Industry insiders are supporting new and true plant places with dining dollars.
The vegan movement is rolling out its green carpet across the globe, and Los Angeles is at the camera-ready forefront. Longtime Hollywood vegans include Woody Harrelson, Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, Natalie Portman, Alicia Silverstone and Moby, while a new guard is rising. Peter Dinklage (a vegetarian since age 16) ditched all animal products in 2014, and many of his fellow Game of Thrones castmembers are also meat-free.
Just last year, Benedict Cumberbatch announced he was vegan, and a bevy of young Hollywood vegans like Sadie Sink and Miley Cyrus are using social media or offscreen time to spread the word. In April, Kim Kardashian announced she was eating vegan — at least at home.
Others are supporting the movement with their dining dollar, and the choices, particularly in Los Angeles, are both plentiful, high-caliber and full of creativity. Plant-based dining (and now, fashion) has arrived, and it’s come a long way from hemp sandals and the yogi-owned Golden Temple of Conscious Cookery, where health-conscious Hollywood used to eat in the 1980s. Where there’s a Tesla (which launched vegan-only leather interiors in 2017), there’s a diet to follow.
Here are seven of the most popular vegan restaurants in L.A., from Bodhi Bowl to My Vegan Gold, that are beloved by stars.
For a quick bite during a downtown shoot, "it’s basically Subway but vegan, homemade and healthy," says Mayim Bialik of the eatery offering nutrient-dense bowls, salads and sandwiches.
“Los Angeles has quickly become the best city for plant-based dining. From fast food to fine dining, farmers markets to vegan pubs and all-vegan taco stands. People inclined to eating more plant-based have more options than ever before," says Crossroads chef Tal Ronnen, whose Hollywood plant-based restaurant has recently been visited by Christina Applegate and Katy Perry.
"Food that is vibrant yet makes you feel good," says Matthew Kenney of his new Venice spot (NYC original is Michelin-starred). James Cameron and Tim Robbins sup at his vegan venues.
Twilight actress Nikki Reed loves Gracias Madre. "Fun, elevated vegan food paired with a funky, hip bar. It is the perfect date night. Also, I live for chips and guacamole!” says Reed, who has a sustainable jewelry line and is an advisor to a vegan baby food company.
"The food is insanely delicious and just happens to be vegan," says Lisa Edelstein of Moby’s hangout. "Nobody has to die for us to eat there, and profits support animal welfare."
It has "the best vegan burger,” says Blink 182’s Travis Barker (an investor with Jaden Smith). Next for owner Nic Adler: Nic’s in the old Ponte space on Beverly.
Actress Harley Quinn Smith, whose recent credits include All These Small Moments, says, “I am a major creature of habit, so most days of the week I’m eating the same meal at my favorite vegan restaurant in L.A.: My Vegan Gold. They have an incredibly extensive menu, but I pretty much order the quesadilla every time I’m there."
She loves to bring her non-vegan friends as many dishes are noodle-based, like their "incredible" chow mein or pad see ew, "which non-vegans are usually more open to than something with a ton of vegan cheese on it or a substitute that they are not yet open to."
A version of this story first appeared in the May 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.