Finding a somewhere a little bit ‘special’ for dinner that pleases both vegans and carnivores is not without its challenges. But we found it! On the downside it’s in Los Angeles, but seriously, it’s worth the trip. The recently refurbished Mayfair hotel in DTLA has increased its vegetarian and vegan options due to popular demand.
We’d had a busy week in LA at Vegan Fashion Week and were keen to experience some upmarket vegan fare (we’d had our fair share of Wholefoods takeaway and Beyond Burgers by then).
On arrival, we were greeted with the glamourous sight of the M Bar (pictured above). Imagine being an extra in the latest James Bond movie and you’ll get the idea. We were sorely tempted to swing by for a quick drink, but had a dinner booking at Locala at 8.30pm. As it turns out, that’s early doors in LA and we were the first people to arrive. On the upside, this meant we were free to ask our waiter all the questions we liked.
We started with a Trio of Spreads made up of avocado hummus, salsa macha, smoked eggplant, red pepper muhammara and grilled zaatar pita. Yes, it was every bit as good as it sounds.
Trio of Spreads
Cannellini Bean Falafels
Charred Spiced Eggplant
This was followed with Cannellini Bean Falafels with cucumber, dill and pickled vegetables (we skipped the labneh). When we thought we couldn’t eat any more, out came the Charred Spiced Eggplant with roasted walnuts, pomegranate and garden herbs (no Greek yoghurt thank you), and the Harvest Cauliflower Rice Bowl with beluga lentils, avocado, chickpeas, lime and serrano pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, broccolini and cashew harissa.
Harvest Cauliflower Rice Bowl
We were totally stuffed – yet managed to polish off most of it. Based on our experience, we suggest ordering several dishes as they are perfect to be shared and all the flavours work so well together.
We loved the Middle Eastern feel created by talented chef, Karo Patpatyan – a native Armenian whose inspiration comes from growing up watching his mother and grandmother cook at home.
Patpatyan says he’s seen a marked increase in people ordering plant-based dishes. In fact, the Cauliflower Bowl (his personal favourite) is one of the top-sellers on the menu.
“It’s incredibly versatile as well as hearty, and you don’t need to be vegan to enjoy it,” he told us. “We experiment in the kitchen with plant-based foods, and if there is something we really like, we’ll add it to the menu and see how it goes. Adapting to our environment is the key to our success.”
If you’re in LA, you shouldn’t miss it.
Locala Kitchen & Bar is located at:
Mayfair Hotel DTLA
1256 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
For more info or make an online booking here.
Breakfast: Monday – Friday, 7am-10am
Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Nightly, 5:30pm-10pm (Fri-Sat until 11pm)
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday, 9am-2pm
Special New Year’s Eve Seatings: 7pm and 9pm