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An organic vegan / vegetarian restaurant designed to meet the needs of today's discriminating, health-conscious diners – vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

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Save the Chicken!

  • Sep 19, 2009
  • by
One of my best friends is Vegan, so hanging out with him automatically entails a tour of the finest animal-free restaurants in the area. I am not Vegan but I love trying new things, especially if it means cholesterol-free, low fat versions of some the world's most toxic foods (meat-free ribs and bacon? yes, please!)

Native Foods has a variety of meat-free/meat-substitute delights to please meat and soy lovers alike. Even if you aren't a fan of substitutes (I'll admit - even I can't handle those weird little rubbery soy shrimp. Ew!) you'll be pleased by Native Foods' selection of grains, vegetables, and greens. The vast menu contains the usual array of sandwiches, salads, wraps, pizza, and burgers HOWEVER, the real treat is their selection of "Hot Bowls".

The first time I had the pleasure of visiting Native Foods I tried the Soul Bowl - "red beans and 'jazzman' rice, steamed veggies and greens drizzled with Ranch dressing with BBQ fried "save the chicken" and cornbread" - a vegan take on southern dirty rice, beans, greens, and fried chicken. The cornbread (dairy-free of course) was a perfectly-moist accompaniment to the seasoned rice, fresh vegetables, and crispy "chicken" - which was also covered in a mild but flavorful red sauce.

I also tried the Greek Gyro Bowl during another visit - Steamed veggies, quinoa, peppered seitan, hummus and grilled flatbread with creamy garlic lemon sauce. YUM!!! The seitan tasted exactly like seasoned, slow-roasted lamb sliced super-thin. The hummus would have been a perfect dressing on its own but was DIVINE when mixed all-together with the garlic lemon sauce on the quinoa. The texture of the quinoa was just right too - loose and not soggy.

Greek Gyro Bowl from

I managed to snap this photo of the Soul Bowl before I dove it. Check out the texture of the cornbread - it looks like there was some added wheat or multi flour for texture - also, the darkness suggests some sort of egg replacement or maybe canola oil? Look ma-- no cholesterol!
If you look closely you can see another bowl in the background (Mina's Macro -Brown rice, quinoa, tempeh, steamed veggies, sea greens, sauerkraut green onions & sesame salt. Served with lemon miso sauce).

Here's another photo of the Soul Bowl from !

"Chicken" close-up by

Did I mention they have dessert, too? :)

Check out the menu here - especially if you're as hungry as I am after writing that!

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September 19, 2009
Mmmmm, your pictures are absolutely mouth watering.  That Greek gyro bowl looks so good!  And the texture on that corn bread is amazing, and I'm speaking both from a photographer and foodie's stand point :)

You might like @ariajuliet's list of Favorite Veggie Chain Restaurants.  I bet that there's something vegan in there somewhere!
More Native Foods / California Vega... reviews
Quick Tip by . September 17, 2009
The 1 time I ate here I got food poisoning, but I'd be willing to give it another shot!...eventually :)
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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From the official site:

Native Foods is an organic vegan / vegetarian restaurant designed to meet the needs of today’s discriminating, health-conscious diners – vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Chef Executive Officer Tanya Petrovna is the dynamic force behind Native Foods restaurants whose roots are firmly grounded in the gourmet world. Chef Tanya was raised in a gourmet household where mealtime was a celebration of taste, texture and companionship. Family vacations were global explorations of food and culture – visiting relatives in far off lands and discovering ethnic flavors and traditions.

It was during one such family vacation that Tanya met, and pet, a dairy cow, and learned that when a male calf is born it’s given a new name – veal! This discovery came to mind when Tanya was required to research a paper on crime for school that year. The crime Tanya investigated was cruelty to animals.

Not surprisingly, the knowledge gained from this exploration led to the decision to become a vegetarian. It was the kindness and concern of friends and family that led to Tanya’s next quest – how to maintain a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet excluding animal products. Well! Much to Tanya’s delight, she learned that contrary to the fears and concerns of her friends and family that it’s not only possible to live a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, but that it’s healthier for the planet as well as the human.

The result is Native ...

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