Vegging Out

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tara-lipinski-vegetarian

I’m not a vegetarian but I crush a lot of veggies. While I haven’t fully given up my proteins of choice, I do try and be health and humanely conscious of what I’m noshing down on. Thankfully, LA makes this kind of dieting easy. We’ve got fantastic juice bars and takeaway spots (Lemonade is like our McDonald’s), but even some of my favorite dine-in places have turned these side dishes into all stars.

tara-lipinski-veg-out-in--la

 

Observe, my favorite veggie destinations in LA:

 

Crossroads Kitchen

This all-vegan restaurant is Oprah-approved so you don’t need to take it from me, but if you want to dress up yourself and your favorite veggies this is the place to do it. The menu reads in a way that tricks you into believing this is just like any fine dining establishment – crab cakes and bolognese are both listed as entrees. My must-have dish though is the artichoke “oysters,” made with oyster mushrooms, a tomato béarnaise sauce and kelp “caviar.” Now that’s rich.

Gracias Madre

This fairly new spot on Melrose is dedicated to veggie/vegan Mexican cuisine. Even if you’re a carne lover you won’t notice with the emphasis on fresh, spicy flavors that you enjoy under the shade of beautiful olive trees. My favorite dish here is the quesadillas de calabaza, featuring butternut squash and caramelized onions and cashew nacho cheese. Delicioso.

Native Foods Cafe

Strictly vegetarian but a casual vibe, Native Foods is the best place to ease your meat loving friends into veggie fast food. Everything is made in house so it’s fresh and they’ve got a gluten, nut, and soy free menu for all your dietary needs. I’m all about the scorpion burger here, but you could basically put some avocado and spice on top of a bun and I’d be happy. Add sweet potato fries and I’m all set.

A Votre Sante

A go-to neighborhood spot for me where the ambiance is as comforting as the food. This place is perfect for a healthy brunch and isn’t strictly vegetarian so appeals to a wide range of diets. I always spring for the rolled oat pancakes, which are the perfect combination of maple oatmeal and flapjacks. All my favorite breakfast flavors in one dish!

Superba Snack Bar

Chef Jason Neroni refers to part of his menu as “an ode to vegetables” so it’s no wonder vegetarians sing this place’s praises. The menu is also omnivore friendly, but I come for the “From Our Backyards” portion that is purely the local, fresh produce Superba is cranking out. I recommend everyone tries the cauliflower t-bone, which might be one of my favorite steaks. Ever.

 

Happy vegging!

Xo, Tara

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