To be vegan in Los Angeles is to eat like a meat- and dairy-free king. Pro-vegan organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recently ranked Los Angeles third on its list of Top Ten American cities for vegan dining. In L.A.’s beach-adjacent South Bay cities, where an active, outdoor lifestyle and Hollywood’s body conscious influence make healthy eating a way of life, good vegan restaurants are thriving. Here are three South Bay vegan/vegetarian restaurants that consistently score points with vegan believers.
110 2nd St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
The Spot bills itself as L.A.’s oldest natural health foods restaurant, with a following of locals and celebrities who’ve been coming here since well before it was trendy to be vegetarian or vegan. The creative menu features all-natural and mostly dairy free items ranging from veggie burgers to more filling Mexican meals like black bean and brown rice burritos. Fresh veggie entrees are also delicious. The atmosphere is mellow, old-school hippie-casual, located just a block from the beach. Diners can purchase The Spot’s cookbook to try out the restaurant’s most popular recipes at home.
1700 South Catalina Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Closed Mondays.
The Green Temple prides itself on food that is 85 percent organic. Everything else is mostly locally grown from farmer’s markets or Whole Foods suppliers. While the atmosphere has a peaceful, Asian vibe, the menu is diverse, with the common denominators being whole grain, no white sugar, and no processed ingredients. Salads, like the Sproutada tostada with a baked organic corn tortilla, organic brown rice and bed of greens, feature homemade dressings. The menu also features homemade soups and sandwiches including the avocado melt, hummus wrap and veggie burger.
709 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon., Wed., Thurs. and Fri.; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed Tuesdays
Eat in or order online and pickup at this clean and modern Vietnamese vegan spot. The menu features traditional Vietnamese dishes like Pho soup, veggie dumplings and spring rolls. The unique house specialties include The Happy Veggie wrap, with stir-fried veggies inside a soy shrimp and tofu crepe wrapped in lettuce leaves, the grilled fish dinner, featuring grilled soy fish wrapped in rice paper with mint, lettuce and Asian noodles, and the crispy veggie nugget salad, which stars veggie nuggets stir-fried with garlic and sweet onion, served over greens.