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In the Vegetarian & Vegan News...
   Restaurant Review | VegSource Interactive, Inc.

Native Foods
Los Angeles restaurant:
"Vegetarian the way it should be"

by Jeff & Sabrina Nelson

May 21, 2001 -- You know you're hooked on a restaurant when you try to find excuses to drive 20 miles through heavy traffic just to eat there.

Well that pretty much describes us -- we're completely addicted to Native Foods!

It's so nice to be able to eat in a restaurant where you know everything on the menu is vegan -- and most items are organic.

Located at 1110 1/2 Gayley Avenue in Westwood, California (within shouting distance of UCLA), Native Foods lives up to its slogan -- "vegetarian the way it should be!"

Native Foods co-owner Tanya Petrovna is one of the more creative chefs we've encountered.

Tanya's cuisine is so original and delicious, she truly has the veg equivalent of the Midas Touch -- anyone who eats her dishes instantly turns into a vegetarian!

With a menu which features items called "Rockinī Moroccan" (vegetable meats (soy) marinated in a spicy, gingery Moroccan marinade skewered and charbroiled, grilled veggies, quinoa) and "Rasta Pasta Primavera" (Pasta tubes, marinara, steamed veggies, jerked seitan bites, roasted garlic, pesto garnish), you know you can expect a delicious ride.

"Hi" from a friendly staff member
For those who are not big fans of tempeh (an Indonesian specialty, made from soybeans, grains and rice cultures), this is only because you haven't tasted Tanya's homemade version. Spicy and elegant, you wonder why, after a bite, you can't eat food like this every day.

The Native Foods staff is inevitably friendly and helpful, and able to explain most menu items to those unfamiliar with this type of gourmet veg cuisine. At the Westwood location, which is the store we frequent, the food is ordered at the counter downstairs (pay at the register, and try very hard not to glance at the chocolate chip cookie bars, they're killer), and devoured at the upper level. It's fun to be able to look down into the VERY clean kitchen below, and watch the meals being prepared.

Something good's cooking!


You definitely will "eat different" at Native Foods, as the sign promises -- after a meal there, you'll be begging them to open a store in your neighborhood. We do this all the time ourselves!

Subtle statements

Sabrina and Jeff's favorite Native Foods recipe:

The Mad Cowboy (in honor of Howard Lyman)

Ingredients: Skewered "save-the-" chicken breasts in BBQ sauce, baked studly spud, grilled veggies, Rodeo Ranch Dressing (cruelty-free).

Serves 4

8 pieces of soy chicken "brests"
(available dried)
2 cups BBQ sauce
8 wooden bamboo skewers

4 potatoes, baked
ssorted grilled or steamed veggies
Rodeo Ranch Dressing*
2 green onions, chopped

  1. Paradise on a Stick
    Reconstitute chicken "brests" in boiling water according to instructions, approximately 20 minutes. Slice in 1 inch strips lengthwise and spear on skewers. Put in baking dish and slather both sides with BBQ sauce;let sit for a couple hours or overnight.
  2. When well marinated, heat BBQ grill so it's nice and hot, this way you'll get grill marks. Lightly brush or spray a little oil on "meat," as there is no oil or fat inside to prevent sticking, and place on grill. Turn when grill marks appear.
  3. Remove from grill and drizzle on a little more BBQ sauce. Serve with baked potato, veggies and Rodeo Ranch Dressing* and garnish with chopped green onions or chives.

Rodeo Ranch Dressing

1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chopped parsley
1/2 cup- 1 cup soymilk to thin

  1. Place all ingredients in bowl and whisk together. Add a little soymilk until you reach your desired consistency.

For a lower fat version, use non or low-fat vegan mayo, or plain soy yogurt.

This dressing is fantastic on anything -- salads, raw veggies, rice, you name it!

Tanya Petrovna and partner, Ray,
at Native Foods

Native Foods website



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