If San Francisco owns “Uber for X,” Los Angeles definitely has the “Vegan for X” market cornered. Your favorite cuisine is now available in mushroom, or tofu, or some new engineered soy product complete with beet “blood.” The results are usually pretty easy to hate. So when a legitimately good vegan restaurant does come around, it’s a refreshing thing. Satdha, a tiny Thai place on an otherwise boring stretch of Lincoln, is good vegan. This is where you go to get fresh, flavorful curries and shared plates that make you forget there are no animal products involved. With the exception of their “cashew tuna” (that tastes great, despite tasting nothing like tuna), Satdha doesn’t rely on fake meat - they’re just really good at using vegetables. This is a great place to catch up with friends: it’s casual, not too crowded, and perfect for accommodating dietary restrictions.
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R+D Kitchen in Santa Monica is perpetually crowded, but the burgers and lively crowd are worth the guaranteed 45 minute wait for dinner.
Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica has great coffee, a decent selection of pastries, and fast wifi, and it never gets too loud to focus.
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Elf Cafe is a good place for a vegetarian Mediterranean dinner in Echo Park - as long as you order the right things.
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