Soul Food at Stuff I Eat in Inglewood, California

Organic Soul Food Platter - Stuff I EatAfter last Thursday’s post about making my own soul bowls at home, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite restaurant soul food platters in recent memory.

When I was in Los Angeles a while back, I made it to a restaurant that I’ve been hearing about for eons – Stuff I Eat in Inglewood.  It’s a place that I have meant to visit again and again.  However, it seemed that usually when I was in the area, I was either on my way to the airport and in a hurry or coming back from the airport and in a hurry.  But as luck would have it this time around, I needed to pick up my rental car by LAX, which put me in the neighborhood at just the right time for lunch at Stuff I Eat.

Stuff I Eat - a vegan restaurant in Inglewood, CaliforniaStuff I Eat has been around since 2008.  Their food is 100% vegan and 95% organic.  It’s on the main drag of Market Street, along with other shops and restaurants.  The street was pretty quiet while I was there, as it was still early in the lunch hour.  Even though there’s a large awning outside with their name on it, because of the dark windows, I missed it and kept walking.  Even after I turned around and started walking back, I almost missed it again.  So etch this exterior into your mind’s eye and don’t make the same mistake I did.

Stuff I Eat - a vegan restaurant in Inglewood, CaliforniaStuff I Eat - a vegan restaurant in Inglewood, CaliforniaThe restaurant is clean and nicely laid out with café-style tables. The staff at the counter was all smiles and really helpful with ideas of their most popular items.  They’re well-known for their tacos, but obviously I had to go with another popular item on their menu, the Organic Soul Food Platter.

Organic Soul Food Platter - Stuff I EatI ordered a half order of the platter, which came to $12.  There was so much food, I easily could have shared it.  Instead, I took half home and finished it with breakfast the next day.

Organic Soul Food Platter - Stuff I EatThe platter came with generous helpings of yams, black-eyed peas, barbecued tofu, slow cooked kale, a cornbread muffin, potato salad, and mac and cheese.  The greens may well have been the best I’ve ever had.  They were melt-in-your-mouth good with that wonderful tinny-ness you get from cooking greens for a long time.

Organic Soul Food Platter - Stuff I EatThe black-eyed peas were also particularly well seasoned, and since they’re not always my favorite bean, I was surprised at how good they were.

Stuff I Eat is definitely one of those places where you can get caught in a circle of “just one more bite.”  With so many complimentary flavors and huge portions, this is the restaurant to visit with friends and/or a big appetite!  It is sure to be on my must-visit list on my next trip to Southern California.

Jasmine 26: Vietnamese Delights in the Minneapolis

jasmine 26 minneapolisI’m winding up our visit to Minneapolis with a re-cap of our dinner at Jasmine 26.  Jasmine 26 is a Vietnamese restaurant.  While it is not a vegan restaurant, I’d read from several accounts online that they were very vegan friendly.  They don’t clearly mark which things can be made vegan on their menu; although, they do have the option of adding tofu or mock duck to dishes.

We arrived around 6 pm.  The place was pretty quiet and there was no wait.  (It had filled up a bit by the time we were leaving.)  The ambience was darkly lit and serene with a clean aesthetic.   After looking over the menu, David and I both had dishes we wanted to try and questions about which things could be made vegan.

Crepe Jasmine 26 MinneapolisWith a chill in the air outside, I was having a hard time deciding between a warming bowl of vegetable pho or the Jasmine Crepe (Bánh Xèo).  The server said that both dishes could be prepared vegan, and so I sided with the dish that would require a lot of effort to make at home.

The crispy turmeric rice coconut crepe was filled to brimming with stir-fried tofu, mock duck, bean sprouts, onion, and yellow mung beans.  Alongside it was a mound of cool lettuce, cucumber, mint, and pickled carrot.  The server told me that people like to stuff the crunchy, cold vegetables into the crepe with every bite for added texture and a variety of temperatures.  I drizzled soy vinaigrette onto it, which tasted very much like the tangy Mock Nuoc Cham in Vegan Eats World.  I rarely have fresh mint, outside of drink garnishes, but it added a wonderful dynamic in this dish and made it feel totally unique in comparison to my usual dinners.

Basil Noodles Jasmine 26 MinneapolisDavid ordered the Basil Noodles (Bành Phỏ Xào), prepared vegan.  (It typically comes with chickens’ eggs in the dish.)  The wide stir-fried rice noodles were covered with pea pods, carrots, and green onions.  He also added tofu for an additional charge to the full-flavored dish.

We don’t have any vegan friendly Vietnamese restaurants in our town.  So it was a wonderful change of pace from our typical options.  It would be awesome if Jasmine 26 added V’s to their menu for easier ordering for vegans, but it’s great that they are so accommodating.  Everything we asked about could be made vegan, and so it seems like there are lots of options for people willing to do a bit of sleuthing.


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