i’ve got some kinda sad news in the vegan-friendly restaurant department: it appears that friedel caribbean cuisine in studio city has closed down.
i only got a chance to try them out once, and while the service was extremely slow, the food was decent and the menu had a good amount of vegan options. plus, in may they even had a booth at wordfest, serving up all kinds of meatless cuisine.
we drove by friedel today, and they seemed to have been replaced by a mexican restaurant. i didn’t have my camera on me (bad blogger!), but their signage was gone and everything. plus their phone number is disconnected, and their website is down.
so long friedel! sad to see a vegan-friendly establishment disappear.
here is their old info:
friedel caribbean cuisine
11320 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
lemme know if you know anything else about the situation!Tags: caribbean, closed, the valley
studio city is just a short drive from my house, and usually right off the freeway on my way home from most places in los angeles. so naturally, i am always on the prowl for nearby vegan eats in the valley. recently i was reading up on vegetarians in paradise and noticed a vegan-friendly restaurant very close to my stomping ground. friedel caribbean cuisine is a cute little diner on ventura blvd, offering up tastes from the tropics with an entire section of the menu dedicated to vegan food. yelp reviews of friedel are positively glowing, so i think my so-so experience there suggests i probably picked up dinner when they were having an off night.
when we arrived at friedel there was just one dude working there. he was the host, the waiter, the cook and the cashier…holding the tiny little restaurant together all on his own. he seemed pretty stressed when we walked in the door, but was friendly and helpful when we told him we were vegans and hoping to order an appetizer. it turns out, friedel normally offers vegan rasta rolls, but on this night they were out of the eggless wraps. i felt pretty relieved, because the guy seemed to know his shit—it made me more comfortable ordering from the vegan menu.
my husband and i split two entrees to-go, the first being the vegan curry chicken. while it ended up being delicious, i have to say i was disappointed when i first opened up the take-out container. the menu advertised gold potatoes, peas and cherry tomatoes…none of which came with my meal. the side of plantains was also pretty pitiful. there were literally THREE PLANTAINS! three little ones. dude, that is NOT a side. that is a TASTE. total jip.
other than that, the curry chicken was spectacular. the runny sauce was so flavorful and a tad spicy, and the thick strips of soy chicken had the perfect texture. the rice was delightful as well, chunky, well-seasoned, and mixed up with big red beans.
we also ordered the vegan kung pao beef, which was not nearly as tasty as the curry chicken. the soy meat itself was pretty good, but there was no sauce to mop up…so the whole dish was a bit dry. the peanuts and vegetables were lovely, but again the side of plantains was a joke. i don’t think i’d order this again, although i didn’t HATE it. it’s just that the awesome curry chicken put the kung pao beef to shame.
my last grouse about this place is that the wait time for our food was absolutely unreal. i mean, i know there was just one dude there working on his own, and i felt pretty sorry for him—but we waited for our dinner for FIFTY MINUTES. and it’s not like it was a large order or anything. 2 dishes, come on! he should have at least warned us that the window seat in this little caribbean restaurant would be our new home for a large part of our evening.
when you add everything up, this would seem like a pretty unpleasant experience. there was a long wait for the food, there were no vegan appetizers, our dishes were missing items that were advertised on the menu and the serving of plantains (which i was so looking forward to) was disappointingly small. however, i gotta say i REALLY FUCKING LOVED that curry chicken. even with the crappy plantains and lack vegetables, that dish was damn near perfect. when i look back on my dinner, that awesome taste overshadows all the hassle.
so i probably will be back to friedel caribbean cuisine at some point, although i’m in no rush. if you are ever in studio city, i suggest you hit them up. i am hoping i got them on a bad night when they were short-staffed. let me know if your experience is any different.
Tags: caribbean, curry, fake beef, fake chicken, kung pao, take-out, the valley