Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Los Angeles Vegan Guide - BONUS Thrift Stores and Activism

This is from STUFF I EAT which is located in Inglewood not far from LAX. It is in the BONUS section at the bottom.

As a quick little Vegan Girls Trip right before New Years Eve, my friend and I took off on an L.A. day trip hitting four of the most talked about vegan and all vegan eateries and updating our wardrobe at the thrift stores! We wanted to try some of the BEST vegan food in L.A. and we only had one full day to do it.

As a former and always in my heart, Angelino, I used to drive all over the city for work it was great to see tour some of my favorite neighborhoods and I made it easy for anyone to do with a day trip itinerary and vegan restaurant reviews.

All vegan Counterpart Deli and coffee shop in Echo Park area of Los Angeles

Although we didn't get to do any activism, it is totally possible to work it in. There is the now famous Farmer John Pig Vigil where celebrities from Joaquin Phoenix to Mena Suvari are covered by Jane Velez Mitchell while giving water and condolences to the pigs that are about to face death in the slaughterhouse.

Animal Rights Activism Los Angeles

La Animal Save
Anonymous for the Voiceless - Los Angeles 
Anonymous for the Voiceless - Santa Monica

Vegan Food Day Trip in LA:

1. Vromage - vegan cheese shop which also serves sandwich specials
2. Trejos Tacos - vegan-friendly taco/burrito spot owned by the actor Danny Trejo
3. Counterpart Deli - brand new vegan deli, coffee, sandwich shop
4. Au Lac - Asian Fusion restaurant Downtown
5. *Bonus* - Stuff I Eat - organic healthy vegan near LAX

Make sure to bring a cooler like this one from Walmart for taking food to go and for leftovers!

Thrift Stores in LA:

1. Goodwill in Los Feliz in 4575 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
2. Goodwill - La Brea 817 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
3. Goodwill - Beverly Blvd. 7919 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
4. Council Thrift Store - North Fairfax 360 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Vegan Food LA vegan food tour!

See FULL Reviews BELOW for each restaurant and see which one we think is the BEST Vegan Restaurant in Los Angeles...

Vromage - Sunset Strip

We started out with Vromage, a small, special place in the Sunset Strip area, known for their homemade vegan cheeses. You will have to valet your car here. There was a little chalk signboard with what I'm assuming is today's special written upon in and when it was our turn he said "caprese?" to my friend and I. We looked at each other and both nodded, "yes please!" And he disappeared. We sat at the tiny counter. Otherwise there isn't seating here. The sandwich was divine!!!!

Youssef Fakhouri has been crafting his amazing cheese since 2009, which is the year my husband got married. Coincidentally, he also provided cheese for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle and counts her as a long-time customer!

We had one of his beautiful Caprese sandwiches with his fresh plant based mozzarella, on homemade bread with heirloom tomatoes and a little pesto. I am so glad I took two of his delicious vegan cheeses to go because both were incredibly smooth and flavorful like nothing I had ever tasted in a vegan cheese before.

You can actually order from Vromage ONLINE:

Vromage also does catering and events.


7988 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 745-0157
Wednesday - Saturday 11:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Sunday 11:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Trejo's Tacos - Los Angeles

Our next stop along our thrift and foodie tour was Trejo's Tacos. I had thought about sticking to all vegan restaurants, but a good vegan taco can be hard to come by and difficult to pass up. Danny Trejo, the bad-guy character actor was in Vegnews for this a while back, and one of my favorite thrifts stores of all time is across the street!!!

If there is any food that is ubiquitous to LA it could very easily be the taco. Actor Danny Trejo doesn't just offer three vegan tacos, but he has burritos, horchata, and other marked vegan menu items as well. You order at the counter and sit outside, SoCal-style, the only downside being if you want more tacos you have to get back in line. The cauliflower taco was not spicy, the jackfruit has a kick, as does the sauce on the falafel. All gorgeous, all tasty, and totally worth breaking away from the all-vegan places to give these tacos a try.

