Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area Vegan

A Carnivore's Dilemma: Eating at a Vegan Restaurant


More from Restaurants & Bars

Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area Vegan

A Carnivore's Dilemma: Eating at a Vegan Restaurant

DrBruin | | Feb 22, 2010 08:12 PM

I love meat... beef, fish, and poultry.... nothing too exotic... like I'm not waiting for someone to make a Terrine of Jellied Oink or snout confit. It IS really hard for me to feel satisfied with a vegan meal (with the exception of a falafel sandwich). So, much to my surprise, I found a place where us meat-centric people may find something palatable while we dine with our veggie-inclined friends.

I was driving home from LAX with my wife when we stopped to check out some sporting goods equipment. I spotted The Counter in a shopping center across the street and was jonesing for a burger. I saw a restaurant in the same shopping center called the Veggie Grill... and figured, since my wife was more into "green"-age than"carn"-age, we'd check it out. I fully expected to look at the menu, turn around and head down a half-block back to the Counter. However, my wife looked at the menu and found some food that interested her and I figured, what the heck, if I'm still hungry, I can stop by the other place on the way back to the car, and we decided to eat there. This place is trying to make vegan food more like their nonvegan counterparts. Anyhow, as best as I can tell, this place is vegan.

So, onto the food... my wife ordered the basic V-burger and I ordered their grilled "chicken" sandwich. She ordered a side salad and I ordered a side of sweet potato fries.

We each split the sandwiches 50-50 so we each could try half.

The "chicken"sandwich tasted surprisingly good. While it looked a grilled piece of chicken (the pressed chicken forms you'd say, find at a subway), and it did have a meaty texture, when you looked at the inside of the patty after you bit down, it looked more like what you'd see after opening a can of tuna fish. The taste was interesting. It tasted more like a falafel, without the crunch. My wife didn't pick up on that flavor.

The V-burger looked like a Boca burger... This was not as good as the "chicken" sandwich. It was brownish and roundish and had grill marks. The color wasn't right and it did not have a beefy taste (which, didn't surprise me since it's not beef).

The sweet potato fries they were promoting as award winning, were okay but not fantastic, and the portion seemed small.

One highlight was this spicy salsa like concoction they had in a glass bottle as a condiment. It was spicy and was tasty. I'd recommend adding this to your sandwiches.

Overall, I was surprised that I didn't hate the place (I know, what a glowing endorsement, right?).... I'd go back, but probably only with someone else who really craves vegetarian/vegan food.

I think this place is a small, local chain. If you're in the area, it's worth a try.

Veggie Grill
720 S Allied Way, El Segundo, CA 90245