Did I mention that vegan food in LA is the bomb? Maybe you heard me say it about 15 gajillion times… it’s one of the greatest things about California – the vegan food. Forget the beautiful weather – I went for the food!
This is a compilation of some of the FINAL eats that I had in LA… my last few days there. I ended up moving over to the Venice Beach area for the final few days and exploring a bit there – as well as exploring Korea Town and Downtown LA a little more.
See below for pictures and small descriptions of some of the places I visited (and ate at) in the City of Angels.
Vegan Food Tour in LA – watch the video!
The Butcher’s Daughter (in Venice)
Because I was staying in Venice Beach, I was exploring the area and found that there are quite a few different vegan options there. Of course, I found the place called The Butcher’s Daughter, after I had an amazing experience at The Butcher’s Son in Berkeley, California (although I don’t think the two are related at all as they were both very different from one another). I must say – I preferred The Butcher’s Son – it’s much more of a “chill” vibe, less expensive, and very unique and tasty food. It’s basically vegan deli meats, cheeses and comfort food = totes my jam.
BUT The Butcher’s Daughter was also great for it’s own reasons. First of all, it’s much more of an “upscale” place. Actually most places around there seemed quite fancy and “hipstery”, if you will. You can find The Butcher’s Daughter on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which houses a lot of trendy restaurants, cafes, shops, etc. So for this reason, it was not a cheap place (but also not ridiculously expensive).
I wasn’t super duper crazy hungry (for once), so I decided to get a starter and a salad.
My starter was this very unique dish – Artichoke Drumsticks…what?! Did they just combine two amazing things into one? YES, I BELIEVE THEY DID. These were basically battered & deep-fried artichokes served with some sort of tomato-base sauce and topped with some vegan cheese (I believe this restaurant is vegetarian, not vegan, so do specify that you want vegan cheese). This was flavourful and delicious and I just loved the concept of it.
For my main dish, I actually ended up getting a salad – which usually is a NO-NO for me. Especially when I’m eating at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Why would I get a salad at a veggie restaurant?!? But not much on the menu stood out to me, to be honest. There were pastas (had that before), pizzas (also had that before), salads and starters. So I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much, ya know?!
The salad was yummy and flavourful but of course, it’s a salad. Nothing to die for, amirite?
Overall, I loved the ambiance of The Butcher’s Daughter and the food felt very “high quality”. It’s a nice, feel good restaurant – although not as memorable as some others. Feels well put together, lovely design and it felt very “LA” – not sure if this makes sense. I do recommend it if you are in the area!
Young King Chinese Restaurant (in Korea Town)
Of course, I had to pay a little visit to Korea Town or K-town – since I am Korean and all. I honestly didn’t find K-town super amazing or great, maybe it was because I was travelling alone at this point and I was also walking around the place (I took an Uber there and walked around). LA is just not the type of place you can just walk around exploring (which is something I love doing).
I did end up going to a “Korean Chinese” restaurant that I found on Google which has vegan jajangmyeon. If you haven’t heard of jajangmyeon, it is a noodle dish that you mix with a delicious black bean sauce. This is a very popular dish in Korea and it’s basically considered Chinese food over there. I guess it’s kind of like how “kung pao chicken” is considered Chinese food in the US?
Anyway, I went to a restaurant called Young King Chinese Restaurant, which I found out has vegetarian/vegan jajangmyeon. Now I’ve made my own vegan jajangmyeon before (recipe here) but the stuff they have in restaurant usually taste better in my opinion. Probably because they add MSG or they add a lot of other ingredients, which I don’t want to know about. But either way, I hadn’t had restaurant jajangmyeon in SO long that I had to get it. And it did not disappoint.
I ended up devouring this, then walking around a little bit before stepping into a 24-hour Korean sauna (they call this “jimjilbang” in Korea) called Wi Spa. Not a bad day, if you ask me!
Ramen Hood (in Grand Central Market – Downtown LA)
On my last full day in LA, I decided to go to Grand Central Market to eat at an all vegan ramen stand called Ramen Hood. When I was in San Francisco, I met a lovely subscriber of mine (thanks, Kim!!!) who told me about this place and she raved about it so I had to give it a go!
They had a lunch special where I could get a ramen, a side and a drink for whatever set price (can’t remember now lol) so I just got that so I could try a side as well.
For the side, I tried their Banh Mi Poutine which I thought sounded intriguing. However, I thought it was just okay and I sort of regretted getting it afterwards. There wasn’t really anything very special about it. Just some fries with some sauces and a few other ingredients. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
Now for the star of the show – I can’t remember which ramen I got, but I think it was a mix of garlic and spicy ramen. I also ordered a VEGAN EGG. Yes, they had a vegan egg and boy, did it look REAL AF. Seriously though, if you saw this and didn’t know it was vegan, you’d probably think it was a real egg.
However, as “insta-worthy” as this vegan egg was, it definitely did not taste like an egg… at all! lol. The egg-white part was a little like an egg, but the “yolk” part definitely did not taste like egg at all. It’s really just for the photo op that I would get the vegan egg (I believe I paid $2 for it… not bad for the insta worthy shot!).
The ramen noodles were chewy and tasty and the broth was nice, full-bodied and flavourful. It was definitely worth a try and I would eat there again FOR SURE! Super yummy ramen. BUTTTTTT – my favourite vegan ramen has to be at JINYA. Jinya Ramen Bar has a Creamy Vegan Ramen which is so amazing – I eat there WAY too much. Anyway, this ramen was still delicious and I’ll definitely visit again. What I would’ve loved to have with it is some tofu!
After lunch that day, I ended up having a meet-up at Echo Park Lake in Central LA. It’s such a nice park with tons of trees and a beautiful lake – super insta-worthy photos taken here.
It was the first time going BY MYSELF to a meet-up that I was holding so I was afraid that I would be sitting there all by myself… alone… forever. BUT thankfully lots of people showed up with tons of food and we chilled there for a few hours.
And this lovely little one joined as well.. Her name is Coco and she was SO adorable.
And a beautiful subscriber also brought a HUGE box of vegan donuts from Donut Friend… I genuinely wish I could eat these through the screen right now. They were so yummy!!!
Shojin (Little Tokyo)
After our meet-up, although we had tons of food, a few of us decided to head over to Shojin – a fine dining (yes, fine dining) vegan sushi restaurant in Little Tokyo. I’ve been wanting to try this place SO BADLY because lots of people had recommended it and I LOVE sushi so much. Sushi is one of the reasons why it took me SO long to give up fish. Now I very much enjoy vegan sushi, but let’s be honest – most of the time, the vegan sushi options end at avocado and cucumber rolls. So anything that makes vegan sushi interesting and creative, I am all for.
And let me tell you – this place definitely had the BEST vegan sushi I’ve ever had. We got most of the rolls that were available (no, this place was NOT cheap) and everything was delicious in its own way.
The “scallop” rolls (one of them is the spicy one) were probably my favourite… These were torched which made it taste smokey and just… amazing.
Let’s be honest- I don’t remember which rolls are which but pretty much everything tasted like HEAVEN. If you love sushi, I HIGHLY recommend trying this place out.
I hope you guys enjoyed my LA vegan adventures!! Where to next?