12 L.A. Vegan Restaurants with Secret Menu Items (and How to Order Them)
Secrets may not make friends, but they do make for even more vegan options with these top-secret menu items from your favorite plant-based places! Keep your ears open, your lips sealed, and your belly full!
We’re sure you’ve all heard of chili cheese fries and chili cheese dogs, but what about a chili cheese wrap? Filled with rice, chili, cheddar cheese, avocado, Pico de Gallo, and chipotle dressing, this wrap from Bodhi Bowl reaches a new level of the chili/cheese combo. Another special super secret item not on the menu that you can request is their Chickun Salad! Yum
Doomie’s Home Cookin/Next Mex
Hollywood & Culver City
Speaking of chili cheese fries, we can’t leave out the comfort food masters at Doomie’s! The Hollywood location secretly serves their take on a Big Mac called the Big D. How about subbing it with two chicken patties? If you’re feeling even more adventurous, order grilled cheese in place of a burger bun at either location for the ultimate burgerception. At Culver City, try the buffalo legs in teriyaki sauce or add teriyaki to your mac ‘n’ cheese! And at Next Mex, add chip strips inside of any burrito for an extra crunch. But the secret menu item doesn’t end there. Let your creativity flow, talk to your server and live your wildest vegan menu-item dreams!
Echo Park, Culver City, & Pasadena
As if Sage’s menu isn’t already big enough, they have blessed us all with numerous nutritious secret menu items. To kick things off, any of their sandwiches can be ordered as wraps such as the club or the banh mi. On the side, try the Pink Mustache, their signature pickled cabbage. For dessert, you can order a donut ice cream sandwich or the Orange Juliet, their take on an Orange Julius with homemade ice cream and freshly-juiced oranges. For the diehard Sage fans who miss the meatball marinara sub, fear not—they still have all the ingredients to make it for lunch or dinner! If that isn’t exciting enough, Sage is starting “Throwback Thursdays” where they offer old menu items no longer on the menu during lunch/dinner.
Monty’s Good Burger
Koreatown & Riverside
An article on vegan secret menu items would not be complete without our friends at Monty’s Good Burger! Their not-so-secret Dog Pile (pictured above) is your choice of fries, tots, or a combo of the two piled up with two Impossible Burger 2.0 patties, cheese, grilled onions, all five house-made sauces, with the option to add pickles. If that sounds like a little too much, order a kale cheeseburger salad, a “maxed out” kale salad, or fries or tots “maxed out,” which adds grilled cheese and onions. If you want to go the burger route, try the double tot tot which is basically a love child between their burger and tots or get the quad, a burger with four patties. Can’t choose between a strawberry or chocolate shake? Go for both! Monty’s let’s you shake things up by ordering a combination of two of their flavors, adding a cookie, or ordering their special off-the-menu rotating shake updated regularly on their Instagram (right now it is a banana split shake!) In short, you can customize anything to fit your liking!
If you are looking for something a little healthier, Chef Ron at SunCafe has you covered with the confidential cuisine from off the menu. It includes pesto pizza with fresh walnut pesto, cashew cheese, mushrooms, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and garlic pecan cheese on organic whole wheat or gluten-free crust as well as raw tomato basil soup. There is also a fat-free menu containing a stir fry, bbq cauliflower, and Lo Mein noodles with vegetables. During lunchtime, try their separate $12 quick lunch menu, Ron recommends the mini spaghetti marinara with meatballs and a taco salad.
Sitting right along famous Melrose Avenue, upscale restaurant Crossroads Kitchen offers a secret dish unknown to the typical customer. Their spaghetti and meatballs with homemade pasta and Impossible meat, doused in Scoty’s Marinara Sauce (a combination of San Marzanos, onion, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, EVOO, and more) is sure to please your taste buds. It’s so good it’s a secret!
Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen
This female-owned cajun restaurant is shaking things up with their secret menu! The star of the show is the hushpuppy po’ boy, but keep this one on the hush-hush! Starting Tuesday, June 4th, they will serve Cajun tacos on Tuesdays only. Make sure to try the other uber unique items on their regular menu such as fried okra, fried pickles, gumbo, and voodoo brownie beignets. Talk about vegan voodoo magic!
To continue our streak, we will now introduce the hidden treasures of the Healthy Junk menu. To fulfill your wildest fry fantasies, order the buffalo stake fries topped with stake, buffalo sauce, and ranch or try the nacho king fries with black beans, taco meat, chez sauce, salsa, and cilantro sauce. This should be a given but you can add avocado to almost anything, like the crispy chick sandwich with buffalo sauce!
Long Beach & Costa Mesa
For the nacho fans out there, fly over to Seabirds Kitchen for their secret menu nachos with Korean style jackfruit, black beans and chipotle sour cream over chips, topped with house-made almond feta, onions and cilantro! Feeling cheesy? Add ancho mushrooms, jackfruit, or kimchi (called the kimcheeze) to their grilled cheese with a side of Seabirds sauce to dunk it in.
Get transported to Italy at this charming Italian restaurant and wine bar! Their secret menu item is the VIP pizzetta with mozzarella ricotta polpettine sauce. They are still fairly new, so hopefully they will expand their secret menu for their devout fans. Until then, you can also try out their beautifully delicious daily specials curated by owner and chef Tara Punzone.
This spot hits it out of the park with their secret menu Fenway nachos. It is composed of spicy seitan chorizo, black beans, corn salsa, guacamole, tomato, tofu crema, and scallions atop a field of tortilla chips. Or try their secret fancy fries which are air baked fries topped with spicy seitan chorizo, whisky onions, chipotle aioli, and cashew mozzarella. Sounds like a homerun to us!
Powerplant Superfood Cafe
This place started out as vegan-friendly and is slowly but surely making their way to becoming 100% vegan! Until then, you can order virtually any of their items (such as the tuna melt) as vegan. Their seasonal vegan specials include a breakfast sandwich with house-made tempeh sausage, vegan eggs, fresh tomato, avocado, and secret sauce on a gluten-free brioche bun. Did we mention breakfast is served all day? They also have a special, hand-churned vegan ice cream that rotates often, right now they are serving the super mocha flavor. Stop by, give it a try, and while you’re there, give them some encouragement to go fully vegan!
Allie is a writer, musical theatre performer, yoga instructor, and walking vegan restaurant directory. On any given day, you can catch her making tofu scramble, scouring Trader Joe’s for new plant-based products, or watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie! Visit her website at alexandrammitchell.com.
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