Eating out can be very hard for allergics and specialty eaters like myself. At least I used to think that before I was invited to try the delicacies at Larchmont Bungalow. Oh yeah folks, I'm now a believer in the charming spot and all the magic it has to offer.
Upon entering the bungalow, you feel like you're in a more authentic version of Urth Cafe frequented by neighborhood fans and foodies alike. When the first bite of any dish tip-toes across your tongue, you'll know why. The casual atmosphere does not prepare you for the serious food you are about to eat. The quality is high and the ingredients are carefully chosen and mixed together for choice results. This is the kind of food you would expect to pay more for too. The prices are easy on the diner for Los Angeles, and that is always appreciated.
I was invited to try Larchmont Bungalow's new Vegan menu, which offers many choices from breakfast to dinner dishes for the hungry animal-lover, not animal eater. I love vegan food, but it usually presents a tricky ingredient list for me being allergic to nuts, several legumes and soy. As I had suspected, almost all of the items in said menu had soy in them including the Tofu Scramble Sensation, Vegan Cobb Salad, and "Chicken" Tostadas. But no matter! Larchmont Bungalow takes food allergies seriously and said they could work with it. Hallelujah!
They made me the wonderful Vegan Enchiladas (without the soyful meat sub) which was sparkling with flavor, yet milder than expected. The "cheese" was all allergy-free, melty, and delicious! The dish was hearty, packed with black beans and veggies. I'll go vegan for this dish any day of the week.
But just so I knew where the Bungalow stood, I did happen to order non-new menu items: the Bison Chili and the Mango, Papaya and Cucumber Salad. (Now I was assured that many things on the menu could be prepared GF, including these before I ate it.) This chili, which is so good that I might have to name my first born after it, is filling, bursting with flavor and just the right amount of heat. It felt like being at home, wrapped in a blanket while candles flicker in the background as you watch your favorite movie. This is a chili that creates sense memory.
The salad served as a refreshing counterpoint to the chili balancing its heat with juicy, fresh bright flavor. They worked well eating bites of each at the same time. This is certainly something that I want to repeat.
Full disclosure here folks: the kind people at Larchmont did invite me and so the meal was on them, but rest assured as always, I only write up places I truly recommend. And the only words that are left to say are go there. Now.
Larchmont Bungalow (107 North Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004, 323-461-1528)