• Okay, so we’ve already posted about the best vegan and best vegetarian restaurants in Los Angeles, but sometimes we vegans HAVE to eat in omnivorous restaurants. That’s a part of life. What’s interesting, though, is when we find meat-serving restaurants that we WANT to eat in. That’s a whole different story, and LA has a few outstanding omnivorous establishments that go out of their way to cater to vegans. Here are our favorites, updated from last year’s list.

    Tony’s Darts Away

    The first time I heard about Tony’s Darts Away, I thought somebody was messing with me. I mean, a craft beer bar with an over 50% vegan menu? C’mon, people, who are you kidding? When I stepped into Tony’s on the night it opened I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I was awake and not dreaming. First off there was a HUGE selection of California craft beers, including many of my favorites and some that I’m very glad to have discovered. Next up, there’s a menu with a ton of awesome vegan offerings including a build-your-own vegan dog with three different sausage flavors.

    Vegan Italian Sausage with slow-grilled onions, sauerkraut, Vegenaise, and aoili at Tony's Darts Away

    Seriously, what better way to wash down some awesome vegan food than with an equally awesome craft beer? Tony’s Darts Away is one of the best places to open in Los Angeles in years. Vegans, omnivores and everything in between should not hesitate to check it out.


    Chili Addiction

    Although firmly omnivorous with its menu items, Chili Addiction is a vegan’s delight in every way. At any given time there will be at least two vegan chili dishes available, and the selection of vegan dogs, burgers, sorbets, fries and plain ol’ chili is to die for. This is one of those places where everything on the menu is so good that you have real trouble deciding what to order. I usually go for an order of Chili Mac, and a dog or burger sometimes with a side of chili fries to share, and everything I’ve ever had has been top notch.

    Chili Mac at Chili Addiction

    In fact, I think Chef Johnny, co-owner and genius behind the award-winning dishes at Chili Addiction, could be one of the most talented and under-rated chefs working in LA right now. If he’s in the counter-service restaurant when you visit, he’ll happily give you a taste of anything on the menu as well as run you through the ingredients and even explain the concept behind the dish. On a recent visit I enjoyed some amazing hominy chili while Chef Johnny explained how he had come up with the recipe and how he was challenged to get the hominy texture “just right”. On another occasion, I enjoyed the best vegan sorbet of my life, and Chef Johnny took delight in telling me about a special machine he had obtained to make it!

    Chili Addiction has parking out back, and is only steps from the Beverly Center in West Hollywood so there’s really no excuse to go there and eat. Just do it, you won’t be sorry.

    Pizza Cookery

    it’s no secret that we love pizza here on this blog. I mean, who doesn’t? There would have to be something wrong with anybody that didn’t love a perfect crust, tangy sauce, fresh toppings and a yummy vegan cheese, right? Well, assuming that you’re on the same page as the above, you need to get over to Pizza Cookery in Woodland Hills ASAP. Unceremoniously accessed through a side entrance of a somewhat decrepit 70s-era shopping mall awaits some of the best vegan pizza you can get, as well as an environment and ambiance that feels more like Old Chicago or New York than deep in the 818. A combination of funky retro styling (old cast iron soda vending machines) and sawdust on the floor along with faux-gas lamps everywhere really evoke an intimate atmosphere that’s as suitable for a first date as it is an office party.

    Vegan Pizza with Daiya at Pizza Cookery

    The menu is hugely vegan-friendly with a selection of salads and breads most of which can be made vegan. Everything is stunningly fresh and very well prepared, from the vegan caesar salad to the amazingly tasty and filling cheesy rolls. The pizza crust is soft and chewy, while the brick oven takes care of nicely charring the bottom. All the toppings were bright and colorful and the sauce and Daiya cheese mixed perfectly together.

    Pizza cookery is the best pizza place in LA that serves vegan pizza and is dine-in. You’ll feel like you’re in a real pizza parlor of yesteryear, and leave very full and very satisfied.

    M Cafe

    With a totally vegan menu except for fish, M Cafe has a chic urban appeal, backed up with an A-list of ingredients (and clientele) all layered over an efficient kitchen and fair pricing, considering how great the food is. While the last year or two M Cafe’s items have been prepared by kitchen staff rather than chefs, their menu items are still some of the best in town.

    Vegan Benedict at M Cafe

    The Big Macro is arguably LA’s best vegan burger. The broccolini pepporochini is without a doubt LA’s premier broccolini, and the Vegan Benedict is constantly voted one of the “best” breakfast items on any local menu. There are plenty of vegan options at all times of the day, and the rotating menu constantly keeps one coming back for more. The deserts are out of this world, along with some of the best vegan tiramisu known to humanity. Check it out!!

    Hugo’s Restaurant

    With two locations (West Hollywood and Studio City), and a full-on meat-oriented menu, one might be surprised to find that the Hugo’s chefs have created some seriously innovative vegan cuisine. Not only do they have loads of options, but the menu has several clearly marked animal-free alternatives, as well as dishes that can be optionally veganized. If you can get past the trendy atmosphere, long waits and constant celebrity sightings you’re in for a vegan treat.

    Although I’ve long been a fan of the tofu scramble, I also love the Very Green Casserole (one of the best vegan burgers I’ve ever tasted atop stewed vegetables and sauce in a pot) as well as the salads, tikka masala veggie patties, stir-frys and wraps. Make sure you specify “VEGAN” clearly when you order, while the restaurant is extremely vegan-friendly, there may be butter hiding in unsuspecting dishes.

