• January 16th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, vinh loi tofu

    it’s a whole new year, and that means a whole lot of new food at vinh loi tofu. if you haven’t heard of vinh loi, they are an amazing tofu factory/vietnamese eatery that we named one of the best vegan restaurants in los angeles. seriously, this place is incredible. not only do they make their own tofu and tofu-based products…but they have the best, spiciest, and most authentic meat-free asian cuisine in town.

    kevin tran is the mastermind behind vinh loi tofu…and like any genius, he is always perfecting his art. in the new year he decided to add a whole slew of items to VL’s menu, and they are items that you would only really know about if you befriended the restaurant on facebook. practically everyday kevin posts a new crowd-pleasing special, appetizer, or noodle dish on his “wall”. (after all, that’s how i found out about vinh loi’s amazing holiday turkey!)

    earlier this week we trekked all the way out to reseda in order to try some of kevin’s new creations, and boy, we were not disappointed!

    soup 2010: udon, vegan duck, sesame seeds, chilis, lemongrass, peanuts, cilantro. $9.50

    we shared a couple entrees, the first being kevin’s facebook advertised daily special: the soup 2010. like most of vinh loi’s delicious liquid-based meals, this consisted of a spicy broth along with thick noodles, loads of fake meat and fresh cilantro. i am a big fan of kevin’s soups, but this was better than any i’ve tried before. not just was it tasty and uber satisfying, but the soy duck was better than any of his other fake meats and the to-go packaging was perfect: VL packed the liquid in a huge container protected by a plastic bag, with the noodles and vegetables all stowed separately to maintain ultimate freshness. i appreciate that.

    beef udon salad: thick udon noodles, vegan beef, salad greens and vegetables, chilis. $9.50

    our next main dish was a new item that kevin highly recommended, the vegan beef udon salad. wow, this thing was the perfect—full of vegetables, greens, salty soy meat, fat ass noodles, and special seasonings. what more do i require?! at under 10 bucks, this was also a bargain. seriously, go to vinh loi and request this dish pronto!

    vegan ham roll: tofu ham, brown rice, seaweed, nori. $4.50

    we also tried the “ham” roll sushi, which was probably my favorite find of the evening. leave it up to kevin tran to give vegan sushi a completely new take—this was the meatiest, stickiest, most flavorful roll i’ve ever had. with no vegetables, it relied solely on the vinh loi vegan meats for flavor, which i love more than anything! plus the seaweed was excellently sticky, and each roll held together just perfectly. guh, i should have gotten some of these to stockpile!

    veggie bun: wheat flour, cabbage, mushroom, soy bean oil, seasoning. $2

    aside from trying the new menu items, we also tasted some vinh loi classic dishes, the first being the veggie steamed bun. whoa, this things is all kinds of yum! it reminded me a lot of the seitan bun from the new year’s eve menu at madeleine bistro, except this was full of vegetables and served in a to-go fashion. it was a whole mess of savory vegetables and sauce encased in a sweet sticky bun, PERFECT.

    lemongrass and chili $1.25

    lastly, as usual, we had to get an order of kevin’s homemade tofu. he has several flavors to choose from including plain, lemongrass and chili, and mushroom….all for just $1.25 per serving. i am not kidding when i say this is the best tofu i have ever had, and every time i visit vinh loi i have to buy at least a couple portions. this makes normal tofu taste like ugh. this is the BEST TOFU EVER!

    so the moral of this whole story is: if you haven’t checked out vinh loi tofu already, you are missing out. AND EVEN IF YOU HAVE CHECKED OUT VINH LOI TOFU, you are probably still MISSING OUT!
    the only way to get the full on low down/experience is to befriend vinh loi on facebook. it’s so worth it for the daily specials, holiday offers, and new menu items.

    come on, be a vegan in the know!

    vinh loi tofu
    18625 Sherman Way #101
    Reseda, CA 91335

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