South Bay Rants n Raves
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A Southern California vegetarian chain restaurant

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Great for a fast meal, but not my first choice veggie spot.

  • Jan 13, 2010
Rating:
+3
The concept of Veggie Grill really delights me. The website says- Our purpose at The Veggie Grill is to serve you delicious and wholesome food. By wholesome, we mean good calories and good fats that are 100% plant-based.

I love this statement. Also, Veggie Grill is the brainchild of the co-founder of another of my favorite restaurants - Native Foods. So in theory I should love the chain...but there is just something that is keeping me from a "5" rating. Since I'm feeling so conflicted, I'm going to break this down by category:




The Decor
Ok, I get it. Veggie Grill wants to be modern and hip (which they are) but they decor is just so much. It reminds me of the inside of a Pinkberry - same 5 bright colors used everywhere, super clean and sterile. It does feel unfair to rate them poorly on such an insignifcant thing that I'm surely biased on, but for the love of god at least turn the lights down a little! I felt like I was under a heat lamp of intense brightness!
Also, the el Segundo location is REALLY poorly planned out. If you order to-go, after you get your food the only option (if you don't want to walk through people eating at tables) to leave is squeeze past customers ordering their food. It feels like you're in their way.



(via jeckman)

Food
The food is delicious (I've had several of the sandwiches but never anything else). The ingredients are pretty standard and you will find many repeats on the menu. I expect this because they ARE a fast food place and need to be able to whip up meals quickly (and that they do - I've never waited more than 10 minutes for a burger/sandwich). I like that they still have a variety in protein though - tempeh, fake chicken, and fake beef (I'm hoping the beef is seitan not soy but I actually have no idea). I like the "healthy" fast-food vibe but I'm surprised at the lack of soy/veggie/rice cheese! I feel like it would definitely spice up a few of the options - the standard dressing for all the sandwiches is lettuce/tomato/other veggies plus vegan mayo, some chipotle sauce variation, or pesto. A cheese add-on option could be good. Who doesn't love cheese.

Price

Not bad but not great. My main issue with the menu is that each meal lists other toppings for a fee. So everytime I look at the menu I'm like, "hmmm this sandwich looks great..'add avocado'...'add portobello'..that sounds DELICIOUS on that - oh wait it's an extra $2-3." On top of the standard $8.50-ish for the original option? Noooo. It's rare that I'm inclined to spend upwards of $11 for one sandwich.
Each burger comes with an option of sides: red cabbage slaw (slightly too sweet for my tastes but still acceptable), chili (sort of a weird side because it comes in a small condiment cup [same as the slaw] so it's not enough chili to be soup-like..I wonder if people put it on their burgers?? Weird), or Kale, spring salad, or sweet potato frieds. Those three cost $1.50-$2.25 extra. I've only had the fries..they were more like sweet potato chunks than fries - very thin coating but I kinda dug it.

Branding
Despite the unfavorable lighting/decor, I like their logo. I also like their brand engagement - they have a promotion where they send you something for your Birthday if you sign up! :D Also, I ate there last night because they had a promo called "Veggie Grill Virgin Night" wherein you bring someone to the restaurant who has never been. If you tell the cashier you have a "Veggie Grill Virgin" in your company, his/her meal is on the house! I thought this was a remarkable way to get some attention and business, and I CERTAINLY loved getting a free meal! I think the cashier messed up and took off the more expensive meal. But I am certainly not complaining!



Overall, I like Veggie Grill. There is location near my work and it's a good break from the gross fast food/corporate places in the area. I'd recommend it for people who are "new" to eating healthy or "new" to eating vegetarian/vegan. If you're a seasoned vegan, you know way more innovative places to go and I'd leave this one for a fast lunch when you want something that feels like junk (but isn't! Yay!)

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January 25, 2010
Wow...expensive! Not a vegetarian...but I enjoy good veggie dishes. I hate harsh lighting when I eat, too.
 
January 13, 2010
Before even reading your review, I saw that first picture and thought, "Dang, that is bright!"  Reminds me of EVOS.  That food does sound good, but please tell me that the added avocado and portobello are decent sized!  Great review, lady! :)
January 13, 2010
The portobello is HUGE. Definitely worth it. The avocado is a guacamole-like spread, which was surprising (was expecting chunks of avocado) but they give you a decent amount. and it's delicious so no harm done!
January 13, 2010
Then I can totally dig it! :D
 
1
More Veggie Grill reviews
review by . April 01, 2010
posted in Vegan Living
We found Veggie Grill by pure mistake in El Segundo. I thought it would be another place that takes vegetarianism litterally to grilling veggies..but no. This place has everything a regular hamburger joint would have but vegan, delicious, healthy and NO processed foods or sugars or anything!      So I fell in love with this place.      My favorites are the Bali Bliss (burger), sweetheart fries, soups and salads, and the really good homemade strawberry …
review by . May 25, 2010
@ariajuliet and @MelissaAq once raved about hitting up Veggie Grill to me and fellow meat lover @RyanWeiss. When they finally went, I still wasn't a believer. Not until another recent time we needed something to eat, and I was down to try something new. Veggie Grill is for sure something I've never had before; a vegan restaurant that serves meat like platters such as burgers, chicken sandwiches and carne asada burritos. I couldn't imagine me buying into the idea of enjoying a meatless burger, so …
Quick Tip by . April 15, 2010
posted in MBlocal
not a fan, too bland for me. I've described it as the most unsatisfying meal i've ever eaten. not trying to be harsh, just not my taste.
Quick Tip by . January 12, 2010
I wish this place wasn't so sterile and corporate,&that the el segundo location was designed a bit better.i need to hash out a full review!
About the reviewer
Melissa Aquino ()
Born and raised in NJ, relocated to Boston, MA to study at Emerson College, transplanted to Hollywood, CA to get my career started on the fairer coast.      I love hiking, eating new … more
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About this restaurant

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Details

Address: 720 Allied Way, El Segundo, CA 90245
Phone: (310) 535-0025
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 am - 10 pm
Cuisine: Vegeterian, vegan, Gluten-Free
Price: $$
Attire: Casual
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