Vietnamese Lime Soda Pop It’s safe to say that in recent years Vietnamese food has replaced Thai food as my favorite Asian cuisine. It’s really exciting to see more and more restaurants starting to cater to vegans and vegetarians as Vietnamese cooking grows in popularity. While Vinh Loi Tofu will always remain the reigning champ among all Vietnamese restaurants (no one else even comes close as far as vegan food is concerned), it’s nice to see other places offering animal-free options as well.

We recently visited the newly re-opened Vietnamese Soy Cafe in Silver Lake and enjoyed their limited but satisfying vegan offerings. Today let’s visit another vegan friendly Vietnamese eatery, this time across town in Highland Park- Good Girl Dinette.

Located right around the corner from the vegetarian Mexican restaurant Cinnamon, Good Girl Dinette serves up simple, clean and mostly organic ingredients sourced from local farmers markets, and transforms them into what they refer to as “American diner meets Vietnamese comfort food”. And it’s as good as it sounds! There is enough on the menu to keep both the carnivores and the herbivores happy.

Vegan Vietnamese Pho

We’ll start at the heart of any decent Vietnamese meal, with a hot bowl of Pho. Pho is a traditional soup usually made with all manner of horror inducing cuts of meat, beefy broth and exotic spices. Luckily for those of us who want the delicious taste of a well-seasoned Pho soup without all the beef juice, Good Girl Dinette makes an all-vegetarian version just for us.

Vegan Vietnamese Pho

The Vegetarian Pho comes with rice noodles in a vegan broth, served with herbs and lemongrass chili oil. Mine also came with tasty slabs of fried tofu. The flavor was mild though very soothing, I could detect the lemongrass, star anise, basil, lime and other spices that infused the broth. This isn’t a wild & spicy Pho like you’ll get at some places, though you can turn up the heat to your liking with the supplied hot chili sauce.

The soup pretty much defines comfort food, I felt both cared for and fortified after eating it. My server was genuinely interested in making sure I was enjoying the food too and had taken the time to go over the entire menu with me, explaining what was vegan and what wasn’t. For a non-vegan establishment they seem to really know their stuff.

Vegan Spring Rolls

These are the Mushroom Imperial Rolls: crispy rolls stuffed with mushroom and served with a soy dip. They make the rolls from fresh ingredients when you order them, and that freshness really comes through.

Vegan Vietnamese Pho

Nice and hot out of the fryer, these were the perfect amount of crunchy meets greasy, able to satiate even the most raging craving for fried food.

Rice Cake with Tofu and Scallions

This next item was my favorite, the Rice Cakes with Crispy Scallion Tofu: rice cakes topped with tofu and scallion dressing. When I read that description I imagined those crispy puffed rice cakes which taste like cardboard and that dieters like to torture themselves with, so I was relieved that those were not at all what I was served. These rice cakes where soft, delicate little things, a bit sticky and chewy on the outside, soft and pleasantly mushy on the inside. The tofu on top was lightly fried and topped with the delicious scallion dressing.

Rice Cake with Tofu and Scallions

My regular readers know how much I detest most members of the onion family, so I won’t bore you with a long diatribe about that. Suffice it to say that I’ve been trying to be more tolerant of onions and their evil ilk, and I’m so glad that I did try them in this instance because these were fantastic. The flavor isn’t really very oniony, it’s more about the soy & oil flavor with a tangy kick from the scallions, which lent a pleasing crispiness to each bite. The texture of the rice cake is totally where it’s at. These scrumptious morsels were as delightful to eat as they were to look at.

Vegan Bread Pudding

And guess what? They have a vegan dessert too… score! This wonderful treat is the Maple Coconut Bread Pudding, and in case you care, it’s made with no refined sugar. This would normally be served with a non-vegan whipped cream, so you’ll need to ask for that to be left off for maximum veganocity to occur, but don’t sweat it because it’s awesome just on it’s own. I mean, when’s the last time you had a vegan bread pudding? One made with maple and coconut no less? Like everything else I tried, this bread pudding was in every way delectable. I don’t know how they managed to bake it to just the exact moment where the outside started to crisp up into a perfect crust while the inside remained soft and gooey, but they turned it into a science, that’s for sure. The staff was so nice and friendly too, I bet they wouldn’t mind if you showed up with your own vegan whipped cream (but don’t quote me on that) (plus that would just make you weird).

