Vegan Village

4067 W. Pico Blvd
LA, CA 90019
(323) 766-9773

I don't know where I got the idea that vegan = super healthful, but I've been certain thats the case for as long as I've know what vegan is. In my mind it went like this, Normal Diet = Sometimes good/sometimes bad, Vegetarian = Healthy foods, Vegan = Pristine diet that makes the rest of us look like sinners. I understood that vegans don't eat any animal products, but somehow I got it all twisted that they were getting better food as a result.

Wellll, thank you Vegan Village for educating me! I walked over for dinner recently with my vegan pal Doreen and the vegetarian Hudson to check out this spot I always drive past. Hello soul food! We had vegan beer. Is it necessary to state this? I don't want to go out on a limb here, but isn't all beer vegetarian? They also have vegan wine... uh ditto that last question. I don't know of any meat barley or grapes. But I digress.

We had a big selection of fried onion rings, fried faux catfish, fried faux fish tacos, fried faux Buffalo wings and an array of stewed greens, candied yams and even a tamale pie topped with corn bread. All really good and really like meat! Even the beer was, well, beer tasting.

However, I can't wrap my head around how close to meat their faux products were. Like real flesh I tell ya! I watched Doreen bite into the chicken wing and fought the urge to slap it out of her mouth to save her from the meat that must have been a mistake! ARRGGHH! Doreen! Watch out! Meat! And as most diners don't know the difference between cod and halibut when it's fried, I would bet a large sum of money that you could serve their cajun faux catfish to a family reunion in Memphis and not 1 person would know it was made of something other than fish.

The cooks at Vegan Village clearly have gone to great lengths to recreate the meat experience and flavor. Even their greens tasted like a ham hock had been simmering in them for hours. I'm thinking the trick was a drop or 2 of liquid smoke. I guess vegans don't have an aversion to flesh texture, just actual animal products.

And blown all to Hell is my idea that vegans are healthier than everyone else. They're cruelty free, so you've gotta hand them that. But sugar is vegan, clearly peanut oil is vegan so they're not shy about frying there at Vegan Village! And now that I think about it, synthetic is not animal product, so I get Twinkies are vegan because I'm not buying that the "cream" filling contains any cream at all.

So, back to the basics. If you eat healthful foods, you will be healthier.

Now, things VV should work on and fast:
Wash glasses. The dirty musty smelling glasses that came with our beers were gross.
Get a waitress who is skilled. With only 3 tables of 3 guests in the joint, our waitress couldn't keep up and 1 table left.
Be a restaurant, be a night club, be an internet cafe, be a sports lounge, but don't try to be all 4. Impossible.
Music is a must, don't know what happened to the Bob Marley that was playing when we walked in, but we ate in silence.

My Gordon Ramsey suggestion:
Get a restaurant manager STAT
Get a wait staff STAT
Play music
Lose the white table cloths
Get some decent lighting
Get some windows
Keep your cooks happy, they're awesome!

See you there for more of my vegan education - but I'll be sipping my beer from the bottle!



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