You’ve seen & heard me rave on about the alarmingly good food at Vinh Loi Tofu. Vinh Loi is in my opinion not just one of the best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles, but some of the best food, of any kind, anywhere. I’m so not exaggerating. The food that Kevin Tran brings out from that tiny little window in the wall behind him takes flavor and ingenuity to an entirely new level. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore vegan or a guiltless meatlover, the meals being served at Vinh Loi transcend all such labels.
If you’ve been there before one of the first things you noticed was how tiny the place was. Cute and clean, but very small, with a little market area in the back. The exciting news is that all this has changed! The big counter that took up a lot of the front room has been replaced with a much nicer and smaller unit, opening up a large area of the restaurant for more tables and chairs, it’s a lot less crowded now. Also the market area has been removed, creating even more seating in the back. It’s now a really comfortable space for a sit down meal (it was ok before but this new layout is a big improvement).
More importantly, not only is there now a nice new color menu with pictures, but Kevin is also constantly creating new dishes and re-inventing old ones… for example, he is indeed now serving his very own version of vegan Pho. That’s right folks, you heard it here first! Go try it… tell me how it is, I haven’t had it yet. See all those tantalizing looking dishes up on the wall? Those are just some of the newer dishes added since the menu was printed. The hardest thing about eating at Vinh Loi is deciding what to order!
And decide I eventually did. For this visit I picked the Curry Udon with Chicken.
The chicken, vegan of course, is made from some magical concoction which once began as a soybean. What I can tell you is that it’s unlike any sort of fake meat items you’ve ever tried, tasting both authentic and yet not so real that it’s too real, with flavors that just burst in your mouth of heat and ginger and lemongrass and multitudes of goodness unrecognizable to mere mortals such as myself. There’s no point in thinking of it as a meat substitute, it’s something else entirely. And that’s only the chicken…
The curry covering these perfectly cooked udon noodles is simply not something that my limited culinary vocabulary is able to properly describe or do justice. This is by far one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. Seriously, there’s no way around it, these noodles are just phenomenal. The flavor starts off for me as a Japanese style curry, but how it takes off from there in it’s entirely own directions is something of legends. This is the curry of the Gods right here. There’s plenty of veggies in there as well, cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, and as you can see a giant heap of fresh and glorious cilantro. The chilies are too hot for me even though I do like things rather spicy, but if you can take the heat these will rock your socks off.
I’m telling you, this dish kicks all kinds of ass, proving once more that vegan food isn’t all pansy-hippy-granola. There’s at least 30 or more new dishes up on that wall that I haven’t tried yet… what’s a girl to do?! Vinh Loi’s also now got extended hours (open everyday from 9am to 9pm!) and a brand spanking new website as well, so click on over, then drive on out to humble Reseda to get your serious eating on: www.vinhloitofu.com
My advice? Go hungry… go very, very hungry!Related Posts:
- Vinh Loi Tofu vegan Vietnamese restaurant
- Another visit to Vinh Loi Tofu
- Non-GMO soybeans for the win.
- Curried tofu scramble with artichoke hearts
- Los Angeles Tofu Festival 2007