Culver City Edition

Area restaurants make top list for vegetarians

LOS ANGELES — The days of vegetarians being forced to eat “mediocre sides and salads” are gone as seven of the country’s top vegetarian and vegan restaurants are in the Los Angeles area, a national restaurant reservations website announced last week.

Results of the website’s national survey came on World Vegetarian Day Oct. 1, the first day in Vegetarian Awareness Month.

OpenTable.com unveiled a list of 52 restaurants across the nation that serve vegetarian, vegetarian-friendly and vegan food at a high level of dining.

All the eateries, including the seven in the Los Angeles area, “feature vegetables front and center, creatively presented with expert technique and serious attention to flavor,” OpenTable.com said on his website.

The restaurants included in the list were determined by surveys of people using the reservations website and offering personal reviews.

The seven local top spots included: Gracias Madre, a Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood; The Gadarene Swine, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Studio City; Crossroads, tapas and small plates, in the Beverly-Fairfax area on Melrose Avenue; Plant Food and Wine in Venice; Sage, a plant-based bistro in Culver City; The Springs, a vegan restaurant in the downtown Arts District of Los Angeles; and Sun Cafe in Studio City.

The North American Vegetarian Society said World Vegetarian Day was established “to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.”

The annual celebration began in 1977 and was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union a year later. Even though Oct. 1 is the “official date,” the vegetarian society said it’s OK, “if necessary,” to schedule events “on a nearby date instead.”