Vurger Guyz (Juneteenth 2024!)

In honor of Juneteenth 2024, we decided to highlight an African American owned business in Los Angeles.  When I say we were not prepared for such a great find – I mean it!

Wow!  That’s what we have to say about the vegan cheeseburger at Vurger Guyz.   It is amazing!  The soft bun, carmalized onions, melted vegan cheese, pickles, and nicely chard patty all mix so well together.  You can add yummy seasoned fries or sweet potato fries on the side.  I usually get their lemonade soda pop for a refreshment with the scrumptious meal.  Yes – I have already gone back TWICE! They also have a great cream soda option.

Above photo of Vurger Guyz owner – Mr. V

Mr. V, the owner, is super friendly.  He has brought the positive small community energy of Brooklyn right to the streets of L.A.

Everyone I’ve seen leaves the truck full and satisfied!

Parking tip for their regular location next to Whole Foods:

For one free hour of parking, park in the parking garage under Whole Foods – get something small at Whole Foods for parking validation and walk to their back balcony.  You can see and walk to the Vurger Guyz Food Truck from the back balcony.

Juneteenth Celebration

Vurger Guyz will be at the Leimert Park Juneteenth Celebration (Wednesday, June 19, 2024).

Event Location: 4317 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008.

Festivities are from 11am to 8pm.

Vurger Guyz

ADDRESS:

788 S Grand Ave., Los Angeles (Downtown), CA 90014

[This is their regular daily location]

HOURS:

Everyday 12pm – 7pm

PHONE:

(213)-298-1724

EMAIL:

CATERING@VURGERGUYZ.COM

WEBSITE:

https://www.vurgerguyz.com/

BeeWali’s – Mediterranean & Indian Restaurant

I had the chance to visit the diner style vegan restaurant BeeWali’s this weekend!  

One side is facing the main road – Eagle Rock Blvd. – and the other side is tucked on a corner just off of the quiet residential street Addison Way.

This family owned restaurant started with a father who loves to cook, worked as an electrician, and decided to become vegan.  His wife, Bee, teasingly called him “Wali” when they were dating because it’s the beginning of his unique last name.  Bee was working full time as a hotel manager and she eventually chose to become vegan as well.  They were surprised at the variety of good food they were enjoying.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they decided to go even further with their new way of eating and start a vegan restaurant: BeeWali’s!  A fun mixture of their first and last names.  They recruited their teenage son as a server and hired an additional staff member who also has become like family.

While at BeeWali’s I got the Meddi Bowl Falafel (that is the half sized Falafel plate – they have a full sized falafel plate also).  They give good portions.  The Meddi Bowl Falafel comes with hummus, pita bread, rice topped with veggies, three large falafel balls, and a side of the house sauce.  I also want to try their plant-based chicken Kabob Wrap and fries – next time I guess!  They have Mediterranean and Indian options!

If you go and can only get one thing, get their pita bread and hummus – yum, yum!

After you eat at BeeWali’s, let us know in the comments what you got!

ADDRESS

4862 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041

PHONE: (323) 289-2660

PARKING

– Free 2-hour parking on their cross street Addison Way

– There is also untimed free parking a little further up the street on Addison Way in the residential area

WEBSITE 

https://www.beewalisveganaf.com

“Stuff I Eat” is a Lady-Owned Restaurant! (Women’s History Month)

We visited “Stuff I Eat” – one of our favorite lady-owned vegan restaurants – and found great new items on the menu! The restaurant is co-owned by Chef Babett.

Chef Babett – Source: StuffIEat.com

The portions were always good, but this time they were great! So – Much – Food!

Vegan Enchilada Pie

I know Stuff I Eat normally advertises its Soul Food Plate, but I’m there for the vegan Enchilada Pie – best thing ever! However, we saw the special was Vegan Lasagna … and Vegan Nachos are on the menu now too. Sooooo *drum roll please* we got them all. Yeah, 3 meals for two people was WAY too much food – especially considering the super large portions – we had to take a bunch of it home.

Vegan Lasagna

I’ve always thought the Enchilada Pie was super good, so I was surprised how much I equally liked the Nachos and Lasagna too! *Nom Nom*

To top it off I got the Vegan Cranberry Cheesecake. I didn’t think I could be any more satisfied and I was wrong! This vegan cheesecake is the perfect mix of sweet and tart deliciousness!

