Let’s be honest, vegan food is often criticized for being bland and boring—picture lifeless plates of pale, firm tofu served with flavorless steamed vegetables. These assumptions are completely untrue, and we’re here to debunk this misconception.
We’ve compiled a list of the best vegan spots in L.A. that specialize in a variety of Asian cuisines. These restaurants serve dishes like dumplings, sushi, Korean BBQ and tom yum noodle soup spiced with traditional flavors, but reimagined as vegan or vegetarian. There are a variety of new places to try, whether you’re looking for Chinese, Korean, Indian, Thai, Japanese or Vietnamese food.
Satisfy your cravings and grab a bite to eat at these 7 vegan spots:
This place puts a creative, veggie spin on Chinese cuisine by offering up dishes like basil “chicken,” “scallops” with cucumber, bean curd dumplings and bamboo sausage, along with traditional dishes like mapo tofu. If you have room for dessert, you can try their selection of baked treats including red bean, lotus seed and taro paste buns.
Craving some vegan KBBQ? Now you can have the traditional tabletop grilling experience, but without the meat. Although AY-Do-NO does serve meats, they also offer beefless beef, chickenless chicken, veggies, tofu and sesame salad, served à la carte or all-you-can-eat.
Take a trip to Long Beach to try a variety of mouthwatering vegan Korean appetizers and entrees, like crispy rice cake skewers, japchae, ddukbokki, dwenjang jjigae, bibimbap with a vegan egg and vegan broth dumpling tofu soup. It’s worth the drive just for the vegan house made kimchi!
At Rajdhani, sit down for an authentic Indian style meal served homestyle. Enjoy the flavors of Gujarat, with stainless steel platters of well-portioned, complex vegetarian and vegan dishes placed before you. Choose between the Ayce Thali or the Mini Thali depending on your level of hunger. Begin the meal with crispy papad, dhokla and mixed vegetable bhajia, then feast on the thali of the day along with some hot and fluffy roti.
Step into this humble Silver Lake establishment and you will be greeted by a warm, yet modern and casual interior. Start with the ever-popular dumplings served with spicy soy vinaigrette, or choose from a selection of comforting coconut or vegetable broth-based soups. Alongside the pan-fried noodle and rice dishes, their menu boasts a variety of fresh salads with housemade dressings available for those looking for something on the lighter side.
Famous for their vegan sushi and ramen, this Los Angeles eatery is tucked away in an unsuspecting shopping center in Little Tokyo. You can sample sushi rolls made with eggplant, spicy tofu, “crab cake” and enoki mushrooms, to name a few. In the mood for a hearty bowl of soup? Top your ramen with soy “chicken” made with tofu or ground “beef” made with gobo, mushroom and thyme. Then savor the calming taste of dandelion tea at the end of your meal.
7. Au Lac
A vegan Vietnamese food lovers’ paradise! This place has all of your favorites—completely plant-based! Grab a mai bánh mì to go, or sit down for a steaming bowl of phở. The delicate, fresh flavors of cilantro, mint, basil and anise shine through their dishes in every bite. Visit the Nguyen family’s original Fountain Valley restaurant, or their second location in Los Angeles.