** I should start by saying that I live in the Southwest part of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. All of the vegan restaurants I have mentioned so far have been within an hour away.
I have driven right past The Vegan Joint in Woodland Hills thousands of times. It is really close to my home and in the same parking lot as No Udder Desserts, a yummy vegan bakery. Eric and I checked out the reviews on yelp and they seemed pretty favorable, so we decided to try it out. They have a pretty varied menu, so it took us a long time to decide! Eventually, we settled on each trying two things. He ordered the Orange Crispy Tofu and an order of garlic fries. I got the Garlic “Chicken” Burger and “Chicken” Nachos.
The Orange Crispy Tofu tasted a lot like traditional orange chicken from a Chinese food place (as I remember it), but with sort of an egg-like texture to the tofu. I can see why tofu is used as a replacement for egg so often!
The garlic fries were perfect! So often when you order garlic fries you just get regular fries with a dollop of garlic and a drizzle of oil on top, but these tasted well seasoned all the way around.
I ordered two soy chicken items because I am obsessed with it now, thanks to Hana Grill. The Garlic “Chicken” Burger came with a garlic and cilantro sauce that was very tasty, along with lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, pickles, onions, and tomato. The patty was really great and the sauce went very well with it. I also got my own order of fries with it, so we were swimming in excess food!
The “Chicken” Nachos were very fresh tasting, with what seemed like house-made taco chips. The toppings were grilled soy chicken, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, black beans, serano chili, and fresh salsa. It was supposed to come with soy cheese as well, but I didn’t see any, so perhaps they were out. I also got a side of guacamole. I would order them again. The leftovers even held up well for the next day, once I separated the chips from the toppings.
It was only about $24 for all of that yummy food, so we will definitely return. I’m looking forward to trying more of what they offer! Next time we may order online and pick it up to go, because it was a rather small place.
UPDATE: DO NOT try ordering over the phone. I had a very unpleasant experience with a man who had so heavy an accent that we could not understand each other. He insisted that I had ordered something that I did not and said that it had already been made, insinuating that I should just take it. I eventually got what I had ordered, but it was very frustrating.