I hadn’t planned on doing this review, but we were here to have breakfast with some Vegan friends from the bay area and I’d been meaning to check out this place for some time. Somehow, it kept getting dropped a rung on my to do list. Might as well kill two birds with one stone. Err, I mean, cross off two items at once. As a vegetarian I appreciate having options, even if I have to pay the extra veggie tax. Sure it might be bland, but at least I can go there and eat and not worry about some pork secretly lurking underneath my lunch option. Someone told me they made a good Reuben sandwich, but when I opened the menu…
…my favorite dish jumped out at me. Shit, kill three birds at once! Seemed like an okay description but I was heavily influenced by their use of “ranchero sauce” whereas most places go for the uniformly unacceptable pico de gallo option. I’m cool with tofu hrs but just a bit suspect of black beans, it’s usually the Whitest bean around, if you know what I mean. Daikon sprouts? Uhh…hey look, potato and avocado! Can’t be that bad..bad..bad…
Let me just preface the rest of this review (before you all get hung up on my negative attitude) with the fact that they indeed do make a good vegan Reuben sandwich. And the wait staff is attentive and friendly.
That being said, this was one of the worst Huevos Rancheros, or Non-Huevos Rancheros, I’ve had in a long time. I think they take the crown for worst from my HR’s last year at Cafe 50’s. It’s kinda sad that the best thing on this dish was the avocado way over in the corner (always a needless item on HR’s) as it was perfectly ripe and tasty, but just an avocado that happened to make a presence in this abominable dish. The tofu was okay as an egg replacer, and center of the dish, if a bit on the salty side. I think it was marinated in soy sauce and baked. Unfortunately, it’s hidden under two cold tortillas (stacked stupid style) that seemed to have been baked the night before, making them difficult to cut and unpleasant to chew. To keep in line with the same theme the black beans, possibly canned but certainly undercooked, were hard and difficult to consume. I’m crossing my fingers they’ll be easier to digest.
All of this wonderful pile of wrong was smoothered in a “ranchero” sauce that was cold, consisted mostly of some sort of tomatoey sauce that clumped unnaturally, mixed heavily with either “chili” powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, or all of the above. Basically, all the shitty “Mexican spice” options Americans in the rest of the country can be forgiven for having to use out of necessity and/or ignorance but that nobody in Los Angeles today needs to use without good reason. What we have here are a list of wrong and ill considered ingredients applied inappropriately. This ranchero sauce is a joke, without the Just Kidding.
Papas con Kale on the side. Do you want to know about the daikon sprouts? I didn’t even bother trying to discern their effect on the plate: like sesame seeds on caca.
No mas. This was after eating more than I should just to be polite, because I’m nice like that.
Vegan places tend to coast on the fact that at least vegans will eat there out of necessity. Eventually they get complacent and think they can serve vegan slop at a premium. But there is no excuse for anyone to be subjected to this abysmal plate. If you can’t make a dish you can proudly feed to your friends then don’t put in on the menu. Stick with something you can do well instead. You’d be doing me, and everyone else, a favor.
Flore Vegan Cuisine 323.953.0611
3818 W. Sunset Blvd.
Silver Lake, CA 90026
I must mention that I am a big fan of Flore and fall squarely into their white-ass vegetarian demographic. Those huevos rancheros look and sound wrong and you are a trooper for ordering them. But a surprising amount of stuff on their menu is above average vegan fare. I am quite positive that you wouldn’t care for them, but I dig, (the name is embarrassing), the East Side Tacos, black beans and all. Their hot sauce is sublime. But I will admit they are highly unorthodox and not at all traditional tacos with a fancier than Food Not Bombs collection of vegan ingredients, almost overly healthy. Most of the sandwiches are great there too. It is the only restaurant that my daughter truly hates, though. I think it’s the noise that she doesn’t care for.
what about the kale and spuds? they don’t look like the german kind.
why don’t these restaurants just look up a ranchero sauce recipe and make it?
i was so dragged down by this review that i had to go read your Porky’s review and think about their awesome red sauce.
My guess is, you didn’t like it. 😛
Sounds like an awful meal… I laughed when I read your description of black beans as the “Whitest bean around.” Certainly true in the US, but I recall in my travels south of the border that in Guatemala and Honduras, and even in parts of Oaxaca and Chiapas, black beans seemed to be the usual fare. Not my preference in any case.