Healthy Living Magazine

Four Favorite SoCal Eateries

By Lynnbraz @wandering_lotus
Finding great places to grab a yummy vegan meal is not exactly challenging in Southern California's coastal towns. In fact, the options are overwhelming. My favorite restaurants are never all about the food and service. I require a certain je ne sais quois and, also affordability. Views, outdoor seating where my dog can join me, and nice bathrooms rank highly too. Here's a roundup of my favorite places to munch when I'm in SoCal:

Four Favorite SoCal Eateries

Cardiff-by-the Sea

Ki's Restaurant, Cardiff-by-the Sea. All animal ingredients are sustainably and humanely raised, and, whenever possible, locally sourced. Amazing view of some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Dinner for 2 can easily come in under $40. My fave dish: stir-fried fresh seasonal veggies sauteed in pineapple tamari sauce over brown rice topped with cashews and tofu.

Four Favorite SoCal Eateries

I lived in Encinitas for 13 months in the 90's

Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar, Encinitas. On first glance, I fell in love with the giant Ganesha (my favorite god) statues. The menu, too, is enormous. I usually order grilled seasonal veggies in balsamic vinegar with crispy tempeh (which reminds me of Bali), brown rice and a side salad. For a high protein, lighter meal, try Yogi Bliss. Best of all: outdoor seating that welcomes your dog, even when he/she is not displaying angelic behavior.
Hill Street Cafe, Oceanside. Try the vegan surf and turf—a huge tofu steak and portobello mushroom marinated and grilled to perfection, with brown rice, sauteed veggies and salad. Delish! I also love the garlic sauteed greens. The staff, like most SoCal coastal people, exudes friendliness. Outdoor seating for those who prefer to dine with their pets.
Four Favorite SoCal Eateries
Lotus Thai Bistro, Carlsbad. Perhaps I favor anything with "lotus" in it's name, but this is by far the best Thai food I've ever enjoyed. And that includes every dish I ate while in Thailand. Serves traditional Thai food along with house specialties. You can specify how spicy you like your dish on a scale from 1 to 10. Hint: 7 is too spicy. Quantities are big enough to carve out three meals from most dishes, so bring along a friend or two.

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