Trejo's Tacos MENU

Trejo's is NOT ALL VEGAN. Vegan items are noted on the menu. They also do catering and events.

Trejo's Tacos
1048 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Tel: (323) 938-8226
*valet parking available

Sunday - Thursday
breakfast 8aM - 11AM
lunch and dinner 11am - 10pM
Friday - Saturday
breakfast 8aM - 11AM
lunch and dinner 11am - 11pM

Trejo's Tacos Falafel Taco

Trejo's Tacos Jackfruit Taco

Trejo's Tacos Cauliflower Taco

Counterpart Deli - Echo Park

After more thrifting and exploring the city some more, we decided to make a pit-stop for some coffee/tea and to see what kind of vegan cold cuts I could fill my cooler with at the all vegan Counterpart Deli in Echo Park.

This place was brand new when we visited. It has the retro-hipster vibe that we love about this area and the staff was really friendly and kind as we waited for them to slice the seitan "meats" they offered - bacon, pastrami, and roast beef.  They crafted their specialty turmeric ginger latte and a hot coffee for us while as we chatted about how we had heard about them and musing that they had their first couple reviews on Happy Cow.

They have a menu full of appetizing breakfasts including bagel sandwich and a breakfast burrito made with vegan egg and their signature meats as well as a tasty array of sandwiches you can order and eat in store or for the all vegan catering they offer!

We warmed their delicious bacon, pastrami, and roast beef in our cast iron frying pan and stacked on a sandwich at home to create the ultimate marriage of Vromage cheeses and Counterpart deli seitan and I cannot begin to explain how freaking good is was!

I'm really looking forward to visiting again as the positive reviews on Happy Cow are stacking up.

Counterpart Deli MENU

Counterpart Deli
1559 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Open Daily 8am - 8pm

Turmeric Ginger Latte at Counterpart Deli

Counterpart Deli Vegan Roast Beef

This is the sandwich we made at home with the vegan "meat" - really amazing and delicious!!!
Delicious sandwich made by my husband with Counterpart vegan deli meat.

Au Lac - Downtown Los Angeles

It would be hard to do a day in LA without enjoying something a little more high-end. As it was a long day and we were about ready to wrap it up, we chose the all vegan Au Lac Asian fusion-style restaurant, where I was sure the experience would be what you expect vegan cuisine to be in a city where setting yourself apart is everything.

I had recently visited the Fountain Valley location as a Bonus in my North County San Diego vegan food guide. I knew the Downtown LA location would be a home run and fabulous ending to great day of eating and shopping in LA.

Salt and Peppered Shrimp at Au Lac Downtown LA

The menu is very different than the Orange County location although it shares a couple of the items I enjoyed over there like the Mad Flax which is spiced flax chips, macadamia cheese, bruschetta and microgreens.

The Octopus dish is made of tenderized shiitake mushrooms in a very rich, sweet and savory tamari-sesame glaze.

Octopus at Au Lac

This place is great for a date, special occasion, or plant based party although like the other location they do not serve beer or wine and instead they serve unique alcohol-free refreshments.

Au Lac Plant-Based Food & Drink
710 West 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213)-617-2533

For LA reservations, reserve via OpenTable.
Monday - Thursday 12 PM - 10 PM
Friday - Sunday 12 PM - 11 PM

Parking options:
Validated parking entrance on 1st St (1st hour free; 2nd hour $1 with validation; $7 for the day)
Meters on 1st
Self parking on 1st & Beaudry (7 min walk)

Mad Flax with flax chips, macadamia cheese, tomato brushcetta, and greens


Stuff I Eat Restaurant - Inglewood, CA

I HAD to add Chef Babette's lovely place to this list for a FEW reasons. First, I had seen the chef doing vegan outreach at a community event on Jane Velez Mitchell's channel on Facebook. AND although we didn't go there on the Girl's Vegan Day Trip DAY, I did have the pleasure of visiting as a stop before dropping my hubs off for an LAX flight shortly after and it was too good to leave off a list like this. Quite possibly the BEST place on this list depending what you like.

