Popular Toronto-based eatery Fresh Restaurants recently announced the opening of a new location in Los Angeles along with plans to make all of its established locations fully vegan by June 2019. The restaurant, while currently offering all-vegan dishes, still provides dairy milk for coffee and tea, and cheese as a topping option for salads, burritos, and burgers. Fresh’s new LA location will offer a fully vegan menu of signature dishes such as Quinoa Onion Rings, Dragon Fries, Tiger Bowls, BBQ Burgers, and Poutine, vegan cashew cheese, and a few new additions that will be unique to that location. The eatery will also offer raw, cold-pressed juices, power shakes, botanical lattes, and green smoothies. Owner Ruth Tal plans to evoke a luxe California atmosphere with private velvet curved booths, two craft cocktail bars, a greenhouse dining room, and a balcony with a view overlooking West Hollywood. “Being a vegan ‘pioneer’ in Toronto for over two decades was lonely at times,” Tal told VegNews. “I’ve taken so much inspiration from LA over the years, so it’s pretty special to finally be opening a restaurant there.” Tal’s decision to update the restaurant menus to be fully vegan came from the knowledge that guests are no longer intimidated to eat at vegan establishments compared to 20 years ago. “It’s a different world now,” Tal said. “People have the information, and we don’t have to work as hard to help people come to us and to not feel intimidated. It’s a pretty easy transition since none of our recipes have ever had any dairy in them, so we don’t actually need to remake any of our recipes.” Tal plans to further expand the restaurant brand across both Canada and LA.
Photo courtesy of Joel Clifton