A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Tag Archives: tacos

Trilogy Sanctuary

Trilogy Sign

Trilogy Sign

 

LA JOLLA.  I wandered off of Girard Avenue, wound my way through a hallway, and found the elevator.  After a short ride, I found myself on a roof deck set up for a yoga class with palm trees framing the horizon line against the ocean.  I instantly knew I had found a special place.  Trilogy Sanctuary serves a 100% organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO menu, and they strive to source their ingredients as locally as possible.  Chef Scott’s Steele’s attention to detail is evident in the quality of the food served — all of the dishes are thoughtfully assembled and their flavors are in harmony.

 

During my first visit to Trilogy, I was sitting next to a group of girls who ordered the Vega-Nachos, a mix of gluten free veggie chips smothered in cheesy sauce with quinoa chorizo, avocado, and pico.  They raved about the dish the entire time they were eating them.  I decided I needed to try them … after all, how often does a vegan get to eat nachos?  On my next visit, they were the first thing I ordered.  I loved that the “chips” were made from dehydrated sweet potatoes –a healthy alternative to the normally fried nacho base.  The best part? The quinoa chorizo.  It gave each bite a bit of a kick.  I will DEFINITELY be ordering these again.

 

[caption id="attachment_2942" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vega-Nachos Vega-Nachos[/caption]

 

Another amazing Trilogy menu option is the Wrap of Zen.  The wrap (which by the way is vegan, raw, and paleo!) is filled with sprouted homemade hummus, butternut squash, beets, avocado, and cucumber and topped with almond love sauce.  The wrap is bursting with fresh veggies.  I don’t know what is in the almond love sauce, but it is special.  This wrap far surpasses the tired veggie sandwich and is a truly unique dish.

 

[caption id="attachment_2943" align="alignnone" width="640"]The Wrap of Zen The Wrap of Zen[/caption]

 

The “Two Perfect Tacos” dish is aptly named.  The tacos are comprised of house made corn tortillas stuffed with quinoa chorizo, roasted sweet potatoes, eggplant bacon, avocado, pico, and spicy almond love sauce.  The roasted sweet potatoes acted as an excellent anchor for these tacos and contrasted deliciously with the salty taste of the eggplant bacon.  Yum!

 

[caption id="attachment_2944" align="alignnone" width="640"]Two Perfect Tacos Two Perfect Tacos[/caption]

 

Trilogy also offers a delicious Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash entree made from  warm spaghetti squash tossed in home made pesto mixed with roasted portobello mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, olives, and toasted pine nuts.  Personally, I’m predisposed to enjoy any dish with pesto and sun dried tomatoes and this dish did not disappoint!

 

[caption id="attachment_2946" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash[/caption]

 

Trilogy offers a wide array of fresh smoothies.  I finally decided on the Lust Smoothie: a mix of almond miilk, cacao, banana, avocado, date, maca, vanilla, cayenne, and cinnamon.  And yes, it tasted as good as it sounds! Chocolatey goodness with a little bit of a kick.

 

[caption id="attachment_2945" align="alignnone" width="410"]Lust Super Smoothie Lust Super Smoothie[/caption]

 

Trilogy also offers a wide variety of scrumptious sounding desserts.  Think chocolate mousse, cheesecake, and raw carrot cake just to name a few.  I confess I haven’t yet tried one of the desserts, because I always fill up on appetizers and entrees!!  I’m excited to try one (or more!) soon!

 

The interior of Trilogy is cozy and made up predominantly of earth tones.  I love the open kitchen concept so that curious customers (like me!) can watch the food preparation.

 

[caption id="attachment_2950" align="alignnone" width="640"]Interior Trilogy Sanctuary Interior Trilogy Sanctuary[/caption]

 

Trilogy also offers a beautiful outdoor patio space — tables and umbrellas make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the rooftop view.

