Vegetarian food month in review


Juliette Deutsch, co-editor-in-chief

Vegan donuts from Babycakes. Photo by: JULIETTE DEUTSCH
Vegan donuts from Erin McKenna’s Babycakes. Photo by: JULIETTE DEUTSCHn

Los Angeles has grown to be an incredibly vegetarian and vegan friendly city. Whether you’re after authentic Mexican food  or craving something sweet, there’s a way to do it the “veggie” style. Here is a round-up of some of the tastiest vegan and vegetarian food that L.A. has to offer.
Toca Madera
8450 West 3rd Street
Located in the heart of 3rd  Street, this 120-seat eatery includes a full Mexican tapas menu complete with equally delicious vegan and vegetarian options. For those who are vegan, I recommend trying the Crispy Tofu Tostadas. The dish is layered in chipotle dusted tofu, a bed of butter lettuce and black bean puree. To go along with your tostada, order the Salsa Flight. Unlike a typical Mexican salsa, this one includes freshly grilled pineapple with a mix of avocado tomatillo. Toca Madera is a perfect place to indulge in Mexican cuisine whether you are vegan or not. For the non-vegan/vegetarian don’t miss out on the churro ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
Watch out Gracias Madre, it looks like you have some serious competition!
Babycakes NYC
236 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Erin McKenna is the woman perhaps most responsible for taking gluten-free, vegan baking beyond the walls of Whole Foods. Her stylish cupcakery,Babycakes, has made vegan baking seem as cool as the crisp pink-and-white-striped uniforms her employees wear in the NYC, L.A. and Orlando shops. Upon visiting the shop in Larchmont Village, I highly recommend picking up a few Thin Mint cookies and Vanilla cupcakes. They’re vegan, gluten-free and simply delicious.
Native Foods Cafe
Locations in Santa Monica, Westwood and Culver City
I’m all about meals in bowls, piled high with veggies, rice and protein. Native Foods’ bowls are some of the best, my favorite of which is the Soul Bowl, made with Southern fried “chicken” with hearty red beans and brown rice, steamed veggies and kale served with homemade cornbread. While I do love real fried chicken, their seitan and tempeh are made in-house and make for an excellent meat free option.