DTLA: Vegan Lunch at Dr. J’s Vibrant Cafe
When vegan restaurant Dr. J’s Vibrant Cafe first opened, I wasn’t exactly rushing to get over there but I was looking for a healthier lunch option– I suppose eating tacos and carne asada fries takes its toll. Besides, I do like kale. Actually, I love kale. So it was a natural we picked out the kale salad to share. It’s described as “well-massaged kale” which I have to say makes a difference. The kale was very tender but was actually still raw. I ignored the croutons because I don’t eat croutons but I liked the walnuts and kidney beans in the salad. Great dressing as well.
I was super intrigued by the “veggie spam” so we had to get it. It comes with marinated carrots “fries.” The bun part was oddly sweet and I’m not one to mix savory and sweet so I wasn’t really into it. The “spam” itself was pretty good though it didn’t have the saltiness of actual spam and I did like the tofu “cheese.” A slick of spicy mustard really helped the flavor.
I loved the Immortal Amaranth tea but if it’s a hot day, maybe get one of the juices or shakes.
Dr. J’s has a number of rice bowls but there was one with noodles so I made a beeline for that. You can also get it with curry and specify how heavy you want it to be curried. It seemed very similar to Singapore rice noodles (minus the egg and meat, of course) that way. I could have used a bit more tofu though as I felt it was all noodles and very little protein.
We also got a side of kale chips since well, we are addicted to kale.
As a surprise, Dr. J’s sent out two desserts for us. The Dr. J’s supersnack is made of rolled oats, sunflower seeds and dates. I’d imagine people could replace their granola bar with this.
If you grew up in a certain era like I did, you usually ran away from “health” foods like carob. I was then surprisingly really into this moist, chewy brownie. It wasn’t chocolate but it wasn’t bad.
Overall my picks are the tea, curry noodles and carob brownie. I’d go back to try the sprouted lentils soup, grilled tofu bowl, spicy green beans and the brown rice pudding.(213) 537-0905 © The Minty 2013