For meat-eaters it’s become nearly impossible to ignore the problems with the cattle industry and the effects it has on the environment. But whether you’re a full-blown vegan or someone experimenting with “Meatless Mondays,” going out to dinner can be tough, so we’ve found some dishes for you where the flavor isn’t missing just because the meat is. We’re going to take you through a few meals from different restaurants in the Melrose Arts District.
E.A.K. Ramen is easily the best ramen on Melrose in addition to Tatsu! The vibe is cool, trendy and hip. Normally a Vegan Ramen would illicit thoughts of a flavorless bland water broth, but this is just the opposite. The ratatouille broth is full of flavor from the shio tare, and it’s served with thin wavy noodles, cauliflower, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, celery and radish sprouts. With all these vegetables you feel like you’re getting your Popeye on while still enjoying a delicious ramen bowl. The noodles can be made gluten-free from Konjac root if you’re gluten intolerant or just gluten opposed.
7455 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Fala Bar is the place to go if you or your lunch date is vegetarian or vegan and you don’t want to have to sort through a menu, as everything they serve is 100 percent vegan. Open 11am-8pm, this is the perfect spot to grab a plant-based bite. Don’t be afraid of the Kale Burger, it’s really good. You may feel like a real LA tool while ordering it, but you won’t be sorry once you’ve tasted it.
7751 1/2 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA — 90046
If you’re not ready to give up meat, I get it. Going pescatarian for dinner is a good option, especially when you’re in LA and good sushi is as easy to find as an out of work actor. The best place for sushi on Melrose is Murakami. As a regular patron, I have never had bad sashimi there, and as my boyfriend said, I am “not easy to please,” so you can trust me. My favorites are the Ebi- shrimp, Maguro-Tuna and Salmon, but really, you can’t go wrong. They’re known for their Sashimi bowls, which start with sushi rice (which can be substituted for salad if you’re trying to be healthy or just lose a few lbs, not that you need to), topped with shredded dried nori, the sashimi and finally garnished with cucumbers, nori, ginger and wasabi. Do yourself a favor and ask for the garlic soy sauce. You won’t be able to kiss anyone for a week, but it’s so tasty you won’t care.
7160 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Spartina, home of the best Italian food on Melrose. Their Garlic Spaghettini is so good you’ll be saying spaghetti bolognese who? Ask for it sans cheese and with gluten-free noodles to make it vegan. The white and black garlic along with calabrian chilies give it all the flavor it needs anyway. For an appetizer, order the grilled avocado with ricotta salad, tomatillo and lemon preserves. The charred broccolini is also a crowd favorite. Don’t forget to wash it down with their famous Aperol spritz!
7505 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
The Village Idiot is a restaurant pub that’s very European, and particularly fun around World Cup time. However, at places like this, it’s sometimes hard to find dishes that are vegetarian or vegan. That’s why they have added a new menu item called the “Cauliflower Steak.” It’s vegan, gluten-free and delicious. Served with a piquillo pepper sauce, pine nuts and lemon, you’ll be happy you got it, especially since you’ll need something to soak up all the beer and wine you’ll want to try, as their alcohol menu is extensive. Alcohol IS vegetarian after all and thank god for that.
The Village Idiot
7383 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Good luck on your meatless meal journey!