Unlike other cuisines, the sushi scene in Los Angeles is yet to be flooded with vegan options. Sure, you can walk into any given spot and order an avocado roll, but let’s be real, what fun is that? It’s hard to enjoy a roll of rice, seaweed, and some green stuff while your friends burst into heart eyes at the sight of their extravagant dragon volcano rolls that look like a piece of art straight out of LACMA. If we settle now, we’ll never know how exquisite vegan sushi can truly be, which i
We’re starting off this list strong with one of the most impressive sushi restaurants we’ve seen to date. Kenshō, founded by one of the original creators of Hug Life, takes the quintessential American sushi experience and makes it entirely vegan. Kenshō spices up their menu with vegan shrimp, tuna replacements, and crab substitutes held down with traditional white rice, classic flavor combinations, and iconic specialty rolls.
Hold up real fast! “Why white rice and not brown rice in sushi” you ask? Because brown rice will never be as sticky as white rice, and stickiness is a core element in producing a tight, quality roll. Alright, back to the shop—with one of the most nostalgic and satisfying sushi experiences in SoCal, Kenshō gives us a reason to drive down to Orange County.
Kombu Sushi & Sake
With an elegant feel, stripped-back design, and wooden decor, this Silverlake hotspot gives visitors a vibe akin to what you’d find in Japan. If you’re a happy hour fiend, this is your new go-to with $5 tempura, gyozas, and six different vegan rolls to choose from. Hooray for a cheap lunch date!
Question: Does a sushi burrito count as a sushi roll?
Answer: Do we even care?
Alright, we realize our answer is just another question, but you get the point—sushi burritos are cool, because nothing says American like combining things from two different cultures into one odd, but surprisingly pleasing, package. Similar to a poke shop, Nushii allows you to compile your own sushi burrito (or bowl) with your choice of base, protein (braised lemongrass tofu being their sole vegan option), sauces, and plethora of toppings. Priced around $8 per meal, Nushii is ideal for those in search of an affordable, quick, and fresh bite to eat.
RICE is a modern Japanese restaurant for the health conscious eater. Brown rice, from-scratch sauces, and gluten-free everything (literally) are the norm here. As you’d expect, they have plant-based options aplenty—all of their apps and salads are vegan, most of their ramens are vegan, and they have five different specialty vegan sushi rolls. Visit this beach-bod friendly joint, just one block from the coast, before showing off your fit looks after dinner.
Jades Vegan Sushi
Indulgent & nostalgic sushi rolls from Jades Vegan Sushi can be found at Loma Linda Farmers Market every Tuesday as well as various food festivals around the city! Highlights include their wonton roll, appropriately topped with fried wonton skins, and vegan shrimp roll, which is an obvious eye-catcher. Follow them on Instagram at @jadesvegansushi for upcoming pop-up locations, festival appearances, and drool-worthy photos.
Zumo Zuzhi Burrito
This pop-up’s original menu doesn’t boast an overwhelming amount of vegan options, but they’ve begun to specialize in entirely plant-based menus for different food festivals, including Vegan Sunday, Vegan District, Vegan Faire, and more. Their vegan menu features several noteworthy dishes, but their claim to fame is the Vegan Spicy Tuna Burrito made with jackfruit, avocado, sushi rice, pickled red cabbage, and fresh cucumber.
Blue Bird Sushi
Ever tried to plan a dinner that accommodates yourself and your non-vegan friends or even worse—family members? It’s like they don’t understand they can still eat vegan food while you, on the other hand, have made an active decision to avoid animal products. Lifelong eye roll. It’s because of those picky omnivores that we’re grateful for restaurants like Blue Bird Sushi, which has an extensive menu including fish, meat, and dairy as well as an exclusively vegan menu with more than just avocado rolls. Whoa, did we just have one of those movie moments where we say the title in the post? We feel a little bashful.
DTLA & Culver City
Now, for the event you’ve all been waiting for, and probably expected since the beginning of this article, Shojin! This wildly popular sushi joint serves up artfully crafted rolls in a sophisticated and romantically lit environment, complete with organic wines, local beers, and delectable desserts. Reserve a table at one of their locations to let your tastebuds experience LA’s most famous, plant-based sushi restaurant.
With these eight places in mind, it’s time to grab your date, pretend you’re a sake enthusiast, and sharpen up your chopstick skills, because we can’t have you grabbing from the plate with your bare hands!