I’ve been cobbling together a post about my recent visits to both locations of Bulan Vegetarian Thai Kitchen. Apparently great minds really do think alike, as just earlier today Bulan was also featured over at quarrygirl.com. Not wanting to steal any of the glory away from that great review, after conferring with the Lady of the Quarries herself, I’m going to go ahead and post this now anyways. We both ate different things, so this way you get to see even more of the deliciousness that Bulan has to offer… and they get double the free advertising :)

Bulan’s food contains “NO meat, NO refined sugars, NO m.s.g. and NO trans fats”. Most of the menu is vegan, with many of the vegetarian items being vegan optional. Everything is clearly marked on the menu so you know what’s what. The food here is not of the same variety of those many other vegan Thai places around with variations on the same menu. The food is a cut above, with more authentically Thai style cooking and higher quality ingredients.

Bulan Vegetarian Kitchen

My first visit to Bulan was as their location on Melrose, just west of La Brea. We started off our meal with a palate cleansing blast from the sweet & sour florescently green lime sodas pictured at the top, then began our feast with the Tempeh Appetizer: “nutty-flavor fried bean curd served with sweet & sour sauce”. Just lovely… I could snack on these all day.

Bulan Vegetarian Kitchen

For my main course I got the Roti and Green Curry: “slightly sweet coconut milk, green curry with veggie chicken, bamboo, green beans, bell peppers and Thai basil, served with Indian pancakes”. Now don’t go getting too excited about the roti, it is one of the items on the menu that is not vegan. The curry is however, I didn’t realize the bread wasn’t until after I ordered it. Fear not though as I see on their menu that the green curry can be ordered on it’s own, and for $2 less. The curry was delicious… you could tell the vegetables were fresh and the spicy & fragrant basil and coconut curry was nicely soaked up by the faux chicken.

[Update: My HUGE mistake... the dishes below are not vegan!]
Blame it on inebriation, the item I originally described below as vegan actually is not…. thanks to reader Sandra for pointing out that these are fried egg noodles. This was my own mistake, no fault of the restaurant. Vegans shed a tear, vegetarians rejoice!

Bulan Vegetarian Kitchen

Usually I don’t photograph or write about what the people I’m dining with are eating, but this time is an exception because my friends food was so amazing (and I ended up eating a lot of it!). This dish is the Kow Si (Northern Thai Curry Noodles): “crispy noodles topped with carrots, onions, choice of protein (he got the chicken) in curry sauce served with sprouts and pickled mustard”. As you can see in the photo, this dish is stunning! We were both all oohing & ahhing when it showed up, and even more so once we tasted it. This was nothing less than fabulous… from the rich and delicious yellow curry to the crunchy noodles to the big ass chunks of soy meat and carrot. I love it when food is both fantastic AND fun to eat at the same time.

On my next visit to Bulan I had the pleasure of trying out the Silver Lake location in the Sunset Junction area with a visiting guest from out of town. Situated on it’s own little corner, this Bulan has a small but cute outdoor seating area which is nice place to enjoy your dinner on a warm Los Angeles evening. It’s also just a short walk to Bulan from the red line Vermont & Santa Monica Metro station.

Bulan Vegetarian Kitchen

You see, I liked my friends Kow Si so much on the previous visit that this time I ordered one all to myself. The portion was the same and the taste was equally as amazing as the first time. There’s not much else I have to tell you about this dish other than that it’s freakin delicious, just like everything else at this place. My friend, who is an unabashed buffalo-wing loving carnivore, had their Mock Duck Curry as well as some of my dish, and he loved them both.

I am very jealous of those of you who live within their 3 mile free delivery radius!

I appreciate that Bulan’s food and good service is consistent at both locations. I also like that Bulan is owned and operated by three awesome ladies from Thailand. In short, at both spots I got incredible, real vegetarian Thai food, served with a smile and without the fear of lurking fish sauce, both in some pretty hip locations that offer prime people watching vantage points. What’s not to love?

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14 Responses to “Bulan Thai Times Two”
  1. lemmax says:

    No meat, no refined sugars, no MSG… then you’re not eating authentic Thai food. Those three things are the staple foodstuffs of Thai people!

  2. Lex says:

    Oh no you didn’t! *2TLAEINL+1QG = now I have to go here asap to keep up with the both of you!

  3. yes, exactly, what’s not to love about Bulan. I have eaten at a bajillion thai restaurants in L.A. and have finally found one “the” one!

  4. quarrygirl says:

    whoa, thanks for the generous shout out!!!

    i am so glad to hear the silver lake location is just as awesome as the melrose one. i’ll be sure to hit it up.

    and seriously, what great pictures. i will be seeing those soon on TS and FG, no doubt.

    next time i am DEFINITELY trying that tempeh appetizer. yummmm.

  5. mr meaner says:

    I bet those fluorescent drinks glow in the dark, or at the very least under UV light. damn, that tempeh looks good!

  6. I love love love the tempeh appetizer. Sometimes I go there and just get the tempeh and some soup and some tea and that’s a happy, happy lunch.

  7. FoodEater says:

    lemmax: You’ll note that I very specifically did not call it authentic Thai food, but “authentic Thai style cooking”.

    Lex: 2TLAEINLA + QG = 2 kewl 4 skewl.

  8. Sandra v says:

    hi, it doesn’t look like the Kow Soi is vegan… those are fried egg noodles! i checked the menu and it does not have a V or a VO next to it. ?

  9. FoodEater says:

    Sandra: Crap, crap, crap…. you are absolutely right! For reasons I won’t get into we were perfectly confused both times while at Bulan, no fault of theirs. I will update my post to reflect this… thanks for pointing it out.

  10. Melisser says:

    Oooh! Ahhh! I need to go there already.

  11. quarrygirl says:

    UGH i hate that when you find out something is unvegan AFTER you’ve eaten it.

    happens to the best of us. :)

  12. I love thai food, and recently went to Bulan with Yo Soy, after she had been raving about it. (Silver Lake location). I got the pad thai, and the lack of meat, did not mean lack of flavor. I also tried her yellow curry, which is one of the better curries in the area. A great find indeed!

  13. Vegyogini says:

    I still haven’t had a chance to eat there. Adding it to my list right now…

  14. Cassandra says:

    holy moly those carrots in those noodle dishes are massive…how do they expect you to eat those? They are cut in quite a pretty way, however. The curry looks delicious.