Absolutely delicious food and a huge vegan menu. One of my favorite restaurants nation-wide.
Absolutely delicious food and a huge vegan menu. One of my favorite restaurants nation-wide.
We came here on our last day in the USA. Unfortunately we only discovered Native Foods (in Santa Monica) the day before. The horror of the wasted opportunities!
Another excellent meal, only this time I wasn't stupid enough to order anything other than the Oklahoma Burger (which I had to steal half of from my wife the previous time).
Did I mention the Oklahoma Burger is the best burger in the world? Chased down with a strawberry parfait it can't be beat.
I also learned that it's better to get the buffalo wings rather than the nuggets for the kids. The wings are bigger and better and only a couple bucks more. I got my son 2 serves, stole a couple and ended up taking the leftover one in a napkin in my backpack. Got home 24 hours and a trans-pacific flight later, found the wing, gave it a sniff and gobbled it down. Vegan food baby!
Wow, am I happy when I am in the neighborhood of one of their locations! Been dining at both Westwood and Costa Mesa locations for years, and have never been disappointed. Their food is like a drug, and the staff are awesome. They are the Gold Standard for sure.
My two favorite things here happen to be both moroccan! The moroccan lentil soup on mondays and the moroccan rockin bowl. Absolutely my fave! My friend also liked the split pea soup alot. What I like about them is that they freely give you a sample of the soup before trying. The nachos are always a hit when we have groups too! Love this place.
I love the food at Native Foods Westwood. I ate there 4 days a week, for 6 months last year. The only item that I didn't like was the Ruben sandwich. But, everything else has been delicious, especially the Italian Meatball Sub, Italian Meatball Pizza, Chicken Burger, Potato Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, Lemonade, Cupcakes, Strawberry Parfait, Portobello Mushroom and Sausage Burger, and Soul Bowl. There are other items that I also like, but those are the main ones.
I just wish that Native Foods posted nutritional information online; sodium content, fat, calories, etc. This is L.A. after all. Smiles.
I decided to update my review after they remodeled and moved next door. The new space is large, very nice and similiar to the other locations now. We were surprised and pleased by how large the area upstairs is. The order counter is right up front with the desserts to tempt you. There are drink fountains both downstairs and upstairs which is very convenient for refills. My favorites include the chicken wings, Oklahoma bacon cheeseburger, the reuben, the strawberry shortcafe parfait and many more although I like trying all the new specials they have too (like the Dagwood, Chicago au jus and banh mi sandwiches). Overall, Native Foods, regardless of location, offers tasty and filling food. The service is quick and friendly and I always enjoy my visits. The elephant paintings in the restroom made me smile too. Go visit if you never have. They validate parking for an hour as well.
This is just fast food, prepared by cooks, not chefs, and most likely not vegan cooks. As a result, the food can be hit and miss. I have been to several Native Foods, and the service is ok but the food has never been hot enough. Also, you don't feel the passion in the cooking. However, the Scorpion burger was delicious and so was the Greek Gyro. Other locations were better than this one.
Heavily processed food so not for every day... I
My first time here and I'm totally impressed by how good everything was. I LOVED the portobella w/sage "sausage" - it was delicious as was their balsamic vinaigrette for the side salad. Filled me perfectly. The only thing I didn't like was their drinks. The watermelon and the lemonade one were both way too sweet for my liking. I'll eat here each time I have to visit the UCLA hospital around the corner. The prices were just right too.
This is another great location of the Native Foods franchise, which is one of the top vegan restaurants I've ever been to.
Unfortunately, this location is pretty small, so there's limited seating, and parking is obnoxiously difficult.
However, once you actually have your food, this place is a dream-come-true. The food is really amazing, and you should definitely go here.
I had first read about this place on happycow in the early 2000s. My husband and I been coming to this Native Foods location over the years since 2003, and we have eaten here at least 100 times. We've also brought many out-of-town guests here as well - to everyone's delight. Here's my updated Native Foods review.
This year, Native Foods Westwood moved into an expanded location right next door. I went for lunch just yesterday and was totally impressed. It's in a huge place with plenty of seating both downstairs and upstairs.
Over the years, Native Foods has also changed and modified its menu. The current one has most of the old favorites plus some new ones.
