Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Vegan Joint

While on the lookout for new (to me) interesting neighborhood joints, I came across this vegan one. Right across the street from giant karaoke dive Boardwalk 11 on National, The Vegan Joint is a small, cozy little cafe with a huge vegan menu. Heavy on the Asian fare, they offer many soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, noodles, curries, and fake meats. They use soy fish, soy meat, tofu, soy cheese, "egz" and soy bacon. When I eat vegan, I prefer to stick with vegetables nuts and grains, and pass on the phony meat. I eat meat, so I don't need a substitute.

Everything we ordered tasted good, was hearty for a carnivore like me, and inexpensive. We started of with the vegetable soup. The vegetables were pretty, but quite large for a soup, much bigger than bite size, which required you to try to cut them with your Chinese soup spoon. The broth was very delicious, though.

We shared a couple vegetable spring rolls, which were standard fare. It is difficult for something deep fried to be bad (bad tasting, not bad for you!). Everything was brought out piping hot, within a few minutes of ordering.

For my main, I had one of the curries, the shitake curry with coconut milk, eggplant, bamboo shoots, and tofu, with a side of brown rice. Not too spicy and very satisfying.

My meal made me forget that animal products were absent, it kept me satisfied the rest of the afternoon (or maybe that was the post lunch espresso macchiato we drank in our Rome-homesick-state). Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served all day, and they even deliver. While you are at the joint, go check out the cool time warp clothing store on the same street - you can load up on your ultra-hip 50's garb and pomade.

The Vegan Joint
10438 National Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034


Frederik Sisa said...

I wholeheartedly concur. I've been going to the Vegan Joint for quite some time now, especially since transitioning to a pragmatic vegan "diet." I love it. Good prices, satisfying and yummy food: a great place for the occasional lunch or dinner treat.

Diana said...

I'm with you on the "phony meats." The thought of ingesting vegan fish really scares me. It can't possibly be good!

Ken said...

Actually their spicy noodle soup with vegan fish is absolutely delicious! I think the key to enjoying soy meats is to make sure that they're integrated into a dish, and not the entire focus of a dish. I haven't eaten meat/fish in years, so I don't really have a point of comparison any longer, but there's no reason to be scared away from the stuff. Just don't get a big ol' slab of it on a bun if you're not sure you will like it! ;)

Catherine said...

You should try their fresh spring rolls - the outside "skin" is a chewy rice noodle, the fresh crunchy vegetables inside are delicious, and the light dipping sauce for dunking makes it the perfect light lunch. 2 rolls for $5.