The drink you see up at the very top is also one of their specialties, the House-Made Pop: fresh squeezed limes, oranges, or grapefruit mixed with sparkling water. I got the lime, it was both super tart, just a tad sweet and very refreshing. Yummy, but sip slowly, I don’t think they give free refills.

Good Girl Dinette gets two thumbs up! It’s on the complete other end of the spectrum from the heavier, spicier, more boisterous type of food you’d get at Vinh Loi Tofu (which still holds the Vietnamese key to my heart). Good Girl Dinettes’ portions are smaller, their flavors are more subdued and their approach is more refined. I like their take on veganized Vietnamese and I think you will too. I also really dig the groovy old brick building they’re located in as well as all the truly spectacular graffiti and murals in the colorful surrounding neighborhood. They are very easy to get to being right off of Figuroa near the 110 Pasadena freeway and are located just two blocks away from the Gold Line Metro (Highland Park station).

There’s also a tofu stew and a curry cauliflower pot pie listed on the menu, both which I am eager to try, as well as a few other items that seem like they already are or could be made vegan… can’t wait for my next visit!

Good Girl Dinette
110 North Avenue 56
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 257-8980

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Related Posts:
  1. Vinh Loi Tofu vegan Vietnamese restaurant
  2. Re-Opened: Vietnamese Soy Cafe in Silver Lake
  3. Vegan Vietnamese Porridge Soup
  4. Vegan Vietnamese salad with veggie-meats
  5. Vegetarian Bánh mì (Vietnamese Hoagie)
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16 Responses to “Vegan Vietnamese Food at Good Girl Dinette”
  1. Scott says:

    hello good girl dinette.. you and i should be come well aquainted

  2. missalix says:

    holy junk that stuff looks so good right now. i had heard about this place, but now i have a huge incentive to go there. honestly looks amazing.

  3. Kevin says:

    The Maple Coconut Bread Pudding tasted just like a smooshed pancake to me. Not worth the $5, but the rest of their menu is great!

  4. maryzaint says:

    it’s soooo hard to find a good bowl of pho! that all looks so damn good! but im wondering if i drive all the way to highland park if i will have the will to even stray from cinnamon…. its going to be a struggle but i must try it!

  5. jennifer says:

    i am so hungry. everything looks so fucking good but i MUST have that bread puddin’!!! :) :) :)

  6. quarrygirl says:

    those pix are so appetizing! i have been meaning to check this place out forever. now it’s at the top of the list! ahhhhhh and it’s so close to the york! :)

    hey i wanna do a test to see I emoji shows up on your blog (im on my iPhone): 

  7. those rice cakes look da bomb.

  8. Tracy says:

    omg everything looks amazing!

  9. nick says:

    this looks great. I need to get out more…

  10. Christy says:

    OMG that all looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to try this place for awhile. Thanks for the post! Looks like I need to get my butt over there asap.

  11. SwissSushi says:

    You have my attention with the sticky rice and fried tofu. I came here from the Tastespotting website and was hoping for a recipe. Now I’m on a search to get one. That made my mouth water!

  12. JennShaggy says:

    Yes! I was totally hoping someone would review this place before I trekked over to it. It looks amazing!

    Thank you :)

  13. Christina says:

    If there fries are vegan — which I can’t think they wouldn’t be — you absolutely MUST try them. They’re topped with chopping garlic, jalapeno and cilantro and come with a sweet soy sauce to dip in. So effing good.

  14. Melisser says:

    Oooh, I want that bread pudding!

  15. Gina says:

    I’m really happy that Good Girl Dinette is in the neighborhood and I had really looked forward to the their opening, but honestly, I’ve been twice and I found the food to be very bland. I was not very impressed. I’ve had the pho and mushroom baguette, and neither was bad, it just wasn’t great. It’s a cute space and I love the house-made pop, but generally…eh.

  16. liz says:

    omg, everything about this place looks *perfect*, you are so so lucky. Most especially for that mad looking bread pudding !!