Another completely satisfying visit at Stuff I Eat – let us know your favorite meals there below and/or at our YouTube page:  https://youtube.com/shorts/DtYvRI14c5A?feature=share

ADDRESS:

Stuff I Eat, 114 N. Market St., Inglewood, CA 90301-1710

PHONE:

(310) 671-0115

WEBSITE:

www.StuffIEat.com

African American Owned Vegan Businesses for JUNETEENTH!

It is almost Independence Day! That is, until there is finally an Independence Day for the indigenous nations of Abya Yala (aka: America).

Enjoy exploring these businesses owned by African Abya Yalans (aka: Americans)!

Coco Luv

(Los Angeles, CA)

Get Coco Luv vegan pastries here:  https://cocoluvcookies.com/collections/pastry

Delightful Foods (aka: The No Cookie Cookie)

(Online Orders and Oakland, CA location)

Get Delightful Foods treats here: https://nocookie.com/

Way to Life Foods

(Online orders and California locations)

Get Way to Life foods here:  https://www.waytolifefoods.com/

Souley Vegan

(Oakland, CA)

Get more info on Souley Vegan here:  https://souleyvegan.com/

Azla

(Vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, CA)

Get more info on Azla here:  http://azlavegan.com/

Stuff I Eat

(Vegan restaurant in Inglewood, California)

Get more info about Stuff I Eat here: https://www.stuffieat.com/

Houston Sauce Co.

(Online Orders and Houston, TX location)

Get Houston Sauce here:  https://www.houstonsauceco.com/

Symphony Potato Chips

(Atlanta, GA)

Get potato chips here:  https://symphonychips.com/pages/our-product

DaJen Eats

(Eatonville, FL)

Get more info about DaJen Eats:https://dajeneats.com/

Rooted Delights

Vegan cheese! (Chesterfield, VA)

Get vegan cheeses here:  https://www.rooteddelights.com/home

NuVegan

(Greenbelt, MD)

Get vegan food at NuVegan:  https://www.ilovenuvegan.com/

Vegan LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses

Here are some vegan LGBTQ+ owned companies to support immediately!

  • Lil’ Yenta’s Bakery

(Philadelphia, PA)

The pictures speak for themselves!

Get yummy treats from Lil’ Yenta’s Bakery here:  https://lilyentas.com/

  • V Marks the Shop

(Philadelphia, PA)

The owners are not only part of the LGBTQ+ community, but also African Abya Yalan (aka: African American).

Get snacks at V Marks the Shop: https://vmarkstheshop.com/

  • City Saucery

(NYC Greenmarket stands and Nationwide shipping)

This LGBTQ+ team is helping save the planet! They collect good quality ugly tomatoes that are normally thrown away by large food factories to make delicious vegan sauces and spreads!

Get tasty products from City Saucery here: https://citysaucery.com/

  • Lagusta’s Luscious

(New Paltz, NY and Nationwide Shipping)

Variety of vegan chocolates. Lovely boxes of chocolaty treats great for gifts!

Get Lagusta’s Luscious chocolates here: https://lagustasluscious.com/

  • RIND

(Available Nationwide)

Vegan cheese perfect for hors d’oeuvres at your next party!

“June is Pride Month, and at RIND by Dina & Joshua, we’re celebrating as an LGBTQ+-owned business!” Tweet by @RIND_CHEESE

Get vegan cheese here:  https://www.rind.nyc/

  • Meow Meow Tweet

(Nationwide Shipping)

This personal care brand has plastic-free packaging options for lip balm and face cream!

Get Meow Meow Tweet products here:  https://meowmeowtweet.com/

  • The Wild Chive

(Los Angeles, CA)

The photos of vegan entres have us drooling:  sandwiches, burgers, fries, fried chicken sandwiches and more!

Get delicious food at The Wild Chive:  https://www.thewildchive.com/

  • BEETxBEET

(Los Angeles, CA)

Formerly a clothing store – now this team is focused on graphic design and consulting.

Get in touch with Beet x Beet here: https://beetxbeet.com/

  • Gay4U Vegan Eats

(Nationwide)

This is a pop-up eatery that provides a safe space for trans-identifying people of color.  Formerly located solely in Oakland, CA, they have closed their store to travel the nation with their unique combination of Asian and Latinx comfort foods.  Let’s hope you get a chance to try ’em out!