The original founder and chef, Tanya Petrovna, created a truly unique brand and food menu using lots of from-scratch-made food like tempeh and seitan, and various dressings and sauces. Overall, the food is colorful, creative, and tasty. The handholds can get really messy, though.
Some items I like:
- Ranch chicken burger
- Twister wrap (wheat tortilla wrap with crispy veg chicken, creamy chipotle dressing, diced red bell peppers & onion, lettuce)
- Native fries
- Poncho's quesadilla (grilled veggies with melted non-soy vegan cheese and vegan sour cream grilled between a wheat tortilla then topped with lettuce & diced red bell peppers, EXCELLENT)
Highly recommended when in the West Los Angeles / UCLA / Westwood area.
I love Native Foods, and since it is nearby, this is the location I most often go to. By the way, I hear they are massively expanding this location yet again! The food is really great and good quality. I often end up with my favorites, such as the Rockin Moroccan with Chikn. Have gotten the Soul Bowl too which is also very good. Husband often gets the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger which he likes. I look forward to trying more things here! This is a well run chain with perks like a members rewards card (where you can earn things like free drinks and meals), daily specials, and other promotions and events. I think it is a place you can bring omnivore friends who will easily find something they like - and Native Foods marks on their menu which things are recommended for first timers, so that could be helpful too.
I had the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, and because it was the Special, my side of sweet potato fries was FREE. The food was quite good and so filling that I didn't eat for the rest of the day.
The Westwood location is a bit weird in that the ordering and eating segments of the restaurant are completely separated by a wall, so you effectively have to go next door to eat. Not really a big deal, but kind of unusual.
I do wish we had locations up here in the SF Bay Area.
Love this restaurant. I tried many different dishes and they are all delicious. Love their desserts too!
Native foods is pretty great. I will say that I went to the Culver City location a few days earlier and found that they are much different aesthetically. It's not a bad difference, I just wasn't expecting it. OK so aesthetics aside, the bacon cheeseburger is a THE BEST! I absolutely loved it. I felt sorry for my bf though because he ordered the scorpion burger (made with tempeh) and it was horrible. That said, get the bacon cheeseburger and avoid anything with tempeh as the main veggie meat.
We love love love love Native Foods and are there at least once a week after work for the comfort-food bacon cheeseburger, the killer (yet kill-free) reuben, the awesome chicken run ranch sandwich, or one of many creative protein-filled salads. We simply couldn't live without Tanya's amazing creations!
They're probably 3 1/2 stars out of 5, but I'll be generous and round up to give 'em 4. They were fast and efficient and had pretty good quality food, though not quite spicy enough for me (at least they do provide bottles of hot sauce). I had the Rockin' Moroccan dish, which wasn't authentic (though I guess quinoa, from the Andes, gives it some "creativity points") though still pretty good. I liked their pea soup, which was the soup of the day (you get a cup of soup for $1.99 if you buy an entree)! They have pretty good portion sizes. Anyway, it was worth a visit, but I probably would only come frequently if it were in my neighborhood.
I tried the Native "Chicken Wings", Oklahoma Bacon Burger, Twister Wrap, "cheese"cake, & a cupcake. The Oklahoma Bacon burger was very good. But I did not like their chicken wings, therefore I also disliked the Twister wrap (b/c I ordered it w/crispy chickn). I narrowed it down to the batter. There is something in the batter that I strongly dislike (coming from a girl who has always ALWAYS hated cheese). But my omnivore friend liked them. So it was just me. ;) I also disliked the desserts. I've had SO much better. The cupcake was very dry & unappealing, but the icing was good. No comment on the cheesecake. (Amazing cheesecake can be found at New Harmony Vegetarian restaurant in downtown Philly!) Sorry. I really wanted to love this place, but it was just ok.
I concur with Chia's updated review below: after some disappointments in years past, my most recent experience at Native Foods was very good. It's common for innovators to have growing pains, and i'm glad to see (and taste) the results of their learning.
With a diverse and inventive menu of healthful items using some organic ingredients, very warm and attentive staff, a relaxed (and now somewhat more capacious) environment, and reasonable prices by LA standards, especially considering the quality of the food, i now find Native Foods to be one of the most recommendable veg*n restaurants in the LA metro area and i'll be happy to visit again next time i'm in town.
Drivers beware: parking can be a beast.
