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Puns and Paninis at Green Peas

Vegetarian establishments suffer from the same punny name curse as hair salons, tailors, and Pho spots– Green Peas is no exception. In fact, it’s right down the street from a place called Pho Show. I generously overlook the moniker, it’s worth it. Take one step inside and you’ll see why: it’s LA’s version of my Barrel (this is an obscure reference to the finest TeeVee show to ever get cancelled, Wonderfalls, where Jaye, the main character, could always be found at her local food-serving establishment, The Barrel. It’s like a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film meets Daria as written by the same guy that made Pushing Daisies.), Atlas Cafe! It doesn’t have Vegan Treats or a giant shoe on the wall, but it does have a strikingly similar aesthetic, lots of great vegan grub, a display of vegan cakes, wifi and ample seating!

I’ve been to G.P.’s a bunch of times and enjoyed everything I’ve tried thus far, minus the tuna melt. But I never liked real fish, so I only have myself to blame on that one. The Vegan Curry salad is great, the Breakfast Burrito just hits the spot, and the pizza was good, too. On my most recent trip, I had the Rolling Steak Sandwich.

This thing has Gardein steak, grilled onions, cilantro, spinach, avocado, mozzarella Daiya cheese and Veganaise. The bread options are many (and clearly labeled for Veganity), but when the guy behind the counter says to get it on a baguette, you get it on a baguette. I got mine with a side of potatoes (over the salad or soup options) and it was awesome. The sandwich was warm and gooey and enough to feed two of me, or me twice. I could only conquer half. The baguette was perfect; fresh and crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and the combination of Daiya and Veganaise made for a stretchy, creamy dream. The potatoes were really on point this visit; hot, fresh and with tons of rosemary and other herbs and spices.

Fine Print: Like Atlas, this place has real meat and faux, so it’s perfect for a diverse group of diners. Order at the counter and food is brought to the table of your choosing. The staff is super friendly and helpful. There’s a self-serve water station where you can choose between an infusion of fresh oranges or fresh lemons (cause LA water is nasto on its own).

I couldn’t bring myself to get one of their treats though. Maybe next time, after it’s been longer since my last NYC trip and I’m in severe treat withdrawal.

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