger. He agreed and said he is limited to what he has and said he could make me some amazing vegan food outside of the restaurant..maybe he was hitting on me at this point! I appreciated his open mind.

    I wont ever be returning because Fresh East has absolutely no clue about Veganism. In addition to that, I believe they don’t cook the Vegan food in a separate wok and could be cross contaminating the food.

  • so…

    i emailed both the chef and the owner of the restaurant asking about the noodles, and they responded saying they are definitely vegan. no egg. they said the manager or whoever gave you that info was mistaken. whew.

  • Hi QG,

    Could you email them about the Indian Curry? They told me it has yogart in it

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