Mix the sensory satisfaction of comfort food with a savory rendition of 100 percent plant-based fare and you’ve got the Veggie Grill – SoCal’s tasty solution to quick and affordable wholesome eating. With only one month since the opening of its fourth location at the 8000 Sunset Plaza, the Veggie Grill has sprung a craze among Angelenos that keeps customers – vegetarians and meat-lovers – coming back and wanting more.

With a vision to redefine the common perception of wholesome food, co-founders T.K. Pillan and Kevin Boylan partnered with former Native Foods’ owner Ray White in 2006 to create a welcoming, modern space that offers flavorful plant-based dishes that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. Coupling tangy homemade marinades with inventive cooking, the trio crafted an all-American menu (well, one for each imaginable dietary consideration including gluten-free, soy-free or items with seeds and nuts) that achieves delicious, environmentally sustainable food free of cholesterol, trans fat, animal fat and high-fructose corn syrup that incessantly begs the question, “There’s no meat in this?”

Conveniently located in the heart of West Hollywood, the Veggie Grill stands aside Trader Joe’s and CB2. Its unassuming, comfortable space invites gym-goers, carnivores and celebrities alike to a variety of soups, salads, burgers, wraps and desserts that are all-natural, reasonably priced and incredibly filling. Too good to be true? Believe it.

Daily soups ($2.95 to $4.50), such as Tomato Basil, Tortilla, Corn Chowder and Wheat Barley, fill tummies with a warm and hearty starter or as a delicious meal. Nothing oozes comfort food like the thick Bean Me Up Chili, a soothing blend of red and white beans served with soy cream, chopped red and green onions and crunchy crisps to scoop every last bite.

The delectable selection of entrée salads ($7.95 to $9.50) range from the Baja Fiesta, a ginger-papaya, corn salsa and avocado maraca-shaking party in your mouth, to the All Hail Kale that combines red cabbage, roasted corn salsa and agave-roasted walnuts with the leafy green marinated kale that has nutritionists going wild. As if Mom wouldn’t be proud already, each salad is infused with quinoa, a South American “supergrain” rich in iron, protein, calcium and fiber.

Let your taste buds roam free and satisfy your body’s needs with any of the 10 signature Veggie Grill sandwiches and burgers ($6.75 to $8.95). Favorites include the Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ (crispy fried chillin’ chickin’, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado and southwestern spiced vegan mayo smeared on a whole wheat bun), the Carne Asada (grilled veggie-steak marinated in Mexican spices with southwestern spiced vegan mayo, red onion, lettuce and tomato on a wheat roll) and my personal favorite, the All-American Stack (grilled veggie-steak, thousand island dressing, pickles, lettuce and tomato topped with crispy onion rings). Each burger is comprised of seasoned soy, wheat and pea blends that are loaded with protein.

Here’s the deal breaker, though: All sandwiches and burgers are served with a side of red cabbage slaw that can be substituted for Sweetheart Fries, scrumptious sweet potato baked then flash-fried treats served with chipotle ranch dressing that will have you reassessing fries as you know them.

With a sweet finish you can actually feel good about, the Veggie Grill offers three delightful dairy-free dessert options: carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate pudding. Having had the pleasure of trying all three, I say pass the chocolate pudding, relish the rich taste of the velvety carrot cake and take the cookie home for the perfect midnight snack.

Next time your stomach craves for a juicy meal that is both casual and high quality food, consider taking a seat in the Veggie Grill’s patio, sipping fresh strawberry lemonade and treating yourself to a bowl of chili and burger of your choice with a side of sweet potato fries. Give yourself room for closure by ordering the creamy carrot cake, and I guarantee you’ll be satisfied until evening. If on the run, curbside pick-up is also available.

In all, the Veggie Grill offers great service and high-quality, plant-based food that is both wholesome and unpredictably tasty. Really, vegging out has never tasted this good.



For more information, call (323) 822-7575 or visit veggiegrill.com.