Lava Burrito at Stuff I Eat in Inglewood

It wasn't a great idea to be there when he had to catch a flight. We sadly had to take our food to go but I am so glad I dipped through traffic to get us there and try this place! It is simple, healthy, delicious food, almost all organic, lots of raw inclusions, and such amazing flavors and love put into each dish.

My husband had the vegan soul food platter but he ate it while I was driving so there's is no picture. However, he left me all of the leftovers and it was just that everything was SO GOOD!!

For those that crave vegan soul food with yams, mac’n’ cheese, BBQ tofu, kale greens, black-eyed peas, cornbread muffin, potato salad & coleslaw this is a must try!!!

She also does burgers, quesadillas, bowls, everything looked so beautiful as it was coming out of the kitchen. This place is a true gem in this city.

I had to ask for a recommendation as usual and went with the spicy but true flavor explosion - the Lava Burrito. Here's what's in it from the menu:
Deliciously smothered burrito topped with Portobello mushrooms* and broccoli* wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla*, seasoned tofu*, black beans*, wild rice blend*, SIE sauce, tomato-based salsa*, guacamole* and our house dressing.
*denote organic ingredients!

This place makes the most beautiful healthy vegan food and creates the most gorgeous plates. If we had left very early in the morning on our LA trip perhaps we would have been able to visit this place first to share either the breakfast plate or breakfast burrito because they do not skimp on the size here as you can see from my Burrito photo.

*Breakfast is only served Saturday and Sunday

**Stuff I eat could be a great first stop on our itinerary and just split the sandwich get the cheese at Vromage as stop #2!

Stuff I Eat Restaurant
114 N. Market Street, Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 671-0115

Vegan Food, Thrift, and Activism Day Trip Itinerary:

What's the best day to go to L.A.?

First, Sunday or any day over winter holidays is a fantastic time to go as there is less traffic all around. Why? Many locals go back home and LA becomes a little bit of a ghost town. Good for traffic but this also means that some locations may be closed due to holidays so check for holiday hours!

Depending which way you enter/exit the city, you may want to adjust accordingly. 

1. First, visit Stuff I Eat (if it's early and Saturday)/Vromage up near Sunset Strip - or BOTH. Have an amazing meal to share at Stuff I eat, then bring a cooler to take Vromage's amazing vegan cheese to-go and/or split one of their sandwiches depending what is available.

2. Next, do some thrifting at the Council Thrift Store over on Fairfax where you can also find a Goodwill on Beverly Blvd.

3. After that this, you can either do more thrifting on Goodwill on La Brea (which is bigger and perhaps better than the one on Beverly.

4. OR you can do Goodwill LaBrea after you visit Trejo's Tacos for a half dozen or so delicious marked vegan menu items including 3 different tacos each sold a la carte. This Goodwill was always my favorite when I lived locally!

5. Hop up to Silverlake to go to the Goodwill up there and head over to Counterpart Deli for a sandwich, a coffee or just put some of their homemade seitan in your cooler to-go.

6. After that, you could try to join some activism for the animals... Anonymous for the Voiceless does their Cube of Truth on Hollywood Blvd and on Santa Monica Promenade.  LA Animal Save gathers for cow slaughterhouse vigils out in Vernon or Farmer John is where regular vigils occur as well.

7. If you haven't lost your appetite or gotten wrapped up in activism, wrap up the evening at Au Lac.

Los Angeles is one of the most vegan-friendly and animal friendly places in general that I know. It is a place where people treat their dogs like children and the activism and food choices reflect that. people are changing their minds about animals as food and showing that you don't have to consume ANY animal products to be healthy, fit, and enjoy your life!

Let me know about anything great for vegan activism, environmentalism, or delicious plant based food in Los Angeles in the comments!!!

You will get $34 off by using my affiliate link and also $13 to use toward an experience worth $48 or more.

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