“Beef” Between Vegans and Indigenous People?

(Happy International Womens Month / International Womens Day! Read to end for highlighted lady-owned business.)

There have been quite a few articles and commentary on the tension that has emerged between some vegans and indigenous people.  There are those who identify as vegan, who have been attempting to shame indigenous communities for their use of animals.  It would be important to first state that most vegans are not likely to agree with this approach.  Even so, it has become a trending topic of dispute.

So let us weigh in on the conversation.  Although we are obviously advocating a vegan lifestyle with this website, the first thought that came to mind was – “Why is anyone attempting to further dictate the actions of indigenous people in Abya Yala (aka: America) on their own land?”

We believe the focus of non-indigenous people who are vegan should remain firmly on the largest perpetrators of deaths of other beings.  This would mean actively working on reducing the suffering of beings in slaughter houses, promoting vegan meals to the main stream, and advertising more eco-friendly and morally sound material use – like cactus leather instead of the skin of beings.

Marginalized communities should not be the target of vegan activism before large corporations are fully addressed and mainstream habits completely changed.  This misplaced attention reminds me of some environmental activists who briefly attempted to shame impoverished people in African countries for burning tires for warmth instead of fully focusing on the far greater pollution of western countries.

Yes, at some point…far in the future…non-indigenous vegans may choose to respectfully offer vegan meal ideas and vegan material ideas to indigenous communities.  However, it will probably be more effective when these ideas are introduced by the vegan indigenous people that already exist.  Yes, there are indigenous vegans.  There are also many indigenous communities that eat a primarily vegan diet already.

Due to this conversation, for International Womens Month, we would like to highlight the indigenous founder, Tina Archuleta, of the vegan restaurant – Itality – in New Mexico.  She is using native vegetables, fruits and grains to make wonderful vegan indigenous food.  She hopes to improve the health of the community and re-connect with de-colonized traditional meals.

Address:

Itality

2500 12th Street NW

Unit E, Suite 2

Albuquerque, NM 87104

Hours:

Wednesday-Sunday 10am – 5pm

Website: italitynm.com

E-Mail: contact@italitynm.com

Here is an interview with Tina Archuleta by New Mexico in Focus:

[CLOSED] The Gray Zebra (100% Plant-Based; 100% Woman-Owned)

Quote from the About page of The Gray Zebra website: “…come join our herd and let’s get grazy!”

Outside of the Gray Zebra we noticed its cool exterior and funky design. It is also quite literally on the (northwest) corner of Sunset Boulevard and Normandie Avenue.

As we entered we were greeted warmly by the chef – Chef Ali! She was very inviting and asked us to make ourselves at home. I made a guess that her accent is from Australia. When she arrived to take our orders (very quickly after we sat) I asked and she’s actually from South Africa! Too cool!

There is limited seating, so I would suggest calling in advance – we did and it worked out perfectly. They were able to tell us a family was just leaving so they would have tables ready when we got there. (Inside there are three tables, plus a long high table with stools and a couple tables outside.)

There is a lot of yummy stuff on the menu:


I wanted nachos, but I’m usually not a fan of chorizo – they were topped with vegan chorizo. The chef offered to prepare them without the chorizo, but said she thought I may like the way they do it. I took the gamble and she was right! Oh my goodness the chorizo was perfectly seasoned – not too firm and not too soft. I was a happy “grayzer”!


Our table shared the Crispy “Chicken” sandwich (actually listed on the menu under “Burgers”) and I think it may be the best vegan crispy chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. I knew immediately that next time I want one all for myself *grin* – and I think I would ask for a little extra vegan cheese on it.

One of us got a mix-berry smoothie without the banana and the “Grazy Cobb” salad and oh my stripes! I gladly accepted the offer to try some and once again, things I normally avoid (in this case tempeh and ranch dressing) were “grazy” good! The dressing was lightly tossed throughout the salad, perfectly covering each leaf and wasn’t a heavy ranch flavor. I started with a little nibble off a piece of tempeh and it was so tender and yummy I popped the whole thing in my mouth, followed by a couple more I had commandeered out of my neighbor’s container and had to keep myself from trying to sneak a few more. It was another one I plan to order in the future!

My cousin (who is not vegan) got a BBQ Beyond Burger with a Green Smoothie and said they were both really good!

