I’m glad I live in a city where the mention of “vegan brunch” actually brings to mind more than a few delicious possibilities. Echo Park and Silver Lake, alone, have more full-on vegan restaurants (that are actually good) than most states in this country. It’s pretty exciting that, once sneered and rolled eyes at, vegetarian food’s hard-core sibling is becoming a cuisine like any other in L.A.
One of the best vegan menus in town, doing tons to make the cuisine more accessible, is at Sage Organic Vegan Bistro in Echo Park. Open for a little over a year—replacing their not-so-successful predecessor Mooi—Sage has evolved into a comfort food haven of non-meaty goodness. Think: bacon chili cheese burgers, eggplant parmesan, clam chowder, and bowls stuffed with everything from kale and quinoa to fried macaroni and cheese.
Their brunch toes the same line as their weekday menu, opting for grains, nuts, and other whole foods to recreate flavors instead of relying on over-processed fake meats. Tofu is used, but more often ingredients like jackfruit or seitan are chosen to give “meat” to standouts like their mole burrito, served wet and stuffed with nopales, black beans, and house-made mole. Similarly, Eggs Florentine is served with walnut sausage while hard-shell tacos are filled with a savory mashed potato filling and topped with a drizzle of nut-based crema.
Admittedly, their chilaquiles, made with tofu and daiya, are probably only a good stand-in if you really are vegan, but might not quite hit the spot if you’re allowed real eggs and cheese. However, the salsa verde is made in house. Still, you’d probably do better to order the gnocchi or enchiladas, both made with sweet potatoes. You might also be lured by dumplings sweetened with plantains and maple soy sauce or tomato confit topped polenta cakes.
Oh, and Kind Kreme ice cream makes for a nice finishing touch.
Sage Vegan Organic Bistro
1700 West Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.