Vinh Loi Tofu

February 19, 2013

in restaurant, vegan

Abe had Monday off for President’s Day so I took him on a little adventure! Drove all the way out to the San Fernando Valley, explored Lake Balboa

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…stopped by a few filming locations from one of my all-time favorite movies

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…and finally ate at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to visit since we moved from NYC.

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Los Angeles is home to hundreds of vegan Asian places. But Vinh Loi Tofu buries them all. No competition!

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Tiny, but very clean and cozy. Ignore the pictures on the wall, and the extensive menu itself, for that matter…

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…just let Kevin order for you – he is the epitome of cool, and a triathlete to boot (his nickname is “The Iron Monk“). Just realized the only other Ironman I’ve ever met is Brendan Brazier, also a vegan!

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I wanted the udon noodle salad I saw on Quarrygirl. He knew exactly what I was talking about.

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Can’t even tell you what this was exactly – but I can tell you it was amazing.

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But even more incredible? Abe’s curry noodle dish with “duck.” As good as the food I’ve eaten in Vietnam.

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The thing that puts Vinh Loi in another stratosphere is the fact that they make their own tofu (watch how in this video) and soy milk.

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Kevin was kind enough to pour us a cup of the Pandan flavor, which I had a sip of – unlike any soy milk you’ll find in the market…

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…the complimentary fried tofu he hooked us up with was incredible as well!

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Ate around 4 pieces (they come in Lemongrass/Chili + Mushroom/Noodle) dipped in “Special Sauce.”

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Really wish we could’ve stayed and played with the rest of the condiments…

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…but Julius was in the car so we ate with him.

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Had many forkfuls of each. This “duck” was so incredible I didn’t want to close the lid.

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On the ride home I kept singing “Kevin, I love Kevin” to the tune of “Cheek to Cheek.” You’ve seen me eat at hundreds of delicious restaurants, but when I fall hard for a place, I want to shout it from the mountaintops: GO HERE NOW. Both Kevin and his food are worth the trek. Even if you’re not vegan, you will love it – plus, the co-owner (his wife) is a Chinese woman named Lynne. Need I say more?!?

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Tofu kept me very full the rest of the day. All I craved was fruit…

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…TJ’s miso, candy, and a couple Japanese Crackers for crunch.

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We’re already planning our next trip out to Reseda for more.

Vinh Loi Tofu on Urbanspoon

{ 19 comments }

1 Tamara February 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

Oh my gosh, that all looks SERIOUSLY delicious! I wish I could go there today! I’m an omnivore who loves vegan food. Alas, I don’t know when I’ll next be in CA, so I’ll have to live vicariously through you for now. Thanks for this awesome post and I’m glad Kevin’s place is on your map, anyway!

2 Lez February 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

OMG! That place looks so delicious! I think Asian and South American vegan/vegetarian food are some of the best food hands down. I just wished that they had MORE of these restaurants everywhere! Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

3 Jan February 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

I am going there for sure! We are staying a a hotel in Woodland Hills since our condo got flooded on saturday. This will brighten my day for sure!!!! Many thanks Lynn

4 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet February 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

Eek sorry about the flood! Have a tasty time w Kevin!

5 erin @WELLinLA February 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

Sooooo hungry reading this post (seems to happen often reading your blog, Lynn!). Cheers!

6 Alice @ Nom Nom Cat February 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I miss Vinh Loi Tofu so much! I used to go every week when I lived in the Valley. :3 Glad to see Kevin is doing so well! He used to know my order as soon as I walked in the door. haha. The House Special Soup, extra spicy, is also very good!

(BTW – if you’re looking for the pandan soy milk, just look for “sua dau nanh la dua” at the Vietnamese grocery stores. More of them are stocking this kind nowadays!)

7 Vegyogini February 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I LOVE Vinh Loi Tofu! I’m so glad you finally got to eat there. I always get the B5, but I think I’ll try what Abe got next time I go. I don’t see it on the menu, though…is it the Udon Stir Fry & BBQ Duck rather than a curry? Or did Kevin make you guys something special like he often does?

8 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet February 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm

he made it up! i can’t wait to try the B5!

9 Brigid February 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Oh wow. I’m sold! We will need to plan a weekend trek to try that place.

10 Cindy February 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Want to teleport myself there right now!

11 Chelsea February 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm

You’ve met me-I’m an Ironman ;-)

12 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet February 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Hell yeah!!!

13 Jessica February 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I love that place!! Definitely worth the drive. How did the soy milk taste?

Also….I have a place to recommend. Flor de Loto in Huntington Park. It’s delicious, authentic, vegetarian/vegan, cheap, far but worth the drive. If you ever go, the milanesa is on point.

14 Jessica February 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention it’s Oaxacan food.

15 Judy Hsieh Bigman February 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm

And there is a great foot reflexology place up a block from the restaurant, where you can get an hour treatment foot and body massage for $25! We love that area and often make the trek out there.

16 emily February 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

YUM! i will definitely drag alex here…those noodles look AMAZING.

17 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet February 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm

We will go w you!!!!

18 Bianca February 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I LOVE LOVE Vinh Loi Tofu. I’ve actually never tried his tofu but the few times I’ve gone, I’ve gotten the various “meats” in the small containers to go. Each and everyone is as good as the last with interesting flavors. I don’t know how he does it! I must try that udon dish next.

19 amy February 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

Oh man, that curry noodle dish looks so good! Thanks for the heads up on this place! :)

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