Chef Ali was so welcoming we could have just sat and talked with her. I’m so happy we tried The Gray Zebra because now we have a new vegan restaurant to add to our favorites!

VEGANavigate TIPS:

  • If you’re dining-in, bring change for 2-hour metered parking
  • You can order food in advance for pick-up
  • The Gray Zebra also offers Catering!

ADDRESS:

The Gray Zebra, 5101 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

PHONE: (424) 401-5101

WEBSITE: https://thegrayzebra.com/

INSTAGRAM: @thegrayzebra

Happy National Lasagna Day!

Yeah, we didn’t know National Lasagna Day existed either, but it was a great excuse to eat vegan lasagna at the all vegan restaurant – SunCafe! Don’t let the name fool you, it is a full-service restaurant located in a business area of Studio City, California. However, its enclosed parking lot in front of the leafy vine-covered entrance makes it feel secluded.

It would be a great place for a romantic dinner. It is also a good location for brunch with a friend or a work lunch with a colleague. There is indoor and outdoor seating. If you choose to sit outdoors it has a bit of the feeling of a shared secret garden restaurant that only you and the other patrons there know about.

The atmosphere is calm and the staff is friendly. One of the bussers politely directed my attention to the QR code on the table that can be scanned to view the menu before the waiter arrives. After I ordered there was a small wait, but not too long to be discouraged and the time could definitely be filled with easy conversation. The presentation of the food was delightful.

I chose to get the lasagna of course. The vegan ricotta in the center was exceptional. A happy surprise was the green pesto on one of the layers in the lasagna. Yum!

I asked for dessert and it came out quickly. I already knew what I wanted – I had seen it online before I arrived. Blueberry cheesecake! It was fresh, it was blueberry-ee and had halves of real blueberries inside. Yes please!

I left satisfied and plan to go back to SunCafe for the nachos, mac n’cheese, and more of the cheesecake – I’ll try a different flavor next time like Strawberry, Mango, Raw Almond Butter, or Key Lime!


VEGANavigate Tips

  • The head chef/co-owner (Ron Russell) of SunCafe teaches cooking lessons! Yeah boy-ee. With his help, we can now all make these great dishes and desserts.

Here is the cooking class schedule: https://suncafe.com/?page_id=897

  • The co-owner, Rebecca, of SunCafe designed their new location.
  • You can also get your special event catered by SunCafe!
    Here’s the catering menu: https://suncafe.com/?page_id=875
  • Their website offers additional free and paid parking options outside of their own 12 space lot in front. Here is what it said when I went:

PARKING

* Parking lot with 12 spaces

* Valet on Hollywood Bowl Nights $5

* Pick Up orders – 2 Reserved Complimentary spots

* Street Parking – 2 hour metered parking

* FREE additional public parking lot across the street

ADDRESS: SunCafe,10820 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604

PHONE: (818) 927-4100

CONTACT PAGE: https://suncafe.com/?page_id=116

WEBSITE: https://suncafe.com/

Juneteenth!

Freedom! Finally! Then decades of further struggles that continue to this day – giant hurdles African-American people keep having to overcome. Even so, for today, we all celebrate the news of freedom.

Here are a few African-American owned restaurants you can get some grub from every week and on Juneteenth. Lets Eat!

Baba’s Vegan Cafe

photo source: https://www.babasvegancafe.com/menu.html

If you call, you may get to talk to Baba directly. The food description on their website is: African Diasporic Cuisine. On June 19, 2022 Baba’s Vegan Cafe is a featured eatery at the Juneteenth Festival (hosted by the L.A. Black History Month Festival). You can grab a bite at the festival between 10am and 6pm. Here is the address for the event: 7000 West Manchester Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90045

After Juneteenth, Baba’s Vegan Cafe offers deliveries via DoorDash & UberEats.

Location: 6619 S. Western Ave, South Los Angeles, CA
Call: 323 – VEGAN – 93 (323-834-2693)
Order online: https://www.babasvegancafe.com/
Hours: Tuesday – Friday; 2pm – 7pm

Baba’s Vegan Cafe also does catering!

