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New AAPI-Owned Pop-Up Brings Vegan Hawaiian BBQ to LA

Lucky Catsu is taking LA’s vegan stage with Spam & Egg Musubi, Catsu Sandwiches, Island Fried Chicken, and more!

Person holding plate of vegan food from Lucky Catsu
Food & Drink
Los Angeles

Photo by Allie Mitchell

Lucky Catsu is taking LA’s vegan stage with Spam & Egg Musubi, Catsu Sandwiches, Island Fried Chicken, and more!

Los Angeles is bursting with vegan options of all cuisines—Thai, Ethiopian, and Italian, to name a few. But up until this spring, the city lacked a plant-based destination for Hawaiian food. This is why we’re so excited to welcome Lucky Catsu to the city’s plant-based scene! Keep reading to meet LA’s first vegan Hawaiian BBQ pop-up, owned by AAPI vegan female entrepreneur Diana Colmenar.

Diana Colmenar of Vegan Playground

Lucky Catsu debuted under the fierce ownership of Diana Colmenar, who you may know as founder of Vegan Playground. She also has her hands in a few other vegan businesses—Alpen Organics, Sooper Treats, and All Vegan Franks.

“My life revolves around vegan street food, and it’s what I’ve chosen to dedicate myself to, in all facets. I witness first hand how difficult it is to be a pop-up street food vendor and how much hard work goes into it day in and day out. So you would think that I would steer clear of starting my own pop-up! But everyone who has their own pop-up really knows it’s a labor of love and although difficult, it is the most humbling and amazing feeling to connect with the community through food and get to have others directly experience your creation,” shared Colmenar.

Photo of people at Vegan Playground

Courtesy of Vegan Playground

Vegan Hawaiian Street Food

From Spam & Egg Musubi to Island Fried Chicken and Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi, Lucky Catsu offers a menu of vegan Hawaiian street food that’s never been done before in Los Angeles. In addition to the Hawaiian influences, Lucky Catsu’s menu also includes a plethora of pan-Asian fare like the popular Filipino street food Dollar Hits and Lumpia.

For example, the Lucky Catsu Loco Moco is the pop-up’s plant-based take on the classic Hawaiian comfort food dish. It contains a bed of white rice under an Impossible patty covered in All Vegan Franks gravy, with a fried YoEgg on top. Another unique item? Vegan Dollar Hits, thinly sliced pieces of Filipino-style BBQ pork marinated in Lucky sauce, seasonings, and spices. And of course, each stick is only one dollar!

Colmenar told VegOut, “I grew up eating Filipino food at home, and some of my favorite places to eat out with my family were Hawaiian BBQ Restaurants. My aunt would throw weekend backyard luaus growing up, where everyone would get together around food and tiki torches, and it was so much fun. I’ve produced hundreds of pop-up events for Vegan Playground over the past five years and have worked with hundreds of vegan vendors. I noticed that no one was making the food I grew up eating and was so nostalgic to me. Many have messaged us and thanked us for offering dishes and flavors dear to them but that they haven’t gotten to eat since going vegan. The response has been so amazing, and I’m so grateful that others are enjoying it.”

Person holding plate of vegan island fried chicken

Photo by Allie Mitchell

AAPI-Owned Vegan Businesses in Los Angeles

When asked what she wishes people knew about being an AAPI vegan female business owner, Colmenar said, “I never really felt truly in touch with my Filipino culture. I’ve never been to the Philippines, and I don’t speak Tagalog fluently. But now, cooking food that I grew up eating as a kid and sharing it with the world has made me feel more connected to my culture and really more in tune with my ancestors in an unexpected way. My food is a mix of influences true to my life experience and a representation of who I am as a Filipino American. My parents immigrated to America in pursuit of giving their kids the opportunity to chase the American dream, and the fact that I am able to pursue it while sharing our culture through food is a dream for me.”

Colmenar would like to give a shoutout to fellow AAPI-owned vegan businesses in Los Angeles, Srey Vegan and Hangari House. “Both vegan food pop-ups created by badass women who are showing that LA food is more than tacos and burgers (although I love that too!). LA is a celebration of every culture, every walk of life, and that’s part of what makes this city so incredible and unique.”

Person holding spam and egg musubis

Photo by Allie Mitchell

To stay updated on Lucky Catsu’s upcoming events, new menu items, and more, follow @luckycatsu on Instagram.

Allie Mitchell

Allie Mitchell


When Allie responded to an Instagram post on @vegoutlosangeles a few years ago, she had no idea she’d join the coolest vegan team on the planet. An Austin native, actress, yogi, and part-time sword fighter (don’t ask!), Allie is on a mission to live her best life and inspire others to do the same. She graduated from Hussian College In Studio with a B.F.A. in Contemporary Musical Theatre + Film and currently acts, writes, and eats her way through Los Angeles.

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