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Food Lab, Silverlake

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Eric and I were visiting his mom this weekend and decided to go out and pick up food.  They are always very gracious and willing to stop at more than one place so I can get something vegan and satisfying.  The great thing about their neighborhood is that there are so many vegan and vegan-friendly cafes in the Echo Park/Silverlake area.  I think I’m going to try a different place each time we are in this situation.

FoodLab is a vegan-friendly restaurant, so it’s a great place to take non-vegans as well.  It’s very cute, but small, like pretty much every Silverlake cafe.

FoodLab, Silverlake | A Vegan in Progress

I ordered the Vegan Sandwich, which is described as hummus, roasted veggies, and dried tomato with basil pesto on 5 grain bread.  From what I could tell, the veggies included eggplant, mushrooms, squash, bell peppers, and zucchini.  I am not a big fan of squash and I just don’t like zucchini, but the sandwich was still delicious.  I loved that it was grilled on a panini press and the 5 grain bread was perfect.  I only ate half, and Eric had the other half later that night and he liked it as well.

This photo was taken at Eric’s mom’s house.  Their presentation is a lot prettier in FoodLab, but we got it to go.

The reason I could only eat half of the sandwich is because I also got 8 oz. of their cous cous salad which was basically cous cous and veggies.  It was so fresh and delicious – the salad was my favorite part of a good meal.FoodLab - Cous Cous Salad | A Vegan in Progress

There’s only one other vegan sandwich at FoodLab, the Garden Sandwich, which is described as hummus, avocado, watercress, tomato, cucumber, and carrot on 5 grain.  There are also two vegan salads (see this menu, the vegan items are noted with a U).  So it’s not a place with a huge amount of vegan options, but it’s tasty and a good place to take non-vegans.  I also liked that their website states “we are proud to announce that our eat-ware, ranging from plates, cutlery, cups, and packaging are 80% environmentally friendly and biodegradable. It is extremely important to us to be a leader in keeping this planet clean and beautiful, and therefore have made every effort in finding items that are not only attractive but also harmless.”

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Vegan at Mae Ploy, Silverlake, Los Angeles – Post 2

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I have already talked about Mae Ploy, but I thought that I could do multiple reviews of restaurants as I make subsequent visits.  Click here to see previous posts about Mae Ploy.

Last time I tried the popular Garlic Pepper Tofu.  This time around, I decided to try their Spicy Tofu.

Spicy Tofu - Mae Ploy | A Vegan in Progress

It was appropriately spicy, but not as flavorful as the Garlic Pepper Tofu.  I enjoyed it, but preferred the Garlic version.  It had more veggies in it than the Garlic Pepper Tofu, but that wasn’t saying much.

A note about their service… we ordered our food, waited the 30 minutes, plus another 15 before heading over to pick it up.  It then took more than 20 minutes to get the food.  I don’t believe they made it until we arrived to pick it up.  Just a word of warning, maybe call them before picking it up to confirm that it is actually ready.

I also snagged a menu so that I could include a picture of the vegetarian menu since I can’t seem to find their official website.

Mae Ploy vegetarian menu | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan at Mae Ploy, Silverlake, Los Angeles

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Mae Ploy is very close to Mohawk Bend, in the trendy Los Angeles neighborhood of Silverlake.  Like I said before, my husband grew up in the area and doesn’t remember it being a nightlife and cafe hub – it was a bit more unsavory back then.  However, the Silverlake and Echo Park neighborhoods are getting better and better, even in the 10 years that we’ve been together.  We have ordered Mae Ploy quite a few times for dinner with his family, but I this was my first time eating their food as a vegan.

It was Eric’s mom’s birthday and she had picked up Chinese food for everyone and didn’t want me just eating white rice and soy sauce.  She insisted that we pick up something for me on the way, so Eric yelped vegan places while I drove.  He stumbled on yelp posts for Mae Ploy mentioning their vegan options.  He tried to find a menu, but it doesn’t seem like they have much of an internet presence.  I have since found this one, but what I ordered isn’t even listed, so it must not be current.  I suggest going in person or calling them and asking all the annoying questions necessary to get what you want.  I went by the yelp suggestions and just ordered what vegan reviewers enjoyed.

Since I was ordering food from a Thai restaurant, I figured, why not try the vegan Pad Thai with Tofu.  It was very tasty and the tofu was broken up-kind of resembling the bits of egg found in non-vegan pad thai, rather than in big tofu cubes.

Mae Ploy - Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu

My favorite of the evening was the Garlic Pepper Tofu.  I have never had tofu flavored that well!  It was delicious, but there were just a couple of tiny slivers of carrot.  For a vegan meal, I would have liked a lot more veggies.  It came with rice and was a plenty big meal.  I didn’t really need to order the Pad Thai, so we had a lot of leftovers.

Mae Ploy - Garlic Pepper Tofu | A Vegan in Progress

Garlic Pepper Tofu – get it!

I also had their Vegetable Spring Rolls, which were crispy and good, but just yer average spring roll.

There are a lot of vegan places to patronize in this part of LA, but if you’re looking for a good place for vegans and carnists alike, check out Mae Ploy!