Top Vegan Finds in the LA Area

I recently committed to the Tone It Up vegan plan for the Love Your Body series for two months. I was a little hesitant at first but have always thought of trying out the vegan diet so finally made the decision to just go for it!

The first two weeks were a breeze! The recipes they provide are so easy and delicious to make – I never feel unsatisfied (which curbs my cravings) and I get to have bigger portions! I’ve created a routine that includes meal prepping every Sunday, drinking my morning protein shakes and listening to my body that has left me feeling my best yet!

Week 3 arrived and I had a trip planned to LA. I used to fall into the trap of being in vacation mode and forget all my dietary rules. I’d use the common “I’m on vacation, I can start again when I’m back home”.

Not this time. I wanted to test my commitment. I wanted to learn more about vegan foods and the different restaurants that provided these options. I’ve learned that I can combine my love for travel while maintaining a healthy lifestyle!

I’m happy to say I discovered so many vegan options while in the LA area and I want to share it with you!

1) Petras

A small, family owned restaurant in the little town of Tehachapi. Tucked away in the mountains about 2 hours north of LA, I was nervous about finding options.

However, I found this restaurant and was pleasantly surprised. I ordered the “Falafel specialty plate” with falafel, lentil rice, Mediterranean salad, pita bread & hummus and an unsweetened, iced mint tea on the side. So yummy! And super affordable, this entire plate was only $10.99!

2) Ichiban 

Another family owned restaurant in Tehachapi, I ordered a vegetable roll (5 pieces) with a spicy, garlic edamame on the side. Did you know 1 cup of cooked edamame has 17g protein!? This place is also very affordable and delicious!

3) Aroma Cafe

This is hands down my favorite place in Studio City, CA. It’s actually a tradition for my family and I to go here when I’m in town. Besides the food, it has the cutest patio nestled in a neighborhood where the street is lined with boutique shops – you’ll definitely want to plan 3 – 4 hours in this area to experience it.

I ordered the Tofu & Wild Rice salad: wild rice, marinated tofu, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado with mixed baby greens + lemon-herb vinaigrette.

4) Erewhon

Erewhon is a health food grocery store (think Whole Foods) that has a hot bar, cold bar dessert bar, you name it. Such a great option for something quick and on the go!

I ordered the combo plate with potatoes spiced with cumin, brussel sprouts with teriyaki and cranberries and eggplant lasagna. If you ever still feel hungry after a vegan meal – I recommend pairing it with a protein shake (protein will keep make you full)! I ordered the “Coconut Dream” shake: coconut water, spinach, banana, coconut meat, medjool dates, cinnamon, chia seeds + brown rice protein.

5) Sunlife Organics

The Bliss Bowl is yes, pure bliss! A super food medley to get your day started off right. Quick and easy – great substitute if you don’t want the standard smoothie!

I had the “Bliss Bowl”: blended acai, blueberry, banana, raw cashew butter and hemp milk topped with goji berries, macadamia nuts, white mulberries, Himalayan raisins, pistachios and raw cacao nibs, raw almond butter, raw rescue honey and coconut shreds

6) Healthnut

Have you ever seen the show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”? Okay, stupid question…but you might recognize this restaurant from there. They eat their salads ALL THE TIME. Besides the delicious food and cute style, stop by for a possible celebrity sighting! 🙂

I had the “Tofu salad”: tofu, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, carrots, sprouts & comes with a house dressing (lemon vinaigrette) but I’m obsessed with their spicy Asian dressing. The salads are HUGE. Paired with an unsweetened, iced green tea and the Healthade + Tone It Up kombucha “bubbly rose” for later! 🙂

7) Rockwood Grill at JW Marriott

When traveling, you’re going to run into situations where restaurants don’t have Vegan options listed on the menu. However, if you ask them to make substitutions, it’s usually possible!

For dinner, I ordered the “Kale & Quinoa” salad: kale, quinoa, toasted pepita, feta, peppers, grapes & topped with citrus vinaigrette. I asked for no feta and add tofu!

For lunch, I ordered a chicken pesto sandwich without chicken, sub tofu. It also had spinach, cabbage & avocado!

8) Mendocino Farms 

Another cute setting, this casual restaurant has adorable patio seating, surrounded by boutique shops. Similar to Aroma Cafe, plan 3 – 4 hours to get the full experience!

I ordered the “Impossible Taco Salad”: plant-based chorizo-spiced Impossible Burger meat, housemade superfood krunchies, chopped romaine, curly kale, black bean, roasted corn & jicama, red onions, cilantro, grape tomatoes, avocado with house vegan chipotle ranch.