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Five Killer Vegetarian Options in LA

Kale Caesar Salad Mixto

The Kale Salad from Mixto, photo via Yelp user Sarah D.

I’m no vegetarian, but now that I’m living the Los Angeles lifestyle—and surrounded by Sienna Miller lookalikes at every turn—I’ve gotten on board with the veggie-loving hordes and taken up a new hobby: Finding meat-free dishes I crave so much that I’d choose them over a burger regardless of the health benefits. No, seriously.

Baaadasss Breakfast Sandwich at Locali. This tiny organic deli in Hollywood has barely any room to sit down, but so what? You’re here for the Baadasss, a combination of things I never thought I’d recommend to anyone: vegan sausage, non-dairy and soy-free cheese (what), some kind of chipotle-laced sauce and the finishing touch—maple syrup—all getting along like the Cleaver family inside a toasted nine-grain English muffin. It drips and it looks kind of disgusting, but I promise that after you eat it, you’ll daydream about it and start attempting to re-create it at home. Good luck with that. The concoction is also available at Localita, the deli’s newest location downtown.

Kale Cesar at Mixto. If you must have kale salad—and apparently we all must in 2013—then it should be the huge one at this gourmet taco stand in Silverlake. The addition of Parmesan, garlicky croutons and lemony vinaigrette really does the trick, and the kale is greener and more tender than you can imagine.

Buffalo Cauliflower at Mohawk Bend. This is hands-down my favorite gastropub, not only for atmosphere (think patio, fireplaces, communal tables) but also its beer selection on tap and its healthy, hearty menu. Their most popular app is this little dish of spicy-hot cauliflower served with vegan “bleu cheese” dressing. You won’t miss the chicken.

Apple-Smoked Sage Sausage at Wurstküche. This fairly new sausage grill downtown is the place to spend a Saturday afternoon sampling Belgian and German beers alongside sausage sandwiches. The veggie link made of apples, yukons, and sage is savory and good. Top it with caramelized onions and hot peppers and order up a side of double-dipped Belgian fries.

Vegan Noodle Bowl at Viet Noodle Bar. I saved the best for last. The noodle bowls at this no-frills eatery in Atwater are super-fresh and ideally sized—you won’t have to wrap half to take home. The vegan bowl features delicate mushrooms, red leaf lettuce, and lightly fried tofu slices, and it’s highly addictive.