Los Angeles has long been a haven for vegans when it comes to its restaurant scene.
Area steakhouses have even offered vegetarian and vegan options, but the new addition of an entire vegan menu at the upscale BOA Steakhouse shows just how popular plant-based eating has become.
Lee Maen, the founder of Innovative Dining Group (which owns BOA Steakhouse), told VegNews: "Los Angeles is a mecca for the country’s most delicious and artful vegan cuisine, so our culinary team felt inspired to create our own elevated vegan plates influenced by timeless Mediterranean dishes."
Items on the BOA Steakhouse’s vegan menu include a mushroom 'faux' Bolognese with almond ricotta, a wild mushroom burger made with a Beyond Beef patty, and a Mediterranean chickpea panelle.
The restaurant also has a vegan and vegetarian section of its catering menu.
The big debate
There is some debate over whether vegans should patronize a steakhouse even when it has a full vegan menu.
Some declare that vegans should order the plant-based options at mainstream restaurants, including steakhouses, since spending money on vegan food choices lets restauranteurs know that vegan options are in high demand.
Others argue that the money is best spent in all-vegan establishments. Since many vegans want to hang out with their non-vegan friends and attend family dinners not held in vegan eateries, that demand is too hard to fit all scenarios.
In any case, one thing seems clear: the addition of an all-vegan menu at the sophisticated, “hot spot” steakhouse indicates that veganism is growing in popularity.
Restaurant owners want to cater to all, and they increasingly know that not catering to even one vegan in a group can mean losing an entire party’s business.
With reports of veganism growing by over 350 percent in the past decade in Great Britain alone, and young people being especially interested in the movement, it looks like the growth of veganism shows no signs of slowing down.
Los Angelenos are in luck as veganism continues to thrive in the city, and it looks set to continue growing in popularity around the world. After all, despite its recent troubles, vegan start-up Hampton Creek was valued at over $1 billion by investors, which shows the increasing demand for vegan products like mayonnaise, dressings, and desserts.
What are some ways you’ve noticed that veganism is growing in your community?