5 Places to Eat in OC If You're Dating a Vegan

Categories: Life on the Veg

Thumbnail image for veganbbq.jpg
Flickr User Kate Haskell
That's not meat, that's tempeh! And it can be pretty good

By Ryan Cady
It's getting easier to be vegan nowadays, but dating a vegan--especially if you're a carnivore--is still kind of shitty. Sure, you could be an asshole and drag your animal-loving significant other to a Korean barbecue place and force them to watch, horrified, as you consume pounds and pounds of delicious, char-grilled critter--but at that point, why are they dating you in the first place? Sure ain't the panchan.

No, relationships are about compromise, so, as the omnivore, sometimes it's nice of you to suck it up, act like you think animals have souls, and take your precious PETA proponent out to a nice vegan meal. To help you out, here are five vegan restaurants in Orange County that won't make you want to gargle Novocain.

5. Sensitive Sweets

sensitivesweets.jpg
Sensitive Sweets Facebook
So moist!

We're gonna break the rules here and start with dessert, because, as a rule, vegan sweets are almost always pretty gross. No ice cream, no milk chocolate--hell, how are you supposed to eat cookies without milk? But Sensitive Sweets over on Brookhurst and Slater has some of the best treats in town crafted either through some form of pagan witchcraft or just good ol' fashioned culinary talent. Better yet, all of them are vegan AND gluten-free (in case you're paleo, or something).

Bread, cupcakes, muffins and cookies not only look like what they're supposed to, but they taste like it too. Sensitive Sweets also make a point of avoiding nuts and soy in their desserts to maintain a hypoallergenic an environment as well.
Ordinarily, this would make you ask just what the heck is in this stuff? But in this case, everything's so good that it's probably best not to ask questions and just enjoy the sugar rush instead. 17431 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 968-9169; www.sensitivesweets.com

4. The Seabirds Truck

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Photo by Kimberly Valenzuela
The wonderful Stephanie Morgan!

Food trucks might be a little stale now, but if you're willing to do a little Twitter detective work, you might find yourself nostalgically transported back to the days when hitting up Kogi in a high school parking lot was as trendy as making Charlie Sheen jokes.

Your standard food-truck-fusion-fare, the Seabirds crew travels around Irvine and its surrounding areas dishing out some seriously tasty tortilla meals, including their now-famous beer-battered avocado tacos. I mean, they're tacos made of beer and avocado. Jesus couldn't come up with a more perfect dish. Seabirds also serves some delicious salads and sandwiches, but who goes to a food truck and doesn't get a burrito? And don't forget their new restaurant! Follow Seabirds on Twitter @seabirdstruck

3. Veggie Grill

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Now if only they served spuds..

Every date can't be a super romantic night out--sometimes you just need to grab a cruelty-free bite together on your lunch break, and that's where Veggie Grill comes in. Slowly taking over the United States with their promises of sweet potato fries and devil-may-care attitude towards tempeh, the Southern California chain was a pioneer by making vegan cooking acceptable to suburbanites. It offers a relatively quick, relatively cheap selection of "American comfort food" with a vegan twist. Here, there's a tortilla wrap that tastes remarkably like there's asada in it. Here's a chicken Caesar salad that, if you can stomach kale, really tastes like a chicken Caesar salad.

And, most importantly, Veggie Grill serves the most goddamn-delicious, meat-free Buffalo wings you will ever get your little enlightened little hands on. With a side of a cool dressing vaguely resembling ranch, grab an order and help fight speciesism...or just placate your SO. Find your nearest Veggie Grill at www.veggiegrill.com,


Location Info

The Wheel Of Life

14370 Culver Drive, Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

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27 comments
coloneloftruth
coloneloftruth

I've been going to Wheel of Life since the week it opened, and on every visit I had always been greeted by owner and chef de cuisine Victor Lim, a warm and congenial man who never seemed to age and never failed to ask about my family.  But a couple of months ago I was instead greeted with a somber hug by Victor's wife, Kim, who informed me that Victor had passed away.   I always figured Victor would live forever and was shocked at the news.  It was the result of an accidental fall.

Although the task must be extremely challenging given Victor's role there, Kim and their children are hanging in and keeping Wheel of Life going strong.  I've been back several times since Victor's passing and it hasn't missed a beat.  For those of you who knew and loved the Lims, their food, and their congeniality, please continue to support and grow Wheel of Life and its community. 

For those of you who haven't been, you've been missing something special. 


jzur84
jzur84

Au Lac!! You're forgetting Au lac!

Ben Jimenez
Ben Jimenez

Or: 'My editor made me write an article on vegan restaurants so I picked 5 from my yelp search'. Thanks for the comments on the more authentic, hole in the wall spots!

Yvonne Botti
Yvonne Botti

Native and Veggi Grill are the same chained restaurants not even exclusive to CA. Don't take yer girlfriend there if you wanna show that you've done some freakin research. And yuk- over salted, greasy, modified soy made #1? I'm Chinese! and I can't even eat that shit.

veganbot
veganbot

Veggie Grill and Native Foods are the same chained restaurants not exclusive to OC or even CA for that matter! Would you put Olive Garden as a delicious Italian restaurant to dine at in OC? Where's Bohdi? Avanti? Au Lac? Or OC's famous Mother's Market? You're obviously not really dating a vegan. Also, which vegan lives on modified soy products like that of WOL's menu and calls it healthy? 

defactotriste
defactotriste

whats the restaurant in the first pic with the bbq tempeh???? looks yummy

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

It's a list of five, not 10!

Contrarities So
Contrarities So

At lease you guys put native foods before vegi grill thats good. You guys missed 118 in Aneheim, Soul Free Cafe in Tustin, and of course All Natruraw in Downtown Santa Ana.

mhip
mhip

Uhhhhhh.....

I miss Secret Spot so much. Used to live right around the corner, and ate there so much that the owner knew my voice over the phone.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

I dated a vegan for years and on our first date she told me she was one and I told that I ate vegan all of the time...Boom!  Some vegan food was quite tasty and some was as nasty as the restaurants it was served in.  Don't ever try and make tofu into something that it's not.  Serve tofu as tofu, not as turkey, beef or chicken.  

If you eat vegan food you should check out bitemekitchen.com, they are in Costa Mesa.

Alicia Friedman
Alicia Friedman

As a vegan, I second Alex's notion. HEAR, HEAR! Furthermore, Healthy Junk in Anaheim needs to be added to this list.

Thomas Obungen
Thomas Obungen

Or Thuyen Vien in Anaheim. This list needs work. Makes it seem like OC has no vegan options.

Alex Cassidy
Alex Cassidy

How on EARTH did you guys miss the Secret Spot in Huntington?

Mimi Arcala
Mimi Arcala

I'm vegan, it's not a phase. Been vegan for years.

Gerardo Robles
Gerardo Robles

The hell I will, if she doesn't eat meat chances are she won't eat mine

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@Gerardo Robles  

Perhaps if you asked her nicely...but I don't know if it's Vegan to swallow...;-)

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