5 Places to Eat in OC If You're Dating a Vegan
2. Native Foods
Photo by Javier Cabral Spuds! Real spuds!
If VeggieGrill is the veghead's McDonalds (and boy, is that a loose analogy), Native Foods, another SoCal chain, is the Red Robin.
Yeah, their décor is a little weird (and, the social justice-minded readers among you might think, a little culturally appropriative), and their baked goods are nothing to cry home about, but they've got some serious quality going on. Using an extensive variety of soy and plant protein products to craft sandwiches (Meatball sub? Sausage Po' boy? You betcha), salads, and other perfectly edible treats, Native Foods also has one incredible feature that few other vegan eateries can match: French fries. REAL French fries made out of real potatoes.
A little warning, though? If your herbivorous sweetheart recommends the Oklahoma BBQ Bacon Burger because they "couldn't even tell the difference," don't listen to them. It's nothing like a burger. Not even close. (Sorry.). Find your nearest Native Foods at www.nativefoods.com
1. Wheel of Life
Photo by Grace Le "Chicken." Very good "chicken"
Of all the soy-saturated, veggie-slinging eateries in Orange County, none comes closer than Irvine's own Wheel of Life. An environmentally friendly take on Thai and Chinese, here you'll find favorites such as "beef" and broccoli, sweet and sour "chicken," and even satay skewers--all of which taste pretty much like they're supposed to. Most importantly, Wheel of Life even manages to get the texture pretty close to correct - the orange chicken has the consistency of a fried hot dog...which, I'll admit, sounds a kind of gross, but beats the hell out of a big, soggy chunk of soft tofu. And don't forget the owner who shakes your hand as you walk in