My Vegan

Nov 10, 2009
Spicy basil noodles with soy pepper steak, with vegan fries thrown in for good measure

Spicy basil noodles with soy pepper steak, with vegan fries thrown in for good measure

It was a happy day in my house when my teenage daughter stepped back from a year of vegetarianism to add poultry back in her life. My husband and I were supportive (her older sister, not so much, but she was gone to college), and it was good for us to be mostly vegetarian. But we are diehard omnivores, and we welcome the culinary diversity at dinnertime.

That said, in the last year or so I’ve developed a real fondness for good vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and in certain neighborhoods in L.A. (like Silver Lake and Echo Park), there are so many fine ones to choose from. This has not been the case in Pasadena, which is why there’s such a buzz about the unfortunately named My Vegan. The new spot doesn’t look like much, just another strip-mall café on Arroyo Parkway, but the place is a real find, even if you’re not a vegetarian. Prices are low, flavors are robust, the menu really has something for everyone, and delivery is free in a three-mile radius. If it only had beer and wine….

The extensive menu has a Thai focus, but you’ll also find dishes with roots in Vietnam (pho), China (chow mein), Mexico (guacamole) and America (burgers and fries). I have a long way to go to sample a significant part of the menu, because it lists 128 items, but I can tell you that the vegan fries are perfectly crisp and delicious, and I loved the Thai-style spicy (not that spicy) basil noodles with onions, peppers, mushrooms and your choice of protein (the soy “pepper steak” is actually quite tasty, if you forget about it pretending to be steak). Also worth trying in this fall season are the pumpkin fried rice and one of the house specials, P.E.T., a stir-fry of pumpkin, eggplant and tofu with basil and chile. And, of course, the roster of Thai classics, from papaya salad to yellow curry to rad na noodles.

633 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena, 626.578.9017, Vegan/Asian. L & D daily. No booze. MC, V. Free delivery. $

9 Responses for “My Vegan”

  1. Leah Thomson Snell says:

    I have to say, as possibly the world’s pickiest eater (due to not eating meat, egg, seafood etc) I LOVE this place. I can comfortably order anything off the menu, instead of having the same thing every time as is the case at any other restaurant I like. I have honestly tried more than 15 dishes and have liked every one of them. For me, that = heaven!

  2. Lane Dell says:

    It’s too bad the author thinks it’s great that her daughter is eating poultry. Perhaps she should get the facts about poultry factory farming and then tell me in good conscience how she can make the statement that poultry on the plate is something to be happy about.

  3. Colleen Dunn Bates says:

    Well, Lane, I do have as good a conscience as I can manage, and I don’t think it’s for you to tell me if I am a good citizen or not. We go to great trouble and expense to get humanely raised, cage-free, hormone-free, vegetarian-feed chicken, turkey and eggs. I have great respect for vegetarians and vegans, but we choose to be responsible omnivores, and I have nothing to apologize for.

  4. Paul Anderson says:

    Well said Colleen. Agree 100%.

  5. Joe Dunn says:

    Atta girl Colleen! I still eat everything on my plate and am leaving Sunday to surf in deepest Mexico in this my 76th year–lots of cage free el pollo’s to munch on!

  6. I agree with Paul. That was very well put. Just because we eat meat does not mean we are irresponsible omnivores. I too have respect for my vegan friends, but still choose to eat meat.

  7. Variety of tastes is the Spice of Life.

    I first visited My Vegan back in March or April. Friendly. Good tasting. Gotta head back. I think the owners are looking for a larger space.And, I always forget about the 3mile radius for delivery.

  8. Leslie Maxfield says:

    I love this restaurant! Besides the tasty vegan food, the service is friendly and swift. The P.E.T. (pumpkin, eggplant, tofu) entree and green papaya salad are two of my favorite dishes.

  9. […] go to Lacy Park or eat food. My top five places to eat are Zushi, My Vegan, Norma’s Tacos, Lucky Boy and Daisy Mint. If it’s 110 degrees out, I still go out […]



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