• May 11th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, mendocino farms

    UPDATE #3: mendocino farms has gone out of their way to take the non-vegan items off the menu, and start offering an absolutely vegan shwarma. i ate it today and it was delicious. mendocino farms really handled this situation well, and fixed everything the very day they were notified that they were using non-vegan ingredients. i highly suggest you get over to mendocino and get the shwarma before may is over! (orignial updates and post below)

    UPDATE #2: apparently mendocino farms has a replacement for the soy cutlet and will be making a new vegan shwarma starting today. from the store manager:

    I just spoke with Chef Judy and she told me that we will no longer be
    using the soycutlet effective today.
    For the vegan shwarma, she has made a vegan fallafel in house that is
    definitely vegan. So that will remain our secret sandwich of the month.
    Thanks again for your feedback and please let me know if you have any
    other questions.
    All the Best,

    this guy really seems to care, so the non-vegan ingredients could have been an honest mistake. they seem to have fixed it, so go eat that shwarma! just make sure you confirm it’s falafel in there, and not eggy soy cutlets! (orginal update and post below)

    UPDATE: the “vegan” shwarma at this place isn’t vegan at all! one of our readers who goes by “jaydawg” went to mendocino today, and left the following comment:

    Okay, so I went to Mendocino Farms today specifically to try the Vegan Shawarma. I hate the be the bearer of bad news, but sadly this is NOT VEGAN!!!. When we got there, my wife asked what were the most popular vegan dishes and they suggested the Not BLT Melt and Ron’s Vegan Baked Soy Cutlet Club, as well as the Spicy Soyrizo and Black Bean Wrap and the “Secret” Vegan Shawarma. She asked what type of bacon they use for the BLT and they told us it was Morningstar Farms. I thanked them and informed them that most Morningstar products use egg whites and/or dairy. We decided to order two of the Vegan Shawarmas, but didn’t think to ask about the “shawarma” that they used. About halfway through the devouring process (all things considered, it is still an amazing wrap), I began to wonder if the “shawarma (which appeared to be a breaded cutlet) was in fact vegan. When I was done, I went back and confirmed that the “shawarma” was the same “herbed breaded vegan cutlet” that they use in the Ron’s Vegan Baked Soy Cutlet Club. I asked what brand they use and they again told me Morningstar. I asked to see the ingredients label and they were kind enough to bring me the box….and there it was in black and white: nonfat dry milk and egg whites (http://www.morningstarfarms.com/product_detail.aspx?family=365&id=12353). I showed the young lady that this was definitely NOT vegan and she looked absolutely bewildered. She circled the offending ingredients and assured me that she would speak with their chef.

    That totally sucks, because other than the fact that it’s not vegan, the (non) Vegan Shawarma is one bad-ass wrap…on par with the Buffalo Chicken Wrap at Cafe Muse and the Baja Burrito at Pure Luck. It’s a sad day.

    after following up with mendocino about their NON-VEGAN sandwich being advertised as vegan, i received this email:

    We do apologize about the soy cutlet issue. The other brand we were sourcing discontinued their product. They have been selling this soy cutlet from morningstar to us as a substitution for our “vegan” option. Unfortunately your friend is correct and our soy cutlet does have egg white in it. Which doesn’t make it vegan at all. We have addressed this issue and will be taking it off the menu.
    We are working on more vegan options but for now you should stick to the soyrizo which is always a winner.

    Thank you very much,
    Lenny Fejeran
    Store Manager

    looks like for now, you can’t trust mendocino farms. they have “vegan” options on their menu, that are clearly NOT vegan. i’d steer clear until they do their research. it’s really sad, because the shwarma was great…and not even because of the fake meat, but because of the vegetables and the dressing. original post below. if you do decide to eat at mendocino, make sure you know exactly what you are ordering.

    usually when i visit downtown los angeles on a weekday, it’s for a pretty un-fun reason, but i manage to take advantage of the unique cuisine that city has to offer. well today was no different, so when i found myself having to travel to the grand/wilshire area, i naturally rewarded myself by grabbing a sandwich from mendocino farms. i’ve written about mendocino farms before, and the very vegan-friendly and uber-high-quality to-go shop is high on my list of places to eat in that area. however today was different…today mendocino farms was beyond exceptional. today they sold me without a doubt the best fucking sandwich i’ve ever had…and i really like sandwiches!

    vegan shwarma: mediterranean soy shwarma with merquez lentil and white bean puree, vegan tzatziki, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and shredded romaine on grilled tortilla wrap $9.25

    vegan shwarma: mediterranean soy shwarma with merquez lentil and white bean puree, vegan tzatziki, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and shredded romaine on grilled tortilla wrap $9.25

    turns out i caught mendocino at an extremely lucky moment, because right now during may of 2009, they are offering the vegan shwarma as their “secret sandwich of the month.” you see, mendocino is such a cool fun-loving place that they rotate secret sandwiches for the hell of it, and you can only find out about the secret sandwich by visiting the shop or subscribing to their email newsletter.

    it was LAist.com’s blog post about the amazing vegan shwarma that first alerted me to mendocino farms, which was followed by much praise for the sandwich by my fellow los angeles vegan bloggers jennshaggy and foodeater. however, the shwarma being a rotating secret sandwich, i thought i may never get the chance to try it. well i sure as fuck lucked out, my loyal readers, because today the coveted shwarma was in the house and i got to finally eat what i have often heard so many others rave about.


    all i can say is that the shwarma surpassed all the glowing reviews in pure awesomeness and seriously cemented itself in my mind as the sandwich of my dreams. the soy meat was juicy and succulent, the bean puree was thick and substantial, and the tzatziki was ridiculously creamy and oozing with dill and lemon flavors. all these fine ingredients were mixed in with the freshest vegetables and sandwiched in a perfectly-grilled tortilla wrap. SERIOUSLY DUDE. THIS IS THE BEST FUCKING SANDWICH IN THE WORLD. it is a CRIME that this will be gone next month, and it is a CRIME that mendocino is only open on weekdays. ugh!

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