 

[caption id="attachment_2951" align="alignnone" width="640"]Rooftop Outdoor Trilogy Seating Rooftop Outdoor Trilogy Seating[/caption]

 

7650 Girard Avenue, #4

La Jolla, CA 92037

858.633.3893

Native Foods: 100% Vegan

[caption id="attachment_2533" align="alignnone" width="652"]Native Foods Cafe Sign Native Foods Cafe Sign[/caption]

 

POINT LOMA and ENCINITAS.  If you have never been to Native Foods, you are missing out.  It is a haven for vegans and is guaranteed to impress even habitual meat eaters.  The menu boasts an array of starters, salads, bowls, burgers, and desserts that will leave you feeling satiated, happy, and planning your return trip!

On my most recent trip to the new Point Loma location, I started with the chili — white beans and Native chili meat simmered with tomatoes and special spices — and cornbread.  I thoroughly enjoyed this starter.  It has a great flavor thanks to the spices, and I enjoyed dunking my generous piece of cornbread in it!  We’ll just say that it disappeared (with the help of my lunch partner!).  Quickly.

 

[caption id="attachment_2534" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Chili and Cornbread Vegan Chili and Cornbread[/caption]

 

You can’t go wrong when ordering one of the bowls from Native Foods.  The Rockin’ Morrocan is a satisfying mix of grilled veggies and quinoa mixed with tofu or Native Chicken and topped with homemade Moroccan sauce, currants, and toasted almonds.  There is a lot going on in this bowl, but it is all good!  I love the crunch from the toasted almonds mixed with the sweetness from the currants.  Plus, you end up eating a good number of veggies without even realizing it!

 

[caption id="attachment_2535" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Rockin' Moroccan Bowl Vegan Rockin’ Moroccan Bowl[/caption]

 

I have fond memories of inhaling fish tacos on San Diego’s pervasive “Taco Tuesdays.”  Since becoming vegan, I’ve looked for a replacement.  And I finally found it in Native Food’s Baja Blackened Tacos.  These tacos are comprised of two grilled soft corn tortillas stuffed with blackened Native Tempeh and topped with creamy chipotle sauce, salsa fresca, shredded cabbage, and guacamole.  Delightful!!    Native Foods completely transforms the tempeh, so it is soft and tender to bite.  The best part?  The creamy chipotle sauce and guacamole give these plant-based tacos a rich, full flavor and ensures they are not dry.

 

[caption id="attachment_2536" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Baja Blackened Tacos Vegan Baja Blackened Tacos[/caption]

 

Native Foods doesn’t rely on typical offerings to prop up the burger section of their menu.  Instead, you will find unique items like the Portobello and Sausage Burger.  Juicy grilled portobellos and home made Native Sausage Seitan make up the base of this burger.  It’s then topped with caramelized onions, salsa pomodoro, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo.  The full-bodied sausage seitan contrasted nicely with the mellow portobello flavor.  Plus, the caramelized onions were cooked to perfection.  And who can say no to pumpkin seed pesto?  This is a choice that is sure to please everyone.

 

[caption id="attachment_2537" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Portobello and Sausage Burger Vegan Portobello and Sausage Burger[/caption]

 

Native Foods has some great home made beverage options that are great alternatives to soda.  Pick from Lavender Lemonade, Watermelon Fresca, or home brewed iced teas.  The Hibiscus iced tea pictured below was a refreshing option.  Particularly, if you are visiting Native Foods during part of a heat wave like I was!  And did I mention that you get unlimited re-fills?  That means you can rotate among the drinks if you want to try them all!

 

[caption id="attachment_2540" align="alignnone" width="460"]Hibiscus Tea Hibiscus Tea[/caption]

 

Of course, I couldn’t get out of Native Foods without a dessert.  They are too good.  And for a chocoholic like me, the chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting was the perfect choice.  The desserts are all made in house, and you can tell.  Each chocolately bite was well worth the indulgence.

 

[caption id="attachment_2538" align="alignnone" width="523"]Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Vegan Chocolate Cupcake[/caption]

 

Native Foods has a friendly, bright interior.  It’s perfect place to pick up a “to go” lunch when you’re in a hurry or to sit and linger with friends and family.  The staff is also extremely helpful in offering suggestions whether it’s your first time visiting or you just want to try something new.

