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These days, you can find slices of pizza piled high with veggies and faux meats; fully plant-based takes on Mexican cuisine; L.A.’s always trusty Ethiopian restaurants; and more vegan Italian dining than you can shake a stick at. For those who seek it out, you can also find amazing Asian cuisine sans animal products, including Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cooking that rivals the city’s best restaurants.Sage Vegan Bistro: Imaginative and hearty, dishes at Sage feel like they nudge vegan cuisine in a new direction. The restaurant has locations in Echo Park and Pasadena, plus a takeout-only outpost in Culver City, and offers a United Nations-array of sandwiches that includes meat-free versions of a bánh mì and a po’ boy. Dishes have intriguing and homey touches: Jackfruit “crab” cakes are served with tartar sauce and lemon for just the right amount of zing, while the mole bowl feels rich and soul-soothing with its brown rice and

sautéed veggies in a rich mole sauce. House-made ravioli gets dressed in cashew alfredo, tacos and nachos get filled with jackfruit “carnitas” or eggplant “barbacoa,” and there’s a range of totally plant-based pizza and lasagna for ultimate comfort.

Cena Vegan: Forget the myth that vegan means bland. At Cena Vegan, generational recipes for salsas and marinades—the kinds of marinades normally reserved for meats—make this entirely plant-based Mexican-food spot home to some of the most flavorful tacos, burritos and nachos around. There are spicy cashew cremas, saucy seitan al pastors and aguas frescas, not to mention hand-pressed corn tortillas that are, you guessed it, also totally vegan. The former pop-up now has three locations: Lincoln Heights, Long Beach and Whittier. Head here whenever you’re craving tortas, tacos, tamales and some of L.A.’s largest burritos.

Patricia Kelly YeoMon // timeout.com

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