Stuff I Eat

photo source: https://www.stuffieat.com/menu

Stuff I Eat is located on a quiet city street – making for an even more comfortable dining experience. The owner, Chef Babette, is well-known throughout many communities. This is of course due to her plant-based cuisine, but she has also been on television multiple times! You may have seen her on Inside Edition, The Chew, and the t.v. series Insecure, among many other television appearances. Dine-in, take-out or get a delivery! P.S. The Enchilada Pie is so so so good!

Stuff I Eat
114 N. Market St.
Inglewood, CA 90301
Phone: 323-671-0115
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (12:00pm – 6:00pm)
Website: https://www.stuffieat.com/

Jackfruit Cafe

The owner of Jackfruit Cafe is Angela Means Kaaya. She did an excellent performance in the popular 1990’s film Friday as the character Felisha. Jackfruit Cafe’s deep fried breaded vegan fish and deep fried breaded vegan shrimp with a side of black beans and rice are the best! The shrimp come with really good vegan aioli sauce and peppers. Yum yum yum!

Support her culinary ventures by ordering delivery online at: https://jackfruitcafe.com/

You can also pick up your food, hot and fresh, at: 358 W. 38th St., Los Angeles, CA 90037

Happy Juneteenth!

SALAYA (100% plant-based restaurant in L.A.)

We would like to highlight the Asian/Pacific Islander community, by featuring the Thai restaurant in Los Angeles named Salaya. It definitely deserves recognition!

Salaya is a 100% plant-based Thai restaurant filled with yummy goodness. It is also a 100% women-owned restaurant! Noop and Annie are the co-owners of this warmly lit, clean and friendly dining experience. They have a large menu of appetizers, soups, salads, rice plates, noodle dishes, curries, unique entrees, house specialty meals, desserts, side orders and non-alcoholic drinks.

Front of Menu
Back of Menu
I wasn’t sure what to order, so I asked the server, Bell, what she would recommend. I told her I wanted to try a rice and noodle dish that were the most popular and authentic to the Thai heritage. She pointed out five or six dishes and also offered further information on the flavors of each – sweat, spicy, and savory. This was very helpful in helping me narrow down my selections. I ended up deciding to order the Pad Thai – the third item listed on the front of the menu in the far right column – and the Pineapple Fried Rice – the second item listed on the back of the menu in the far left column.

Pad Thai

Pineapple Fried Rice

Each noodle and rice plate includes the option to add tofu, plant-based peppered-“beef,” or plant-based “chicken.” I asked Bell what she preferred with the Pad Thai and Pineapple Fried Rice dishes. Her answer was tofu with the former and plant-based peppered “beef” with the latter. So I went with that. I also got a side of spring rolls – perhaps they are not part of the traditional Thai cuisine, but I can never resist good hot crispy spring rolls!

Spring Rolls

During a very short wait (as the food came out very quickly), I had the opportunity to meet one of the owners. Noop was there that night. She has a kind face and had on a pretty brightly colored blouse with a long flowing white skirt. Noop was clearly attentive to all aspects of the restaurant, including helping to provide great customer service.

If I had to pick a personal favorite between the Pad Thai and the Pineapple Fried Rice, I would say my preference leaned towards the Pineapple Fried Rice. Also, not all restaurants know how to prepare tofu well, so I am happy to say the tofu in the Pad Thai was baked or fried nicely on the outside and had a nice chewy texture. I found myself popping a few more of the golden-tan cubes into my mouth as I packed up my meals to go. While doing this, I was happy to see their to-go containers were NOT plastic, but neat eco-friendly paper boxes.

I definitely want to go back to Salaya – looking at the menu again, I want to try the curries! Especially the Pumpkin Curry, Panang Curry, and Avocado Curry. I also want to try the Spicy Cashew Nut entree. I am super curious to try the House Specialties Orange Chicken, Fish-n-Green Apple Salad, Dumpling In Green Curry, and Crispy Fish Panang Curry. I don’t know what I was thinking not getting a dessert this time. I guess I was too excited to eat the dishes in front of me. So on my next visits I need to try the Coconut Vegan Ice Cream, Vegan Creme Brulee, Mango and Sticky Rice, Banana Roll w/Coconut, and other Vegan Ice Cream flavors! …Did I just list everything on the dessert menu? Yeah…I think I did – Haha! Well, at least we all know where my heart lies!

Salaya also has a booming delivery service. Order via phone (323-741-0074) or online at https://salayala.com/


Salaya (100% plant-based restaurant)

5185 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90027
United States