Went there on a whim and throughly enjoyed my Soul bowl with the cornbread (awesome chunks of kernels). Loved the flavoring and if everything else is like that bowl, I'm coming back. Not bland at all.
Native Foods has yummy sandwiches and bowls. The food tastes fresh and (mostly) healthy. Definitely a good spot to get some comforting chili fries or sandwiches or to fill up on healthy grains and greens.
I am a huge fan of some of their items. Some of them taste a little "too healthy," which is fine if that's what you're in the mood for. The pizzas are delicious but can be really olive oily. My favorite is the Chicken Run Ranch Burger. The fries are great also. My company catered an office bridal shower for me from this place, and it went over pretty well with most of my non-vegetarian coworkers. They've recently expanded, and the shop/eating area next to the main restaurant is really nice.
The service here was friendly, but it took forever for our food to arrive (at least 25 minutes). Also, the space upstairs for dining is tiny and kind of grungy and uncomfortable.
We found the food to be largely bland and uninspired. My philly cheese steak was spongy (both the bread and the seitan) and had no real flavor. My friend's Gandhi bowl does a disservice to the man it's named after (who believed in the inherent flavorful nature of vegetarian food), as it was basically a salad with leafy greens and some spices randomly tucked away at the bottom of the bowl.
The chicken wing appetizers were good, crispy and light. Our cheesecake was also good, though it wasn't made by Native Foods, and came in an unfortunate plastic container. All in all, Native Foods in Westwood has much room to improve.
I've been going to Native Foods off and on since 2001. There were periods when I stopped going due to major dust in the ceiling fans and an incident with the BLT. It was changed without warning to something that was unpalatable. Apparently the fake meat was not completely Vegan. I gave Native Foods another shot about 2 years later and found that I really enjoyed some of the sandwiches and pizza. Recently though the sandwiches and pizzas have shrunk in size! I completely understand that with the dollar devaluation and manufactured food shortages that food has gone up in price. I don't think anyone at this point is so naive that they don't realize the inflation we are experiencing especially with food and gas.
I would much rather have a regular sized sandwich or pizza and pay the extra buck or two than to be deceived and given smaller portions. What in the world is that about?
My mom and I ate here once. She ordered the soul bowl, which was a huge hit. The entire bowl was good. I got the Thai stix, and they could have been a bit better. (It was too peanuty and not spicy enough.) I also ordered kale, which was tasty. I'd definitely come back to check out other menu items. The seating is limited.
I love Native Foods and have been eating here for a few years. They've recently expanded into the space next door so there is more seating for those of you who haven't been in a while. The food is fantastic, in fact, too good/rich! I was addicted to the Save the Chicken Bowl! Now I'm more of a Ghandi Bowl. The sauces are very rich and calorie loaded and there's a lot of fried stuff going on so I recommend getting them on the side and dipping your veggies!
...So I'm a vegan/vegitarian friendly carnivore and I do love vegan/vegitarian restaurants dispite what my vegan bretheran say about my kind. I want to warn that this place can be good, but DO NOT get the food that say "meatless-(fill in the actual meat product)", ie. meatless-chicken wings, meatless-bacon, meatless-fish etc. If you stick to the actual vegan selections, the food is good. The "artificial" meat products DO NOT taste remotely like the real thing. You'll find yourself trying to convince your pallet(ummm..maybe it tastes a little like chicken...)which makes about much sense as a vegitarian eating meat!
I ate at this place twice during my trip to LA and everything I had was great! The save the chicken fingers appetizer is by far the best vegan chicken I have ever had! I also got the mad cowboy bowl which was delicious! My traveling partner got the jerk seitan sandwich which needed a little more jerk for our tastes but was still a tasty sandwich and the peppersteak sandwich which he loved and commented that the bread was fantastic. I wish there were more of these restaurants around than just the few in southern california.
The atmosphere is lovley. The fod is fresh and tasty. I reccommend the salads, burgers, chili fries, pizzas, chicken wings, its all very good. And you must get the peanut butter parfait (soo good)!
Wonderful sandwiches et al and don't miss the french fries. Staff friendly and helpful and there were plenty of choices in this all vegan restaurant. Portions and prices were likewise friendly and we just wish we had Native Foods on the east coast.
great food. unique choices. great prices. GREAT french fries. seating is the pits. although they are expanding to very soon it will be much better!
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Last updated: 2014/01/03
Added by: Guest