    Vegan Pasta Carbonara Special at Hugo's Restaurant

    Since the last time we voted Hugo’s onto this list, they’ve introduced some astounding vegan specials that rotate in and out, and usually stay on the menu for a week or two before being replaced with something new. This is a very welcome addition, and the specials have been some of the best vegan dishes we’ve eaten anywhere.

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  • August 11th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    have you guys been to tony’s darts away yet?! if not, WTF are you waiting for? it’s the best place for vegan beer lovers in los angeles, period. the almost entirely vegan beer selection is massive (and so are the pours), the menu features some of our favorite products, the service is friendly, and the food is outstanding.

    the ultimate vegan spread: firestone walker union jack ipa, vegan chili, 2 types of hot sauce, vegan beer brat with creole mustard, garlic paste, sauerkraut, and diced onions.

    but we’re not here just to tell you what you already know, we actually have some brief updates about the restaurant. first off, tony’s darts away now carries HOT SAUCE. we have been begging them to stock the spicy stuff for quite sometime, and tony himself even promised in the comments section that they were working on it. for awhile though, we were forced to smuggle in our own. well, not any more! tony’s now carries two hot sauce varieties. one is a standard red chili sauce, and the other is an awesome concoction made by the chef with a vegan mayo base. the mayo one is so freaking good, i could drink it by the gallon. even though tony’s is an omnivorous restaurant, they have decided to make just one version of their creamy hot sauce, and it’s vegan. so that’s pretty cool.

    secondly, tony’s has new buns for their sausages. in the past, people have criticized the buns for being too bready, and that is no longer the case. the new buns are light, soft, and sprinkled with sesame seeds…so tasty. we took the new buns and hot sauces for a whirl (pictured above), with a beer brat topped with creole mustard, garlic paste, sauerkraut, and diced onions. the sausage was excellent, and the addition of creamy hot sauce and the new bun made it the best dog we’ve enjoyed at tony’s. as of last sunday, the new hot sauce was not listed on the menu….so be sure to ask for it if you don’t see it.

    black diamond jagged edge ipa and a half pint salad.

    we also tried a salad for the first time at tony’s, and were pretty impressed. we got the half pint—a mix of california field greens, tomato, cucumber, and house vinaigrette. it was very simple, but fresh and delicious. plus, the portion was pretty big for just 3 bucks! tony’s is in the process of adding a new and more substantial vegan salad to the menu, with tofu and quinoa, and i can’t wait.

    i have had friends tell me more than once that it’s hard to find a seat at tony’s, because the place is always really busy. well, we were there on a sunday afternoon and it was super quiet and comfortable. we were chatting with the staff, and they remarked that saturday nights are usually surprisingly mellow, compared to friday nights which are crazy. just thought i’d mention that!

    i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again: tony’s darts away rules. the only problem i have with this place is that it’s not closer to my house. get over to burbank and eat at tony’s if you haven’t already. it really is vegan beer and food paradise.

    Tony’s Darts Away
    1710 W. Magnolia Blvd
    Burbank, CA 91506
    (818) 253-1710
    Hours: 11AM-2AM M-SAT & SUN 11AM-1AM

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  • July 15th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    i just can’t get enough of tony’s darts away!

    it’s the only real bar in los angeles with a vegan-friendly menu, the food is excellent, and they’ve got over 30 beers on tap. seriously, tony’s is amazing. i hit up the burbank boozer recently with a couple friends, and as to be expected, we had an excellent time.

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  • May 22nd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    tony’s darts away in burbank has only been open for 5 weeks, and it’s already one of our favorite haunts. we’ve raved about the extremely vegan-friendly beer bar twice before, and i’m happy to report that with time it keeps getting better and better.

    first off, they’ve added 2 cask pumps to their something like 38 beers on tap. when we were there last, they were pouring craftsman (not pictured), and it was really damn good. i think it was poppyfields.

    vegan beer brat with sauerkraut, grilled onions, brown mustard, and garlic paste. $6

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  • April 21st, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    My first visit to Tony’s Darts Away pub in Burbank was a somewhat rushed affair. After reading a few things about the pub I was excited to go, but only had a few minutes to spend in the bar after driving there from the west side. So, I was delighted to be able to carve out several hours of my otherwise uneventful Saturday so I could spend much longer in Tony’s in order to drink some more beer, order more food from the menu and generally absorb more of the the vibe and scene.

    Although my initial impressions first time were very positive, would Tony’s hold up for a longer visit? Would the beers all be top notch? Would the other food items be as tasty as the one dog I’d eaten? Would the staff be as friendly? Would the other patrons be as eclectic and nice as last time?

    Well, on a bright sunny day this weekend, we settled into a bar seat and began to order my way through the beer and food menu, while chatting with the staff and experimenting a little with what I ate and drank.

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  • April 14th, 2010mr meanerLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    Since I heard about a new bar opening in Burbank with OVER 30 BEERS ON TAP, a complete vegan menu, and an environmentally sustainable mission statement, I’ve become like a thing obsessed, spending hours refreshing the “coming soon” page at Tony’s Darts Away in my web browser waiting for an announcement that they are open for business. As soon as the page changed and hours were posted, I drove like a mad thing from my work in Beverly Hills to Burbank, reviewing the beer and food menu on my iPhone while negotiating CA 170.

    I can tell you that the rush hour commute was well worth it, and I’m destined to be a regular at Tony’s Darts Away. The original bar (it never really had a name, but the “Darts Away” sign outside kinda gave locals a handle by which to refer to it) was your typical neighborhood dive bar: bottled beer, Budweiser on tap, a greasy meat-based food menu and chewing gum encrusted floors and bar area.

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