• steamed: new vegetarian restaurant in long beach

    August 29th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, steamed

    i hate writing lukewarm reviews about meatless establishments…but after my first visit to steamed, long beach’s newest vegetarian restaurant, i wasn’t very impressed. the place is obviously making an effort, and i’m hoping they’ll improve over time, but at the moment their vegan cuisine is a bit uninspired. the menu is pretty basic—a modest selection of salads, burritos, and quesadillas—most of which are loaded with dairy cheese and/or sour cream.

    we hit up steamed over the weekend and kept it simple with a salad and a burrito bowl. before the food arrived, the restaurant had already lived up to it’s name—we felt as though we were being steamed in the tiny un-airconditioned dining room!

    green salad. $6.50

    the only vegan salad on the menu, the “green salad”, was decent but nothing memorable—a mix of dark green leaves with tomatoes, cucumbers and walnuts. the only vegan dressing available was balsamic vinegar and olive oil…honestly? come on steamed, it’s 2011! step it up a notch.

    burrito in a bowl: bowl full of anything you want. $9

    i opted for a customizable burrito bowl, and just asked them to throw in pretty much everything vegan on the menu. they were out of brown rice, so i settled on white with a serving of black beans, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and spinach. it was alright, but definitely something i could make at home for a fraction of the price. one thing that i thought was a bit odd is that the waitress came to my table after i’d placed my vegan order, and asked if she could add some shredded cheese to my bowl. what’s with all the dairy at this place?! i don’t get it!

    anyways, our meal was nothing special and although staff were super friendly and the restaurant was cute, i don’t think i’ll be returning to steamed any time soon. i’ll give them a few months to get their act together before i dine there again. in the meantime, you can find me over at LBC’s all vegan restaurant, zephyr cafe.

    here’s a copy of steamed’s menu if you’re interested: page one and page two

    801 E 3rd St
    Long Beach, CA 90802
    (562) 437-1122
    Mon-Thu 11:30 am – 8:30 pm
    Fri-Sat 11:30 am – 9:30 pm
    Sun 12 pm – 5 pm

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22 responses to “steamed: new vegetarian restaurant in long beach” RSS icon

  • That is such a bummer!!! We’ve been trying to get an additional decent vegan place down here for a few years to no avail! I wish Native Foods or Veggie Grill would open up in the LBC!

    We went to Source in San Francisco last month and the owner said he was looking at locations for a possible second site. I tried to convince him Long Beach was the place to be!

  • Yeah, Long Beach sucks when it comes to vegan restaurants. I just wind up drinking there instead.

  • “Steamed”?

    Wow, even the name is bland and stereotypical.

  • BORING! As a Long Beach native, this embarrasses me. Come on LBC! Zephyr is pretty good, but we are seriously lacking in good vegan cuisine.

    QG, you need to hit up Pho America on Pacific and PCH. Best Pho ever! There’s also Coco Renos on Broadway.

  • Very “vegan 1.0” – could they not at least have had a vegan cheese or sour cream option? Perhaps gone out of their way a little to make something amazing like a vegan feta cashew cheese (there are recipes online that are very easy to adapt and follow).

    Looks like they are doing the minimum they can get away with, and those prices are not cheap either.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    ^ I always seem to get into location conversations with vegan restaurant owners at various places, and whenever they talk about expanding I’m always attempting to convince them to come to Pasadena. [Hasn’t worked so far, we’ve only got a few vegan options here as of 2011…but I keep trying anyway:p]

  • my first apartment in long beach was literally across the street from coco renos! after discovering they served tofu tacos, i quickly made my way over but was sincerely disappointed. they were bland and soggy. yuck!

  • i was just complaining to my boyfriend about my disappointment with this place! when i first passed steamed on my bike one night, i was so excited that lb had another viable vegan option! i cruised by one hot day to see if i could grab a smoothie or something of the sort and was surprised that they had nothing mildly impressive to offer me. i skimmed the menu and was remarkably more unimpressed, with both the menu itself and its lack of vegan options. i understand them wanting to do the simple, healthy (minus all the f-ing cheese) menu, but for that price?? $9.75 for steamed tofu, veggies, rice and sauce? seriously?? they either need to cut the prices or kick up the volume and variety.