 

[caption id="attachment_2539" align="alignnone" width="640"]Interior Native Foods Interior Native Foods[/caption]

 

Native Foods also provides outdoor patio seating with umbrellas.  A perfect spot to enjoy warm weather and relax.

 

[caption id="attachment_2541" align="alignnone" width="640"]Native Foods Interior Native Foods Interior[/caption]

 

Native Foods is also a great to place if you have any additional dietary restrictions or preferences.  The restaurant offers gluten-free, soy free, and nut free menus for customers’ convenience (check out the links below).  So enjoy!

 

 

Point Loma:

3369 Rosecrans Street

San Diego, CA 92110

619.225.1155

 

Encinitas:

127 N. El Camino Real

Encinitas, CA 92024

760.634.7607

 

Southern Fried Vegan BBQ: 100% Vegan

[caption id="attachment_1190" align="alignnone" width="640"]Southern Fried Vegan Sign Southern Fried Vegan Sign[/caption]

 

Sure, vegans like to eat veggies and fruit but sometimes you want something you can sink your teeth into – something sinful, sweet, and perhaps even fried!  When this craving hits, I recommend locating the Southern Fried Vegan BBQ food truck!

I caught up with Southern Friend Vegan BBQ at Modern Times Brewery in Point Loma.  I arrived with some hungry friends, ready to eat and drink!  My friends’ plate arrived first, featuring two BBQ sliders, tater tots, and a side of collard greens.  Conversation ceased as they devoured their food (but I managed to snap a quick photo before they dug in!).  Later, with big smiles and full tummies, they would tell me that everything was “really good.”

 

[caption id="attachment_1184" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan BBQ Sliders with Collard Greens and Tater Tots Vegan BBQ Sliders with Collard Greens and Tater Tots[/caption]

 

I love avocados.  And why shouldn’t they be the focus of a taco?  There’s no need to relegate them to secondary topping status!  Here, the fried avocados are a warm and creamy centerpiece.  Add some delicious tangy dressing and coleslaw and you have yourself a noteworthy vegan taco!

 

[caption id="attachment_1185" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Fried Avocado Taco Vegan Fried Avocado Taco[/caption]

 

Next up was my order: the Fried Chickun Waffle Sandwich with sides of jambalaya and macaroni and cheese.   The prize for the day went to the Fried Chickun Waffle Sandwich.  This dish arrived with a piece of “chickun” and creamy dressing lying on top of a waffle.  The sandwich was then doused in syrup.

I understand that Chicken and Waffles is a traditional southern dish, but I had never seen the appeal.  Why would chicken be good with waffles?  Now I know what all the fuss is about!  This sandwich was good.  Really good.  The combination of a soft waffle, sweet syrup, and savory chickun must trigger the happy place in the brain.   After the sandwich disappeared (and I had wiped the sticky syrup from my hands!), I finished off the tender macaroni and cheese and zesty jambalaya.  True comfort food.  I was blissfully lethargic for the rest of the day!

 

[caption id="attachment_1195" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Fried Chickun Waffle Sandwich with Macaroni and Cheese and Jambalaya Vegan Fried Chickun Waffle Sandwich with Macaroni and Cheese and Jambalaya[/caption]

 

Everything at Southern Fried Vegan is “made to order” – you won’t receive anything pre-made.   Quality can take time, so be aware that there can be a wait, especially if others have ordered before you.  But the food rewards patience.  While I don’t think the road to being a healthy vegan is paved with Fried Waffle Chickun Sandwiches, I do think it’s important – as a special treat – to enjoy true comfort food.  Thank you Southern Fried Vegan for filling a critical gap in the universe of vegan food!

