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Vegan at Hugo’s Tacos, Woodland Hills

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Hugos logo

Hugo’s Tacos is a small restaurant chain that recently opened a location walking distance from our home.  I hadn’t realized the many vegan options that they offered until my husband stopped by one night to pick up something for himself and excitedly called me, asking if I would like to try anything.

The chain’s three locations are in Atwater Village, Studio City, and Woodland Hills.

Their menu and website are both clearly marked for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free preferences.  Almost everything is vegan or can be made vegan, and when you order something with soyrizo, they make sure to ask if you want vegan cheese.

Hugo's Woodland Hills

From the Hugo’s Facebook page

The way their menu works is that diners may choose from tacos, burritos, bowls, tostadas, nachos, quesadillas, tortas, and green tamales, and then choose one of their 7 fillings.  There are 5 meat fillings and 2 vegan ones.  Vegans can choose from soy chorizo, a spicy soy “meat” grilled with diced potatoes and zucchini or mixed veggies and herbs, a mixture of zucchini, squash, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, and onion.  They also have salads which can be topped with any of their fillings or taquitos (either chicken or soy chorizo filling) with served with white beans, lettuce, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, tomatillo and jalapeno salsa with cheese (which you can order to be vegan).

I tried quite a few of their offerings, you know, for the sake of reporting it to you.

Let me start with my two favorites so far.

Hugo's Tacos - Vegan Nachos | A Vegan in Progress

Hugo’s Nachos

Their vegan nachos are delicious.  They came a bit burned around the edges, but not enough to take away from the meal at all.

The vegan cheese was tasty and the white beans were a nice alternative to black beans.

I should mention that Hugo’s has a selection of 7 salsas, only one of which is not vegan.  I tried all six of them and my favorites were the Pico de Gallo and the tomatillo and jalapeno.

I will definitely order this time and time again.

Hugo's Tacos - Vegan Burrito | A Vegan in Progress

Hugo’s Burrito

For this burrito, I ordered the mixed veggies and herbs filling.  It also has Spanish rice, salsa, and white beans.  I will definitely order this again.  It’s a fun alternative to Chipotle’s burrito, being that it tastes a little more authentic and sinful.

Hugo's Tacos - Green Tamales | A Vegan in Progress

Hugo’s Green Tamales

The green tamales come with such plentiful veggie and salsa toppings that you can’t even see the tamales at first glance.  They were tasty and I definitely liked the veggies and salsa, but I’m not very fond of sweet corn tamales, so I think that’s what made this dish third out of the five that I have tried.

Hugo's Tacos - Green Tamales | A Vegan in ProgressLast, on a whim, I tried their vegan quesadilla, cheese only.

Hugo's Tacos - Vegan Quesadilla | A Vegan in Progress

Hugo’s Vegan Quesadilla

Vegan cheese is kind of temperamental and doesn’t always melt like regular cheese does.  In the case of my quesadilla, the cheese was hardly melted, but was at least warm.  Salsa helped.  It wasn’t horrible, but I probably won’t order it again because there are better choices.

Not pictured is their soy chorizo taquitos.  They aren’t very pretty and are a little dry, but that could be because I was ordering pretty late.  The guacamole added some needed moisture.

My main complaint about Hugo’s is that their food tends to be a bit bland.  Their tomatillo and jalapeno salsa saves the day, though, and adds spice and flavor to everything.  Their restaurants are great places for dual dining.

No Udder Desserts, Woodland Hills

Located directly behind The Vegan Joint in Woodland Hills is No Udder Desserts.  It’s a small place where, if you want a lot of cupcakes or a whole cake, you’ll have to order ahead.  It’s no problem for me because Eric and I usually stop by on a whim once a month or so to pick up a cupcake each.  They are always yummy and moist.  Eric’s preferred desserts are cakes and cupcakes and he likes No Udder’s cupcakes regardless of him not being vegan.

Take a look at the website for a sampling of their selection.  I’m a chocolate devotee, so I haven’t tried anything else.

I snapped this photo of the display case last time we were there.  Stop by if you’re ever in the area and support a vegan small business!

No Udder Dessers, Woodland Hills | A Vegan in Progress

The Vegan Joint, Woodland Hills – Post 2

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

This place is really close to home and the price is right, so when we are thinking fast food, this is often where we go.

This time we shared the Fresh Spring Roll with Peanut Sauce, which was pretty good.  I guess I just like them crispy.

The Vegan Joint - Fresh Spring Roll | A Vegan in Progress

Fresh Spring Roll

On a visit a while back, I ordered the Garlic Chicken Wrap because I love me some garlic soy chicken.  It was basically like the burger, but in a wrap.  It includes grilled garlic chicken, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and alfalfa sprouts.

The Vegan Joint - Garlic Chicken Wrap | A Vegan in Progress

Garlic Chicken Wrap

On a more recent visit, I got the Tofu Cashew Nuts dish, but substituted soy chicken instead of tofu.  It was super tasty and right up there with the quality Garlic Chicken Burger.  Please excuse the extreme close up… I had eaten about half of it and the plate wasn’t pretty.

The Vegan Joint - Soy Chicken and Cashew Nuts | A Vegan in Progress

Soy Chicken and Cashew Nuts

Eric ordered the Beef Burger which is grilled soy beef, garlic, and cilantro sauce on a wheat bun.  He said it was good, but he didn’t like it as much as the soy chicken.

The Vegan Joint - Beef Burger | A Vegan in Progress

Beef Burger

As always, we shared the garlic fries because they are freaking amazing.

The Vegan Joint - Yummy, yummy garlic fries! | A Vegan in Progress

Yummy, yummy garlic fries!

The Vegan Joint, Woodland Hills

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** 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 Vegan Joint - Orange Crispy Tofu | A Vegan in Progress

Orange Crispy Tofu

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.

The Vegan Joint - Garlic fries | A Vegan in Progress

Garlic fries

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 Vegan Joint - Garlic "Chicken" Burger | A Vegan in Progress

Garlic “Chicken” Burger

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.

The Vegan Joint - "Chicken" Nachos | A Vegan in Progress

“Chicken” Nachos

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.

Click here to see all posts about The Vegan Joint.