I'm always up for a nice vegan meal so once I read the menu for Native Foods in Westwood it was only a matter of time before I gave it a try. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I did. The magic of this restaurant is that they take old unhealthy favorites and make them good for you without sacrificing any of the flavor. I had the french dip Au jus and my boyfriend Robert had the Bali tempeh burger, we also split the chili cheese fries (we were starving).It ws amazing, flavorful and nothing fake tasting about it, sometimes vegan food can taste not so good, often I find it's the texture. But the people at Native Foods nailed it, the tempeh was terrific grilled and sauteed with caramelized onions and vegan mayo. The french dip was made with a flavorful seitan , avocado and caramelized onions. The chili cheese fries were my favorite thing of all however, I don't know quite how they did it, but the cheese they used tasted so good that you'd never know it was dairy free, and the chili was a simplistic bean chili that had a lot of flavor (baked?) in it. We didn't have room for dessert, but their selection is good and they even have vegan soft serve-I guess we'll have to go back! Not far from Native food was a store called Thank You Mart. It was love at first sight. Everything in the store is $3.99, and I mean everything. They had a lot of vintage clothes as well as kitsch galore. The best deal had to be the sunglasses, how could you not go nuts in shop that had Lolita glasses as well as the knockoff Wayfarers that EVERYONE seems to be wearing this summer. This is definitely the type of store to go to before Christmas, there is something for everyone(who doesn't need a chicken wastebasket..I mean really). And at $3.99, you can afford to get a lot of goodies for yourself as well!
(Image courtesy of flickr)