 

[caption id="attachment_1191" align="alignnone" width="300"]Southern Fried Vegan BBQ Tent Southern Fried Vegan BBQ Tent[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_1179" align="alignnone" width="300"]Modern Times Brewery Interior Modern Times Brewery Interior[/caption]

 

Where will Southern Fried Vegan be next?  Check in with their social media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthernFriedVegan

Twitter: @sfvbbq

 

Ranchos Cocina: Vegan Friendly

[caption id="attachment_913" align="alignnone" width="600"]Ranchos Sign Ranchos Sign[/caption]

 

NORTH PARK AND OCEAN BEACH.  Long-time San Diego vegans know Ranchos.  Both locations feature a multitude of vegan options, including vegan pancakes, burritos, tortas, soups, salads, enchiladas, tacos, and desserts.  YUM!!

First, no Mexican restaurant would be complete without chips and salsa.   Here, we have a hand-crafted, mild salsa that disappears almost immediately.

 

[caption id="attachment_907" align="alignnone" width="600"]Chips and Salsa from Ranchos Chips and Salsa from Ranchos[/caption]

 

Second, I love that Ranchos serves breakfast all day, because sometimes dinner is the perfect time for breakfast.  On my most recent visit, I ordered the Vegan Breakfast Burrito, a mix of tofu scramble, house made tempeh sausage, potatoes, and beans and wrapped in a tortilla.  The tempeh sausage is spicy, which compliments the light scramble and hearty potatoes and beans.  This is a well-rounded burrito, a personal favorite, and something that I would recommend to vegans and non-vegans alike.

 

[caption id="attachment_909" align="alignnone" width="600"]Vegan Breakfast Burrito from Ranchos Vegan Breakfast Burrito from Ranchos[/caption]

 

Next up was the Grilled Tofu and Black Bean Torta.  Recently, I learned that a torta is really just a sandwich!  And this particular torta comes stacked with hearty tofu slices, black beans, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and onions.  The tangy guacamole is excellent.  Another great dish.

 

[caption id="attachment_910" align="alignnone" width="600"]Grilled Tofu and Black Bean Torta from Ranchos Grilled Tofu and Black Bean Torta from Ranchos[/caption]

 

If you are craving a burrito, but aren’t in the mood for breakfast, the Chipotle Seitan Burrito is a great option.  You might be thinking, “What the heck is seitan?”  Seitan is made from wheat.  It has a firm texture, making it a popular meat substitute.  If you want to know more about seitan, click on the link below!

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/glossary/g/Seitan.htm

Back to the burrito in question.  The chipotle seitan in the burrito gives the burrito a smoky flavor.  The guacamole helps to temper the spice of the seitan, resulting in a tempting burrito.   I planned to eat only half, so imagine my surprise when when I looked down and saw a clean plate!

 

[caption id="attachment_911" align="alignnone" width="600"]Chipotle Seitan Burrito from Ranchos Chipotle Seitan Burrito from Ranchos[/caption]

 

Even though I don’t drink dairy, I still enjoy creamy beverages.  So I was excited when I saw that Ranchos had a vegan Horchata drink made from soymilk, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla.  This drink can definitely pass as a dessert.  It tastes like a sumptuous, vanilla, cinnamon milkshake.

 

[caption id="attachment_908" align="alignnone" width="301"]Vegan Horchata from Ranchos Vegan Horchata from Ranchos[/caption]

 

Things to know about Ranchos.  Although there is some overlap, Ranchos North Park and Ranchos Ocean beach have DIFFERENT menus.  My blog post is based my most recent trip to the North Park location.  However, both locations offer numerous vegan options!

Ranchos Ocean Beach is also known for their salad bar.  Aside from having the usual fresh produce and veggies, the salad bar also boasts a wide variety of raw, vegan options and salad dressings.  (For an explanation on raw food, see my post on Go Raw L.I.F.E. Center: www.thefussyfork.com/go-raw-life-center)

Both locations have a relaxed and inviting interior with wooden tables and chairs.  But, again, the following photo depicts the North Park location.  Both also have a few tables outside for outdoor dining.  This option is particularly popular with dog owners!

 

[caption id="attachment_912" align="alignnone" width="600"]Interior of Ranchos Interior Ranchos[/caption]

 

North Park

3910 30th Street

San Diego 92104

619.574.1288

 

Ocean Beach

1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92107

619.226.7619