for ages i have been meaning to check out bulan thai. it’s this all vegetarian thai place where most dishes can be made vegan, serving up food from two locations—one on melrose and one in silver lake. the melrose location is kinda near to my work, and it always looks so clean and inviting…for so long though, i was just never able to resist the urge to grab a panini or burger from m cafe instead. plus, on any given day of the week i’m probably already asian-fooded out, what with the ten million vegan thai places with the word vegan in the title, hawking their wheat meat and salty noodles on every major street in los angeles.
bulan vegetarian is different though, it doesn’t adhere to the same rules as all these other thai vegan clones. there are no cowboy burgers, no wraps and no salads swimming tahini dressing. nope, none of that westernized stuff at bulan. the standard vegan cookbook that the other thai places have adopted, bulan completely ignores. it’s so refreshing to visit a thai food restaurant with food that both a.) is authentic and b.) i can trust. bulan is just that place, and i love it.
the husband and i hit up bulan recently and decided to get a full on feast: 2 main dishes and an appetizer to share. we started with the summer rolls. so simple, but so exquisite.
i’ve had rolls similar to this at a million thai places in the past, but none have been this good. the summer rolls were tiny and tightly packed with the freshest and most delicate of vegetables. the peanut sauce was also supberb and went down well with several spoons of chili powder. i would definitely order these again. the somewhat hefty price tag was made up for with the finest ingredients, great taste and beautiful presentation.
we also shared the broccoli with dried chili and tofu. It turned out to be the perfect mix of greens and protein.
this was a great light dish for 2 to share. the broccoli was fresh and crunchy, while the tofu was moist and well seasoned. the chilis provided some definite heat, but not enough for us. we of course had to drown our plates in spoonfuls from the hot sauce carousel. it was so tasty. plus, i love any thai restaurant that brings an impressive selection of hot sauce to the table.
lastly, we split an order of the pad kee mao or “drunken noodles”. these were probably my favorite.
the drunken noodles were thick, fried and slathered in the most impressive sauce along with nicely cooked vegetables and scrumptious “chicken” chunks. there was nothing about this not to like. everything was moist, crispy, and full of flavor. bulan really shows what quality thai is all about.
i really can’t wait to go back to this place. the menu is simple and traditional, but truly outstanding.
plus, who doesn’t want to eat at a restaurant with a sign as awesome as this posted on the window?!??!!
you really ought to check bulan out asap.
and for all you drunken vegans out there, as an added bonus, the village idiot is right across the street. this slick gastropub offers my all time favorite vegan lager, craftsman 1903 at the fair price of 5 bucks a pint. a few beers and some vegan food is just way too good to pass up. head to melrose now.
Tags: beer, broccoli, melrose, noodles, spring rolls, thai