  • Those all sounds like nice fresh dishes. Clean and healthy, perfect for summer! 🙂

  • Drats. I will be in Long Beach for a 2.5 hour layover and want to get some lunch. Zephyrs looks good, but maybe too far for a quick lunch before getting back to the airport?

  • @vic i get what you are saying—-and clean healthy food is awesome—this just wasn’t very good. i’d go for a brown rice bowl at zephyr with fresh vegetables over this any day.

  • This was pretty much my impression when I ate there a couple months ago; I really wanted to love the place, since it’s in a mellow part of town, gay-friendly, adorable decor, sweet staff, but the food was just so bland. It was filling, but it lacked seasoning, even after I added salsa. I’d love to see this place offer a few more flavors and vegan options! Long Beach really needs another good veg restaurant!

  • I don’t understand why you are reviewing a vegetarian restaurant and complaining about it’s lack of vegan foods. Also, you need to learn how to capitalize proper nouns and proper use of periods.

  • Ok kids…if you’re heading over to the LBC ya need to check out Open Seasame. It’s amazzzzzing. Their menu has vegan clearly marked and the falafel combo is perfectly delicous, filling, and not sketchy at all. I had a feeling that Steamed would end up being on the bland side…that’s just too bad. Vegan restaurants just don’t seem to be happening in LB…I have a feelign that Veggie Grill will pop up one day next to Whole Foods in the Marina Pacifica area…*crossing my fingers*!

  • I don’t know why you’re reading a vegan blog.

    Also, you need to learn the difference between “it’s” and “its”.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    To I Eat Meat: Ummm thanks for your input but QG is just giving us her honest opinion, as usual, which is the whole point of the site. And I agree with Gregalor, why exactly are you reading and criticizing a vegan blog with a moniker like that…?

  • Interested in getting free Meatless Monday recipes sent to you by the Humane Society of the US? Here you go!


  • I completely agree with this post. I was super excited until I saw their menu. I mean come on a vegetarian restaurant with no vegan options except salad?! Lame! So thankful for Zephyr!!! Oh and beware about Open Sesame! My friend used to work their and even if it says vegan it might not be! I was about to order the vegan lentil soup, but my friend saw the cooks using chicken broth…gag!

  • The comments here are dead on. I live in Long Beach, I’m vegan, I eat out at least ten times a week, and I don’t think I’ve eaten out in Long Beach more than five times this year: it’s a vegan desert. Steamed is typical Long Beach half-assery, and even if it were any good it’s not like Southern California is hurting for another gringo Mexican joint. Open Sesame is uninspired yuppie Lebanese, as you can gather from the name, although I don’t want to rag on them too much because they used to show at the Compassionate Cuisine banquet. There are a couple of OK Thai and Viet places, and La Creperie and George’s are cool if you’re vegetarian (not so much vegan), but even when I was just veggie I couldn’t find that much here.

    But take heart! The owner of Thuyen Vien — in my opinion the best vegan in OC, or at least one of the two best along with Au Lac — told me that when they open a second location it will be in Long Beach, though they probably won’t expand until the economy really looks up.

  • i live in long beach, too! i agree we are SERIOUSLY lacking in the vegan area, but try lola’s (mexican), number nine (pho), coffee cup cafe (american brunch) or shillelagh (“irish”/american). they are all on 4th, within about a 2 mile stretch, and have great vegan options! and there’s always our chains which offer vegan options (pf chang’s is my favorite!).

  • I like Steams, I think their simple ingredients are refreshing. One thing you neglected to note in your review when complaining about the price is Steams also uses organic products. Anyone can put together some “fake bacon” on a meatless patty and wrap it up in some vegan bread! I don’t know, I like veggies and I don’t have a desire to pretend I am eating meat. Anyone that is offering an organic vegan and/or vegetarian option should be applauded! If air conditioning is that important… Mc Donald’s has a/c and they offer some fake meat too!

  • I detest fake meat, but even then this food looks boring and uninspired.

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